More Music Covers

A second post about cover songs that make my toes tap.

I enjoyed writing about music covers and felt I should go do it again. Shall we?

Cake – I will Survive

I really enjoy this kind of cover song. First and foremost because it’s not in the same genre of music and because they are using different instruments. I feel this frees the listener to simply enjoy. You can compare and contrast all you like but the versions have enough that separates them (having a male singer in the cover being a noticeable difference) that I find it easy to enjoy both for what they are.

Probably the song that introduced most of us to (that or The Distance) Cake for the first time, I am pleased that the cover holds up. This band always seemed to have a good time making music and they certainly figured out how to cover songs (I did not include War Pigs but I easily could have, their version is great).

Guns and Roses – Live and Let Die

I recognize that my take on all things Beatles is provocative, it isn’t meant to be. The original is a good song, the beginning with the piano is quite pretty. It’s interesting because I feel that Gun’s N Roses handled integrating all of the other instruments better and created a better song. Clearly McCartney was trying to create a disjointed, stylistically complicated song. I’m not sure his entirely works.

Guns N Roses figured out a way to make this song more cohesive and frankly better. For this band to do this kind of cover, at that time, what something else. I was too young to appreciate how special they were but looking back it’s quite extraordinary.

Eric Clapton – I Shot The Sheriff

No big surprises here, I feel like this a better known cover. The styles are quite different, Clapton put his mark on the song by moving it into a different genre and showcasing his guitar playing. The feeling to both songs is similar, it’s the sign of a great cover, I think, that they can be somewhat similar but also not feel the same. I dig it.

Nine Inch Nails -Physical (Adam and The Ants)

Never, ever would I have guessed that Closer is a cover. Perhaps my opinion of NIN is too high, perhaps they came into my life at that perfect, impressionable time where I simply trusted. I do not know. Hearing the original of this song is funny, the vocals are really the only element that are radically different. It certainly has made me rethink NIN and all that they did. For possibly their best known song to be a pretty straightforward cover is unexpected.

Manfred Mann’s Earth BandBlinded By The Light (Bruce Springsteen)

I am writing this about nearly every song on this list but – I didn’t know this was a cover. The fact that the original is a Bruce Springsteen song is truly impressive. As someone who has long tried to “get into” Springsteen with minimal success I am not surprised to find that I prefer the cover. It has a such a different sound, good vocals and powerful drums. What else can you say about this song, it rocks!

Stevie Wonder – Superstition (Jeff Beck)

I learned a lot with this post. In particular, that songs like Superstitious are “covers”. From what I gleaned this is a bad example, given that Stevie Wonder wrote the song but then gave/sold it to Jeff Beck to then have it on his own album (which came out before Jeff Beck’s). It’s weird. But now we have two great versions and that’s a blessing. I don’t have much to say, this song is amazing and I am too busy bouncing around in my chair to type much else.

Nina Simone – Feelin’ Good (The Roar of The Greasepaint, The Smell of The Crowd)

I was not aware Nina Simone was covering anyone until this post. To be honest it was only about twenty years ago that I became aware of Feelin’ Good and that was because a friend covered it on a demo tape. It’s a great song and I appreciate the original, it’s powerful. But this is it for me. She brings something else to the music, despite a faster tempo, that you cannot help but feel. When the band comes in you come to life, it’s something new and bigger and engrossing.

Take Me To The River – Talking Heads (Al Green)

Listening to Al Green’s version and then this I am first struck by the drums and bass and keys. They’re huge! Both versions of the song are good (and obviously Al Green is a better singer) but I’d be lying if I said The Talking Head’s version doesn’t make my toes tap. I like parts of both but the cover is more…soulful. It feels wrong saying that but it’s true.

Bittersweet Symphony – The Verve (The Rolling Stones)

If you are close to me in age chances are you know this song. If you know this song chances are you enjoy it. One of the first things I published on this site concerns music reworked for film, this technically does not qualify for that category but I believe the idea I had (someone fiddling with someone else’s music and improving it) applies. When I started this post I could not have named the song they “borrowed” from (I am putting that in quote because of the debate and because this isn’t a straight cover) and upon listening to it again I am not sure how many times I have heard it before.

