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by (@unclegrambo)

Is Everclear’s Version Of The Steve Miller Band Classic “The Joker” The Worst Cover Song Ever?

Everclear was one of those bands from the mid-nineties that were all over the radio for a couple of years, then promptly forgotten. They were signed by legendary A&R man Gary Gersh during the great “alternative music” explosion, and scored enough Top 40 hits (“Santa Monica,” “Everything To Everyone,” “I Will Buy You A New Life”) to earn themselves an exemption from being inducted in the dreaded one-hit wonder club. However, once the 2000s rolled around, mainstream audiences largely turned their back on the genre, choosing to spend their disposable income on hip hop and boy bands instead of the grungy bands that rose to prominence in the nineties.

For some reason, Everclear released a new record this week called Return To Santa Monica, which features re-recorded versions of their biggest hits and a handful of covers. This news would’ve entirely evaded me, had I not been poking around on Spotify earlier today and saw it featured in their “What’s New” section. Out of morbid curiosity, I clicked on the album and saw that one of their covers was “The Joker,” the 1973 classic rock staple by the Steve Miller Band (perhaps they were inspired by the chart success of Seal’s 1996 cover of “Fly Like An Eagle”?). I unapologetically love “The Joker,” so I decided to give it a listen. Not the best move I’ve ever made. Rather than putting an interesting musical spin on the pot smoking anthem, it instead features lead singer Art Alexakis speaking in free verse about atrocities he suffered in high school at the hands of jocks and cheerleaders and, in a bizarre turn, also makes reference to his cat tearing out his nipple ring. (!!!)

Now, I’m not saying that this is the worst cover song I’ve ever heard, but I’m also not saying it’s not NOT the worst cover song I’ve ever heard, either. Give it a listen, make up your mind, and let us know if you can think of any covers that are worse than this in the comments below.

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Frankie Lons Prepares “Frankie Leg” Single

The last time Frankie Lons crossed our radar was five months ago, when the Celebrity Rehab 4 cast member was booked by Atlanta police for a probation violation and “drug-related material.” Once her daughter, Keyshia Cole, posted bail, Lons fell off the radar for a bit, and we were a little concerned.

Apparently we needn’t have worried, because Lons attended her biological daughter’s vow-renewal “dream wedding”?and she’s preparing novelty hip-hop dance single “Do The Frankie Leg.” Two weeks ago, footage of Lons previewing the track for Shawty Lo of D4L appeared on WorldStar, and Monday a teaser for the song’s video was posted to YouTube by the song’s producer, T-Storm. In the clip, Lons leads a bunch of kids through her dance, which, in addition to the “Frankie Leg,” features steps such as the “tiptoe,” the “old folks,” and of course “Man down code 10.” Some of the video’s commenters are less than charitable, but we’re happy to see her doing her thing instead of showing up in TMZ’s celebri-blotter. Not to mention that it’s particularly inspired of Lons to riff lyrically on “Stanky Legg,” since her outsized personality is not far removed from that of GS Boyz’s members. (Need proof? Check out the results of a snake infestation at Prince Charming’s house.)
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Justin Bieber Follows Demi Lovato’s Lead, Covers “How To Love”: Who Did It Better?

Young artists, it seems, love Lil Wayne. Hot on the heels of Demi Lovato’s killer rendition of “How To Love” for VH1′s Top 20 Live, Justin Bieber has recorded his own cover of the single, which he shared via Twitter as a “happy birthday” message for the rapper. Bieber’s cover is a studio track, complete with double-tracked and backing vocals and his own guitar and percussion. Even still, Lovato’s cover (which, if you haven’t already seen it, is below) is one heck of a live performance. So we leave it to you: who covered it better?

[Image (except Demi Lovato): Getty Images]

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The True-Life Once Love Story Falls Slowly Apart In Upcoming Swell Season Documentary

After touring the festival circuit, an acclaimed film starring Glen Hansard and Mark?ta Irglov? is set to open next month. Deja vu? Not quite. The big-screen return of the Once co-stars (and Academy Award winners) is in a black-and-white documentary named for their collaboration, The Swell Season. The trailer, embedded above, reveals The Swell Season to be a reflection-in-reverse of Once‘s love story: a no less honest portrayal of Hansard and Irglov? falling out of love. What must have started as a boilerplate pitch about how the duo struggled with their newfound fame and mainstream acceptance became a window into the true-life love story that blossomed from the fictional one in Once, and the couple’s inexorable drift apart. We know how the story ends?Hansard and Irglov? broke up, but remained musical collaborators?but not how they got there. For more, check the sneak peek at Vulture dating from the film’s premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in April.
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Gavin DeGraw’s Sweeter Hits A Sweet #8 On Billboard 200

If, as George Herbert once wrote, “Living well is the best revenge,” we’d say Gavin DeGraw has paid back the unknown assailants who assaulted him last month many times over. We hate to use the assault as a narrative device, but it’s hard not to root especially hard for the singer in light of not only the attack he experienced, but also the extent to which he took it in stride, even as he was forced to drastically alter his promotional schedule for Sweeter, which came out last week.

Well, if August was a difficult month for the singer, September feel particularly vindicating, especially now that Sweeter has debuted at #8 on the Billboard 200. Such a strong first week is a nice feather in DeGraw’s cap as he prepares to kick off a co-headlining tour with David Cook next month. We wonder if he’ll incorporate his cover of “Grenade,” which he performed here at VH1, into his sets. Stay with us for the rest of that Top 20 Live set, coming soon!

