You and the Velvet Underground and Nico: July MeFi Music Challenge

June 29, 2009 11:30 PM

Through a complex and all-but-inscrutable series of formulae and calculations, I have arrived at song assignments for the July Metafilter Music Challenge, which, as you probably all know, is to cover songs from The Velvet Underground & Nico. There were 35* interested participants from the original thread. With 11 songs comprising the album, we have 3 musicians for each tune, plus 2 extras, so two of the songs will get four cover treatments, if everyone comes through with their submission.

As suggested by MajorDundee in that original thread, my (flapjax's) song should be assigned by someone else (fair's fair, I believe, were his words), and one can't argue with that, so, since it was the good Major who floated this whole idea in the first place, I'd like to ask him to assign me my song from VU & N. Just put it in a comment in this thread, MajorDundee, and with as much haste as possible, please.

Now, are you itching to do a tune other than the one you've been assigned? Hey, I feel your pain, and I'd like to offer a suggestion: please record and submit the song you've been assigned, so that the integrity of the Challenge is maintained. After you've done that, feel free to do as many others from the record as you'd like, and post 'em right here to MeFi Music. Sound good?

The deadline for submissions is July 31, 2009. With any luck we'll have three full versions of the entire record, which would be, in Soul Train parlance, a stone gas. If folks do multiple covers as suggested above, we might even get, say, four complete versions. Wow!

Here's the rundown:

flapjax at midnite - ?
----------------------------------------------
Karlos the Jackal - Sunday Morning
MajorDundee - Sunday Morning
micayetoca - Sunday Morning
----------------------------------------------
the_very_hungry_caterpillar - I'm Waiting for the Man
snsranch - I'm Waiting for the Man
BrnP84 - I'm Waiting for the Man
----------------------------------------------
cortex - Femme Fatale
TwoWordReview - Femme Fatale
asmeaboutLOOM - Femme Fatale
davejay - Femme Fatale
----------------------------------------------
dagosto - venus in furs
potch - Venus in Furs
god hates math - Venus in Furs
----------------------------------------------
ORthey - Run Run Run
minifigs - Run Run Run
thequietriot - Run Run Run
----------------------------------------------
azarbayejani - All Tomorrow's Parties
InfidelZombie - All Tomorrow's Parties
nunoidia - All Tomorrow's Parties
----------------------------------------------
uncleozzy- Heroin
chococat - Heroin
The World Famous - Heroin
----------------------------------------------
umbú - There She Goes Again
dirtdirt - There She Goes Again
not_on_display - There She Goes Again
----------------------------------------------
Jon_Evil - I'll Be Your Mirror
doubtfulpalace - I'll Be Your Mirror
He Is Only The Imposter - I'll Be Your Mirror
----------------------------------------------
pyramid termite - The Black Angel's Death Song
chimaera - The Black Angel's Death Song
abc123xyzinfinity - The Black Angel's Death Song
----------------------------------------------
zoinks - European Son
dan g. - European Son
escabeche - European Son
----------------------------------------------

*Anyone inclined to go through the thread with a fine-tooth comb to double check, please note that MeFier Zenabi posted an "I'm in" to the thread, but accompanied that with some MeMail to me saying he was looking forward to covering something from Dark Side of the Moon. When informed that the decision had already been made upthread to do VU & Nico, he sent me another MeMail, opting out.
posted by flapjax at midnite (103 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

I'll Be Your Mirror is the one song I never really liked from this album. So, it'll be interesting. I've never recorded a song I didn't like before. We'll see how I feel about it by the end.
posted by Jon_Evil at 11:37 PM on June 29, 2009


I'll Be Your Mirror is the one song I never really liked from this album.

Bwahahaha! So, my complex and all-but-inscrutable series of formulae and calculations has worked perrrfectly!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:40 PM on June 29, 2009


I raise my glass to your evil genius, Mr. At Midnite.
posted by Jon_Evil at 12:07 AM on June 30, 2009


"Sunday Morning," cool. Not my absolute favorite, but at least I didn't get the fucking Death Song.