All that being said this is a great song, I think they took parts from The Last Time and reworked them to make something different and better. Whereas with some covers (and reworkings) I can imagine bad feelings due to the improvements, this truly is a different song and I would hope everyone could be happy with both existing.

Tori Amos – I’m Not in Love (10cc)

When I bought Strange Little Girls I was not aware it was an album of experimental covers. At the time I was enamored with everything Ms. Amos did and bought the album because it was new. Sadly I never could find a way to like most of these songs. A few of the covers, I’m Not In Love in particular, brought me a great deal of joy. I appreciate this album more than I enjoy it, which is strange for popular music.

Van Halen – Ice Cream Man

Although their most famous cover is probably “Dancing in The Streets”, “Ice Cream Man” holds a special place in my heart. It’s light, it’s fun and not at all like most of their music. I had no idea it was a cover when I first heard it but since finding out I like it even more. To have a band as technically proficient as this put out such a simple cover speaks to their confidence. So many people compensate by doing more, adding more and they trusted themselves enough to record this simple cover and share it with the world.

Gun’s ‘N Roses – Knockin’ On Heavens Door

I get it, another GNR cover on the same list – it’s a lot but they are so different and so interesting!

I’ve made some disparaging comments about Bob Dylan in these posts about covers and if there is one song where I can redeem myself it is this one. I think this version is the best I’ve heard (and looking it up I just encountered five I had not heard before). While Dylan’s version is soulful and melancholy Gun’s N’ Roses went a different route. The guitar carries the song but the other instruments swell and and excite only to then fade away. I’m not sure how many different versions of Axl we have signing on this track but it feels like a lot. Not to mention the backup singers who come in over halfway through the song (and the phone call). This cover has a great energy that separates it from the original.

This is a great example of how multiple versions of a song benefit the listener. What kind of mood are you in? Plaintive? Or do you need some anger that needs to be vented? There’s a version for that.

Wylcef Jean – Wish You Were Here

I’m trying to think of great Pink Floyd covers and I have to admit I am stumped. For a band with so many great songs it is interesting that so few people have attempted to cover their work (or that these covers have avoided my ears). Finding this version led me to see how many people have covered this song. It is an interesting mix of artists and I have to say I’ve heard almost none of them.

I like this version for a number of reasons. I like the beginning where one of the guitars is tinny-sounding and then everything switches to a fuller sound. I like the beat Wyclef uses and that his version is faster. It’s not a straight-up cover, he alters the lyrics and has sections where he inserts original material. That being said I like this. He does his own thing with the song and creates something quite different, which honestly, I think is the only way to go with Pink Floyd.

Motion Picture Soundtracks

A short and incomplete list of motion picture soundtracks that I love.

In July of 2003 I found myself packing boxes. It was an absurd number of boxes, somewhere around 40, mostly filled with books and CDs. My wife and I were moving, again, and found it would be cheaper to ship most of our possessions via the United States Postal Service. The main reason for this was the media mail (or media rate) discount. Given that we owned many books and CDs if we spread them out among our clothes (and meager household items) all of the boxes would qualify for this lower rate.

On the first box I discovered that we did not have any packing tape. When I mentioned this my wife said, “Just use duct tape.” When I questioned this choice she assured me it was the smart move. “Duct tape can fix anything. They use it to hold airplane wings together.” I should add that I have an abhorrence of the post office and as such I defer to my wife (henceforth to be known as Kate) in all matters. So we packed all of our boxes with duct tape.

The following day we brought them to the post office to pay for shipping. We then were promptly informed that we could ship these boxes but since they were all packaged with duct tape insurance would not be an option. It was an ungodly amount of boxes sitting on the floor of the post office. It had taken many trips to get them all to the building from our apartment. The most assuredly would not survive having the duct tape ripped off and packing tape applied. Plus we’d have to try and do all of this in the tiny lobby of the post office in Austin, Texas.

So we shipped our possessions without insurance and over the next few days drove to Washington, DC. When we arrived we found that the delay we had requested for delivering our boxes was not observed. The boxes were sitting outside in front of our new apartment and it had been raining heavily. The typical whirlwind of trying to move in and set up a new home occurred and neither of us noticed that a few boxes were unaccounted for.

