I hope you guys are doing well amidst the madness. Lately, I've been needing to hunker down and take cover. I don't know about you, but when I'm feeling this way I turn to the same thing for comfort—music. But it wasn't always that way. Recently, I got to talking with a friend and discovered that we both stopped listening to music during a traumatic time. We unintentionally robbed ourselves of the one thing we found soothing. Why? I'm not sure. Maybe our minds were trying to protect us from those painful emotions? I don't know. Whatever the case, I'm glad we had that conversation before some shit hit the fan.
Remember in that last post when I said that I was learning to appreciate the shitty stuff because it's giving me opportunities for growth? Well, I just keep on growing!
The day after that post, which happened to be my birthday, I discovered that something wasn't what I thought. Actually, some people told me that it wasn't. I thought I had a thing with this guy I've casually known online for years, but it turns out that thing was just a dick. I was in a vulnerable place at the time. My cat recently died, and I wasn't in the right frame of mind to recognize the warning signs. And there were many. Many signs, and apparently many women. Much like these women, I wanted to trust the things he said but had my doubts. And doubted myself. Some of you likely know this "man" I'm referring to, and I think we all wanted to believe that he could be trusted, but when his own friends warned me about his behaviour I knew something was amiss. Well, I knew when accusations from other women started surfacing.
I don't want to get into too many details, but it wasn't good. To believe that someone cared, only to find out that they didn't was hurtful. And it hurt more to learn of what he did to others. He manipulated women to get what he wanted then fucked off and tried to make them look like the bad ones. MAN-ipulated. Just thought of that. Anyway, I was suckered. No lie. And I felt like shit about it. I still wanted to believe him when he said that he really did care for me, but after hearing countless stories from women that started out exactly the same as mine, it became pretty impossible to believe. I thought I knew him and believed that he was a good person deep down. But, honestly, if you have to dig that deep, that ain't so good, is it?
So that was some bullshit, but it was a lesson. A reminder of the fact that I deserve so much more. And so do you. I'm talking to all of the women he hurt. All of the women who, like me, blamed themselves for being vulnerable. But vulnerability is not a fault. In fact, it's a pretty great quality. Don't lose that just because you got dicked around by some dick. And to everyone out there who supported him and continues to support him, I'm not even mad anymore. I get it. You want to see the good in others, and that's a pretty great quality, too. Just be sure to keep a safe distance and keep your clothes on.
Now cue the music.
Music saved me from dipping down into a very low place. Music and George Stroumboulopoulos. Strombo chatting and playing music on his Instagram Live videos comforted me. Plus, he retweeted something silly I posted and has replied to my Instagram stories. He's a sweetheart, and he probably doesn't realize how much he's lifted me up. Canada's boyfriend saved the day. I appreciate him so very much, and I'm glad he's around doing his thing, making the world a better place.
The other night, after listening to Strombo, I got cozy in blankets and started listening to The Carpenters. I got to thinking about the incredible tribute album If I Were a Carpenter, which made me binge cover songs. I thought it might be fun to share some of my favourites with you. I picked ten, just to have a nice round number, and they're in no particular order. I hope you enjoy. I linked the Spotify playlist below for you to check out. You'll have to open up your Spotify to hear the whole songs. Feel free to comment below with some of your favourite covers. I'd love to hear 'em.
Look at those beautiful faces! Also, don't Thurston Moore and Richard Carpenter look alike? Sonic Youth and The Carpenters are two of my all-time favourite bands, so it's no wonder this one made the cut. Honestly, though, If I Were a Carpenter is full of gems. I highly recommend you give that album a listen. Shonen Knife's cover of "Top of the World" blows the original out of the water. I don't even like that Carpenter's song. Props to Shonen Knife for being so badass. Back to Sonic Youth, the reason I think "Superstar" is an incredible cover is because it actually sounds like an original Sonic Youth song. I love covers that take on a new life. And as much as I adore Kim Gordon, there's something cool about Thurston Moore doing the vocals. Just changes the whole tone completely. Love, love, love this one.
"Always on my Mind"
One of my favourite Elvis songs of all time. So touching. I happen to adore two other versions of this song, but rather than going with my love, Willie Nelson, I went with The Pet Shop Boys. Their cover is just so unconventional, and it makes me want to dance. Aside from eating and sleeping, dancing is probably the thing I do most. Just ask my neighbours. Anyway, I think this is an awesome cover. The dance music doesn't detract from the sincerity whatsoever. Equally beautiful. Brilliant cover.
I'm almost positive that I heard the Nine Inch Nails version first, on the soundtrack to one of my favourite movies, The Crow, but man do I love Joy Division and this song. I must say that I do prefer the cover. It's heavier, and immediately transports me into that dark, scary Gotham-esque world of The Crow. Plus, Trent Reznor.