(The prospect of getting directly compared to micayetoca and the Major is a little daunting, though.)
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 1:52 AM on June 30, 2009


flapjax, I love you. I was afraid of getting a song I didn't "feel" as much, but Sunday Morning is perfect. I know I'm gonna be trashed by Karlos the Jackal and stomped all over by the Major, but still.

Are you ever going to explain how you assigned them? was it absolutely random? As I went through the list I saw quite a few assignments and thought "ooh, that'll be nice to hear".
posted by micayetoca at 5:00 AM on June 30, 2009


Say we missed the signup thread & want to take part in the challenge - what then?*

*this is not yet an offer to take part in the challenge, given I'm not certain I'll have access to proper recording utensils this month... but should the opportunity arise (& it very well might) I'd dig cranking out a song or two from the VU&N.
posted by item at 5:41 AM on June 30, 2009


Ah, hell yes.

Item, I would say the and-then-what is just record one of the songs if you have a chance to. We promise not to punch you in the face and steal your backpack.
posted by cortex at 7:03 AM on June 30, 2009


Sweet!
posted by dirtdirt at 7:26 AM on June 30, 2009


yee-haw!
posted by chococat at 7:57 AM on June 30, 2009


Are you ever going to explain how you assigned them? was it absolutely random?

It absolutely was not absolutely random. I gave it a good deal of thought, and just tried to come up with what I thought might be good matches.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:28 AM on June 30, 2009


Rock on. This ought to be fun.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:32 AM on June 30, 2009


Sounds good. Epic 65 minute version of Venus in Furs, here I come!
posted by item at 8:37 AM on June 30, 2009


I only know two songs off that Album and "I"m Waiting for the Man" is one of them, score.
posted by BrnP84 at 8:42 AM on June 30, 2009


ATTENTION: We interrupt this thread, on this final day of the June Mefi Music Challenge, for one last rendition of "Hallelujah". Inspired by the shining example of our beloved mod cortex's five count 'em FIVE versions of the Leonard Cohen chestnut, I've penned this, in his honor. I think everybody knows the melody by now, so rather than record it, I'll just print the lyrics here:

CORTEX-UJAH

I heard there was a Mefi mod
in fact, a kind of Mefi god
but you don't really read the site
now do ya?
but check him out at Music, friend
his versions, well, they never end
he's done about a thousand Hallelujahs!

Hallelujah... hallelujah...
Hallelujah... hallelujah...

His voice was strong
well it sometimes was
and he sometimes sang
like Dylan does
guitars, don't come in yet,
he's gonna cue ya...
this guy he's so prolific, yes!
how many songs?
just take a guess!
he's done about a thousand Hallelujahs!

Hallelujah... hallelujah...
Hallelujah... hallelujah...

whether well-rehearsed
or off the cuff
too much, he says, is not enough
he don't think just
a little dab'll do ya
his versions reach the ceiling beams
his hard drive's bursting at the seams
he's done about a thousand Hallelujahs!

Hallelujah... hallelujah...
Hallelujah... hallelujah...

When will it end?
well, who's to say
there could be more
still on the way
he's got a lot
he didn't come to "few" ya
a polka or a tarantelle
it all just needs
some more cowbell
he's done about a thousand Hallelujahs!

Hallelujah... hallelujah...
Hallelujah... hallelujah...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:45 AM on June 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


Very nice, flapjax. I have to say, I'm not really a big fan of this album as it stands (then again, I think Warhol's a pasty nutjob who didn't deserve a lick of praise), but I think the lyrics are pretty good. Lou Reed's a great songwriter. In general, however, I think VU was the kind of group that had great ideas, but they might not have been the right people to actually record them (I think the same of Bob Dylan, and most of the Rolling Stones). As such, however, I'm greatly looking forward to better/different versions of the songs. Should be fun! We may pound out Femme Fatale tomorrow night, if I can get my arrangement squared away.