Which is why months later, when I was going through our CDs looking for something to listen to that I noticed I couldn’t find certain albums. Where was Blonde on Blonde? Or The Rising? Looking closely I noticed a number of favorites were not on the shelf. The CDs I had tried, repeatedly to sell over the years were still there (Marching to Mars and B-Sides Ourselves in particular) mocking me.

A number of phone calls later we learned that a number of boxes had been damaged badly during the move. The post office had a policy of taking those boxes and holding them so the contents would not be further damaged. They then were meant to notify the recipients of the package(s) of the situation and from there it would be resolved. I am not sure what the next step would be as the post office also had a time limit on how long they would hold said boxes and we had passed that by the time we realized they were missing. Which meant the post office had already auctioned off (their words which I find implausible) the contents of our boxes. Nothing further could be done.

I write all of this to explain how I came to lose half of my CD collection (which was formidable at one time) in 2003. Of the many lost albums were soundtracks to films. As far as I can tell somewhere in the 00’s studios stopped creating (paying for?) soundtracks for films that consisted of popular artists contributing songs. Which is an absolute shame because many of my favorite songs come from such soundtracks. I also came to know many wonderful bands from buying a film’s soundtrack. Below I’d like to say a few words about some of the important soundtracks of my life.


If you weren’t around to experience the first Batman film it may be hard to explain what a phenomenon it was. The movie was released in the summer (June) and played in theaters forever. Where I lived there was one movie theater that had two screens (a third was added but in my memory it was after this time). One of the screens is absurdly small, it is the only movie theater I have been in where they have single seats.

When I say that the movie was in theaters forever I mean to say that I believe it ran until at least Thanksgiving. The film industry was different then so having new movies every week was not yet the norm. This was such a successful film, in every way, that it was not atypical for it to continue running for months.

One of the reasons this film permeated the culture the way it did was because it had a distinctive, excellent soundtrack. With only nine songs on the album it somehow managed to have something for everyone, Prince was one of those artists that even if his music was not your thing (I am one of those people) you still listened to it. On a near weekly basis I find myself humming “Little Red Corvette”, “Raspberry Beret” or “When The Doves Cry”. His best songs are not on this soundtrack but what he put here made its way onto all of the radio stations and into the cars and homes of America. Everyone knew “Batdance” with its distinctive opening.

This soundtrack is the first that I can remember listening to and realizing it was something different than a studio album. I was pretty young at the time, I know it was my sister who purchased the cassette (you read that right!) but we played it over and over.


Clerks is the film that made me want to make movies. It stands to reason that it’s soundtrack had a profound effect on me as well. In addition to a number of songs I already knew (“Got Me Wrong”, “Shooting Star”) there were a number of unexpected gems on this album. “Kill the Sexplayer” in particular was a fun discovery –

This album is perfect. It fit the film, introduced people like myself to a number of artists and had familiar songs and bands as well. I always enjoy soundtracks that sample dialog from the film, it’s fun, and there is plenty of that here. Plus you get those odd, one of a kind songs that you would never choose to listen to on their own (looking at you “Chewbacca”).

One of the interesting things about this film is that it was touted as being an independent film made for little money ($23,000 I believe) but when discussing the soundtrack it was made clear that Miramax spent quite a bit (one million dollars) to secure the rights. I’m not sure how much was spent to clean up the footage but I know it was substantial. Whatever it was it was worth it. An excellent film with a wonderful soundtrack.


This is one of the better soundtracks I’ve ever heard. Whoever came up with the idea of “let’s get two artist/bands together and have them make a song” for every song on the album (except track 7 – does Stabbing Westward not play well with others)?! That person is a genius. I recognize that this is not the typical collaboration as most of these collaborations are bands with a DJ/group remixing their song. Just go with me please.

There are a number of gems on this soundtrack, “Tiny Rubberband”, “Kick The P.A.”, “One Man Army” and “Spawn” are all solid tracks. My favorite on this album (the video probably tipped you off to this) is (Can’t you) Trip Like I Do. It’s a solid track that ticks off all the right boxes for me. This is certainly an album I enjoy driving and listening to. It’s good background music if that is what you desire.