"Song To the Siren"
Man, are these two incredible. Both of these songs have helped me get though some difficult shit. There is no way I can pick between the two. They're so different and so beautiful. Tim Buckley wrote and performed the original, which makes be sob, and This Mortal Coil's cover instantly takes me into the mind of David Lynch and reminds me of one of my favourite scenes from one of my favourite films, Lost Highway. It's fairly common to have cover songs in film, and there are actually more on my list. Movies and music—my true loves. Also, This Mortal Coil's It'll End in Tears is one of my favourite albums. If you haven't heard it, I highly recommend.
It only makes sense to go from one Buckley to another. Some consider this to be the greatest cover of all time, and I understand why. Like his dad, Jeff Buckley had a breathtakingly beautiful voice and wrote some of the best songs ever. I still remember the day I found out he died. I was watching Much Music, and Sook-Yin Lee made the announcement. It destroyed me. What a tragedy. Such an incredible talent. As for "Hallelujah," I actually prefer Leonard Cohen's original. That man is everything to me. He once wrote me a note in a book to motivate me to keep writing, and apologized when he couldn't make it to my writing class. We never even expected him to respond to our invitation. What a lovely man. Even though I prefer the original, my God, what a powerful cover. Gives me chills.
Commodores and Faith No More are right up there with The Carpenters and Sonic Youth. I love them so very much. "Easy" is one of my favourite Commodores songs and one of my favourite Faith No More songs. What a fucking glorious cover. It's not incredibly different from the original, but it's got that FNM/ Mike Patton attitude all over it and I adore it. The video is everything, too. I remember recording it several times on VHS so I wouldn't have to rewind to watch it again. Man, what I wouldn't give to have Faith No More cover "Lady (You Bring Me Up)."
"Diamonds and Rust"
Joan Baez and Rob Halford have two of the most powerful voices I've ever heard. You can always feel their pain in their songs. The lyrics to this one have always resonated with me. I think Judas Priest's cover is a masterpiece. So hard, yet just as heartbreaking as the original. God, I love both versions so much and wouldn't want to choose between the two, though I will say that I'm a bigger Priest fan. Plus, Sin After Sin is a perfect album. I kind of want to throw that on now, actually. Here come the tears...
Here are two absolute gems for ya. The Velvet Underground's "Sweet Jane" makes me move like nobody's business. What a fun song to dance to. It instantly makes everything better. Cowboy Junkies' cover couldn't be more different. And that's part of why I love it so much. That, and Margo Timmins' haunting voice. The Trinity Session is such a wonderful album. One of my favourite moody albums for a winter's walk. This cover is everything. Simply perfect. Plus, I can't help but hear "The whole world's comin' to an end, Mal" "I see angels, Mickey. They're coming down for us from heaven" when the song starts. Yep, another great song from another great film. Natural Born Killers was such a huge Influence—the movie and the soundtrack. What a soundtrack! God bless Trent Reznor.
"Fade Into You"
Mazzy Star is the holy grail of music. My friend Jason once said that, and I believe it to be true. Though they have many incredible songs that I prefer to this beauty, "Fade Into You" is wonderful and without question their biggest hit. Hope Sandoval has the voice of an angel, and so does J Mascis. When I die, be sure to play lots of Mazzy Star and Dinosaur Jr. at my wake. That's why I had to include this one on my list. J Mascis' cover of "Fade Into You" is equally breathtaking as the original. I could listen to both versions on repeat for hours. Sadly, we lost David Roback, founding member of Mazzy Star, this year because apparently this is the worst year ever. RIP, David.
"Nothing Compares 2 U"
I had to save the best for last. Sinead pulled an Aretha Franklin on Prince! I'm referring to Aretha's cover of Otis Redding's "Respect". Even Otis said that the song belongs to her. The reason I didn't include that one on this list is because I'm actually not a fan of the song. Don't hate me. Otis is probably my favourite singer of all time, and I appreciate what Aretha did with it, but it's not a favourite. Now back to what I consider to be the greatest cover of all time. Sinead O'Connor fucking killed this song. I love Prince's original, which I'm sure I heard after Sinead's, but man can you feel that pain in her cover. Maybe it's because it's been 7 hours and 15 days since her love was taken away, compared to 7 hours and 13 days for Prince. If so, those extra two days really fucked her up. In any case, that woman takes my breath away. That video? Good God, what a stunning woman. We all wish we could cry like her. And her voice destroys me. What an icon.
Alright, that wraps it up, folks. Thanks for stopping by. I will now leave you with my playlist of all of these wonderful covers, and one of my favourite videos ever.
Take care, y'all. Until we meet again...
I'm finally doing it--pulling my insides out and splattering them around for all to see. Here we go!