Recently in my ears
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Mashrou' Leila are an alt-rock band out of Lebanon known for their social and political satire. This is their version of Gorillaz' Clint Eastwood, retitled "This Is Our Revolution." At the 3:57 mark, it is clear that though they sing in Arabic, English is useful for swearing.
You can download "This Is Our Revolution" from the band's website.
The band's big breakout hit, "Raksit Leila," has a video that is too adorable to ignore.
It's from their self-titled debut album.
A nifty interactive and satirically commercial, while being actually commercial, new music video for Devo's "What We Do," from their recent and underrated Something For Everybody:
Interact, click & drag around to be financially exploited!
It strikes me as a bit odd that I have yet to post anything from Dolapdere Big Gang. Their whole deal is doing western pop music, but with traditional Turkish influences and instrumentation (including the law) - fairly appropriate considering what a cultural keystone the region is.
Here they are doing the "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," which was written by Bennie Benjamin, Gloria Caldwell and Sol Marcus for Nina Simone but you are probably more familiar with The Animals version.
This almost never happens when I ride the bus.
Since I've kept Dolapdere Big Gang to myself for so long, I'll make up for it by including a second song. Here's their version of Deep Purple's "Smoke On The Water."
It's on their first album, Local Strangers, the songs for which were chosen by their label.
The songs on their third album, Art-İst, were chosen by the band. I'm looking forward to their next release, since word is that it will be at least primarily original compositions.
I can't remember when I found out Love & Rockets version of Ball of Confusion was a cover, but I can assure you that it was shamefully recent.
It made no sense - I couldn't imagine it being done by anyone else with that kind of definition and angst; I especially couldn't have imagined it being done by the same folks that recorded such sweetly naive tracks as "My Girl" and "The Way You Do The Things You Do."
Upon actually hearing the original Temptations version?
What a weak shadow of a song Love & Rockets recorded. From the opening funk bassline, tightly followed by those dissonant sounds, clearly reflecting what the lyrics were saying abut society. This was strong, it was mighty. The intensity of this presentation said so much more that the simple, non-specific complaint recorded by Love & Rockets did. This was accusatory. It didn't simply level the charges against something as vague as society, so that I could lamely agree, "yeah, society sucks!"
It accused us. Me. Why was I not doing something? Yeah, why not? Ah, but the the Temptations agree with me there. The song doesn't just accuse, it is frustrated. With the same lyrics, it doesn't just express frustration, the song itself sounds frustrated, helpless - but not giving up.