Sunday, April 22, 2012

Cover Songs That Are Better Than The Original

I like cover songs. Sometimes I like the covered version better than the original. Like Casey James singing John Lennon's "Jealous Guy" on American Idol:

Just him and his guitar, and it was such an honest version. Such vulnerability open for the world to see is rare. Lennon struck that note as well, but I got the feeling that Casey was about to break down, whereas Lennon almost seems proud of his jealousy.

I also love Mika's totally fun, live version of the Eurythmic's "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These)":

If you're surprised that I'm a huge Mika fan, you do not know me very well.

And despite being an even bigger MJ fan, I love the spunkiness of Alien Ant Farm's cover of "Smooth Criminal":

Lately, I've been working on a private project, just for myself, in which I tie the roots of early blues to later rock and roll, making connections that are not always openly acknowledged. Everyone from Led Zeppelin to Nirvana to punk bands to country singers have covered stuff by Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Willie Johnson, and, most notably, Lead Belly. CCR's "Midnight Special" is a direct lift:

One of the few times I like the cover more than the original Lead Belly. 

If you've got favorite cover songs, leave a link. 

On an unrelated note, B says the last song he would choose to hear before dying is Prince's "Purple Rain." Dude. That is so epic. I don't think I can choose one for myself that is more righteous. And I been thinking about this for a week.

So, if you know what song you'd like to hear last before kicking it, let me know. 

PS I know it's "I've been thinking..." but sometimes I write like I talk, which is pretty much loaded with slang, like I'm a kid from the projects instead of a middle class white girl from Connecticut.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Fox is Black

It's been a while since I checked out The Fox is Black, except for following the occasional link via his Twitter account. First, I was bowled over by the redesign, and then I lost an hour, going through every post I've missed. Loves:

this lamp:

this (somewhat disturbing) photography -- check out the fourth one, esp. Double-exposures of nature and female models with an underlying beauty that is quite timely


this re-covered entry for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (but make sure to check out all the re-covered contests that TFIB runs; the Jane Eyre and Wizard of Oz contest were terrific)

Alice Donadoni really hit the nail on the head with an untraditional and unexpected entry that has old fashioned textbook appeal.

In particular, this cover of Arcade Fire's "Suburbs" by Mr. Little Jeans has been on repeat since I listened to it half an hour ago. Somewhat urgent despite the dreamy, gorgeous lyrical style, I just love it.

Suburbs by Mr Little Jeans

Listen, listen, listen.

If you haven't heard of TFIB before, seriously, go take a look around. Bobby Solomon loves design in all aspects of life, and it shows.

What? I should be writing? All right then...

Monday, April 16, 2012

Richard Godwin's Mr. Glamour--now out!

Lily's Friday Prediction will be closing its doors. As a writing exercise and community-builder, it's fostered the dreams of many for over two years. Lily has been a gracious and kind host, and it will be missed. If you want to get in on the last few Predictions and be a part of it, I suggest you check it out now.


As you probably have already heard -- aren't I always last to the party? -- Richard Godwin's new novel, Mr. Glamour, is now out:

MR. GLAMOUR, Richard Godwin. Designer goods, beautiful women, wealthy men, a lifestyle preyed on by a serial killer.

A killer who is watching everyone, including the police.

Something dark is preying on the glitz of the glamour set.

The killer knows all about design, he knows what brands mean to his victims. He is branding their skins. And he has the police stumped. As Flare and Steele investigate the killings, they enter an exclusive world with its own rules and quickly realise the man they are looking for is playing a game with them, a game they cannot interpret. The killer is targeting an exclusive group of people he seems to know a lot about.

The police investigation isn’t helped by the fact that Flare and Steele have troubled lives. Harlan White, a pimp who got on the wrong side of Flare, is planning to have him killed. And Steele has secrets. She leads a double life. She is an interesting woman who pushes her sexual boundaries in private. She travels a journey into her own past and rescues herself. And in a strange way she is helped by the killer she is looking for. And Flare has some revelations in store.

As they try to catch a predator who has climbed inside their heads, they find themselves up against a wall of secrecy. The investigation drives Flare and Steele to acts of darkness. And the killer is watching everyone.

Contrasting this lifestyle is the suburban existence of Gertrude Miller, who acts out strange rituals, trapped in a sterile marriage to husband Ben. She cleans compulsively and seems to be hiding something from him, obsessed that she is being followed. As she slips into a psychosis, characters from the glamorous set stray into Gertrude’s world. And when Flare and Steele make an arrest, they discover there is far more to this glamorous world than they realised.

It is already picking up some great reviews. Advance praise for Mr. Glamour:

“Richard Godwin knows how his characters dress, what they drink and what they drive. He knows how they live--- and how they die. Here's hoping no one recognized themselves in Godwin's cold canvas. Combines the fun of a good story with the joy of witty, vivid writing.”
Heywood Gould, author of The Serial Killer's Daughter.

“Smart, scary, suspenseful enough for me to keep the light on until 3AM on a Sunday night, Richard Godwin once more proves to fans of crime fiction the world over with Mr. Glamour, that he is not only one of the best contemporary writers of the procedural cop thriller around today, he is a master storyteller.”
Vincent Zandri, author of Scream Catcher.

“Richard Godwin’s top-of-the-line psychological police procedural driven by its heady pace, steely dialogue, and unsparing vision transfixes the reader from page one.” Ed Lynskey, author of Skin In The Game.

“Mr. Glamour is a striking effort from one of the most daring crime writers in the business. It is the noirest of noir...and hellishly addictive.” Mike Stafford, BookGeeks Magazine.

“This first rate detective thriller will have you gripped from the start. Richard Godwin is an author not to be missed.” Sheila Quigley Author of Thorn In My Side.

Mr. Glamour can be bought now at,, at all good retailers online and in stores in April. And you can find out more about Richard at his website