Craigums’ LoveSong of the Month
Oh my, these again?
Back in the early 00’s I used this page as a repository for cover songs I’d recorded while trying to learn how to use my 4-track. Some of my attempts at homage were passable and even led to some cool opportunities (like doing an album with the Australian juggernaut NEPTUNE POWER FEDERATION, or being asked to join this 80's tribute band.) Other SOTM’s were tunes that I recorded for use as air guitar shenanigans [Like a Virgin (#48)], or as excuses to learn particularly yummy bass lines [Barney Miller (#42), Entertainment Tonight (#40), or Diff’rent Strokes (#44)]. But most were just laughable imitations of the original meant only to keep myself busy. And then, in 2009, I moved and lost interest and that was that.
Fast forward to now, the year of our lord and of our social distancing, 2020, and I gotta whole new studio full of fancy lights and buttons and knobs… and no band to utilize it. So until Bradley gets his electric drums set up in his new Atlanta home and The Love Songs can resume practicing like a real band (who also live 3,000 miles apart), I’m back with these SOTM’s!
– Craigums, Ashland OR, April 2020
56. A House Is Not a Motel
This one is for my dad’s birthday. He’s a big fan of Arhtur Lee and Love, and he’s also a fan of his grandkids.
55. Love and Pride
We tried to redo an 80's synth song without using any synths, but fear not for we overcompensated with delays, choruses, flangers, reverbs, a hairdryer, and *TWO* Floyd Rose tremolo systems. "We" includes Salem (left), and Rick Silvestri (right), whom I describe in great detail here and with whom I also did THIS.
54. Positive Aspect of Negative Thinking
If you ever see Bad Religion on Words With Friends - RUN.
53. Leave It Alone
I'm still sheltering-in-place but since Squeaky is also sheltering-in-place we decided to shelter-in-place together, apart.
52. Angel or Devil
Huh, it has only been 11 years since I last made one of these. Hopefully at least the production value has benefitted.
51. Dragstrip Riot
I think I’m gonna stop doing these LSOTMs. I’ve done 51 of them (many more, actually) and yet Love Songs have written maybe 2 original songs in the last year. Where are my priorities? On top of that, this cover doesn’t hold a candle to the original so why bother? Maybe I'm bored, or maybe I just feel silly for singing "baby" 12 times in this song. Either way I’m signing off for a while…
50. Born Toulouse-Latreac
The New Bomb Turks are a standard by which all rock bands should be judged. High energy, witty, catchy, aggressive, soulful, intense… and that’s just the singer! I once saw him diffuse a fight between a biker and a guy who had just punched a girl in the head. The singer, decked out in leather loafers and tight black pants, sauntered over to the knuckleheads and told them that we were all there to love, not fight. Then he wiped his ’love’ (sweat) all over the two guys’ faces. Love prevailed for at least another song before one of the guys ended up throwing a chair through a window. The point is, you gotta be 100% confident in your rock element to dangle yourself over that shark tank.
49. Good Times
We might be more productive once we find a bass player, but untill then you get a TV theme song every 14 months.
48. Like A Virgin
I know it has been a while but I have a plausible excuse - the life of a J-level celebrity eats up a lot of time. Case in point - Virgin Air was planning to launch a new flight leg from LAX to Seattle last week, and who better to help ring this in but some air guitarists? Get it? Virgin Air = virgins (air guitarists)? (I guess there is also the Virgin Air - air guitar correlation…) With 36 hours to do it, I recorded a ’rock’ version of Like A Virgin for the event. Get it? Virgin Air = Like A Virgin? I was too sick to sing it so I enlisted Jack’s early morning pre-coffee voice and what we came up with was more than ’rock’, it was ’abrasive.’
In the end I never even performed the song but instead served on a Battle of the Bands' *celebrity panel of judges* including Jerry Harrison (Modern Lovers, Talking Heads), The Donnas, Cisco Adler (best known for having sex with Paris Hilton), the CEO of Virgin Air America, and my cohort Dreamcatcher. How did real musicians take being judged by air guitarists? My only criticism towards one of the bands was something about how only Celine Dion was allowed to put her finger in her ear when singing, but that if he wanted to be like Celine I couldn’t stop him. He didn’t like that but that’s what you get when you sign up for a Battle of the Bands. I can’t remember much after that thanks to the open bar but I do have a vague recollection of everyone making fun of Thurston Moore (also in attendance) for being 50 and having to get a rectal exam. And someone kept yelling "rectal exam!" all night and I was surprised and confused that it wasn’t me.
47. Let’s Hear It For Love (Songs)
I’m pretty sure this is not about the singer’s undying love for his lord and savior Jesus Christ.
46. Stealing People’s Mail
So how much mail did they actually think they could steal on a Friday night?
July & August 2007
45. Maybe this is why Seth moved?
This will count as two months worth of SOTMs because it is 3 songs and, like, 8 minutes long. FYI: songs 2 and 3 feature Nekro (aka Boom Boom Kid, aka Carlito). Did I mention that we’re still looking for a bass player?