The X Files

This is one of the more ecclectic soundtracks of the 90’s (that I encountered). The people who made songs for this were certainly not chosen for their similarities. I always found this pleasing and fitting for the show. Sure, the X Files never strayed too far from it’s alien/paranoid/weirdness but there was a bit of wiggle room and when they could they deviated.

I chose the song “More Than This” by The Cure to feature but honestly it could have been most of the tracks. I like this song in particular because of it’s rhythm. There is a flowing quality to the song that the vocals enhance. It feels otherworldly but comforting. It’s a great song.

There are many others on this album that are noteworthy, “Black”, “The Hunter”, “Beacon Light”, “Flower Man”, “16 Horses” and “One More Murder” are all favorites of mine. Listening to these songs now I can hear similarities that were not apparent before. I am sure it has to do with recording techniques and producers using similar sounds and ideas. No escaping such things but I feel the songs hold up.

The Crow

This soundtrack will forever hold a special place in my heart. I had not heard Rage Against The Machine before listening to this and this song is one of my favorites of theirs. There are so many excellent songs on this album, “Dead Souls” by NIN, “Color Me Once” by the Violent Femmes, “Burn” by the Cure, “Snakedriver” by Jesus and the Mary Chain and “Big Empty” by the Stone Temple Pilots. It’s an incredible soundtrack that shaped its film in many ways.

Fight Club

I had not heard of The Dust Brothers prior to listening to the Fight Club soundtrack. This is an interesting album in that no one song stands out to me as the best. I chose “Single Serving Jack” because whenever I listen to the album I always pay attention when it comes on. It’s a fast paced song that, like all the tracks, builds on what comes before it.

This is one of my favorite albums to have as background music. Whether driving or writing I love to put it on and let it slosh around in my mind. I never pay it much direct attention but I love it.

Pulp Fiction

To be alive in the mid-90’s and not listen to the Pulp Fiction Soundtrack was impossible. It’s an odd soundtrack, I’m not sure all of the songs work well with one another (like the film itself) but perhaps that jarring nature is the point. I believe I knew this song before hearing the soundtrack but it certainly came alive for me when I did. It’s just such a good, heartfelt piece of music. There are a number of other, excellent tracks on the album.

Romeo and Juliet

Oh, this album. Picking a favorite song off of the Romeo and Juliet Soundtrack is almost like choosing a favorite child. I don’t want to do it. So let’s instead say that the above song by Radiohead, “Talk Show Host” was chosen because a) it is a great song and b) I wanted to put something up by this formerly amazing band. Seriously. I miss them.

Song after song on this album delivers the goods. From Everclear with “Local God” and Garbage with “#1 Crush” to “Kissing You” by Des’ree and “Everybody’s Free (to feel good)” by Qunidon Tarver you cannot go wrong. I’m not sure who was responsible for putting this album together but they exceeded all expectations and gave the world a wonderful gift.

Batman Forever

Okay this one did not figure in as much for me at the time, despite having some great songs. Everyone heard Seal perform “Kiss From a Rose” and U2 deliver “Hold me, Kill Me, Kiss Me, Thrill Me” but the song we should have all been playing was Michael Hutchence covering “The Passenger”. Holy smokes this is a good cover. It’s not really surprising, INXS was a tremendous band and he was an incredible performer. I’m happy to be able to include this here.

The Matrix

Probably as important as Pulp Fiction (at least in my circle) was the release of this album. I could not have told you that this song was called “Spybreak (Short One)” or that the band is Propellerheads but I feel like this is THE song of the album. It’s important in the film and when you listen to the album as a whole it stands out. Yes, there is a great Rage Against the Machine song here, as well as “Du Hast” and “Rock Is Dead” but I think this is the one.


Yes, I am taking the cowards way out and choosing two songs for this soundtrack. I admit it. I’m driving this ship and that’s the deal. Let’s move on.

The soundtrack to drive is much like the costumes and titles of Drive – it’s weird. Would anyone else have made these choices? These songs are such a strange juxtaposition to the images they accompany in the film. We have, with time and repeated viewings (listenings) come to accept these pairings but I assure you – they are still weird.

