Pillar Two: Music

It’s time to focus a bit on music.


I’ve posted quite a bit about art since creating this blog, and as told I have four chief areas of interest, particularly since November 2016:

and Beauty.

It’s time to focus a bit on music.

/everyone leaves

I have something of a guilty pleasure, and no, “Kardashian” does not have anything to do with it.

I like to look up songs on YouTube with the search term “cover” to see/hear what people are doing to popular (and obscure, because I’m me) tunes. Some of it gets samey, but I do find gems here and there and wanted to take a moment to recognize some of the standouts.

  1. “Walking on a Dream” (Empire of the Sun cover) by MREE

Speaking of samey, I’ll start off with MREE, which seems to be an indie/bedroom studio solo (?) project.


I say “samey” because her/their other videos sonically/conceptually ran together. But as for this, a YouTube comment actually nails it:

I’ve got this blanket that my dad gave me, it’s fake fur and huge, warm and comforting. This cover is the tune equivalent of that blanket.

2. “Planet Earth” (Duran Duran cover) by Kyle Richards, et al

Speaking of bedroom projects (hey now), Kyle Richards and friends got together and cranked out “Planet Earth” by Duran Duran.


Did they nail it? I think they nailed it! Also: DD nolstalgia interlaced with the performances. They’ve got everything in this mall.

3. “Taralgate (Soul of Morocco)” by OUM

Sike! Not a cover, but had to share. I [heart] desert music and this is right up there.


I was trying to find Moroccan-themed music for a video I was producing during late summer 2016 and while I didn’t use this music I have it in my “when I need a pick-me-up” video playlist.

4. “YYZ” (Rush cover) by Jackson Ward, et al

Speaking of nailing it, such as I did 2 videos ago, Jackson Ward and his friends decided (apparently) that the only thing better than actual “YYZ” by Rush is “YYZ” performed by (apparent) teenagers. Who [effing] ROCK.


Winning YouTube quote for the win, which is winning:

I’m literally in tears because I want that kit so bad!! I was 4 when they first started selling them and have been staring at the (Discontinued) notification on the product info for the past 12 years

4. “Red Skies” (The Fixx cover) by Eruption

As a huge Fixx fan from Back When, I a) appreciate that they covered something other than “One Thing Leads to Another” and b) put effort into it. /hat tip


The Fixx were reliable for way overdoing it with the studio production, so trying to simulate the whole overtracked “red skies at night” bit around the 3:15 mark scored the “like” from me.

5. “Formentera Lady” (King Crimson cover) by Colin Barley

True story: While everyone else was listening to whatever was on the Top 40 charts back in 1987, I was… doing that too, but, also listening to cassettes galore of King Crimson. Someone put my headphones on and yanked them off asking “[WTF] is this hearing test?!” (“Lizard” by King Crimson.)

So… I really, really like the lovin’ that Colin Barley gives to this gem from “Islands”, which, no lie, got played to literal death on vinyl, cassette, and any other medium I could lay hands on. (The whole album that is.)


YouTube comment-redeeming comment is redeeming:

Came in here, expecting a crappy cover from just another youtube guy w a guitar. What i got was a beautiful piece, with wonderful guitar work. you play with such ease that i could only dream of. Furthermore, your singing is on par as well. Bravo Sir

Bravo, indeed.

6. “Kalimando/Alegria Medley” (Cirque do Soleil cover) by Geneviève RB & Alain Barbeau

Hold on, I am a bleary mess after previewing this video.

/regains composure

First the video, then the story behind why I am a wreck:


As mentioned before, I was mightily depressed last year, and part of my coping mechanism was to cast about for things that made me happy. “Kalimando” fit the bill. Honestly, the lyrics are utter nonsense (it’s called “Cirqueish”) and yet there is truth in it.

I deeply feel a message that lies beneath the nonsense: Something has filled me and replaced the emptiness with an overwhelming sense of “everything is going to be okay”. And if it isn’t, well, it’s a beautiful mess, whatever it is.

Breaking it up with “Alegria” was a nice touch, which is sung not nonsensically but very convincingly.

7. “Fall in Love” (Phantogram cover) by The Last Year

I used to get pissy about made-up “music” like the sorts of things that Phantogram creates, but as I get older and wiser I actually appreciate how they stitch together various samples and whatnot and lay actual singing over the top of it to create sonic bliss.

Note: To be fair, the pissiness was directed at “Steal My Sunshine” “by” “Len”.

The Last Year goes the other direction and plays actual instruments, with fake… I mean actual singing on top. (Technically, smack dab in the middle of it.) Like so:


YouTube commentary:

Joni Mitchell with blue hair you sound great!

She does!


Did you see/hear anything you like? Don’t tell me… tell THEM!

Author: Ethan Johnson

Words like silent raindrops.

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