44. Diff’rent Strokes
Fun fact: I can accurately sing along to nearly every song on the 3-volume TV Theme Songs CDs without having to look up the words online.
43. Beef Bologna
Anybody remember when Lee Ving was Angela’s love interest on Who’s The Boss? Another 10 points to Slytherin if someone can tell me what the real opening lyrics to this song are because I could never figure it out. (Thanks for Jack’s help!)
41. Kill The Poor
Not surprisingly, 12 year old me didn't first get the irony in songs like this. I just liked the shock and offense of it all. Who knew there was a deeper message?! Following that logic I wonder what The Exploited were trying to say with their seven-minute epic battle cry "Sex and Violence" where the only lyrics (for seven minutes) are "sex and violence"?
40. That’s Entertainment Tonight
John Tesh wrote this fucking absolute banger.
39. Pretty Pathetic
Happy 2007, foos! True to their word this Smoking Popes song is possibly the most pathetic song ever.
38. Mustache Uber Alles
Happy Birthday, Mary.
37.1 Behind Enemy Rhyme
A cover song of us! "When Bryan and I discovered that Behind Enemy Lines had the same chord progression as a certain rap/metal band’s song - we decided to kick it old school and come up with some Craig "MSG" Billmeier Deadbeatnicks era goodness. She’s moving to Long Beach, not Utah. Any similarity to Linkin Park is, like, TOTALLY intentional. I present to you: BEHIND ENEMY RHYMEZ" - Danny Angel
37. Add It Up
This comes from what I consider the Golden Age of alternative music (then called "modern rock"). Back when you could be a hit band even though you consisted of: a drummer with one cymbal and a snare drum (and nothing else, not even a seat), an acoustic guitar, and an acoustic bass; and a sissy singer fronting a band whose bandname epitomizes Love Song’s ’hard and soft’ approach to music - The Violent Femmes.
36. Put Your Clothes Back On
Even though Danzig casts the shortest of shadows Bobby Steele still managed to move out of it and into even deeper obscurity. He still kept up with the gothic horror image but his music rarely reflected it. Case in point: this song. Actually, this could easily have a been a MISFITS song if Danzig sung it and changed the words to something like "Sew your hands back on" or "Put your corpse paint on".
35. God's Guts
God’s Guts were a band from Japan in the early 90's who borrowed heavily from Hüsker Dü. Jun, their bass player, used to be in the insanely skate-tastic band Spitfire back in the early 80’s then he started this band (before going on to form the U-G Men). If you like any of those bands chances are you aren’t visiting this site, but I assure you all three of those bands kicked so much ass.
I have no idea what the words are to this song so I delivered a loose interpretation, and in the same drunken manner as the original. I think it’s about broken records but Danny B seems to think it is about getting a new parking space. I don’t even know what the name of the song is to be perfectly honest! I played it for Jun and he was beside himself with laughter.
34. Suit And Tie Guy
Back in high school my friend Paul and I spent hours/days/weeks playing this song before eventually debuting it at a church in Concord, the city dirty enough to bring you Anal Mucus. Paul even figured out the solo - and we were only 15! Jaws were not dropped, noise ordinances were not broken, and pits were not summonsed and urged in a circular formation. HOWEVER, capitalizing on the christian youth market, we played in another church in Pleasanton and kids started moshing and eventually ripped a pew out of the floor. I have since seen unthinkably more dangerous things happen at shows, but it was still funny at the time.
33. River Of Jordan
During one of the many late-night This Is My Fist sessions Annie and I thought it would be a good idea to record this. She ended up scrapping all her solo stuff so this may be the closest anyone gets to hearing her songs.
32. Valerie Loves Me
If you knew it was Material Issue who wrote this song chances are you were called a new wave queer at some time or another, and you probably had an oversized paisley button-up shirt that smelled like pot and Drakkar Noir.
31. No New Tale To Tell
If I'm not mistaken this is one of the earliest AltRock songs to employ the soft-verse/buzzsaw-chorus technique that became the staple for bands like the Pixies and Nirvana.
30. Anything Goes
Damn, this song is sleazy. The riffs are compulsively hip-gyrate-y, the groove is like dirty sex, and the lyrics are what a 7th grader thinks porn is. If we got Jackson to write more songs I bet they’d come out more like this.
September 200529. Stickfish
DIY 4-tracking in memory of one of the greatest DIY 4-trackers of my time - Matty Luv. If you haven’t already, visit mattyluv.com and download everything. Everything.
28. My Michelle
The chord progression in the chorus of this song can easily be swapped with Your Mother’s "Purpose" and Fugazi’s "Waiting Room." Three different genres bound together by the beauty of your basic 3-chord progression. The simplicity of it all brings a tear to my eye while listening to me sing this brings a knot to my stomach.
27. I’m Not A Punk
So it turns out that the chorus for this song is not "I’ve got square underwear".
26. Up The Junction
While my version is slowed down you should check out Lawnmower Deth’s version (available on the same album as their cover of Kim Wilde’s "We’re The Kids In America").