But weird in a wonderful way that makes us love them more. “A Real Hero” is such a tender and heartfelt song and despite it being kinda wrong about the main character I love it. I have come to love it. I would never have listened to it without this film but now it is a part of me. The same can be said for “Night Call”. I have listened to quite a bit of Kavinsky’s music since hearing this, something I never would have done. Together they work with the other pieces of music to give us the film that is Drive. I can’t argue with that.


How many of us knew Aimee Mann before this soundtrack? How many of us have been changed forever because of it? Picking a song was hard, but I think “Driving Sideways” is correct. It moves me every time. It somehow captures the essence of this big, messy film. It’s incredible.


Trying to pick a favorite song on this album is, again, nearly impossible. I went with “State of Love and Trust” because it’s so good and as with Radiohead I miss Pearl Jam being a good band. It’s hard to watch amazing bands/musicians lose the thing that made them so good but, alas, it happens all too often. Come home, son!

Cameron Crowe, to no one’s surprise, captured the incredible music scene of the time with this film and soundtrack. “Would?”, “Dyslexic Heart” oh and “Seasons”. Gah. This soundtrack would be a wonderful way to introduce someone unfamiliar with grunge music to the world. So much goodness here.

Wayne’s World

I love this movie and I love this album. I was unfamiliar with so many of the bands and songs when I heard it and I will be forever grateful for the exposure. I knew Jimi Hendrix when I heard “Foxey Lady (2)” but seeing Dana Carvey perform his dance to it changed me. I am, morally at least, obligated to state that I should have put “Bohemian Rhapsody” as the main song, since I had not heard it prior to this film either. But, dang it, I wanted to have it be Jimi.

Tia Carrere covering “Ball Room Blitz” Alice Cooper’s “Feed My Frankenstein” and Gary Wright’s “Dream Weaver” are all wonderful songs on this fun album. I imagine Wayne’s World is a film that will soon be lost to time, which is a shame, but hopefully these songs will live forever.

Charlie’s Angels (2001)

This. Always this. Destiny’s Child may have gotten a lot of attention (and rightfully so) for “Independent Women” Pt.1 but Sam Rockwell dancing to “Got to Give it Up” Pt.1 will forever be the moment. Not only was it an important reveal for the story and the character but it was cool.

Charlie’s Angels was a lot of things, it was fun and silly and sexy but it was also cool. This soundtrack reflects all of these qualities with songs like “Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel” and “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing”. Unexpected (and wonderful) tracks like “Tangerine Speedo” and “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” compliment the film and it’s underdog nature. No one expected this to be the hit it was – and all of us get to benefit from the film and this soundtrack.

I am positive I am leaving out other, wonderful soundtracks I have owned and listened to. This is by no means a comprehensive list. I wanted to share something similar to my post on cover songs and try and spread a little love around. I feel like I achieved that.

Learning Something New About Stock Footage Websites

A post about stock footage and saving money.

Last year I wrote about stock footage. In that post I wrote about Artgrid, using stock footage and why I decided to cancel my account. Flash forward to December 2022 and I am upgrading my Artlist account (royalty free music and sound effects) to an Artlist Max Social account. This reads like an advertisement but I assure you it is not.

If there is one point I have tried to make clear since starting this site it is that I am not making any money. None. Not from writing, not from making videos – not from anything I am putting online. Which is why every time I write about a camera or editing software or using a service like Artlist I try and be upfront about what I get out of it and whether or not it makes any sense. The short version for nearly everything is that it doesn’t.

If I could go back in time and offer younger me some advice it would be “don’t spend that money”. On almost anything. If you have something you can use, like my first beautiful Panasonic camcorder, just use that. Don’t upgrade. Don’t listen to people online telling you what you need. Just make do and be happy.

Back to December: I upgraded this account. Despite my advice of not spending money I spent money. Why would I do this? The cost for one. My old plan was $300 a year for music and sound effects. I use both a fair bit despite not having much of an online presence. When I joined Artgrid last year (so I could have access to stock footage) I was charged another $470. $770 seemed like quite a lot of money for something I was not really using (aside from making fake trailers – which since I now have an active account I can share).

