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Category Archives: Music Love
Music covers are tricky. I feel that most of them suffer a similar fate as that of movie sequels: They rarely measure up to the original. However, there are a lucky few music covers that manage to pay homage to the original, but add a fresh twist which almost make them feel like “new” songs.
Mr. ShuGar and I are music lovers. In fact, this was one of the first things I noticed about our chemistry when we first met. We both enjoy discovering new music and we welcome any chance to experience live music, especially at the Hollywood Bowl. This is why LA is a perfect home for us – it brings musical talent from all over the world right to our backyard. I love that Mr. ShuGar appreciates harmonies, instruments, composition etc. It makes me love him ten times more!
Recently, Mr. ShuGar and I had a conversation about the “best music covers” and, of course, we agreed on most of them. What I found interesting was that we both gravitated to covers of either The Beatles (of course!) or The Beach Boys.
For this Memorial Day weekend, I present to you my five favorite music covers in no particular order.
Regina Spektor’s Real Love (John Lennon)
I definitely have a girl crush on Regina Spektor. She embodies a songstress. I just adore what she does with John Lennon’s Real Love. Mr. ShuGar and I actually chose this as our first wedding dance as a married couple. The lyrics are simple, yet they tell the profound story of our love and devotion. We were lucky enough to see her in concert at the Greek a year ago. She’s even more breathtaking in person!
Fiona Apple’s Across the Universe (The Beatles)
Fiona Apple’s voice adds a new dimension to this Beatles classic. It’s alluring, enchanting and a bit melancholic. The perfect formula for a touching song! I just dig Fiona’s style and her take on the original version. Plus, this just happens to be one of my fav Beatles song and I think I might like her cover more than the original! (Read about my Top Beatles songs here.)
Karina Denike’s The Lonely Sea (The Beach Boys)
I credit Mr. ShuGar with discovering this cover by Karina Denike. He is a huge Beach Boys fan and I am learning to appreciate Brian Wilson’s genius thanks to Mr. ShuGar. The original is so beautiful, but this cover by this female trio is amazing! Their harmonies blend so well and they definitely add their own style to this song. I love to see female vocalists embrace the power of their voices in this way. I hope more people discover Karina Kenike’s talent!
She & Him’s I Should Have Known Better (The Beatles)
Is there anything Zooey Deschanel can’t do? I love this band and I especially like her quirky style. This duet works so well and I think they really create their own version of this Beatles song. I still really like the original, but this one works so well. It has a softer, breezy tone and I appreciate them embracing this “Hawaiian” style, while still staying true to the song.
Matt Pond’s Holiday Road (Lindsey Buckingham)
Does anyone remember National Lampoon’s Vacation? I seriously don’t know how many times my sister and I watched this movie – maybe 1,000! I grew up hearing this Holiday Road song so I have it memorized. When I heard Matt Pond’s version I fell in love again! It’s at a different pace than the original, but it’s so rad. It has a deeper feel and I think it’s especially apropos for this holiday weekend.
I know there are a million covers out there, but these are some of my favs.
Hope you are having a happy Memorial Day weekend!
How have I been blogging for this long and have not mentioned The Beatles yet, I do not know. When I think of The Beatles, I immediately think of love. Love for my dad and now love for Mr. ShuGar. After all, I grew up listening to the Beatles on my dad’s records and Mr. ShuGar and I had a Beatles-inspired engagement photo session and a Beatles-themed wedding. Our theme was All You Need is ShuGar Love.
I don’t remember hearing a lot of music in English as a child, but I do remember my dad playing his Beatles records. He would put them onto the record player, take a seat on the sofa and explain the genius of his favorite band. I consider this my American education.
Mr. ShuGar, as I have said many times, has his Ph.D. in The Beatles. I am blown away by the amount of facts he knows about the Beatles, but also his deep appreciation for their musical talent. When Mr. ShuGar and I were first dating, we would listen to tons of Beatles CDs and he would explain Beatles history and describe the magic of their harmonies.
It’s hard to pick my favorite Beatles songs; there are just too many – and there are the solo years too. Nevertheless, I do have certain songs that speak to my heart and they can be explained in relation to my love for Mr. ShuGar.