P.S. I'm looking forward to seeing if anyone can top Bowie's cover of "Waiting for the Man."
posted by askmeaboutLOOM at 10:38 AM on June 30, 2009


Heh.
posted by cortex at 10:54 AM on June 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Awesome. I've never heard the song I've been assigned, but I just listened to it, and I think it's my new favorite song. At least for a month or so...
posted by abc123xyzinfinity at 11:14 AM on June 30, 2009


And, yeah, listening to Femme Fatale now, I'm all over this thing.
posted by cortex at 11:27 AM on June 30, 2009


Wow, run run run is gonna be an interesting cover for me. I'm excited to get started!
posted by ORthey at 1:07 PM on June 30, 2009


I have a new studio machine (pending the isolation and destruction of some damn pesky ground loop) and have been working on my cover chops lately (where the two projects I'm in are doing covers of each other) so can already hear in my head what I want to try to do with my assigned song....
posted by chimaera at 1:30 PM on June 30, 2009


Oh what to allocate to Flapjax..........Mister Flapjax At Midnight, huh?............................yeah, I got your number hombre...............think you're so fucken cool dontcha? huh??.........................heh, heh, heh..........I GOT IT!!...................Flapjax, me old mate, you get to cover..........wait for it..........THE COVER!! (cue gales of laughter). I mean, you're into photography, right? Jeez all you need is a banana - what could be simpler?

Alternatively - you can do I'm Waiting For The Man.
posted by MajorDundee at 1:50 PM on June 30, 2009


Haha! You know, Dundee, I had already thought that I'd maybe put together a cover (as in record jacket) for this thing, so I see we were on the same page. It's really pretty funny that you had this idea. So I think I will.

AND I'm Waiting For The Man.

Speaking of which, since Reed sings MY man throughout the song, I wonder why they titled it THE man.... I mean "the man" was generally understood (starting in the mid-sixties, I believe, when VU&N was recorded) to mean "the police" or "the authorities" or "the establishment". The polar opposite of the drug dealer Reed was singing about.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:13 PM on June 30, 2009


Man, all I have to say is that I can't wait to hear what you guys produce.

*off to listen to as many variations of Waiting for the Man as possible.*
posted by snsranch at 6:06 PM on June 30, 2009


At first, I have to admit, I was leery of doing There She Goes Again. I know he's an unreliable narrator and everything, but the thought of singing that one lyric still freaked me out.

Then I figured out a plan (leans back in chair, steeples fingers and cackles softly to himself).
posted by umbú at 6:56 PM on June 30, 2009


*off to listen to as many variations of Waiting for the Man as possible

Although Lenny Kravitz's arrangement breaks absolutely no new ground whatsoever (surprise surprise) this version by the Lolita-esque vanessa Paradis is kinda fun. I like her vocal.

And not to suggest that immersing yourself in as many different cover versions as you can find (before you jump in with making your own) is a bad idea at all (of course it's a perfectly fine and valid approach), but you might consider the opposite, as well: studiously avoid ALL other versions, and in fact just listen to the original one or two times, max. Or, not at all, from now on. Just get the lyrics from a lyrics site, and the chord changes or tabs or whatever, if you need 'em. Then lock yourself in your studio and make your own version, free of any outside influences, preconceptions, etc. Just a thought.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:33 PM on June 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


is it too late to join for this month?
posted by mexican at 7:40 PM on June 30, 2009


is it too late to join for this month?

