Welcome back to our nominator-curated Round of 64 where today’s theme, as has been the case in much of the tournament, is Beatles, Beatles Everywhere (three of today’s songs are by the Fab Four and a fourth was co-written by George Harrison, aka Nelson Wilbury). We had about half of this round’s nominators respond to our request for blurbs, but where there are holes, I’ve taken the liberty of inserting some mindless filler just so it doesn’t look awkward. Votes are due by Tuesday at 8pm, link to songs is here, except for Gin and Juice which is here. Happy listening.
Take A Chance on Me- Erasure
According to Wikipedia, Erasure’s 1992 Abba tribute album spawned renewed interest in the Sweedish pop juggernaut, which culminated in the massively successful stage production Mamma Mia! (the exclamation point is part of the title, although I do find this bit of trivia kind of exciting).
With A Little Help From My Friends- Joe Cocker
I learned on songfacts.com that Sesame Street did a parody of this called “With A Little Yelp From My Friends.” It was performed by “Moe Cocker,” a cocker spaniel who sings about yelping for help when he can’t find his bone or scratch a flea. Watch it here.
Come Together- Aerosmith
I nominated Come Together because of it’s mix of some funky lyrics, with a bluesy sound. But the song is really just a bizarre animal. I love the Beatles version, and really like the Aerosmith version, because it seems more in-tune with Tyler’s crazy talents than even Lennon’s. Aerosmith gets down and dirty with a Beatles tune.
Save It for Later- Harvey Danger
Guillermo Olivos says:
There is a part of me that for no rhyme or reason will actively support songs that make me want to bob my head. I don’t know much about Harvey Danger, although I do remember Flagpole Sitta. But you know that line “sometimes I don’t know how I’m meant to act with your lot, sometimes I don’t try I just da da da, da-da-da-da-da.” That’s how I kinda feel back in the Northeast in general. You can make out of place fun, we can all relate to that. Like right now at this conference, where I’m trying to figure out if I’m allowed to hang out with the other business students even though I’m a staff member at a school now. You know what? Fuck it. I’m going out to their happy hour. Da da da.
Two of Us- Aimee Mann and Michael Penn
Sure, maybe nepotism was a bit at play with Mann and Penn having this cover in I AM SAM – Michael being Sean’s brother. Perhaps it’s the romantic in me, but there’s something about hearing a husband and wife sing these lyrics that’s much more moving and impressive than when the Beatles did. The past sets the way the way for the future. Yes, we all know this, but it’s nice to be reminded. And I’m a sucker for Aimee Mann’s voice.
Gin and Juice- The Gourds
My brother introduced me to this song and is also to blame for my thinking Phish was the artist until I nominated it for this tournament. I know I’ve heard the original a few times, but I always preferred this version. I think it’s fun, great to sing along to, and always brings a smile to my face when it comes up on my ipod.
Handle With Care- Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins
Before Jenny Lewis was a rock star, she was a child actress with bit roles on several popular sitcoms, including the Golden Girls. In this clip montage, Lewis plays a girl scout who tries to extort Rose by holding her teddy bear hostage.
New Speedway Boogie- Marc Cohn
According to Wikipedia, Cohn is married to 20-20’s Elizabeth Vargas, who he met in Andre Agassi’s locker room at the 1999 US Open. If you have a strong stomach, you can read the whole story about how they met in an article published in the Times’ “Vows” section.
Take A Chance on Me- Erasure vs With A Little Help From My Friends- Joe Cocker
Come Together- Aerosmith vs Save It for Later- Harvey Danger
Two of Us- Aimee Mann and Michael Penn vs Gin and Juice- The Gourds
Handle With Care- Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins vs New Speedway Boogie- Marc Cohn