Archive for January, 2014

Tune du Jour: “One More Cup of Coffee” – Bob Dylan
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Big Fish Ensemble vs. Steve Earle & Lucia Micarelli
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)
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You used to be so amused, At Broccoli Man and the carrot for a guitar he used ...

You used to be so amused, At Broccoli Man and the carrot for a guitar he used …

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One More Cup of Coffee appears on Bob Dylan’s album Desire, which was released in 1976. Desire reached #1 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart for five weeks, becoming one of Dylan’s top-selling studio albums (currently certified double platinum), while reaching #3 in the UK. It claimed the number one slot on NME Album of the Year. Rolling Stone named Desire #174 on its list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. One More Cup of Coffee is a duet between Dylan and Emmylou Harris pertaining to unrequited love and the passage away from an apparently ill-fated relationship.

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The Original

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Bob Dyan:

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THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

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Big Fish Ensemble vs. Steve Earle and Lucia Micarelli

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Big Fish Ensemble:

One of Atlanta’s great bands of the 90’s:

Steve Earle and Lucia Micarelli:

Treme’s street corner violinist & diva, Lucia Micarelli, pairs nicely with the esteemed Steve Earle on this number.

Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

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Votes can be cast up to seven days from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

Tune du Jour: “Anywhere I Lay My Head” – Tom Waits
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Bomb the Music Industry vs. Anna Ternheim
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)
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"Free markets will not prevail without unfettered competition among cover songs." - Milton Friedbyrd

“Free markets will not prevail without unfettered competition among cover songs.” – Milton Friedbyrd

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The demented splendor that is Tom Waits! Anywhere I Lay My Head is from Waits’ 1985 release Rain Dogs, the middle album of his brilliant trilogy (i.e. Swordfishtrombone, Rain Dogs, Frank’s Wild Years) sketching the lives of society’s misfits, outcasts, odd romantics and exceedingly eccentric characters.

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The Original

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Tom Waits:

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THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

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Bomb the Music Industry vs. Anna Ternheim

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Bomb the Music Industry:

Anna Ternheim:

Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

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Votes can be cast up to seven days from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

Tune du Jour: “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)” – Simon & Garfunkel
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: The Coolies vs. Ted Hawkins
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)
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Broccoli For Miles And Miles And Miles And Miles And Miles ... Oh Yeah!

Broccoli For Miles And Miles And Miles And Miles And Miles … Oh Yeah!

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The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy) was written by Simon & Garfunkel and first appeared on their 1966 album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. The “59th Street Bridge” is a reference to the Queensboro Bridge in New York City. Interestingly, although it now seems like one of Simon & Garfunkel’s more popular songs, The 59th Street Bridge Song never charted. And with that I’ve pretty much exhausted everything I could say on the subject.

The Original

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Simon & Garfunkel:

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THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

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The Coolies vs. Ted Hawkins

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The Coolies:

Ted Hawkins:

Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

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Votes can be cast up to seven days from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

Runoff du Jour: “The Night Chicago Died” – Paper Lace
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes Runoff: No Empathy vs. Yo La Tengo
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)
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Everybody's Dressin' Funny ... Cover Me Impressed!

Everybody’s Dressin’ Funny … Cover Me Impressed!

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7-Day results of the competition between No Empathy and Yo La Tengo covering “The Night Chicago Died” by Paper Lace ended in a tie.

However, THERE ARE NO TIES ON COVER ME IMPRESSED!

Hence, a 3-Day runoff to settle the issue. If the runoff should also end in a tie then I’ll be forced to contract a maiming of all musicians concerned (i.e. Paper Lace, No Empathy and Yo La Tengo) and at least one individual totally unrelated to the proceedings (probably Billy Joel), which may seem a bit harsh and arbitrary but, hell, some things just have to be done …

The Original

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Many would argue that The Night Chicago Died is the worst song of all time. However, they’d be wrong. The song’s potential for infamy is limited to possibly being the second worst song of all time as Billy, Don’t Be A Hero currently and mostly likely always will hold the distinction of being the worst the music world has ever produced. Amazingly, both abominations were first recorded by the same band, the all-time abysmal “Paper Lace”.

The Night Chicago Died reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for one week in 1974, reached number 3 in the UK charts, and number 2 in Canada. And why not? This assault on one’s sensibilities had everything you’d look for in a 1970’s hit: rudimentary, grade-school level verses, lyrics teeming with sappy emotion, a simple John Wayne good guys always win in the end patriotic mentality, a catchy chorus that stays with you like herpes and some electric guitar licks to enforce just how hip the song and, by extension, its listeners must truly be.

“Paper Lace” sent a copy of The Night Chicago Died to then Mayor Richard J. Daley who apparently hated it. So at least there is one minute reason to extend a very small modicom of respect to the man.