No, mexican, but fair's fair, and I think you should get a song assignment if you wanna join. Same for Item, who expressed interest upthread. SO... I'm gonna go ahead and match you two with songs:

Item - Venus in Furs
mexican - Sunday Morning

Any others who want in, let us know ASAP!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:54 PM on June 30, 2009


And not to suggest that immersing yourself in as many different cover versions as you can find (before you jump in with making your own) is a bad idea at all (of course it's a perfectly fine and valid approach), but you might consider the opposite, as well: studiously avoid ALL other versions, and in fact just listen to the original one or two times, max. Or, not at all, from now on. Just get the lyrics from a lyrics site, and the chord changes or tabs or whatever, if you need 'em. Then lock yourself in your studio and make your own version, free of any outside influences, preconceptions, etc. Just a thought.

That's exactly what we do for most of our covers. Usually, one of us knows the song, but the rest don't, and it helps provide for a fresh take on everything.
posted by askmeaboutLOOM at 8:34 PM on June 30, 2009


I am planning my cover now. I love the song (the whole album really). Do I have to do just one version of it?
posted by The World Famous at 8:43 PM on June 30, 2009


I understand the impulse not to imprint yourself onto the original version of a song like a baby duckling to its mother. At the same time, I think that the philosophy not to listen to too many covers underestimates people's ability to hear a version and not necessarily adopt its approach. Also, there's value in the reaction "Oh, man, I really don't want to do what they did. I'll go in a different direction completely."
posted by umbú at 8:58 PM on June 30, 2009


Any others who want in, let us know ASAP!

Ooh, ooh, me!
posted by DaDaDaDave at 8:59 PM on June 30, 2009


Might be an askme but the last few times I've tried to record Garageband keeps telling me "Harddrive too slow" or something like that. It's been extremely frustrating, I've been using Garageband for like a year now without any issues and I'm only recording two tracks simultaneously. Any suggestions so I can get this thing underway?
posted by BrnP84 at 9:48 PM on June 30, 2009


i don't know macs, but if i got "harddrive too slow" or something on my pc, i'd look into defragmenting the hard drive
posted by pyramid termite at 10:44 PM on June 30, 2009


but you might consider the opposite, as well: studiously avoid ALL other versions, and in fact just listen to the original one or two times, max.

somehow, i don't think too many people have covered the black angel's death song

but, yeah, it's probably the most interesting song to cover on the album because of that
posted by pyramid termite at 10:47 PM on June 30, 2009


BrnP84, how full is your hard drive? Try doing a giant purge, it usually speeds things up.
Also, are you restarting? Sounds obvious, but if you're like me, you're in perpetual sleep mode. Rebooting fixes lots of stuff.
posted by chococat at 11:01 PM on June 30, 2009


Ooh, ooh, me!

DaDaDaDave* - I'll Be Your Mirror

*slammin' username, bro...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:39 AM on July 1, 2009


Personally, I find the most productive approach to covers is actually not to listen to the original or any other versions at all if you can avoid it. If you just go on how you remember the original and work things up from there it produces kinda interesting results....because you get things "wrong", but if it sounds good - wahhey!! you got yourself a real version not just a straight cover. Obviously you have to check the original at some point to get lyrics etc.
posted by MajorDundee at 12:40 AM on July 1, 2009


Obviously you have to check the original at some point to get lyrics etc.

Nu-uh. That's why God invented lyrics websites.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:41 AM on July 1, 2009


Do I have to do just one version of it?

As many as you like, brother!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:42 AM on July 1, 2009


I guess I'm alone on this one, but--why can't you get it 'wrong' after listening to various versions? Why is less information better?
posted by umbú at 7:58 AM on July 1, 2009


Not to create a division, but I agree with you, umbú. Moreover, listening to different versions often unearths things that are fundamental to the song, that are carried from version to version, and I find that fascinating.

This not only happens with covers done by other people, but also with the demo versions from the same artist. For instance, I never liked Pink Floyd's 'Money', it sounded too much like a stadium rock anthem to me, corny and prefabricated. Then one day I heard this version. I would have never thought of that song as a Delta blues song, but that version "suggests" that. That would be a great cover of that song.
posted by micayetoca at 8:16 AM on July 1, 2009


Hey guys. I think BOTH approaches are really good. In fact the first thing I did was read the lyrics by themselves, just as flapjax mentions. Now I know my instinctual reaction. Then I went of to hear various versions. I think the Beastie Boys did a version of that song, havn't found it yet though.

