VARIOUS ARTISTS: Kind of Funny, Kind of Strange: the only Donnie Darko Companion Tape: CS

Mar 22, 2017

Donnie Darko celebrated fifteen years of being released, and to commemorate, this one hundred copy special edition cassette tape and zine combo came out. My copy arrived with a Post-It Note containing a handwritten declaration: “Seventeen of the world’s foremost cutting edge artists cross the edge and cover songs from the edgiest soundtrack to the edgiest film ever made.” Minimal punctuation, maximum impact. It also came with a tiny magnifying glass that I was puzzled about until I saw the teeny tiny credits on the back. These covers (some multiple) pay homage to the soundtrack that influenced the teen years of some of my friends. Morus Alba’s modern take of Duran Duran’s “Notorious” is really fun, and Free Cake For Every Creature’s cover of “Love Will Tear Us Apart” is a very sweet acoustic rendition of a classic. Other notable covers are Dodge Dirt’s version of “Mad World,” and two covers of Tears For Fear’s “Head Over Heels,” including a really beautiful version with a backing orchestra by Meaner Pencil. This tape is a really cool collector’s item. Bonus points for all proceeds after shipping (and earnings from the digital version) being donated to Black Lives Matter Upstate. –Cynthia Pinedo (Bee Side Cassettes, beesidecassettes.bandcamp.com)

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HAYLEY AND THE CRUSHERS: Vintage Millennial: LP

May 28, 2020
For as many positive things that this release has going for it—a cool cover, sweet looking hot pink vinyl, a sixteen-page zine in lieu of a traditional lyric sheet, production values that hit that elusive sweet spot of sounding really good without sounding overly fancy, a tuneful-yet-punchy sound that lands somewhere between the slick songwriting of the Shivvers and the punkier lunge of the Baby Shakes, fairly faultless playing, a general vibe that the band chiefly aspires to being nothing more nor less than the second coming of Josie And The Pussycats (if Alex and Alan replaced Melody and Valerie)—the single aspect of this package that threatens to define the entire experience for me is their bizarrely censored cover of X’s “Los Angeles.” I mean, first they change a certain line to “she started to hate every sticky old dude.” I mean, I wouldn’t be particularly keen on singing “she started to hate every n***** and Jew” myself these days, so that one’s understandable. But then they change the next line to “and the old man who gave her a lotta spit!” The old man gave her... spit? SPIT? It’s come to this? We’re not gonna swear on punk records? What, are our moms listening? Have we become our moms? Too weird, man. I can’t deal. I lose immersion at that point, and stop thinking about the record, and start thinking about how weird and gross it is that the old man gave her a lot of spit. Social distancing, man! Social distancing! BEST SONG: “Put a Little Action in Ya.” BEST SONG TITLE: “Forever Grom.” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The person who did the inscription in the run-off grooves has really good penmanship. –Rev. Nørb (Eccentric Pop)
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