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I don't usually cross-post from Tumblr, but sometimes there is a thing that's SO HILARIOUSLY AND EMBARASSINGLY relevant to my interests that I pretty much can't help myself.

Today, it's Hussalonia's cover of Billy Joel's 1980 album Glass Houses, which has changed my life forever. (You can alo listen to the first track -- "You May Be Right" -- streaming on my original Tumblr post, if you like)

From their site:

“Pop does not mean popular” is the Hussalonia motto. But sometimes pop is popular. Really popular. Take Billy Joel for instance. I bet your mom loves Billy Joel. Why shouldn’t she? He was handsome and wrote dramatically sweet pop songs like “Piano Man” and “Just The Way You Are.” But popularity wasn’t enough for Joel; he was an angry and cynical guy like you. He was a pop music scholar, like you. He didn’t want your mom’s love, he wanted your love: you, the snobby rock-critic, with your punk and new wave records. Enter 1980’s Glass Houses. Influenced by The Jam, The Cars, Elvis Costello as well good old Paul McCartney (who just made his own “new wave” record: Back To The Egg), Joel was determined to roughen up his image and earn some street cred. Instead, he earned his first number one single and a Grammy for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance. Sorry, Bill.

Today, Poor Billy Joel is pretty much retired. He gave up trying to please you fickle bastards. He caved in and spent the 90s pandering to the adult contemporary scene. And time hasn’t been kind to his street cred. It’s less cool now than it ever was to listen to Billy Joel. We here at Hussalonia Lo-Fi Solutions might be inclined to feel sorry him, if he weren’t so fucking rich and well loved by our moms. Nevertheless, we’re offering this: a song-for-song cover of Glass Houses. We feel that Glass Houses represents the struggle between low and high pop culture. And Hussalonia resents that struggle. We hate and love all pop music equally. So what can you expect from our version of Glass Houses? It’s lo-fi, raw, unhinged and full of musical in-jokes. Maybe it will inspire the kids to reassess Billy Joel’s career. Have we lost our minds? Is this a joke? A tribute? A parody? Are we going to get sued? Maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe!

 

 

I was going to just post a little quote from that, but then I realized that it was all THE TRUTH as I would have written it, were I a talented young pair of musicians, and surrendered to the inevitable.

I grew up listening to Billy Joel. We played our cassette of Glass Houses in the car so many times that we wore it out, and had to buy another copy. I had every song on this album memorized before I knew what most of the lyrics were even talking about (I only figured out why a "walk through Bedford Stuy alone" was such a big deal a couple years ago.) Informed by a punk rock sensibility that I would otherwise never have encountered in elementary school, it directly shaped the musical tastes I would carry into adulthood. And now, covered in its entirety by a two-man rock band in 2006, it's transformed into an album that retains the excellent songwriting of the original but sheds the schlocky veneer that's made Joel so criminally uncool since the 1980s.

You can download the entire cover album (and donate, if you like it) here. You can preview snippets from (and buy) the original album here. Both are excellent and fill me with giddy, inarticulate joy.

My only complaint about Hussalonia's cover of Glass Houses is that it took me four years to find it.

(NOTE TO CLIO: the cover of "All for Leyna" is particularly great)

ali_wildgoose: (Default)
I realize this is hardly an obscure band, but recently I was talking to [livejournal.com profile] hoshizora about Arcade Fire, and he admitted to having poked a little at Funeral before taking a pass on them. I told him I'd put together a collection of my Very Favorite songs of theirs, and once I'd bothered to do so it seemed like I may as well share it here, too, just in case anyone's interested!

There are other Aracade Fire songs that I very much enjoy, but these are the tracks that I can (AND DO) listen to over and over again, eyes closed and little heart swelling with love. Silly, yes, but then I am a deeply silly person at times.



:: download from Sendspace ::

01. Keep the Car Running
02. Black Wave / Bad Vibrations
03. (Antichrist Television Blues)
04. Wake Up
05. No Cars Go
06. Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)


Note also: That photo is one I took a few weeks ago, of the lake in Prospect Park. I do enjoy Brooklyn an awful lot!
ali_wildgoose: (Default)
I was planning to celebrate it by doing dumb shit all day instead of working on Chronin.

BUT WILL THE GUILT BE TOO MUCH TO BEAR?!?! ONLY TIME WILL TELL. I've technically finished my quota for the week, and if I do another two pages before Sunday I'll make up for what ComicCon did to the week before.

But SINCE IT IS MY BIRTHDAY, I will share with you a thing that is pleasing me greatly at the moment:

Radiohead performs 15 Step at the Grammy Awards, accompanied by the USC Marching Band.

(Download the video here)

YES YES YES YES YES. <3
ali_wildgoose: (Default)
If you've been friends with me for long enough you probably already know this, but it bears repeating: I really, really like Billy Joel. "Glass Houses" was burned into my soul at a tender age, and though as an adult I recognize how completely ridiculous he is I CANNOT HELP BUT LOVE HIM JUST THE SAME.

The thing about Billy Joel is that he's unapologetically dorky and relentlessly sincere (qualities I can certainly relate to) and while I know that YES, he can be so damn cheesy and YES, half the time his narrative ballads make no sense and YES, he's often breathtakingly derivative and YES YES OH MY GOD YES he is constantly singing about things he has no personal experience with whatsoever I CANNOT BRING MYSELF TO CARE.

Billy Joel is hilarious and awesome, and I don't give a shit what those jerks on Slate think (nice timing, though, guys!) -- I will continue to love him, however fatally uncool that may make me.

About a week ago I rescued all my music off the near-dead ipod that had been languishing on my desk for a year. Suddenly I once again had EVERY SINGLE BILLY JOEL ALBUM EVER on my computer. So I suppose, really, this was bound to happen.



You May Be Right (I May Be Crazy)
a dweebtastic compilation of the musical stylings of one William Joel
[Download Here (28 tracks, 171 MB)]


Note that I've left off most of the songs that were ever actually popular -- no "Piano Man," no "Just The Way You Are," and DEFINITELY no goddamn "We Didn't Start The Fire." These are the songs that I personally enjoy for whatever reason -- because they're fun to sing along to, because they say something that's actually kind of interesting, because they're heartbreakingly sincere, because they're deliciously melodramatic, because they're hilariously insane, because they're inexplicably in French. (No, I have no idea what he was thinking.)

Track list behind the cut! GO AHEAD AND LAUGH, YOU SNOBS. )
ali_wildgoose: (Default)
I'll admit that I've been watching American Idol pretty religiously this year. And while this is mostly because it's fun to talk to [livejournal.com profile] jlh about it, I'll also admit that my affection for one contestant in particular drives this loyalty: Chad, known to the rest of the world as Jason Castro.

Now, ridiculous fanfic associations aside, I actually think Jason is a pretty talented kid! I genuinely enjoy his performances, and I'm rooting for him because I think he'd make a great record, not just because he reminds me of my favorite O.C.

Below, a few of his tracks, such that you can judge for yourselves:

Fragile
Based on the Gypsy Kings cover. (Studio version)

If I Fell
(Studio Version)

Hallelujah
Based on the Jeff Buckley cover. (Live Version)

Over the Rainbow
Based on the Israel Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole cover. (Live Version)

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Go make some new disaster.

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