"Waiting for my MAN YO!!!!"
posted by snsranch at 9:29 AM on July 1, 2009


Y think BOTH approaches are really good.

Yeah, absolutely, and it's interesting to read about the different approaches that people have.
posted by micayetoca at 12:46 PM on July 1, 2009


Woah there, umbu and mica - I prefaced my comment with "personally". I'm not saying that way works for everyone. Why does it work for me? What I'm getting at here is a sort of "memory distortion" or, the less acceptably-titled "Chinese whispers" phenomenon. You think you remember the way a track goes, but it's actually subtly inaccurate - maybe you play an inversion of a chord or a slightly different bass line or something. And the thing starts to take shape from there. When you listen to the original you see how far away from that you've wandered. This method is quite deliberate and calculated - the nearest analogy I can think of is that it's like counting sheep to lull yourself to sleep - it's trying to switch your mind off and not let your musicality interefere - heart over head, I suppose. Jesus, I'm not explaining this very well, am I.

I've been thinking today about how I'm going to approach "Sunday Morning", but the last thing I'm doing is listening to the VU version (and I don't know any other versions). And what's emerging in my head is a kind of psycho Euro-disco thing which will use a riff from a hugely popular song that itself is a concealed steal from another song on this album.......I'm not giving anything away though!

I must stress guys that I'm not proselytising an approach or being arrogant or anything unpleasant - that's just the way I approach covers. Because for me unless it's something really different, it's kind of pointless and I lose interest rapidly. That's a personal, non-judgemental view. The approach of others is equally valid. It's about what works for you....
posted by MajorDundee at 12:49 PM on July 1, 2009


I hear ya, MajorDundee. After I posted the comment I realized it could be read as saying "you are the one who's right, umbú, these suckers have no idea", when I actually meant to say I agreed and link to the Delta Blues version of Money.

EuroDisco with a riff from a song that is a steal from another song in this album, eh? Can't wait.
posted by micayetoca at 1:10 PM on July 1, 2009


As it happens, however, I am a sucker with no idea, so you were both right.

(And I was actually sort of considering making my version of Heroin a EuroDisco house track and going truly whole-hog with it, but we'll see about that. If there's going to be a VU song on the internet in perpetuity with my fake name on it, I would maybe like it to be something that Lou Reed might not want to beat me up for if he ever hears it.)
posted by The World Famous at 1:15 PM on July 1, 2009


Oh, come on! Why should physical violence from the original songwriter be a deterrent? If anything, I find the thought of that encouraging. I like to think of most of Gyrophonia's "covers" as delightfully rage-and/or-vomit-inducing.

Also, if people only made covers that sounded exactly like the original, we never would have heard Mark Mothersbaugh play guitar.

Though, apparently, Jagger liked that version better than his own.
posted by askmeaboutLOOM at 2:09 PM on July 1, 2009


Mica - understood - but I can explain my thoughts much more succinctly. It's about making space for your own creativity - your own "voice" as it were - to breathe and be heard. And for me, listening too much to the original or other covers is a bit like trying to listen to the radio simultaneously with the TV blaring in one corner of the room, the cd player thumping in the other and the kids asking for help with their college work i.e. not a fucking chance. Like I said, that's just my take on it.
posted by MajorDundee at 2:19 PM on July 1, 2009


Getting punched by Lou Reed would be cool. But not if it is because he thinks I suck.