Because my yearly cycle begins/ends in February I was prorated when I made this change to my account. Looking at the website the cost will be either $360 a year for the social plan (which is what I have) or $480 for the pro plan. So given that I was spending $300 a year for access to music and sound effects, this is a pretty good deal for me. I pay $60 more a year and I now have access to all of their footage. In addition to that they have templates for Final Cut Pro X, LUTs and plugins (in the above video I used some of their transitions).

I’m not entirely sure this makes sense from a financial point of view. My intention, which it seems is always the case, is to do more this year. Post more on this site, create more videos for YouTube. I plan to create short form content for Instagram and write more fiction. Will it happen? I hope so. The past two years have been lacking in the creation department and I certainly have been feeling the loss.

Having access to music that I can use and share is an absolute blessing and if you take a moment and compare the various royalty free music and video sites I think you will find that Artlist is more than competitive (again not an ad but this is something I have struggled with). To prove this point I am going to look into the various sites that offer music and stock footage.

You may not have noticed but I have spent a good deal of time finding sites and comparing them. I began making a chart, taking screenshots and attempting to find a way to share my findings in a way that is visual and easy to follow. I have failed at this because there are too many sites with too many options to make this streamlined. Instead and I am going to speak to the three sites that are comparable.

Before I share this I want to point out the following: there are many different companies providing these services. In my travels I looked into many that were already familiar to me (The Musicbed, Filmsupply, Epidemic Sound, Pond 5, Adobe Stock) and I was surprised at how much the pricing differed. As much as I adore The Musicbed and Filmsupply I doubt I’ll ever use their services as I simply cannot afford them.

Filmsupply, I love you but you are pricey.

Many of the other services have more reasonable prices but they greatly limit the number of downloads. Shutterstock costs $60 a year less than Artlist and Storyblocks but at that price only allow ten downloads a month. I digress, let’s move on to the important part of this post.

Artlist Max$30
Envato Elements$16.50

I’ll be honest I want to be incredibly in-depth and helpful here but even narrowing this down to three sites leaves a good deal of variables. For me, I need the basic creators license that Artlist and Storyblocks offer – the ability to post on social media and access sounds and video. I don’t work with other people, I am not making worldwide commercials or films and I don’t make wedding videos. So, for me these are the prices for the plans that make sense.

That being said one consideration to note is the ability to keep the videos/content I’ve made if I decide to no longer use the service. In the past I found that the service Epidemic Sound did not offer this option – meaning that if/when you stop using their service you have to replace the music in your videos. That’s just a terrible feature. From what I have gleaned all three of these services allow you to keep the footage/music/sounds in your videos even if you not longer subscribe to the service.

My subscription is set to renew on the 12th and to be honest when I started writing this I had no intention of using another service. Since discovering Envato Elements and looking through their site I am no longer sure. They have a ton of assets, the quality looks good and the cost of using their service is almost half of the other two. As I keep reiterating I want to pay as little as possible and after spending a couple of weeks looking at these services Envato Elements seems like the smart choice.

Music Video Appreciation Post #9 – Kaleo

A short post about the music videos of the band Kaleo.

I think the best song I’ve heard by Kaleo is “No Good”. It rocks. It rocks on such a level that when I first heard it all I could think about was who to share it with. I love it. As far as I can tell it is an anomaly in their catalogue (thinking of you My Song 5). That being said the music video is a touch lackluster. I don’t like being negative but that song deserves and equally amazing music video.

Thankfully the band has no shortage of excellent music videos. Apparently they decided that their niche would be to film on location in Iceland. And by location I mean things like –

they perform on an ice floe. I mean, there are ideas for music videos that seem a little crazy and then there is this. I like the song but really you could watch this muted and still enjoy it. This also makes me think of those memes about why women live longer than men. I feel confident that they took steps to be safe in doing this but…

Another incredible music video is for their song “Skinny” where they are performing live on an active volcano. I have no words. This is incredible and terrifying and really something else.

I’ve written about the ingenuity of the music videos that Ok Go make. That a band from Iceland would somehow top their incredible achievements with natural phenomenons makes me quite happy. I wish I had more to say about this band, their sound is largely subdued and not as rocking as “No Good”. Which is fine, I would just love to hear more in the “No Good” vein.

