It’s been a busy week here at That’s Funky Awesome. Sunday saw my debut alongside Brock and Brent on the Funny Aftertaste podcast (which also featured a track from Fake Your Own Death), posts celebrating the birthdays of a couple of elder statesmen of rock, David Bowie and Jimmy Page, plus a behemoth of a feature on Van Halen, which when I was writing it I had no idea it would take off like it did around the net. Turns out a lot of you felt much the same way I did about the the Vans and their newest single, with the exception of one concerned Eddie-fanatic who took the time to write me a highly entertaining email, the jist of which can be summed up by this individual calling me a ‘pompous shithead’. Is it wrong that I kind of agree with him?
Today also saw my latest batch of reviews hit the ink over at AlanCross.ca. This week I’ve featured Buxton, Scott Matthew, Woodpigeon, and The Darcys. If you’ve got a few extra minutes, stop over and check it out. There’s a reason these bands are being written about…
Of course, being that today is Friday the thirteenth, the obvious choice of song to showcase is Superstition from the album Talking Book by the great Stevie Wonder. I know-it’s a highly original idea. I hunted around quite a bit trying to dig up an interesting cover of the song, and with the very odd exception came up grasping at straws. Turns out there are A LOT of covers of Superstition out there. Like, thousands. And as it turns out, most of them are, how should I put this…scary? After hunting high and low, I kept going back to a performance clip that’s nearly as old as I am, by the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughan (backed of course by the equally great Double Trouble). In fact, it’s the Stevie Ray blues/rock updating of the tune that you’re probably hearing being attempted by 98% of bar bands that give this song the college try. Remember one thing: the drunker you are, the better they sound. You’re welcome.
Before you take me to task for featuring ‘Superstition’ so far out of its usual comfort zone (as the unofficial theme song of Hallowe’en parties across the nation) and so close to JC’s big day, consider this: we have a holiday coming up that is based on a book that may or may not be true, with a an additional mythical back story involving a fat man in a red suit who commands a fleet of flying reindeer and also breaks into your house at night and eats your food. And that’s if you’ve been good. ‘Superstition’ starting to make a little more sense?
If you haven’t, the album that ‘Superstition’ is taken from, 1972’s Talking Book, is a must have for anyone, any age. It also happens to include one of my favourite songs, ‘Big Brother’, which shows Wonder at his social commentating best.
Here’s early seventies Stevie on the set of Sesame Street busting out a seven minute long version of ‘Superstition’ for the kids to funk out to.
It's funny. I like Stevie Wonder. I like The Beatles. Take a Beatle who isn't John Lennon away from the rest of the band and sit him down at a piano and sometimes things go…wrong? I know a lot of people who love Ebony and Ivory, but I feel like it could be one of the biggest pieces of cheese ever created in the history of pop music. It could feed an entire village, there's so much cheese. When this duet from Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney hit the airwaves in 1982 it went straight to the top of the charts around the world. McCartney and Wonder weren't even in the same studio when the song was recorded, which is too bad since if they were they might have been able talk some sense into each other and skip this one.
Our cover this week comes from the band Flying Horses, who get marks for trying but thanks to a lack of vocal ability fall a little flat.