Friday, April 4, 2008
Cover of the Week – "Baby Got Back" Jonathan Coulton
I'm actually not that big a fan of rap remakes from alternative artists. A classic example: I love Ben Folds, but his take on "Bitches Ain't Shit" from Dr. Dre leaves me completely cold. The irony of putting all those misogynistic lyrics into what sounds like a love song gets old after a few seconds.
But this one from 2005 is just inspired.
Perhaps it's because if you don't know what song it is, it takes you a while to figure it out. That's also what makes it all the more fun. Oh and all the little touches: The a capella opening, the gently plucked banjo and the James Taylor-type mellowness. It's all so incongruous – and so ingenious. It takes a true original to come up with something like this
Shake that butt, indeed.
Play "Baby Got Back" by Jonathan Coulton
Coulton is an interesting cat – a former Yale Whiffenpoof who once programmed computers for a living, Coulton recorded this piece during what was billed as his "Thing a Week" project. From September 2005 to September 2006, he managed to record a different song each week and release it through his web site, jonathancoulton.com
Here's a live acoustic performance of the song. I've got to say that I miss the extra bluegrass touches, as well as the singing monks in the background. (The audience does its best to address the latter shortcoming) It gives you a better sense of a guy worth getting to know better.