25. It’s So Easy
What’s not so easy is trying to sing like Axl Rose.
Many years ago I was in a Descendents cover band called Coverage. Get it?
OK, true, I am from the West Coast (even born in Hollywood!) but I have no strut. I don’t smoke or drink gasoline. I have a suitcase but instead of being made of rattlesnake it has the Care Bears screened on it .I am neither mean nor machine, and unless your motor is a 10-speed chain sprocket I probably can’t make it hum. But I am one bad mutha when it comes to playing the cowbell.
22. From Pit to Grave
I took some liberties with the lyrics because being 25 wasn’t exactly relevant to me. I don’t remember what I changed it to but I think "wearing the same ideals as 10 years ago" is now "wearing the same clothes as 15 years ago."
21. Kabuki Girl
I find comfort in knowing that the Descendents came from the same SoCal hardcore scene as Black Flag and the Circle Jerks. Love Songs has played it’s share of mismatched bills but the challenge of playing those shows - and not having everyone leave while you play, or without getting beat up - is a fun one.
Okay, you got me… I thought that by playing fast, distorted, poppy music about girls and farts and balls and stuff that nobody would notice that I liked the Descendents.
Thanks to Mic Mucus for helping me translate one of the best songs from one of the best bands I’ve ever seen – FUN PEOPLE from Argentina.
18. No Reason
I mean, Minor Threat was kind of the best, right?
17. All Outta Love
Another nod to Australia’s renowned rock heritage. If this shit don’t make you fuckers mosh then I’m at a loss. Jack says this was worth missing a month for.
15. I Want to Be a Homosexual
I hear the snide murmurs from the punk rockers about how Love Songs is "all softie crap about girls." Well fellas, here’s a little something to prove you otherwise.
14. King Contrary Man
Dude, so simple but so FULL OF ROCK. I highly recommend you go pick up The Cult’s "Electric" yesterday.
I first heard this Toadies song when I lived in California and my then-girlfriend lived in Florida. The closing refrain "I will be with her tonight" helped ease me to sleep on many a lonely night. As did a handful of fantasies and socks.
12. Search and Destory
I know it’s a cliche punk standard but a good song is a good song. (Hopefully) Even when I do it. And as a side note, what the fuck were the Stooges thinking when they mixed Raw Power?! Wasn’t there at least one person in the studio paying attention?
11. Bad Fun
For an English band that started as a goth new wave group (aka Southern Death Cult) their third album as The Cult ("Electric") seriously captured the essence and simplicity of PURE ROCK.
10. I Come From The Water
The Toadies often sang about god and heaven, and many of their songs had a hands-in-the-air / gospel-like quality to them, but despite that they still believed in the theory of evolution. Thank gosh.
I did this song because I thought making Tenacious D’s acoustic original version into a full-blown electric rock song would make it that much better. Then I heard Anthrax did it too and realized I could never live up to anything Scott Ian played. Then a year later The D themselves did it ‘plugged’ on their CD, thereby rendering this version a bad 4-track high school garage band version. Probably not worth adding but sometimes it’s good and humbling to admit to your weaknesses.
8. 10:15 Saturday Night
Okay, okay, last Cure song, I promise. For a while at least…
I don’t know about other parts of the world but for some unknown reason the Toadies never caught on in the Bay Area. Maybe it’s because most of their songs are in 3/6 time and so it’s sometimes hard to catch their groove. Ha! Like I could possibly catch a groove… that’s rich … <sigh>
6. I Want You Back
Australian bands rarely get the accolades they deserve, unless some American band rips them off first. For example, WASP wouldn’t be squat without bands like Rose Tattoo forging the path. Similarly, Guadalcanal Diary owed a lot to the Hoodoo Gurus, and that's one to grow on.
5. Three Imaginary Boys
Yeah, yeah, yeah…another Cure song, I know.
4. Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before
If you thought I was a ninny for doing Cure covers what does a Smiths cover make me? C’mon though, these lyrics are far from ninny: I crashed down on the crossbar/And the pain was enough to make a shy, bald Buddhist reflect/And plan a mass murder. Brilliant!
3. Jumping Someone Else’s Train
The Cure wrote such totally rulin’ songs, and they had such totally rad lyrics. This one was about how everybody is a poser. What better way for me to celebrate what a poser I am than by trying to mimic their song?
This is an All You Can Eat song written about Bill. Bill is simultaneously the most low-key and the most hi-jinx-prone person I know. He was The Probe’s Man of the Year one year – and for good reason! Even at the age of 33 he won’t back down from any proposed shenanigan no matter how ludicrous or dangerous or alcoholic.
1. Man Inside My Mouth
Jack was a little beside himself when he realized this song was by The Cure. See, Jack doesn’t like The Cure and would never knowingly admit to it if he did. But he unwittingly told me he liked this song and really, if just one more person likes The Cure after hearing this, the world will be a fruitier place. Pete-sa helped me make chicken noises on this song.