May Challenge - the music of tomorrow, today!

May 5, 2013 7:52 AM

May's challenge is a mindbender. Cover a song (possibly your own) from one era in the style of an earlier one. Tag your entires 'futurecovers' and 'mefimusicchallenge'. Explanation within.

This challenge comes from Rhaomi who says:
One of my favorite side jokes from the new game Bioshock Infinite was how the Columbian society of 1912 manipulated spacetime for, among other things, the relatively mundane act of plagiarizing music from the future. Throughout the game, you run into calliopes and phonographs and barbershop quartets playing hilariously anachronistic pop songs in the style of ragtime and Scott Joplin -- "the music of tomorrow, today!" Some examples:

The Beach Boys - God Only Knows

R.E.M. - Shiny Happy People

Tears for Fears - Everybody Wants to Rule the World

Soft Cell - Tainted Love

Cyndi Lauper - Girls Just Want to Have Fun

Credence Clearwater Revival - Fortunate Son
However I didn't want to restrict this to ragtime covers, so I'm widening it to include any style, so long as it predates the song in question. So a Bel Canto version of Call Me Maybe, or a doo-wop version of Anarchy in the UK would be fine.
posted by unSane (16 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

This is a great idea, and those covers in bioshock infinite are really well done.
posted by umbú at 8:14 PM on May 5, 2013


They sure are. Incredible attention to detail.
posted by unSane at 8:16 PM on May 5, 2013


Part of what makes the premise work so well is that they chose songs carefully for lyrics, melodies and harmonies that wouldn't sound out of place a hundred years ago.
posted by umbú at 9:09 PM on May 6, 2013


Awesome -- thanks, unSane! Really looking forward to hearing these.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:18 AM on May 7, 2013


I support this in every possible way.
posted by The Whelk at 6:29 AM on May 7, 2013


Wow I just listened to the Cyndi Lauper one like three times in a row.
posted by greenish at 6:50 AM on May 7, 2013


Those are pretty awesome. For the record the original of Tainted Love is by Gloria Jones which is actually closer to this cover than the Soft Cell version.
posted by thetruthisjustalie at 8:27 PM on May 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


God Only Knows is the perfects. It transcends genre. It transcends time. IT OVERCOMES ALL IT WILL CONSUME YOU WITH ITS PERFECT LOVE AS LONG AS THERE ARE STARS ABOVE YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

*universe collapses*
posted by Doleful Creature at 2:16 PM on May 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


I wonder how often the Dapper Dans at Disney world are asked to sing God Only Knows now?

Seriously someone called the Bioshock cover " creepy" and I was all IF YOU MEAN CREEPY AWEOMSE THEN YES.
posted by The Whelk at 4:39 PM on May 8, 2013


Speaking of Beach Boys, for this challenge I am seriously contemplating an anachronistic cover of Feel Flows...in the style of a mid-19th century revivalist camp song.
posted by Doleful Creature at 7:10 PM on May 8, 2013


I imagine I will do the kinda inverse and cover something in a surf stylee though I'm not really sure. It's tempting to do something super 70s though as well.
posted by unSane at 7:16 PM on May 8, 2013


I've wished a surf guitar version of Berlin's Metro existed for the longest time (I don't play guitar, so I can't make it happen).

Always Something There to Remind Me is another song where the original seems odd compared to the more famous Naked Eyes version.
posted by O9scar at 9:44 AM on May 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's a later style, not an earlier one, but inspired by this post, last night I started recording a Duke Ellington tune as if it were being played by Led Zeppelin. I'm pretty excited about it.
posted by umbú at 6:30 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have done this for a previous challenge. Man, I am bad at singing.

Also my friend did this Every Breath You Take in the style of Bob Dylan.
posted by chrchr at 3:52 PM on May 14, 2013


Just posted my bit of ridiculousness.
posted by chococat at 9:52 AM on May 17, 2013


Man, "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" and "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" are perfect.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:44 PM on July 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


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