[Image: Getty Images]

by (@unclegrambo)

Is Courtney Love The Devil? Urge Overkill’s Eddie “King” Roeser Thinks So

You’re forgiven if you’re feeling a little bit of Nirvana overkill of late, because we’ve been dealing with those same issues in the wake of Nevermind‘s 20th anniversary. However, Urge Overkill‘s Eddie “King” Roeser just shared an incredible story on the band’s official website about the handful of dates back in 1991 when his band opened for Nirvana just as they were beginning to break out in popularity, so we figured it was worth sharing with you. In his blog post, Roeser talks of how, over the course of one week, Kurt, Dave and Krist went from playing a “flat” show in Cleveland to “freaking out” because of the sudden onslaught of “meatheads” that started attending their shows. Roeser describes these gigs as being “easily among the greatest rock shows I have or will ever see,” but the bands ultimately split ways in Kansas. As Roeser tells it…

“Both bands drove through Stull, Kansas, as they wanted to partake of the legendary haunted crossroads celebrated by our song of the same name (we had just released the Stull EP). It was a warm autumn day and Cobain sat down against the huge oak tree by the church and joked ‘If there is a Satan, I want him to come and get me.’ No sh*t, that?s what he said.

Next time I saw him he had married Courtney Love.”

It’s tough to write a kicker that will top Roeser’s slam, so we’ll just leave well enough alone.

It Was 20 Years Ago Today?. [UrgeOverkill.com via Todd Wicks]

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Tuned In: Foo Fighters Team With Roger Waters—Plus Pop Karaoke With Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Dave Grohl has been all over music news lately for his contributions to Nevermind, the Nirvana album that was released twenty years ago this week. So we took a certain bizarre delight in seeing his Foo Fighters on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon yesterday, backing Roger Waters of Pink Floyd for a rendition of “In The Flesh.” We’re not sure whether the collaboration is simply a useful reminder of Grohl’s self-proclaimed rock stalwart status?indicating that despite the generational shift that Nirvana seemed to indicate, the band fits quite snugly in the rock canon?or a nose-thumbing at that very idea, but intentionally or otherwise, the performance was a total riff on nostalgia. And it sounded great! Plus it’s always nice to see that we and Questlove agree that Pat Smear is the best.

If that wasn’t enough riffing, the episode also featured a “karaoke” segment, in which Jimmy Fallon and guest Joseph Gordon-Levitt showcased their impressions of David Bowie and Axl Rose, respectively. Check out their takes on Foster The People, Kelly Clarkson, and Lady Gaga after the jump.
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by (@unclegrambo)

Shocking Audio Reveals That Michael Jackson Was So Drugged Out During His Final Days That He Could Barely Speak

People still haven’t quite gotten over the tragic passing of Michael Jackson a little over two years ago, but now that Dr. Conrad Murray‘s manslaughter trial is underway in California, expect things to get worse before they get better. Prosecuting attorneys are currently in the midst of outlining their case to the jury against Dr. Murray, who was Jackson’s personal physician at the time of his death and had prescribed him the Propofol that he overdosed on. Earlier tonight, we pointed you in the direction of the gruesome MJ autopsy photos that were shown in court today, but now some new evidence that’s just as disturbing, if not as visually graphic, has emerged.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the “emotional high point” of the trial’s first day was the audio recording that we have for you above. The recording, which was captured on May 10, 2009—just six weeks before his death—highlights a Michael Jackson that the public has never been privy to. Gone is the boyish, enthusiastic voice that we all knew and loved; in this audio, it has been replaced by a drug-addled, slurred speech that is wholly unrecognizable as Jackson’s voice. Yet beneath this tragically sad exterior, the passionate heart and competitive spirit of Michael Jackson was still fully alive. “When people leave my [This Is It tour],” he explains, “I want them to say, ‘I’ve never seen nothing like this in my life…He’s the greatest entertainer in the world.” Sadly, he never got the chance to prove that to audiences one last time, but even still, his legacy as the King of Pop will always remain in tact.

Conrad Murray trial off to an emotional start [LAT]

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Last Lap: Tuesday’s Odds And Ends In Music News

Conrad Murray Trial For Manslaughter Of Michael Jackson Begins
The doctor, Michael Jackson‘s personal physician, stands accused of administering a fatal dose of propofol to the singer. Prosecutor David Walgren opened his case by showing the jury a postmortem image of Jackson‘s body on a hospital gurney, which The Smoking Gun already has. The proceeds are being televised and webcast, so expect a lot more rubber-necking coverage like this on gossip sites, especially when Murray’s attorney calls Jackson’s eldest son, 14-year-old Prince, to the stand.

Lil Wayne’s VMAs Stretch-Denim Inspires An AP Trendpiece
The attention-grabbing headline Latest Trend in Hip-Hop: Women’s Clothes disguises a lengthy meditation on the performance of masculinity by none other than celebrity stylist June Ambrose, who’s got a show premiering this winter on VH1. And yes, the piece may refer to Kanye West as “hip-hop’s ultimate metrosexual,” but at least it didn’t misidentify Lil Wayne’s bottoms as “jeggings.” [AP]
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Death Cab For Cutie Salute Long-Lasting Love In “Stay Young, Go Dancing”



Nearly half a year since the band’s highly ambitious single-take “You Are A Tourist” (and four months since their appearance on Storytellers), Death Cab For Cutie are back with another single?Codes and Keys closer “Stay Young, Go Dancing.” When the band performed the song on Storytellers, frontman Ben Gibbard quipped, “I think as a relatively recently married [to Zooey Deschanel, no less] man, I’m allowed one love song.” The Claire Carre-directed, Rob Reiner-meets-Benjamin Button clip that premiered yesterday certainly fits the bill, as an older couple dances barefoot in the grass and reminisces on a life of love and dancing together.

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