Unhenged: A Coverville Tribute to Spinal Tap

On March 2, 1984, Rob Reiner, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Christopher Guest released what would become one of the most popular mockumentaries of all time, starring a believable – albeit fictional – heavy metal band called Spinal Tap. But what makes a band real vs. fictional? The (core) members of Spinal Tap, David St. Hubbins, Nigel Tufnel and Derek Smalls, played all their own instruments, wrote their own songs, released two albums, and even toured.

Maybe to be considered a real band, you need a tribute album. And for the last two-and-a-half years, I’ve been working on assembling a tribute to the band. Performers came and went, a couple had to cancel due to other obligations, but in the end I feel like I managed to put together a stellar line-up of performers and songs – and with just a couple weeks to spare before the end of the 25th Anniversary year of the landmark film.

Originally, I was hoping for 11 tracks, but I’m happy to have exceeded that, with almost all of the songs from the soundtrack covered, as well as a couple from their follow-up album, Break Like The Wind.

Below, you’ll find the submissions for this project, along with information about the performers. If you prefer, you can download them as individual downloads or as a complete zip archive (66MB) along with brilliant cover art as always designed by Shelby Miller.

coverart

And because so many people wanted to contribute for the Breakfast In Coverville project, I’m accepting donations for this project. Money received by clicking the button below will go towards the BMI licencing fees for the downloads of these songs (which get sent as royalties to the songwirters), as well as divided evenly between each of the performers, the designer Shelby, and myself.


And now, the music:

Track 1

1. Hell Hole

Schnauzer Radio Orchestra

Schnauzer Radio Orchestra About Schnauzer Radio Orchestra: 

During the golden years of record sales numerous of instrumental records were being produced with names like : ‘Golden Trumpets Play the Beatles’, ‘Gerry and his Rocking accordeon’ or ‘Funky organ Schlager Hits’. Often these records are found in the sales bin or on flea markets, reduced to the level of pulp. The SRO vision is that these records were (and still are) often the equivalent of the comic book vs the serious novel. Why then does every record has to be serious, tough or cool? There must be music to fill any mood or atmosphere, so here comes the BIRTH OF THE UNCOOL! Ladies and gentleman we give you: The Schnauzer Radio Orchestra!

About Hell Hole:

I remember Brian mentioning his wish to produce a spinal tap tribute album 2 years ago in a episode of extralife radio.

We were both in that episode (I wrote the ELR-themesong, and was in that very episode too). Afterwards I wrote to Brian; “hmm… hell hole on a philicorda-organ/ukelele/trombone/bongo’s….. my fingers are itching… ”

Since Spinal Tap was quoted in every single tourvan I have ever ridden I simply had to pay homage to them. The rest is History.

In this track all keyboards are the real deal (1972 Clavinet, 1978 Fender Rhodes, 1963 Philicorda organ, and vocals whose year of birth is to be remained unknown.)

Small detail: the vocal choir is done by Mrs.Hips – http://www.mrships.nl – , Hollands nr.1 vocalist whose soul/funk album is produced by yours truly, and is to be released in 2010. Producing that album is the very reason the Schnauzer Radio Orchestra’s debut is still not finished. She owed me one, that’s why ;D

www.schnauzerstudios.com

 

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2. Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight

Le Butterface

Le Butterface About Le Butterface: 

Like Spinal Tap, New Jersey’s Le Butterface were often said to be “treading water in a sea of retarded sexuality”, so it only made sense to cover “Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight” from the triumphant finale to This is Spinal Tap for the last song on their last album, 2007’s Pushing 30. Unable to mount a comeback tour in Japan, the band had to make do with canned applause for this recording, a fairly faithful rendition of the ‘Tap classic.

 

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3. Heavy Duty

James Ghofulpo

About James Ghofulpo: 

James Ghofulpo is a multi-instrumentalist from Erie, PA. He plays guitar, bass, keyboards, and various other stringed instruments.

About Heavy Duty:

Why did I choose the arrangement the way I did? I have a facination with 80’s music, having grown up in that era. I particularly like the sounds of late 70’s and early 80’s synthesizers with their analoguey and 8-bit sounds. I also like voice processing effects, particular the “Mr. Roboto” / Kraftwerk style vocoder effects. That, combined with some good crunchy guitar and a bouncy bass line make for pop goodness that’s fun to listen to.

 

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4. Rock and Roll Creation

Dogs Of Winter

Dogs of Winter 

photo:

Sean Toussaint

About Dogs of Winter:

It sounds improbable that one braintrust could have come up with perspective drawing, ice cubes, the letter ‘R’ and Kurt Vonnegut; but that entity is Dogs of Winter, a three-piece stoner-metal band from Brooklyn, NY.

Their debut LP, “From Soil To Shale,” was released this past spring as a free, high-quality download through Lapdance Academy with an accompanying video for the song “Player Piano“. A few months later, they followed up with an acoustic single of their song “Beneath The Fold” along with a video compiled by guitarist/singer Brian Grosz with royalty-free footage from the Prelinger Archives. They are currently at work on a concept album about an underground race of beings enslaved in a galactic, sodium-chloride mine.

For more info, visit www.dogsofwinter.com and twitter.com/dogsofwinter

About Rock and Roll Creation:

Ryan Dowd (bass/vocals): “We chose the song because it was an underappreciated Tap track that we could bend to our proggy/doomy will and went with this arrangement in an attempt to bring Tap’s cartoony antics across the divide into the real world.”

