Round of 64 Kickoff (Day 1 of 8)

Votes due by Thursday, October 27th at 11 pm EST: Not too much intro, as we are rolling out a new thing. Grooveshark link is here, let the voters speak.
Match 1
“Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole:  Somewhere over the rainbow sums up our aspirations to create and visit fantastic locales.  It was the song played for my first dance at my wedding, and set a beautiful tone for our life together.  Plus, a 300 lb guy with a ukelele?  Awesome.
-Catholic Nick
“Common People” by William Shatner feat. Joe Jackson: She told me that her dad was loaded.  I said, “in that case, I’ll have a rum and coca-cola”; she said, “fine.” Pulp’s blistering anthem sounds the class warfare trumpets, but it does so with borderline preposterous lyrics.  Enter acclaimed thespian, William Shatner.   Unlike his more ponderous covers from the early 70s, this is a self-aware old guy, as willing to make fun of himself as the pomposity of these lyrics, without conceding the vibe.   And I love the way Shatner growls, “He’ll tear your insides out…”   This is a masterful cover that should get you out of your seat and dancing in the streets.  -Janos Marton
Match 2
“I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” by J.C. Brooks and the Uptown Sound: When a friend wanted me to “listen to this Motown cover of a Wilco song,” I expected it to be interesting, but not necessarily good.  It surprised me by being great–it’s a lot of fun hearing this song with an upbeat tone.  A cover should be an interesting reinterpretation as well as a genuinely good song in itself, and this is both.  -Tessa
“Puttin’ On The Ritz” by Taco: Although largely associated with Fred Astaire (who performed a dance version in the 1946 film Blue Skies), this standard was penned by the Russian Jewish immigrant Irving Berlin.  The Taco version, cheesy as it may be, is testament to how a great song is timeless, evidenced by the fact that it went to #4 on the Billboard chart in 1983, making Berlin the oldest living songwriter to have a top-ten chart hit (he was 95 (thank wikipedia for that tidbit)).  For some real ritziness here’s the Fred Astaire tap-dance number. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFabjc6mFk4)  -asf
Match 3
“Where Did You Sleep Last Night” by Nirvana:Paging Cristina Castro.
“Good Lovin'” by The Grateful Dead: This cover returns the infectious joy of the Young Rascals’ original, mixed in with the style that made the Dead a headliner band for nearly 30 years.  Picture this song in the warmth of the sun, embrace the message, flow with Garcia’s guitar lick and the jamming pianos.  I might be biased, having seen the Dark Star Orchestra (the preeminent Dead cover band) play this while I was on shrooms, but to me this retains the musical quality of the original, while adding some passion to the words. I acknowledge that “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” is superior, however.   -Janos Marton
Match 4
“Graceland” by Willie Nelson: Willie Nelson’s Graceland cover is a new favorite, one that I just discovered this summer when I was working on a mix for a friend.  I needed some country twang.  I wanted Paul Simon on there, and had a travel-theme– this cover fits the bill nicely.  Graceland has always resonated for me, and I like the way Willie’s version seems to push forward a bit more aggressively, while Paul’s meanders along.  Willie seems to embrace the journey, and I love to travel with him.  -Lindsay
“Pursuit of Happiness” by Lissie: an·them/ˈanTHəm/
Noun:
  1. A rousing or uplifting song identified with a particular group, body, or cause.
yes, i used the hackneyed approach of using a definition to begin my thoughts, but here it is:  “Pursuit of Happiness” is the anthem song.  The one you plug in when you’re behind the wheel, angry and dangerous.  Or in the context of the actual song, drunk and rolling dope.  The one you need in your life when you’re sure you’re fighting against something, but you may not know what it is.  I think we’ve all had those songs.  Lissie, herself, couldn’t resist the urge to drink some tequila before beginning, and what follows is an amazing performance that channels the lyrics way better than Kid Cudi.  –Ryan Quinnelly
Pasteables:
“Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole vs. “Common People” by William Shatner feat. Joe Jackson
“I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” by JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound vs. “Puttin’ On The Ritz” by Taco
“Where Did You Sleep Last Night” by Nirvana vs. “Good Lovin'” by The Grateful Dead
“Graceland” by Willie Nelson vs. “Pursuit of Happiness” by Lissie
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About g-mo

The day I was born, Michael Jackson's Thriller album was at the top of the Billboard 200. I've been trying my best to live up to that expectation ever since.
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24 Responses to Round of 64 Kickoff (Day 1 of 8)

  1. asf says:

