My fantasy cover versions?
Marilyn Monroe singing “All Tomorrow’s Parties.”
Janis Joplin doing “Fortunate Son.”
Joe Strummer covering “Lodi,” or maybe the Bee Gee’s “I Gotta Get a Message To You.”
Clay Aikin singing an album of “alt”/”retro” 80s tunes: some Psychedelic Furs, Simple Minds, Crowded House, Split Enz and, especially, “Take On Me.”
Billie Holiday singing “Highway to Hell.”
(Before you laugh, play the song and mentally overdub her voice drawling, “My friends are gonna be there too…”)
Shut up, I’m good at this.
I kept thinking, all during that season of American Idol:
“Damn, that kid needs to do ‘Vehicle.’
A million monkeys screeching into a million Karaoke mics couldn’t have come up with that particular pairing.
Why that song?
As you know, his new book is The [Un]documented Mark Steyn. It’s published by Regnery. So Mark thought it might be fun to sing something by a fellow Regnery author. He riffled through The Dinesh D’Souza Songbook and the score for Newt Gingrich’s unproduced Broadway musical, but came up empty. So he went instead with a song by Ted Nugent, author of the Regnery bestsellers Ted, White And Blue and Kill It And Grill It. Click above to hear Mark’s take on Ted’s hard rockin’ classic, “Cat Scratch Fever”.
My mouse hovered over the “play” arrow.
For a long time.
Finally, I assumed the “crash” position and clicked.
Having survived the experience, I can report back:
Do not be afraid!
Steyn’s version is — what a relief — a sort of small jazz-combo arrangement, a bit like those parodic, bass-heavy “beatnik” musical numbers you’ll see in a Jack Arnold, Roger Corman or Frank Tashlin picture.
A touch… Eartha Kitt-ish.
Mark Steyn said that “Cat Scratch Fever” was a request.
So now I’m trying to think of another non-Great American Songbook ditty he should perform.
I scrolled through my iTunes playlist.
“Dream Police” would certainly a great thematic match for Steyn, given his battle with Canada’s Human Rights Commissions.
So would “Bad Reputation.”
A British rock critic once proposed that Frank Sinatra cover Elvis Costello’s “New Lace Sleeves;” could Steyn pull that off?
After I discard the female material, there’s still a lot of “out of the question” stuff on here: “Lump.” “Head Like a Hole.”
OMG: “Brandy”? NO!
How about “Well Respected Man”?
Something by Squeeze, since (a bit like Madness) they combined New Wave with strains of the English music hall?
Does anybody have a Nelson Riddle type arrangement for “I’m Eighteen”?