Friday, January 07, 2011

Cover Versions We're Not Quite Certain About (An Occasional Series)

[Weekend Listomania remains on hiatus for one more week. But it will return next Friday, swear to god. Really. We mean it. -- Ed.]

From 1995, and the alt-rock K-Tel parody/tribute album Super Fantastic Mega Smash Hits!, behold Southern Culture on the Skids' perhaps (hopefully?) inimitable rethink of Shocking Blue's often covered classic rock staple "Venus."




If truth be told, I came rather late to the Southern Culture party, which is to say I mostly ignored them until 2010's Kudzu Ranch album, which struck me as some of the most convincing more or less traditional guitar rock I've heard in ages. So when I chanced upon this earlier effort a few weeks ago I was a bit taken aback. On the one hand, their sort of beatnik rockabilly take on the tune is, in the abstract, a perfectly valid approach, and on the other the actual track has a certain overly self-conscious primitivism to it that reminds me unpleasantly of The Cramps, who I've never really been able to take.

I will stipulate, however, that it's way better than any of the remakes I've heard in TV commecials in the last couple of years, so that's something.

7 comments:

Faze said...

These guys are Vienna Philharmonic compared to the slop-a-billy stumblings of the Crammps. But you're right: too self-conscious. A Peggy Lee "Fever"-toned "Venus" done in cool earnest would be a gas.

Sal Nunziato said...

Kudzu Ranch was in my Top 10 of the year. The band has really come a long way since the early "Too Much Pork For One Fork" attack of the early days.

Check out "Liquored Up & Lacquered Down" if you don't already know it, or their follow-up of covers, "Plays Countrypolitan Hits." Both signed me up for good.

Noam Sane said...

I've enjoyed this little number for a while now. Tried to get my ex-cover band to play it, didn't go over so well with the keyboardist...who later suggested we do "Shambala" by Three Dog Night. Asshole.

I really like this band, they're the real thing. See also: "Banana Pudding".

steve simels said...

Hey, I like "Shambala." B.W. Stevenson rules!!!
:-)

Jeff said...

Oh, is that a B.W. Stevenson tune?
My Maria, I did not know that.

The guy also didn't like my choice of the Bootsy Collins cover of "The Joker". Seriously, he was a real peckerhead.

steve simels said...

Heh.
:-)

dave™© said...

Southern Culture does a killer version of "Merry Christmas, Baby" - completely different music, same lyrics. They ever throw in some vocals on Lennon's old filter...