An Observation Concerning… Boring Covers.

“And cover me, Cause I’ve been branded, I’ve lost my mind.”
-Candlebox, “Cover Me”

I’m a strong supporter of cover songs because usually – usually – bands either put a unique twist on a classic or sometimes make the original a little better with a new sound. I could provide you with a list, but it could go on for a while – feel free to leave a comment if you want some rockin’ suggestions.

Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies make their living off their ska versions of hits, and Justin Mauriello put out one of my favorite cover albums, Justin Sings The Hits. I know, super original album title. Also, we’re all well aware that rap artists use beats from older songs, and even Lady Antelbellum’s new hit, You Look Good, briefly included the chorus of Bill Withers’ Use Me during an award-show performance. Then you have to think, what would life be like without the great, drunk, or humorous karaoke performances people embarrassingly struggle through? Awful, that’s what. Lastly, we must recognize the carefree tone-deaf individuals who save their belting for the shower and car. The artists thank you for the tribute, and we thank you for keeping it to yourself.

That brings us to our issue: some people don’t keep their talent to themselves. YouTube and social media has truly taken the uniqueness out of the individual and entertainment. Having a good voice is nothing nowadays – just like if you won a million bucks you could blow through it pretty quickly and you don’t even have to try. Everything has become devalued, but we can do a whole series on that direction of society. No? Okay good. I don’t feel like working that hard at the moment. Anyway, to prove my point, why do you think reality singing competitions and talent shows can have a new season every year? Because there’s that many people out there who have talent. The real question is, what puts you ahead of the rest?

Becoming a sensation is easy as long as you have a camera and a microphone – which are both on your phone by the way. Even easier!  It’s also easy because – and I think I’ve mentioned this before – we have too many people who believe that average things are amazing. Reference: “An Observation Concerning… People Loving Amazing Things” on this amazing blog. See what I did there? It will come to you.

The main reason behind this post is the annoying plethora of slow covers by female singers with sultry voices. It was cool when one person did it, but now everyone does it, and they sound exactly the same. It’s like they’re trying to be deep with another person’s words, which ultimately shows that the meaning of cover songs have been lost. They used to be for fun and/or a tribute, but now it’s to get attention and/or sell things like Wrigley Gum and dumb, pointless features on an Iphone.

What would you want to hear while in a bar? A slowed down version of a song, creating a depressing cloud over what was once a fun night, only so the singer can get noticed by some drunk people who won’t remember anything anyway; or something fun and exciting or an amateur who really worked hard at learning Friends In Low Places or Bohemian Rhapsody, passionately expressing themselves and getting the entire bar involved? Neither is also a valid answer, but one is still better than the other.

On a personal note, I once won a t-shirt for my rendition of Oops, I Did it Again during karaoke night at a dive bar.  Cool. Really cool.

An Observation Concerning… People Who Exercise.

“Now wait a minute, y’all; This dance ain’t for everybody, Only the sexy people.”
-Salt-n-Pepa, “Push It”

That title is a little on the vague side. I know many people exercise in many different ways. Some live at the gym, some take classes every day with little results, some are outdoorsy, some do yoga and Pilates, and some walk from the couch to the refrigerator and back a few times a night – remote or mouse clicking and phone poking have been found to cut a ton of calories. Don’t look that up; it’s not true.

I’m more of a traditionalist: I go to the gym each weekday for some basic lifting and cardio exercises, and then some outdoor activity on the weekends like soccer, volleyball, golf, or skiing (seasonal, duh). It’s a good balance, and yes, there was a time when I was obsessed, but I needed to lose weight and I did… and I’ve maintained it.

PERSON: What the hell do you know?
ME: I published a book on healthy living.
PERSON: So what? I’ve been working out for weeks now!
ME: Cool.
PERSON: That’s right, cool, why don’t you feel my abs?
ME: I don’t want to.
PERSON: Why not? They’re awesome!
ME: Because you’re really sweaty, like awkwardly sweaty, and you’re not an attractive girl, and though you’re abs are awesome, there’s still some good coverage so I couldn’t feel them anyway.
PERSON: You’re just jelly, bro.

I think there needs to be a revolution against the trendy Crossfit-like gyms that are still popping up all over – like weeds and breweries.

PERSON: Let’s go to Crossfit and then get a beer!
ME: I’m just going to get a beer.
PERSON: AHHHHHHH! I’m totally pumped!
ME: Cool.

Anyway, enough of that guy, he’s gone – he sprinted miles and through doors and walls to get to his session, probably kicked a baby somewhere along the way because it was moving too slow. I thought this obsession would fizzle out eventually after everyone ended up getting injured because they break their bodies down at an intense rate with very little recovery time. It was once a theory, then a fact, and now just an ignored statement. People are fixated, even when the workouts turn uber-stupid. I saw an instructor having his clients walk on rocks barefoot outside his converted-warehouse. What the hell is that going to do for anyone? Toughen their feet? Cause an infection? It’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot of dumb things (I look in the mirror every day). It’s not like we’re in Africa and the only way into the tribe is by walking over burning coals.

I think it’s come down to what are people actually trying to accomplish here? Not everyone can be in the Crossfit games or a Ninja Warrior. I’m not saying it’s not possible, I’m just saying it’s not worth it – literally. I don’t think anyone other than extreme exercise enthusiasts are actually impressed with people working out 16 hours a day and then showing off their abilities on daytime cable television or on a network like USA where the station is immediately switched once someone realizes their rerun of Law & Order: SVU or NCIS isn’t going to be on – all for a couple bucks. In addition, people who aren’t going to be participating in a bodybuilding competition need to stop training like they are. The only thing this is going to get you is some complaints and judgment because you’re hogging the mirror and weights or a lot of requests to help people move. People need to relax!

Listen, everyone can do whatever they want – I have likes that others won’t agree with as well – but I’m just suggesting that there needs to be a balance. You know the Canada Dry commercials with everyone exercising to the point where sweat is being flung all over the room and working so hard at the office that a paper cut or spilled coffee is bound to happen? No? Okay, maybe I watch too much TV, but that’s fine because the end of the commercial advises to relax harder.

I exercise and am outside a lot and I eat healthy, but I also relax and don’t eat healthy and drink beer and whiskey from time to time, and you know what, I still look and feel great. Find a balance, people, before you can’t do anything at all.