L Is for Links to...


I don't follow anyone on Twitter, but a visit to the website of a certain English ska-pop chanteuse to get a URL for this post confirmed why doing so is addictive. Who is she? In good time...

As soon as The Late Show wraps up each night, Craig Ferguson pops in with a cold open of The Late Late Show. He might ramble a bit, have an "alien" monkey hand puppet address the "People... of... Earth!", bring on a special non sequitur guest, or even engage in some lip-synching. It's all adorably shoestring-budget, getting to the heart of the host's "I have a TV show! True, it's on CBS, at 12:30 a.m., but still!" sense of glee, enticing folks to stick around.


Well, Monday night had a little bit of almost all of the above, as Ferguson, costumed backup dancers, and a chorus of puppets performed Britney Spears' "Oops... I Did It Again". I've been waiting for the video to make it onto the show's website, and now that it has I can't get it to run straight through once; still, it's worth a look.

The skit reminded me that if you find Spears' "Womanizer" hella catchy but kind-of overproduced and annoying at the same time, there's a virtual cottage industry of cover versions out there. Franz Ferdinand's has oddly out-of-tune vocals, but proves that the song can work as non-ironic rock. The All-American Rejects slowed it down and set it to acoustic guitar, beer-bottle percussion, and concertina, yet even with some winkingly substituted lyrics and a smart segue into The Turtles' "Happy Together" it doesn't quite transcend the sum of its parts for me.


My favorite version of "Womanizer" is from the infectious Lily Allen, who despite the electronics on much of her studio recording is here backed mostly by acoustic piano and percussion, with a drum on loan from Brian Wilson or Phil Spector. Even if it's not as boldly different as the ones above, it changes things up and stands on its own, which is what I look for in a cover. Allen's currently on safari in Africa, according to her Twitter feed, where between taking in the sights and slagging the notion of celebrity asked a very good question, italics mine: "[H]ow come leopard is pronounced leppard and leotard is leeohtard?"

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