Don’t Let Me Down
When I met Mr. ShuGar, I was healing from a heartbreak. I had survived a short-lived marriage, which ended because of his infidelity, as well as so many other issues that were always below the surface. I finally moved on (thanks to the best therapist, Zumba, family and friends) and I learned to be on my own. Then, I met Mr. ShuGar and he changed all the rules. Even though I was ready to be single forever, I fell in love.
It’s unbelievable the side effects of infidelity. As soon as I fell in love, I began to be scared that he, too, would let me down. I was terrified to be heartbroken once again. I love how John Lennon’s voice depicts the desperation and angst in begging that special someone to not let you down. It’s raw and powerful and I can definitely relate to that feeling.
Paul McCartney’s vocals are similar to John Lennon’s in the previous song – vulnerably strong and dripping with love. I remember Mr. ShuGar promising me again and again that he would never “do me no harm.” He asked me to believe him. It was not easy, because after you have survived infidelity it leaves scars that are deep. But, Mr. ShuGar slowly showed me how to trust once again. Not all men are the same.
Across the Universe
Across the Universe is a true representation of putting music to poetry. I love this song so much that we chose parts of the lyrics to be featured in our wedding invitations.
Limitless undying love, which
Shines around me like a million suns,
It calls me on and on across the universe
I chose Fiona Apple’s cover because I think she does the song justice and her voice is alluring.
I adore those moments when you are falling deeply, deeply in love and you know your life will never be the same. My life has never been the same and I am grateful everyday for Mr. ShuGar loving me. Our journey has not been easy, but we have grown together. I remember asking Mr. ShuGar, “How much do you love me?” And he would respond by stretching his arms as far out as he could. I know his love stretches across the universe.
Here, There and Everywhere
When we began to plan our wedding, I knew I wanted to march down the aisle to this song. It was perfect; My dad introduced it to me (the man of my life) and now Mr. ShuGar was my new Beatles teacher (the new man in my life).
Paul McCartney’s ballad is sweet and so lovely. The song begins with, “To lead a better life I need my love to be here…” and so I walked down the aisle to the man I would marry so that we could build a better life together. I need him here, there and everywhere always.
The harmonies in Because are enchanting. The Beatles together made sweet sounds and this song truly highlights their musicality as a band. No loud instruments; just their voices.
Why do I love Mr. ShuGar? Because he makes me see the world full of endless possibilities. Because he loves me despite my moody moods and my dramatic ways. Because he is gorgeous and gentle, humble and kind. Because he is the embodiment of true, unconditional love and there is no where I would rather be than by his side for the rest of my life.
And so this is a snapshot of my love story told through The Beatles. All I need is ShuGar Love because “Love is all; Love is You.”
P.S. Eeek!!! Soon after I wrote this post, the New York Times mentioned our wedding in their Sunday Style section here. Dying!
I consider myself a sort of maudlin individual. After all, I am definitely emotional and highly sentimental in many aspects of life. Mr. ShuGar can attest to that. This is probably why I fell in love the moment I heard Camera Obscura. This indie band from Scotland has a sad, yet heartfelt vibe to all their tunes. Their songs are enchanting because they lure you in with their melodic vocals and sweet sounds. Plus, I dig when bands have lead female vocalists; Tracyanne Campbell’s voice has a mix of tenderness and spunk that makes for a rad combo. They sing of love, hurt, hope, and, essentially, life.
Every chance I get, whether it’s when I’m cleaning dishes or getting ready for the day, I put Camera Obscura in the background.
It’s no coincidence that their latest album “Maudlin Career” (2009) has become music to my ears. One of my favorite tracks is “Careless Love.” The song tells of a broken love and the agony of knowing you gave your heart to someone who crushed it. Many of us have been there. When you love, you risk your heart. But, it’s this pain that makes you stronger and makes you appreciate true love when you find it.
I checked out their website and discovered they will be touring the States this year! Alas, they won’t be visiting LA, but I am sending this message out into the universe to ask the music gods to bring them to LA LA land. Their music touches my heart and I would give anything to experience it live.