Gnarls Barkley

The video above was sent to me by a lucky soul whose laudable sense of initiative has resulted in a trip from Richmond to Tampa, Florida for Radiohead’s show at the St. Pete Times Forum on Wednesday. It makes me so happy when I hear about people taking this type of trip. Whether it’s by plane, train, automobile or pimped-out Rascal, schlepping yourself that far to see a band is a beautiful thing, and it definitely gives the people around you a reason to see what all the fuss is about. In this case, she and I are already on the same page. As Joey Tribbiani might say, RADIOHEAD GOOOOD. We were also on the same page yesterday, when she showed me this 2008 video of Gnarls Barkley performing In Rainbows track “Reckoner,” which is to say that neither of us knew exactly what page to be on. There’s a lot to take in. I think the most alarming element of the cover has to be Cee Lo’s intensity, both in terms of the force with which he’s singing and the CRAZY-ASS STARE he exhibits. It’s kind of insane. But then again, shouldn’t every Radiohead song be sung as if you were completely bonkers? The paranoia, anger and confusion call for an off-kilter messenger… possibly someone who has a history of questioning his or her sanity… someone who has shown that he or she has no problem dismissing others’ behavior with extremely sharp language… someone who’s unsure about his or her own reckoning… clearly Cee Lo is just the man for the job! Watch the video of Gnarls Barkley’s cover of “Reckoner” above or listen to the audio below to see if you agree, and snag In Rainbows from iTunes here. And to any of you who are planning to schlep your bones across state lines to see a concert in the near or distant future — I salute you.

Gnarls Barkley — “Reckoner” (Radiohead cover)


Ladies’ Week: Day 2. The Artist: Adele. The Album: 21.

The first time I remember hearing Adele, she was belting out the lyrics of “Rolling in the Deep” over top of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.” Was this the result of a crazy good celebrity sighting while at a karaoke bar in London? Um… no. But I have been to London before! It was lovely. Actually, my cover-loving friend Phill was the one who sent me this mashup made in heaven a few weeks back. Afterwards, it seemed like I saw Adele’s name everywhere (As a side note, I love when people are huge stars on the other side of the Atlantic and I had no idea. It’s like going back hundreds of years to when a friend would have had to sail for months on a clipper ship to hand deliver mp3s of cool mashups to you.), and when a contributor to NPR Music cited “Someone Like You” as one the best songs of the year so far, I knew where to turn next: YouTube. What I found was an impressive performance by a confident, yet human vocalist. It was Adele performing “Someone Like You” at the 2011 Brit Awards, and while her voice is gorgeous, and she is clearly a superstar, she isn’t an every-single-note-is-perfect, who-can-tell-if-she’s-autotuning, singing cyborg like other famous vocalists who shall remain celinedionnameless. Her voice has real soul and personality, and it makes the lyrics sound like they’re coming from the heart, not some faceless songwriter’s pen. Check out the video above for this touching performance of “Someone Like You” to see what I mean, and buy her album 21 on iTunes here. And just for fun, check out that mashup of “Rolling in the Deep” and “Crazy” below.