I think a cover could be made that sounds very different from the original, but that would not make Lou Reed hate me. We'll see, though.
posted by The World Famous at 2:22 PM on July 1, 2009


Come come World Famous - we MiFiMuzos do not get the wind up over the prospect of a square go* with a wizened old geezer like Lou Reed. Good god man. Stop snivelling and pull yourself together. Remember The Somme, remember Trafalgar, remember Saratoga- actually forget that one....bloody colonials were damned lucky to get away with that. Independence - pchaw! The merely have a long leash.......

* A Glaswegian expression for a punch-up. Often involving the use of a "chib" - any implement that can be wielded in defence or attack - usually a pickaxe handle or a bottle.
posted by MajorDundee at 2:42 PM on July 1, 2009


Keep calm and rock on.
posted by The World Famous at 2:45 PM on July 1, 2009


I didn't mean to extend a derail of this thread--and I wasn't even thinking of you specifically, MajorDundee, when I wrote what I wrote. It's just that when I've heard people defend that approach to covers before, it has struck me that it potentially underestimates your ability to actively and selectively process a tune, no matter how many times you've heard it, rather than just absorbing it and locking yourself in to clone it. That's all.
posted by umbú at 3:37 PM on July 1, 2009


So, we are going to beat up Lou Reed with a pickaxe handle? Well, OK.
posted by dirtdirt at 4:47 PM on July 1, 2009


Metaphorically, that's what my black metal dub reggae polka bollywood version (with video) of Heroin is going to do, yes.
posted by The World Famous at 4:57 PM on July 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


So, we are going to beat up Lou Reed with a pickaxe handle?

i'm going to hit him with a flower
i'm going to do it every hour
posted by pyramid termite at 10:30 PM on July 1, 2009


Baby, you're so vicious.
posted by dirtdirt at 11:04 PM on July 1, 2009


my black metal dub reggae polka bollywood version (with video) of Heroin

Damnit. Back to the drawing board.
posted by uncleozzy at 4:02 AM on July 2, 2009


Late pass. But I would also like to ask my way in. flapjax please tell me where I stand!
posted by French Fry at 5:56 AM on July 2, 2009


French Fry - The Black Angel's Death Song

Welcome aboard!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:29 AM on July 2, 2009


update: Two wildly different versions of Femme Fatale recorded last night, all that's left is mixing. Should be ready, this time tomorrow. Is it alright if man vs sun posts one of them, since we're in the same band?
posted by askmeaboutLOOM at 7:28 AM on July 2, 2009


OK I'm in, name that tune flapjax
posted by criticalbill at 9:23 AM on July 2, 2009


If this turns out as good as I hope it will, we should consider doing something like this (obviously with different albums) every couple months or so. I think, between this, and the single song cover idea, it really works well to bring us together as a community for a common goal.
posted by askmeaboutLOOM at 10:36 AM on July 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


criticalbill - European Son

(surely one of the most challenging tunes on the record to cover... I'm really looking forward to seeing how people approach this one.)
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:20 PM on July 2, 2009


but at least I didn't get the fucking Death Song.

Heh. I did. I'm actually pretty stoked given my inability to record anything particularly "musical"

I wonder if songsmith has a proto-punk setting. hot.
posted by French Fry at 7:37 AM on July 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hey,

I thought you guys would be interested to know that Beck borrowed your idea!
posted by ageispolis at 11:20 AM on July 3, 2009


Actually, ageispolis, that was pointed out in the original Music Talk thread that gave birth to this whole idea. Quite the coincidence, isn't it? It was also suggested in that thread that Beck is a MeFi lurker and copped the idea here! At any rate, just proves what a good idea it is, I reckon...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:26 AM on July 4, 2009


I actually adore The Black Angel's Death Song.

This is such an exciting challenge!
posted by winna at 11:52 AM on July 4, 2009


flapjax at midnite: "
Any others who want in, let us know ASAP!
"


yes please
posted by ichthuz at 10:13 AM on July 5, 2009


you're on, ichthuz!

Please have fun with Heroin.