    “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole – 10
    I tried to nominate this song with my third nomination, but Catholic Nick got to it first, well done, I love this song.
    “Common People” by William Shatner feat. Joe Jackson – 7

    “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” by JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound – 6
    “Puttin’ On The Ritz” by Taco – 8.5

    “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” by Nirvana – 9
    “Good Lovin’” by The Grateful Dead – 7.5

    “Graceland” by Willie Nelson – 7.8
    “Pursuit of Happiness” by Lissie – 3.8

  2. Adrock says:

    “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole 6
    “Common People” by William Shatner feat. Joe Jackson 7.5

    Today was just a Shatner day…what can i say

    “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” by JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound 6.5
    “Puttin’ On The Ritz” by Taco 8.1

    Didn’t catch JC Brooks the first time, but I like it. Taco however… damn its growing on me fast. Maybe a touch too long to win though.

    “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” by Nirvana 7.5
    “Good Lovin’” by The Grateful Dead 5.3

    “Graceland” by Willie Nelson 8
    “Pursuit of Happiness” by Lissie 4

  3. aiko says:

    I will listen and vote soon but I have to say I am loving these voter descriptions! Also this will make writing posts so much easier. God, Guillermo, we’re so smart.

    Those of you who have nominations moving on in this round will also be asked to write blurbs, so feel free to get those ready! ~100 words.

    • Isabel says:

      To whom do we send them? Or are these just the descriptions that came w the nominations?

      • aiko says:

        Good question! These are the descriptions we’re asking voters for as their nominations come up, so we’ll be emailing people. However, if you’d like to be on top of things, I think the best plan is to send them to the Living the Dream address: ltddotorg@gmail.com.

  4. dj roomba says:

    “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole – 9
    vs. “Common People” by William Shatner feat. Joe Jackson – 6

    “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” by JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound – 7
    vs. “Puttin’ On The Ritz” by Taco -5.5

    “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” by Nirvana – 7
    vs. “Good Lovin’” by The Grateful Dead – 6

    “Graceland” by Willie Nelson – 6
    vs. “Pursuit of Happiness” by Lissie – 8

  5. Isabel says:

    “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole – 5
    “Common People” by William Shatner feat. Joe Jackson – 5

    “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” by JC Brooks – 6
    “Puttin’ On The Ritz” by Taco – 8.5 – can’t help it!

    “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” by Nirvana – 7
    “Good Lovin’” by The Grateful Dead – 8

    “Graceland” by Willie Nelson – 7
    “Pursuit of Happiness” by Lissie – 5

  6. “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole vs. “Common People” by William Shatner feat. Joe Jackson
    9.875/7
    Somewhere really hit me today. Also, it made me nostalgic — I just remembered that I sang it (not as nicely and sans ukelele) for my first show choir audition when I was 15 or 16.

    “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” by JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound vs. “Puttin’ On The Ritz” by Taco
    5.5/5
    I really liked the I am Trying in the last round. Tonight it doesn’t grip me like it did last night. I think it is my mood, but tonight this version does damage to the original.

    “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” by Nirvana vs. “Good Lovin’” by The Grateful Dead
    6/5

    “Graceland” by Willie Nelson vs. “Pursuit of Happiness” by Lissie
    9.9/7.5
    I hate that my nomination is up against Lissie. I like her and I like this cover. But there’s only one Willie Nelson covering Graceland. Sorry Lissie and Ryan!

  7. aiko says:

    “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole vs. — 8
    “Common People” by William Shatner feat. Joe Jackson 8/7 — 7
    Common People, the original, fluctuates between a 9 and 10 for me. Simply one of my favorites. I actually really like how this version makes the instrumentals a little more frantic and aggressive and I love the choir singing the chorus with them. But Shatner…makes it a novelty joke song. It’s funny. I like his interpretation. But it’s like… a skit, not a song.

    “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” by JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound vs. — 6
    “Puttin’ On The Ritz” by Taco — 8
    Oh the other hand, sometimes novelty joke songs are awesome. Have I mentioned I love the 80s?

    “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” by Nirvana vs. 7.5
    “Good Lovin’” by The Grateful Dead 4.6
    Until I heard this version of Good Lovin’, I thought the doctor was prescribing “Two to love.” And I has never really thought about what that meant. So until basically last week, it never occurred to me that that lyric would make this song about a doctor who prescribes threesomes to his depressed patients.

    “Graceland” by Willie Nelson vs. 8
    “Pursuit of Happiness” by Lissie 5.5
    I was going to say that I relate to “Graceland” because I also want to see Graceland before I die, but then I realized that’s Dollywood.