I am including a final video because, again, they went kinda nuts with it. Enjoy!

Music Videos (Appreciation Post #2)

A few words about ‘Little Black Submarines’ and why ‘Fever’ makes me itchy.

Today I’d like to write a little about The Black Keys. I feel funny because for the longest time I didn’t watch their music videos and they absolutely have one of my least favorite videos of recent memory (looking at you, ‘Fever‘, I know it’s mocking infomercials and televangelists – but I find it painful to watch). The music video for ‘Gold on the Ceiling‘ impresses me in terms of the editing and look (the guy in the cooler is a fun) as well as capturing the energy of the song.

‘Little Black Submarines’ is most likely my favorite of their videos. It has a great look and a number of nice establishing shots that give you a sense of the location. Its largely a performance video and the energy of the band and the crowd makes this a pleasure to watch. I’m not sure I really felt the song before I watched this video, which should always be a goal when setting a song to music.

Sunday – Bald Melon Blaze

Some time ago I came across the following video from filmmaker Salomon Ligthelm –

I became aware of Mr. Ligthelm’s work from the blogs of The Musicbed and Film Supply. They also made a documentary – Make – which features Mr. Ligthelm and Reed Morano. It’s an interesting film that provides some insight into their creative processes.

This video in particular caught my attention because most of the footage is repurposed. Mr. Ligthelm was kind enough to explain in the description where his footage came from. The notion of using royalty footage hadn’t seemed like an option to me before this but, it turns out, there is a decent amount of material available and a lot of it is interesting.

I’d been wanting to make a video of the song “Sunday” for some time. Whenever I spoke with Bald Melon Blaze he expressed interest but no clear idea of what video to make. Once I found this option it was a perfect fit. Looking through the archives the images spoke to me, the lyrics and their meaning matching effortlessly.

I’m very proud of how this video came out and I’d love it if you would watch it.

See it Again (reborn)

In which I give a long explanation which I find riveting.

A few years ago I had the idea to try and create content specific for different social media sites. I had been paying attention to the online articles and advice columns that all said the same thing: if you want to be a successful X you have to use social media and use it well.

So here we are, a few years later, and I am not really using social media much, or well. The fault lies with me of course but also in the second, more important (and left unsaid) part of this advice – be yourself. I could quote Hamlet or 50 other well-known and somewhat pretentious sources to make my point but my guess is you already get it.

I have attempted to find people whose work I know and respect, filmmakers, writers, comedians, musicians, actresses and actors to follow on social media. By and large I have either quickly unfollowed these people because I dislike the way they use social media or I could not find them using these sites.

The reasons I stopped following people I am sure you are familiar with: either all they did was promote their work in a steady, uninteresting stream of posts or tweets or they shared personal information and images that I would have rather not seen.

What should they have been sharing? I am not sure. I follow Olivia Wilde on several sites and I generally likes what she posts, even though nearly everything fits into the two categories I listed above. Why do I still follow her?

I believe I still follow her because she is honest and truthful and (seemingly) not using social media to promote her “brand”. Perhaps she is and she is excellent at making self-marketing feel like personal interactions.

In either case, it works and that is what I wanted to get at here – authenticity. So much of what I have attempted to share has not been authentic, has not been me in most regards, because I don’t like the notion of sharing your personal life with strangers.

Have I posted pictures of my children on Instagram? I have and feel weird about it and writing it here makes me think I should take them down. Do I post one line movie reviews on Twitter? Yes and I feel dirty afterwords and often delete them.

Because what should I be sharing? This. Long, long posts where I share my thoughts and thought processes about things that interest and concern me. Or I write about things I love, or hate, in great detail. Because that is who I am, it is what I do and if it does not interest you then it would be best if we part ways.

I gave this post a title which most likely does not make sense. I created a category of posts called “See it Again” in which I write about a film that I feel people should give another chance despite poor reviews, low profits or just negative feelings overall. I added the reborn in parentheses because I want to start over with this category. Allow me to explain why.

I don’t care about box office returns and unless you stand to profit from a film, neither should you. This is some weird, oversharing, marketing technique to make people care or be interested in films simply because they are successful. It makes no sense. Just today I saw this article – How Avatar made $2.7 billion and garnered almost no fan base. Which I think sums up this point somewhat well.