Paper Lace:

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THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

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No Empathy vs. Yo La Tengo

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No Empathy:

Yo La Tengo:

Beginning in 1996, Yo La Tengo supported the fundraising efforts of New York’s world-renowned independent radio outlet WFMU with annual studio visits. All listeners who pledged money during the band’s appearances were offered the chance to request a favorite song that Yo La Tengo would then attempt to perform; no rehearsals, no advance word of what the requests might be, just plug it in and kick it out. The spontaneous element is impressive and, at times, hysterical. It is from one of these sessions that Yo La Tengo’s version of The Night Chicago Died was produced.

Yo La Tengo is a recipient of CMI’s universally coveted title of Uni Victor Melodious Maximus in Adversarial Replication. Among the title’s myriad of rewards and benefits, perhaps most desirous is that it bestows upon the recipient the eminently yearned for privilege of having one’s name appear in print media in bold yellow.

Yo La Tengo’s triumphal performance in CMI’s THE CLASH of Cover Tunes competition is detailed below:

10/1/2013 – “Somebody’s Baby” (Jackson Browne) – Yo La Tengo (90%) annihilate The Gamits (10%)

Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

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Votes can be cast up to seven days from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

Tune du Jour: “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” – The Ramones
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Boris the Sprinkler vs. Nutley Brass
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)
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DDT Did A Job On Me ... Now I Am A Teenage Broccoli!

Well All I Eat Is Broccoli … Rock, Rock, Rock ‘n’ Roll High School

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Rock ‘n’ Roll High School was recorded by The Ramones in 1979 for the soundtrack of their musical comedy movie of the same name. What more can I really say? Not exactly one of their better efforts but a fun song, nonetheless, that was somewhat of a staple for their live shows.

The Original

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The Ramones:

There are actually three versions of the song Rock ‘n’ Roll High School. The first, produced by Ed Stasium, was intended for the soundtrack of the movie. However, this version did not make it onto the soundtrack and was not released until 1988 on the compilation album Ramones Mania. The second version, produced by Phil Spector, is a remix of the Stasium version, implementing Spector’s famed “Wall of Sound” mixing technique. Spector’s “Wall of Sound” was created by a number of electric and acoustic guitarists performing the same parts in unison, then recording the sound using an echo chamber, which resulted in a dense, layered, reverberant sound that came across well on AM radio and jukeboxes popular to that era. This is the version that was used for the soundtrack of the movie. The third version, also produced by Phil Spector, is a complete re-recording of the song for The Ramones’ album End of the Century.

This is the second version:

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THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

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Boris the Sprinkler vs. Nutley Brass Band

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Boris the Sprinkler:

In 1998 the band Boris The Sprinkler released their own version of End Of The Century, covering the fifth album by The Ramones in its entirety. According to the band: “It was recorded for under $500 in bassist Eric #2’s basement studio, a cost of less than one-half of one percent of the recording cost of the original album.”

Not at all bad for basement music!

Nutley Brass

Brass Band + The Ramones = EPIC FELICITY!

Veronica Kofman (co-auther with Dee Dee Ramone of Poison Heart: Surviving The Ramones) from the liner notes of Ramones Songbook as Played by the Nutley Brass (1988):

“I was introduced to the Nutley Brass a couple of years ago by Joey Ramone himself, who was mightily impressed by this unique combo. There have been many tributes to the Ramones over the years, but, for your listening (and dancing) pleasure, the Nutley Brass have delivered the most original homage. Joey Ramone knows a good thing when he hears it, and I didn’t need any persuading that in the Nutley Brass, he had discovered a hidden treasure. Unbelievers, who think punk bands were just a tuneless racket – eat your hats. Immediately.”

Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

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Votes can be cast up to seven days from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

Tune du Jour: “Instant Karma!” – John Lennon
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Midnight Oil vs. Paul Weller
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)
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So Where Are the Strong, And Who Are the Trusted, And Where is the Broccoli, Sweet Broccoli!

Who In The Hell Do You Think You Are?  A Broccoli Stalk?  Well, Right You Are!

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Instant Karma! was written by John Lennon and released In February 1970. The song was written, recorded and released within a period of ten days, making it one of the fastest-released songs in pop music history. Instant Karma! reached the top 5 on the UK and US singles charts, becoming the first solo single by a former member of the Beatles to sell a million copies.

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The Original

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John Lennon:

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THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

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Midnight Oil vs. Paul Weller

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Midnight Oil:

Paul Weller:

Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

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Votes can be cast up to seven days from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

Tune du Jour: “Tainted Love” – Gloria Jones
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Finger vs. The Lost Fingers
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)
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"Free markets will not prevail without unfettered competition among cover songs." - Milton Friedbyrd

“Free markets will not prevail without unfettered competition among cover songs.” – Milton Friedbyrd

Tainted Love was written by Ed Cobb and originally recorded by Gloria Jones in 1965 as the B-side to the 1965 single My Bad Boy’s Comin’ Home. The single was a commercial flop, failing to chart in either the US or the UK. In 1973, almost a decade after its initial release, British club DJ Richard Searling purchased a copy of the single while on a trip to the United States. Searling introduced the song to the UK club scene, which embraced its Motown-influenced sound and eminent danceability. Due to the newfound underground popularity of the song, Jones re-recorded Tainted Love in 1976 and released it as a single, but that version also failed to chart.