  8. jacob says:

    “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole 6
    vs. “Common People” by William Shatner feat. Joe Jackson 6 this would be better if shatner sang/spoke the whole thing (verses and chorus).

    “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” by JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound 7
    vs. “Puttin’ On The Ritz” by Taco 5 This gets creepier with every listen.

    “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” by Nirvana 10
    vs. “Good Lovin’” by The Grateful Dead 5

    “Graceland” by Willie Nelson 6
    vs. “Pursuit of Happiness” by Lissie 6

  9. Mark O says:

    “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole [8.75]
    “Common People” by William Shatner feat. Joe Jackson [6]

    “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” by JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound [6]
    “Puttin’ On The Ritz” by Taco [6.25]

    “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” by Nirvana [7.75]
    “Good Lovin’” by The Grateful Dead [5]

    “Graceland” by Willie Nelson [6.75]
    “Pursuit of Happiness” by Lissie [6]

  10. “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole – 7.5
    “Common People” by William Shatner feat. Joe Jackson – 7
    Very surprised by Common People. I love the original. I guess Ben Folds is just that cool.

    “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” by JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound – 6
    “Puttin’ On The Ritz” by Taco – 5.5

    “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” by Nirvana – 7.5
    “Good Lovin’” by The Grateful Dead – 5

    “Graceland” by Willie Nelson – 6
    “Pursuit of Happiness” by Lissie – 6.5

  11. “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole: 7.8
    “Common People” by William Shatner feat. Joe Jackson: 8.5

    “The thing about Gabby Pahinui,” says DeSoto Brown, a Hawaiian cultural-history expert whose brother worked with Pahinui, “was not only that he was an outstanding musician and entertainer, and a central figure — maybe THE central figure — of the Hawaiian Renaissance in the ’70s, but that he was an inspiration to others. Thousands of Hawaiian kids learned that they were worthy as a people because of Gabby’s example.” Gabby was memorialized in Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s performance of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” on his 1993 Facing Future album. In the opening moments of the song, Israel can be heard saying, “‘Kay, dis one’s fo’ Gabby.”

    (that said, Common People has been rocking it for me the last few days. Silly rich girls.)

    “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” by JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound: 7.4
    “Puttin’ On The Ritz” by Taco: 6.2

    JC Brooks took a song that was kinda droopy and annoying and made it awesome. Taco took an old school show tuney thing and made it cool too. Until 2:45 when it gets creepy.

    “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” by Nirvana 4.5
    “Good Lovin’” by The Grateful Dead 5.9

    Not feeling the grunge. Feeling the GD a bit more but not too much. Kinda wish it was the original.

    “Graceland” by Willie Nelson: 6
    “Pursuit of Happiness” by Lissie 10

    I kinda think Graceland is untouchable- Simon’s voice is just that unique, and the implicit vulnerability that comes out as he sings “there’s a girl in New York City that calls herself the human trampoline” just doesn’t mean the same thing when Willie pushes through and changes the city to Austin.

    Interpret how you will, but here is my take: Pursuit of Happiness is about addiction, and Lissie’s handle on the tune takes it to the first person in this stark, beautiful way that Kid Cudi hurries through. I know there were some comments earlier that said “Lissie misses the point” and I think that couldn’t be farther from the truth, she definitely knows the point. Visceral, amazing. At 3:30 you can hear her just drop her guitar off her back and just whisper into the microphone, and when she says “I’ll be fine once I get it” you can hear how much she’s trying to convince herself that that will be the case as opposed to stating a belief. I feel like I’m peeking in a diary when I listen to this. Brilliant. 10.

  12. Adam S says:

    “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole vs. “Common People” by William Shatner feat. Joe Jackson 7 / 7.5
    “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” by JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound vs. “Puttin’ On The Ritz” by Taco 5 / 7
    “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” by Nirvana vs. “Good Lovin’” by The Grateful Dead 6 / 5
    “Graceland” by Willie Nelson vs. “Pursuit of Happiness” by Lissie 6.5 / 5

  13. Maureen says:

    “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole vs. “Common People” by William Shatner feat. Joe Jackson: 8.3 / 8

    “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” by JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound vs. “Puttin’ On The Ritz” by Taco: 8.7 / 6.6
    I am loving JC Brooks.