The song, that is.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:32 PM on July 5, 2009


Wow, some really cool submissions coming in. This is really fun, can't wait to hear more!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:31 AM on July 7, 2009


I'd like to participate.
posted by pantufla at 8:11 AM on July 7, 2009


Gimme a song too!
posted by beerbajay at 10:15 AM on July 7, 2009


pantufla - Run Run Run

beerbajay - There She Goes Again
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:08 PM on July 7, 2009


This challenge has been the coolest thing to happen to MeMu in a while!
posted by ageispolis at 1:06 AM on July 9, 2009


This challenge has been the coolest thing to happen to MeMu in a while!

I agree, and we have MajorDundee to thank, for the original let's-cover-a-whole-album idea, as well as the specific suggestion of VU & N.

Take a bow, Dundee, you crazy-ass Brit! Let's buy him a pint!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:39 AM on July 9, 2009


So long as it's Bath Ales "Gem" - my tipple du jour - I will gratefully accept. Pity we're all spread across the world - a launch "event" (read "total liver failure") for all 10 versions of the entire album (gotta be a world first - Guinness Book of Records kinda thang??) would be, to use a Flapjaxism which made me lol, a stone gas. However, as most members appear to hail from the U.S. I guess there may be some slight chance of, say, the Noo Yawk contingent getting together and getting outrageously hammered by proxy for the rest of us..........and posting the resulting mayhem on YouTube. Could invite Lou Reed........or Mr Cale.......or at least the son of the brother of the cleaner from the studio where the original was recorded. Heh, heh...er....heh...

By the way, I offer absolutely no apologies for the use of abstruse Brit drinking slang in this post.
posted by MajorDundee at 2:36 PM on July 9, 2009


This should be a lot of fun!
I, too, am definitely interested in participating.
posted by clcapps at 2:48 PM on July 9, 2009


clcapps, ok, you're in! Remember, deadline is July 31!

your song = Venus in Furs
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:18 PM on July 9, 2009


Pity we're all spread across the world

Hear, hear.
I've always thought a Metafilter Music Meetup would be so insanely great. About infinity greater than a regular, nerdy Metafilter Meetup.
Unless it turned into a drum circle or twenty guys sitting on stools with acoustic guitars...
"so what do you wanna play?"
"I dunno, what do you wanna play?"
posted by chococat at 3:51 PM on July 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


"Free Bird"!
posted by DaDaDaDave at 5:11 PM on July 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Free Bird"!

New rule: Anyone who requests Free Bird in a MetaFilter thread is required to post their own cover of Free Bird to MeFiMusic before they are allowed to post any other music thereto. And it has to be the whole song, not just a fragment of it.
posted by The World Famous at 5:15 PM on July 9, 2009


"so what do you wanna play?"
"I dunno, what do you wanna play?"


that's how our recording sessions start off every week.
posted by man vs sun at 5:36 PM on July 9, 2009


^EVERY WEEK EVER. Seriously. Go in with no plan, then crap out 4-6 new songs in 2-3 hours. It seems to work pretty well, most weeks.
posted by askmeaboutLOOM at 11:24 PM on July 9, 2009


Is there a way to have a set of "official" challenge tags appear on the "Post a new song" page so that all of the posts of the challenges have a more consistent use of tags? (and that each challenge is separated from the general mefimusicchallenge pool?
posted by micayetoca at 11:48 AM on July 13, 2009


Man, I really, really tried to get to work this weekend, but I only got as far as playing the piano riff from Ben Folds' Brick for half an hour before I got frustrated and put it down.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:56 AM on July 13, 2009


I regret to say I think I'm out. I've been feeling frustrated lately with my lack of progress on my orginal songs and this challenge is making me, weirdly, feel a little stressed.

I like doing these challenge covers and they've been a way for me to try out oddball approaches that I've never tried before but I think I need to try to apply those attempts to stuff that I can call mine.