Critics and their reviews of films I think are equally unimportant. They become exponentially less important when you lump them all together, give their scores a rating and then average these scores together. To not take into account who the critic is, what they like and dislike and what they actually said is to diminish an already marginally interesting and important activity into something of equal value with an infomercial. If a pretentious, literate, snobbish fop who only likes a fraction of high-brow art films reviews something like Mission Impossible and comes away with something positive to say, this is slightly interesting. To then take their B- grade and throw it in with the rest renders their review meaningless.

Finally I have no idea how you measure negative feelings, especially of the general population. As we are learning the Internet does not reflect the general attitude or mood of anything (other than the Internet). A strong online fan base for a filmmaker, who then creates a film based on their ravings and support does not mean that any of them will actually watch the finished product. The examples are endless and you know many yourself. So how do we measure this general attitude? We can’t. We can pay attention to the media, or advertising or the Internet or what people at work say. The truth is we don’t really know, which is why I am throwing this by the wayside.

So instead I will leave all of this off, the ratings and the earnings and the lack of awards (I forgot that one but then I think they are best forgotten) and just be using my own, strange internal criteria to determine the films I think you should give a chance (second or otherwise). And you, of course, are free to pay me no mind.

This strikes me as a much more rewarding system and one which I hope to make better, fuller use of.

Music Mondays #7

Let me attempt to brighten your Monday with a little soul.

Hi there!

So last week was a bust. Sadly events kept me from posting on Monday and when I could post again it was…no longer Monday. But I’m back. And hopefully so are you.

Today I would like to share a video from Kat Wright and the Indomitable Soul Band. Yet another Burlington, Vermont-based band that I have shamefully neglected! I am attempting to correct this here by sharing (forgive me!) a cover they did of a Destiny’s Child song. What I have heard of their original material is quite wonderful and you should absolutely give them a further listen ( The videos they have posted on Youtube are of excellent quality, both in terms of sound but also video (a rarity!) their channel is here.

It’s not that I actively seek out covers, or covers of songs performed by Beyonce things just seem to be happening that way of late. I will course-correct soon! In the meantime please enjoy this live cover of “Say My Name”.

Music Mondays #7.1

Where I admit to being a poor music writer.

So how is this for making up for last week? Two posts for Music Monday? That’s right, I do it because I care. I wanted to do this minor post to share a review of the recently published book, “Girl in a Band”, by Kim Gordon. Whether you are a fan of Sonic Youth, Kim Gordon or just music in general you should read this review. As someone who could never find the appeal of this band I found my interest more than moderately piqued by this excellent review.

Kristin Dombek writes about music very well. Too well almost. Certainly better than I do which I why I am trying to send you her way. Enjoy!

Question of the Week #7

The cowardly underbelly is exposed.


You are a writer and a filmmaker, so what’s up with writing about music once a week? Wouldn’t writing about writing or film on a weekly basis make more sense?


It absolutely would. The not so clever answer as to why I am doing what I am doing is that I don’t pretend to have any knowledge or expertise regarding music. I listen to it, I like what I like and my goal with Music Mondays is to try and share this with other people.

Since I don’t have anything professionally invested in music I find it is easier and more freeing to try and write about the subject. If I were to try and offer up a book each week or even a film there would be pressure (applied only by me) to have each post really say something. To try and offer some deep analysis, or to dig up obscure works and try and offer something new about them.

It saddens me, but I have gone this route before, even with the See it Again section I have on this site. I have numerous drafts of films that I want to share but when I sit and try and write why I think you should give them another chance, unless I have some big, impressive point to make, it feels like I am failing.

Not so with music. I am not sure I said anything that pretends to be insight this week but that does not trouble me. As I have stated I listen to music and I enjoy it, that is where my relationship with music ends. I actively try and create stories and because of this I spend a fair amount of time thinking about the processes – even attempting to study how other people create, and this takes the fun out of trying to write something like a blog post about books or movies.

I plan to work on this though because I love to talk about both so the next logical step would be to try and write about them. As with everything I simply need to change my way of thinking about this matter and then everything will fall into place. This weekly thing might be a bit much though. We shall see.