    “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” by Nirvana vs. “Good Lovin’” by The Grateful Dead: 5 / 5

    “Graceland” by Willie Nelson vs. “Pursuit of Happiness” by Lissie: 7 / 9.4
    Love Graceland, love Willie Nelson, love Paul Simon. All three together though are just a bit shy of awesome – still great though. Pursuit of Happiness has been stuck in my head since last round, in a really good way. It sounds even better today. Creeping close to 10.

  14. G says:

    “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole 5.5
    “Common People” by William Shatner feat. Joe Jackson 6.6 [always liked these lyrics—Shatner does more justice to these than, say, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. That said, Joe Jackson & the choral arrangement detract heavily.]

    “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” by JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound 4.8 [I like the original but this one hit me wrong today–I needed something a bit more chill…the bridge is great, so extra point]
    “Puttin’ On The Ritz” by Taco […nor, apparently, did I require a strange 80s relic.] 4.8

    “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” by Nirvana 10
    “Good Lovin’” by The Grateful Dead 6

    “Graceland” by Willie Nelson 6.3
    “Pursuit of Happiness” by Lissie 7

  15. Danno says:

    “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole – 7.5
    “Common People” by William Shatner feat. Joe Jackson – 5

    “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” by JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound – 5
    “Puttin’ On The Ritz” by Taco – 2

    POTR somehow both reminds me of this:

    and the Instanbul Not Constantinople song from TMBG. For failing to be either of these songs, I punish it.

    “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” by Nirvana – 7
    “Good Lovin’” by The Grateful Dead – 6.5

    “Graceland” by Willie Nelson – 5.5
    “Pursuit of Happiness” by Lissie – 6

  16. Meghan says:

    “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole 8
    “Common People” by William Shatner feat. Joe Jackson 5.5

    “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” by JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound 6.5
    “Puttin’ On The Ritz” by Taco 7.5

    “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” by Nirvana 7
    “Good Lovin’” by The Grateful Dead 5

    “Graceland” by Willie Nelson 5.5
    “Pursuit of Happiness” by Lissie 6.5

  17. Eileen says:

    “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole vs. “Common People” by William Shatner feat. Joe Jackson 9.5 to 2.0

    “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” by JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound vs. “Puttin’ On The Ritz” by Taco 5.0 to 8.0

    “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” by Nirvana vs. “Good Lovin’” by The Grateful Dead 4.0 to 7.0

    “Graceland” by Willie Nelson vs. “Pursuit of Happiness” by Lissie 3.0 to 5.0

  18. The Progenitor says:

    “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole vs. “Common People” by William Shatner feat. Joe Jackson 10.0 to 2.0

    “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” by JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound vs. “Puttin’ On The Ritz” by Taco 5.0 to 8.5

    “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” by Nirvana vs. “Good Lovin’” by The Grateful Dead 3.5 to 6.5

    “Graceland” by Willie Nelson vs. “Pursuit of Happiness” by Lissie 6.0 to 3.5

  19. chrisroomba says:

    “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole vs. “Common People” by William Shatner feat. Joe Jackson: 8/5.5

    “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” by JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound vs. “Puttin’ On The Ritz” by Taco: 9/5.5
    I am digging JC Brooks today.

    “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” by Nirvana vs. “Good Lovin’” by The Grateful Dead: 8/6

    “Graceland” by Willie Nelson vs. “Pursuit of Happiness” by Lissie: 6/8.5

  20. Anne S. says:

    “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole vs. “Common People” by William Shatner feat. Joe Jackson: 8/5.5

    “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” by JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound vs. “Puttin’ On The Ritz” by Taco: 6/5

    “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” by Nirvana vs. “Good Lovin’” by The Grateful Dead: 7/6

    “Graceland” by Willie Nelson vs. “Pursuit of Happiness” by Lissie: 7/2

  21. Lori says:

    “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole vs. “Common People” by William Shatner feat. Joe Jackson: 8.5/3.5

    “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” by JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound vs. “Puttin’ On The Ritz” by Taco: 4.5/7.0

    “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” by Nirvana vs. “Good Lovin’” by The Grateful Dead: 6.0/6.3

    “Graceland” by Willie Nelson vs. “Pursuit of Happiness” by Lissie: 8.75/5.0

  22. ChrisB says:

    “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole – 5
    “Common People” by William Shatner feat. Joe Jackson – 2

    “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” by JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound – 9
    “Puttin’ On The Ritz” by Taco – 6 Wow, I liked it, but this wears thin pretty quickly.

    “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” by Nirvana – 8
    “Good Lovin’” by The Grateful Dead – 4

    “Graceland” by Willie Nelson – 7
    “Pursuit of Happiness” by Lissie – 4

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