English vocal-and-synth duo Soft Cell (i.e. Marc Almond and David Ball), became aware of the song through its notoriety as a UK club cult hit, and recorded a drastically different arrangement in 1981. Due to the then-dominant synthpop sound of the time, Soft Cell’s version of Tainted Love rapidly reached #1 on the UK singles chart and was 1981’s best-selling single in the UK. On January 16, 1982, Tainted Love charted in the US, entering the Billboard Hot 100 at #90. It appeared to peak at #64 before falling to #100 on February 27. However, after spending a second week at #100, it started climbing again and 19 weeks later it cracked the US Top 40. The song eventually reached #8 in the US and spent a then record-breaking 43 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100.

The Original

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Gloria Jones:

Great version of the song. A real shame Jones never charted with it.

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The Most Popular

Soft Cell:

Wildly popular yet, in my mind, dreadful when compared to Gloria Jones’ original version.

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THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

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Finger vs. The Lost Fingers

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Finger:

The Lost Fingers:

For those interested, The Lost Fingers’ studio version of Tainted Love is also available on YouTube but, despite the occasional annoying static pops, I love this live version:

Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

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Votes can be cast up to seven days from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

Tune du Jour: “This Town” – Frank Sinatra
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Gnome vs. The Tubes
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)
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I've been a Puppet, a Pauper, a Pirate, a Poet, a Broccoli Man ...

I’ve been a Puppet, a Pauper, a Pirate, a Poet, a Broccoli Man …

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Written by Lee Hazlewood, This Town was first recorded by Nancy Sinatra in 1967. Old Blue Eyes was apparently intrigued by the tune and whatever Big Pops wants, Big Pops gets, releasing his own version in September 1967 on the album “Frank Sinatra and The World We Knew”. Although I’ve found no evidence that This Town was a “hit” by any conventional standards, apparently when Big Pops proclaims a song to be a hit, it’s a hit, as evidenced by its inclusion a year later on “Frank Sinatra’s Greatest Hits”.

The Original

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Nancy Sinatra:

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The Most Popular

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Frank Sinatra:

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THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

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Gnome vs. The Tubes

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Gnome:

The Tubes:

Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

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Votes can be cast up to seven days from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

Tune du Jour: “(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes” – Elvis Costello
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Hem vs. The Klank
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)
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So Where Are the Strong, And Who Are the Trusted, And Where is the Broccoli, Sweet Broccoli!

Where Are the Strong, Who Are the Trusted, And Where is the Broccoli, Sweet Broccoli!

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One of my favorite Elvis Costello songs; oddly (and sadly) enough, after a good amount of research I was only able to find a total of two covers for (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes.

“I Said I’m So Happy I Could Die …
She Said ‘Drop dead’ And Left With Another Guy”
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Now that’s entertainment!

The Original

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Elvis Costello:

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THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

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Hem vs. The Klank

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Hem:

The Klank:

For some sinister reason I have not been able to identify many Elvis Costello covers. The handful of EC tribute releases that I have come across are either generally bland and unimaginative or released from very small labels that are difficult (or quite expensive) to acquire. But there does seem to be hope for the near future. Futureman Records will soon (hopefully) release “Beyond Belief: A Tribute to Elvis Costello”, which looks quite promising and, assuming the links below are accurate, will add 50 new EC covers to the vastly under-supplied market.

https://www.facebook.com/CostelloTribute

http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/index.php/Beyond_Belief:_A_Tribute_To_Elvis_Costello

The Klank’s cover of (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes will be included on the Futureman tribute.

Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

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Votes can be cast up to seven days from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

Tune du Jour: “Soft Picasso” – Vic Chesnutt
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Kelly Hogan vs. Dan Wilson
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)
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Broccoli Fields Forever ...

Broccoli Fields Forever …

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A rather obscure but nevertheless great song by the late Vic Chesnutt.

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The Original

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Vic Chesnutt:

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THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

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Kelly Hogan vs. Dan Wilson

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Kelly Hogan:

Kelly Hogan is a recipient of CMI’s universally coveted title of Uni Victor Melodious Maximus in Adversarial Replication. Among the title’s myriad of rewards and benefits, perhaps most desirous is that it bestows upon the recipient the eminently yearned for privilege of having one’s name appear in print media in bold yellow.

Kelly Hogan’s triumphal performance in CMI’s THE CLASH of Cover Tunes competition is detailed below:

12/13/2013 – “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” (Bob Dylan) – Kelly Hogan (88%) thrashes Echo & The Bunnymen (12%)

Dan Wilson:

Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

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Votes can be cast up to seven days from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.