Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cover Lover: High School Musical Edition

Waterford's alumni dinner was last night. That must be the reason for my recent case of nostalgia. I didn't actually go to the dinner though. Must have been there in spirit, I guess. In honor of 5 years out of high school,  here are some of my favorite songs from that period in my life. BUT THERE IS A TWIST! These are all cover versions. "Clever Gretchen," that's what they call me.

1. The Strokes "Reptilia," as interpreted by Punch Brothers

I've been obsessed with Punch Brothers as of late. OBSESSED. Their cd, Antifogmatic, has been in nonstop rotation. THEYARECOMINGTOUTAHINMARCHANDIAMSOEXCITED!!!! You can get tickets.

2. The Strokes "Last Nite," as interpreted by Adele

Obviously, I am in love with The Strokes. Every single Stroke. But especially Julian Casablancas. He is my favorite Stroke. He collaborates with cool people like Danger Mouse. I don't know much about Adele, but she is cool too. I actually like her interpretation better than the original (!). She won best new artist last year.

3. The Shins "New Slang," as interpreted by Iron Horse

I am also, obviously, on a bluegrass kick. YEEEHAAAAWWW.
Thank you Gilmore Girls. I found out about The Shins through their soundtrack, so I felt pretentiously ahead of the curve when the shins/gradenstate explosion happened. When I went to their concert at the U, I felt underwhelmed. I wish I had been cool enough to hear them play at Kilby Court in 2003. That would have been ideal.

4. Wilco "Jesus Etc.," as interpreted by Norah Jones

This song is always great.

5. Justin Timberlake "Cry Me a River," as interpreted by Glen Hansard of The Swell Season


6. Keane "Everybody's Changing," as interpreted by Lily Allen

I lost "Hopes and Fears," and have yet to replace it. Tragedy. I reallyreally liked that album.

7. Bloc Party "Banquet," as interpreted by Slowbear the Great

Oh my goodness. Do you remember when Bloc Party happened? That was a big deal. I think it is cool that even though this song was released over 5 years ago, it is still totally relevant.

8. Elliott Smith "Between the Bars," as interpreted by Madeleine Peyroux

The video makes me a bit disoriented, so you might want to close your eyes while you listen. This is the song that I found by serendipitous chance when I was 14 as a free download on Amazon. I was hooked on Elliott Smith ever since.

9. Sondre Lerche "Two Way Monologue" as interpreted by... Sondre Lerche

This is cheating, I know. But I felt like Sondre Lerche needed to be included. And in the video he IS kind of covering himself, right? I went on  trip to Europe with my high school, and I kept seeing posters of this guy all over the subways in France? Italy? I don't remember where. And then I came back to the states, and went to Arizona, and my cousin Lucia showed him to me. And then I came home to Salt Lake, and my friend Ingrid reintroduced me to him (she is Norwegian after all).
It was January of 2008, middle of the Sundance film festival. I had just received my mission call two weeks previous, so every minute felt like the-last-time-I-would-get-to-do-anything-ever. In that spirit, Ingrid and I decided to go to Park City to try and see Sondre Lerche who was scheduled to perform at the Music Cafe on main. He had recently been featured in "Dan in Real Life," so that's why he was there.
Never mind the fact we didn't have credentials.
Never mind the fact that I wasn't 21 yet.
It was a miracle every step of the way.
Parking is usually difficult during the festival, but we found a parking spot right away, even though it was far. We cautiously navigated through slushy streets, when a fancy black car pulled up alongside us. The driver offered to give us a ride.
1st moral of the story: ALWAYS accept rides form strangers.
We got in. Our chauffeur was obviously "not from around these parts," and he assumed we were from out of state as well. He was wearing LEATHER pant. Really. And spiky hair, stiffly gelled, bleached at the tips. He was probably older than my dad, weird. He railed against the "****ing cold" and the "****snow," but we appreciated his help regardless.
Finally we made it to the cafe. We had our plan laid out before hand. Ingrid had her Norwegian birth certificate, so she would use that as her I.D. and feign lack of proficiency in English. I would sort of try to get in on her coat tails. I left my drivers licence in the car so that I could truthfully say I "didn't have my i.d." without admitting the fact I was underage anyway. At the door, the bouncer looked at Ingrid's passport.
"So, you're from Norway?"
"Yah," she said. Her expression: blank.
2nd moral of the story: When in doubt, pretend like you don't speak English.

He let her in.
I fumbled; too slow.
I told him I forgot my ID. I told him I didn't have credentials. He wouldn't let me in.
I waited.
Meanwhile, Ingrid was inside. She called me a couple times trying to figure out what we were going to do.
"Oh wait!" she said. "I see Sondre! I'll ask him for help."
She speaks Norwegian, so they had a nice chat. She says he was very friendly. He actually went and talked to his manager to see if there was anything he could do. But Patti Smith was playing after him, so there was already a line of 50 people that actually had credentials that they were not letting in. So he couldn't really help.
Ingrid told me she was going to come out because I couldn't get in. I didn't want her to miss the show, so I told her to wait; I would figure something out.
I left my spot as first in line, and walked down the block, trying to find a way to the back of the club. Success!
I found the back door, surrounded by chilly smokers. We chatted. I told them I was waiting for a friend. Then these guys walked outside:

They are rappers featured in the documentary "Slingshot Hip Hop".

 Apparently they had just finished playing their set. They asked me what I was doing standing in the cold; I told them I was waiting for a friend to help me get in. They smiled and said not to worry about it.
"You can come in with us."
I tried to act nonchalant as we walked in, sure that someone would stop me and send me back out; but my new friends were a good cover.
3rd moral of the story: A Palestinian entourage equals instant credibility.

Ingrid was surprised to see me. So we got to see Sondre play! It was great. Here is a video of part of his performance:

That's that.
Hope you enjoyed my blast from the past.

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