On the plus side, now I can listen to all those "Sunday Morning"s that I was avoiding.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 12:33 AM on July 14, 2009


Of course, listening to the other versions makes me want to go ahead and do it. CURSE YOU VICIOUS CIRCLE
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 12:51 AM on July 14, 2009


Haha! S'cool, Karlos! Do one if it's fun and/or rewarding, and don't if it's not!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:33 AM on July 14, 2009


Karlos - your version of Sunday Morning couldn't possibly be as ripely cheesy as mine. And here I stand, head held high and utterly without shame, regret or honour. So - go on - have a go!!

PS know what you mean re getting slightly stressed about these covers - and, yup, it is really weird. I think my stress came from knowing I wanted to join in and have a laugh, but also knowing I didn't want to spend a lot of time on it - so I was virtually watching the clock as I did them. A bit like being back in a pay-by-the-hour demo studio!
posted by MajorDundee at 2:09 PM on July 14, 2009


I'm right there with you, MajorDundee. Between my wife wondering why I'm determined to set aside time to record a Velvet Underground cover rather than some other music project and the guys in my band waiting for me to finish tracks for an album we're working on, I budgeted not nearly enough time to do what I wanted and simulatneously stressed that what I did would not measure up to what everyone else here is doing. The great thing is that the pressure created by that mindset actually forced me to commit to very spartan production and arranging choices, which made the result better than I expected.
posted by The World Famous at 2:52 PM on July 14, 2009


The great thing is that the pressure created by that mindset actually forced me to commit to very spartan production and arranging choices, which made the result better than I expected.

Another happy byproduct of the MeFiMu Challenge! Sometimes when you just have to get something done quick, you won't overthink it, you'll make do with less (often a good thing!), and hone your 'working-under-the-gun' chops, which come in handy when you have, say, a jingle gig or some such.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:43 PM on July 14, 2009


I have very little time to record these days, so I have brought a portable midi keyboard to work, I have Garageband on my work laptop, and beginning today I shall endeavor to create my cover during each day's lunch hour. Including the vocals and other acoustic stuff, which I will do from a conference room or a balcony. Let's hope I don't get fired. Woot.
posted by davejay at 5:13 PM on July 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


OH, and I"ve never heard this song before. So I'm starting from square one. Whee!
posted by davejay at 5:15 PM on July 16, 2009


I'd like to try one, please!
posted by bonobothegreat at 3:54 PM on July 17, 2009


And they're still coming in! OK, bonobothegreat, your song is:

Venus In Furs
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:12 PM on July 17, 2009


I hunted and re-hunted through my records for this album and was struck by foggy recollection. I've let some asshole borrow it when I was drunk.
posted by bonobothegreat at 4:40 PM on July 17, 2009


Everything's done but the choruses, and I'm taking the 31st off if I don't have the rest done by then. Also, this song choice has forced me to sing in a completely different style than I've ever sung before (whether this is good or bad, I dunno.)
posted by davejay at 5:17 PM on July 23, 2009


Keep us posted, davejay! ;-)
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:13 PM on July 23, 2009


Hey, more comments are better than fewer comments, right?
posted by davejay at 12:54 AM on July 28, 2009


I'm waiting for my man is completed and up. As per my ramblings, this is the first thing I have ever sung on.

Up to a brownstone, up three flights of stairs
Metafilter’s got you, but nobody cares
It's got the works, here's your sweet taste
Ah then you split because you got no time to waste
I'm waiting for my man

posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar at 3:40 AM on July 29, 2009


Hmm. I should probably get on this, eh? I missed this post, somehow.
posted by god hates math at 7:22 AM on July 29, 2009


So, god hates math, are you saying you want in? If so, you are assigned:

There She Goes Again
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:06 PM on July 29, 2009


Oh, no - I'm already assigned "Venus in Furs." I just forgot that this whole thing was even happening - I think I was expecting a Mefi mail from you or something. I might be able to whip something up before tomorrow night.
posted by god hates math at 7:35 AM on July 30, 2009


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