There are a few things in life that can always be counted on. It is a relatively short list but that is okay. That is what makes them special. Here are just a few of them:
- A simple text message can make me smile all day.
- Dino will make me laugh in three minutes or less of us seeing each other.
- Derek Jeter will ______ (fill in the blank as he is amazing at damn near everything).
- No matter how far away or how long we go without talking Todd and Robin are two of the best friends I've got ...no matter how much we drive each other crazy.
- And the subject of tonight's posting...Everclear will always put out a kick ass album! Oh how I love me some Everclear! (The band not the liquor which has done more damage to me than any other drink to date.) So let's talk about their latest album and why it totally rocks!
It is called "The Vegas Years" which is awesome because it makes me feel like I have something in common with Art and the boys. The album is a collection of the band's favorite covers and you know what a sucker I am for covers. It is essential for any fan of the band and here are a few of the reasons why.
- Their cover of Hall and Oates "Rich Girl" is far better than the original. Not anyone with any taste in music will respond to this statement by saying that achieving this wouldn't be hard because the original is LAME! Point taken but the reason that is works for me is because the band has managed to turn a shit song into a pretty damn good one. That in itself is commendable no matter what your music taste.
- Their live version of their cover of "Brown Eyed Girl". A previous posting talks about why I love this version. To recap...it borrows from the Van Morrison original but the band puts their own spin on it but talking about the memories that this song inspires. So it rocks. But hearing it live (or more accurately...to hear the live version of it) takes it to a new level. I can imagine hearing it in concert and that makes the mind wonder to a night that will never happen but is a great feeling nonetheless.
- Their live version of "867-5309". This song is impossible to hate to begin with so it has an advantage from the start. Everclear plays it well and makes me want to sing aloud with them. I have said it before and will said it again...Art is one of the best alternative vocalists ever. There I said it. (x2 Andrew!)
Their cover of Tom Petty's American Girl. This was a brave move by the boys of Everclear as no band has ever been able to achieve the greatest that Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers did with this song. I won't say that they reached that level with their take but they came closer than any other version that I have ever heard. This song confirmed to me that Everclear is the best band at paying respect to the great songs in music. If you only download one song of this album...it should be this one.
The best song on the album...their cover of Woody Guthries "This Land is My Land". OK I know how lame this sounds but hear me out. Unless you are completely cold-hearted...you cannot be an American and not know the words to this song. I have loved it since I was kid but let's face it...it isn't exactly a rocking song. Well Everclear fixed that with this version. They didn't take it too far but far enough that the average alternative nut won't feel like an ass for listening to it with the car windows down.
In addition to these outstanding covers the album overs Everclear's take on songs from other musical greats such as Yaz, Cheap Trick, Neil Young, and my only complaint of the album...The Go-Gos. (WTF man?)
Oh Everclear...what a wonderful gift to give to a long time fan like me! By far the best album I have bought in a long time!
What the hell...let's have a shout out to Everclear the Alcohol. I won't touch it now but it was once my liquor of choice as it often got me kicked out of class and never once gave me a hangover.