Janos.nyc, a new site exploring New York City’s history

If you’re stopping by LTD, you probably know me, Janos, from some walk of life. I have a new site up, Janos.nyc, which looks at New York City’s current events through a historical lens. The site already has a few articles, book reviews and a podcast up, and starting February 1, it will have a very cool Today in NYC History feature.

If you are a fan of Janos, NYC, or just history, you’ll enjoy Janos.nyc.

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Dartmouth Fraternities Should Admit Women

My article calling on Dartmouth fraternities to voluntarily admit women was published in my alma mater’s paper this morning.   I’ve advocated this position privately for some time now, and hope it contributes to the discussion about how to move Dartmouth forward after years of terrible media publicity, part of which, I argue, is the by-product of anachronistic male-controlled social spaces.

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Best Cover Songs of All-Time: Round of 32, Day 4

The Tide is High

(*Thank you to Joe Cocker for all the great music and positive feelings he spread. – LTD,12/22/14 )

This is The End, for now.  I’ve always seen LTD as a fun break from my otherwise perhaps overly serious approach to life.  But right now the air in New York is too heavy for me to really put my heart into running out the string on a music tournament, particularly when so many regulars have been too busy to participate.  We WILL finish this tournament later this winter, when the mood feels right, with our final 16 songs in tow. Here’s your last set of contenders to earn a spot in that esteemed company.

Listen to today’s match-ups at the bottom of this playlist (except Sting, at 5:15), see the brackets here, and vote by commenting below before 11:59pm on Friday.

#1 Hallelujah (Jeff Buckley) vs. #9 Like a Rollin’ Stone (Rolling Stones)

#4 Killing Me Softly (Fugees) vs. #12 Police and Thieves (Clash)

#2 Tide Is High (Blondie) vs. #10 America (Sting)

#3 With a Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) vs. #11 Higher Ground (Red Hot Chili Peppers)

Special shout to Adam S., Dem Adam, Lindsay, Jacob’s various aliases, Anna Z, Al, Orce and Daddy-O for their regular or semi-regular participation.  Enjoy the holidays!

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Best Covers of All-Time: Round of 32, Day 3

Beyonce2 As soon to be former tournament competitor R. Kelly would say, it’s the freakin’ weekend, I’m about to have me some fun. Listen to today’s match-ups at the bottom of this playlist, see the brackets here, and vote by commenting below before 11:59pm on Sunday.

#1 Hurt (Johnny Cash) vs. #8 Sex on Fire (Beyonce).  I found a good audio for Sex on Fire- let’s see if it gives Bey a fighting chance.

#13 I Fought the Law (Clash) vs. #5 Blinded by the Light (Manfred Mann).  Cash would have seemed like the obvious winner out of this quadrant, but scores from last round suggest a Clash v. Cash battle would be tight, and Manfred Mann’s Earth Band (full name) has its supporters too.

#2 Twist and Shout (Beatles) vs. #7 I Heard it Through the Grapevine (CCR).   Fun fact: The Grapevine Tavern was a hip hangout in the Bohemian West Village between the wars. You could go there to get the latest gossip, and “hear it through the Grapevine.”  Beatles major favorites in this quadrant, but all four songs offer something unique.

#3 Valerie (Amy Winehouse) vs. #6  Don’t Cry for Me Argentina (Me First and the Gimme Gimmes).

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Best Covers of All-Time: Round of 32, Day 2

Full name: Israel "Iz" Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole

Full name: Israel “Iz” Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole

Spreading the match-ups out by an extra day to see if that encourages more participation. Listen to today’s match-ups at the bottom of this playlist, see the brackets here, and vote by commenting below before 11:59pm on Friday.  You can listen to R. Kelly (Track 17) here.

#1 All Along the Watchtower (Jimi Hendrix) vs. #8 In the Pines (Nirvana).  Recently read about a show Leadbelly did with Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger in New York, 1940- some old school, radical times.

#4 Somewhere Over the Rainbow (Israel K.) vs. #5 The Great Pretender (Freddie Mercury).  Perhaps this showdown is coming early in the tournament, but I imagine it will be a close one! The winner takes on Jimi v. Kurt.

#2 House of the Rising Sun (Animals) vs. #7 Change Gonna Come (R. Kelly). As you can see, I’ve linked to the audio of the R. Kelly show, which is higher quality than Youtube.  Just learned that while House is an obscure old song, the man who brought it to prominence was Woody Guthrie.

#3 Respect (Aretha Franklin) vs. #6 Head On (Pixies).  Based on last round, Aretha is heavily favored here, but Head On is a great pregame song, if anyone is off to a mid-week holiday party.

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Best Covers of All-Time: Round of 32

stripesWelcome to the Round of 32! From here things will move pretty quickly.  The whole round will take about a week, and then we’ll be in the Sweet 16.  Listen to today’s match-ups at the bottom of this playlist, see the brackets here, and vote by commenting below before 11:59pm on Wednesday.  Enjoy!

#3 We Can Work It Out (Stevie Wonder) vs. #6 Jolene (White Stripes)

#2 Mr. Tamburine Man (Byrds) vs. #7 Everlasting Love (U2).  The winner of these first two match-ups will play each other in the Sweet 16.  All did well last round, but the Byrds looked the sharpest.   Their version is the only one of these four that was a bigger hit than the original song.  Continue reading

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Best Covers of All-Time: Round of 64, Day 10

Strummer mural on 7th and A.

Strummer mural on 7th and A.

The Round of 64 ends in style tonight with a tournament titans like Jeff Buckley.  We didn’t allow Hallelujah in last time because the song was too closely associated with him. It turns out he didn’t even discover Leonard Cohen’s original, but a John Cale cover.  Cale, the Scottie Pippen of the Velvet Underground, for his part, saw Cohen perform it live and ask for the lyrics.  Cohen sent him innumerable pages of poetry that Cale condensed to the version we’ll be hearing today. Listen to all of Day 10’s songs here (at bottom of playlist) and vote by commenting below before 11:59pm on Thursday.    You can check out the evolving tournament bracket and our results so far.

#1 Hallelujah (Jeff Buckley) vs. #16 I Want You Back (Lake Street Dive)

#4 Killing Me Softly (Fugees) vs. #13 Don’t Do It (The Band).  The Fugees cover Roberta Flack’s hit from the 70s, and The Band covers Marvin Gaye’s hit from the 60s.

#5 Redemption Song (Johnny Cash and Joe Strummer) vs. #12 Police and Thieves (Clash). Two Joe Strummer songs against each other? That’s my bracketing mistake, although Joe’s fans could take satisfaction in one guaranteed advance to the Round of 32.

#3 With a Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) vs. #14 Johnny B. Goode/Roadrunner (Sex Pistols).  Our defending cover champion fends off a truly ridiculous Pistols cover of Chuck Berry and the Modern Lovers.

 

 

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