Dave Valle (drums): “We wanted it heavier.”

Ryan Dowd: “Yes, and louder.”

Dave Valle: “Louder good.”

 

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5. Cups And Cakes

Zapruder Point

Zapruder Point About Zapruder Point: 

The current model of Zapruder Point finds Dan back where he started — a singer/songwriter playing coffee shops and open mics, bars and cabarets. Yes, if you like Morrissey, The Decemberists, Granddaddy and Death Cab for Cutie, you’ll find a common thread in the sweet jangle and plaintive vocal trails. But to balance out the introspection, you’ll also hear echoes of The Thermals, Guided by Voices, and The Housemartins — with singing that’s usually more Sam Cooke than Sufjan Stevens. Zapruder Point offers a unique musical blend — a rocky sort of reflection, an easy exuberance delivered in songs that are as sweet as they are short. You’re invited to lean in for the whispers and join in on the shouts.

www.zapruderpoint.com

 

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6. Big Bottom

Paul and Storm

Paul and Storm 

Photo:

CC off Flickr by Lobstar28

About Paul and Storm: 

Paul and Storm have been writing and performing funny songs together for a long, long time, starting with their stint together in a cappella band Da Vinci’s Notebook. Their music tends to make people laugh and feel good, and Paul and Storm believe that this makes their pursuit noble, right and just.

BONUS: their live show is better than 1,000 Fonzies, and more spellbinding than Mr. T on a unicycle.

Catchy melodies and well-constructed music underpin the comedy, and in live performance their harmonies draw comparisons to the Everly Brothers, while their stage presence evokes the Barenaked Ladies. They will do nearly anything to win the hearts and minds of their audiences, and occasionally panties are thrown at them.

Paul and Storm’s music is often heard on the “Bob and Tom” syndicated morning radio show, and has been heard on “The Drew Carey Show”, Comedy Central, XM Satellite Radio’s “Dr. Demento” show, and on the popular web cartoon site Homestarrunner.com. They frequently tour with internet pied piper Jonathan Coulton. All of their music is available from their website (paulandstorm.com) as CDs and downloads, and their song “Opening Band” is available as downloadable content for Rock Band.

www.paulandstorm.com

About Big Bottom:

We actually worried that /everyone/ was going to take the “turn the metal song into a ballad” route, and were happily surprised that no one else did. It’s always fun to take a song clearly intended for one genre and put it in what might seem to be, at first glance, an inappropriate setting. And because of its cartoonish lyrics, “Big Bottom” was an ideal candidate for the treatment, much like Jonathan Coulton’s cover of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back”. Although we had to depart, heavily, from the original chords and melody to make it work, you should still be able to identify most of the original song’s structure in this acoustic translation.

Except for the keyboard solo, because that just would have been silly.

 

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7. Sex Farm

Bongo Orkest

Bongo Orkest About Bongo Orkest: 

‘The Bongo Orkest’ is a collective of essentially one, however in the case of Sex Farm Women, 2 were involved. The main operative and leader of the collective is Geoff Overmyer based in Newcastle, Australia for reasons least known to himself. The Bongo Orkest are best known, by those who do, for various tracks such as the ‘Monkeys Tail’, ‘Monkman’, ‘It Was all in Your Mind’, ‘Most People Are Asleep’ & who could forget the expansive narrative of ‘The Trough’.

About Sex Farm:

The opportunity given by Coverville to honour ‘the Tap’ through an interpretative cover version was dream come true, and not to be taken lightly…as indeed it wasn’t. It was a difficult decision to decide which Spinal Tap master piece to cover, however given the political incorrectness of ‘Sex Farm Women’ and the its relationship to an air force mess hall, the choice was obvious, as I’m sure you would agree.

 

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8. Us, Stonehenge, and Them

Chance

Chance About Chance: 

After leading the nationally signed act, Portable (Two nationally released CDs; National Tours, including Woodstock ’99), Chance began releasing his solo work in late 2004.

Fiercely independent, Chance writes, records, performs, produces and mixes most of his music in his apartment studio and has gained a worldwide reputation for his non-linear approach to the “Chance brand” of music.

Chance has enjoyed the support of Podcasters & Independent Internet Radio stations from all over the world due in part to this independent spirit, as well as his eager availability to both his fans (known as the Friends of Chance) and the podcasting community.

During 2005, an early single, Say What You Will, spent one month at #1 in the country of Qatar, and a year in the #2 position on Garageband.com. Since then, Chance has had multiple Top Tens on Qatar Alternative Rock Radio, which he merely explains as “the wonders of the Internet.”

In 2007, Chance’s song, Independent, was featured in a national commercial for Madden ’08 Football Game by EA Sports.

www.mynameischance.com

 

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9. Gimme Some Money

Brian Grosz

Brian Grosz 

photo:

Sean Toussaint

About Brian Grosz: 

Founder of Lapdance Academy Records, singer/guitarist for Dogs of Winter and former contributor to Coverville with The Priestess and The Fool, Brian Grosz thoroughly enjoys manhandling musical instruments and uncovering new ways to get vocal polyps. His alt-blues solo debut, “Bedlam Nights,” is available on iTunes and CD Baby and his follow-up LP will be released in 2010 on Lapdance Academy.

For more info, visit www.briangrosz.com and twitter.com/briangrosz

About Gimme Some Money:

“Gimme Some Money” is an obvious jab at the brit-rock of the mid ’60s, which (like all rock music) owes a heavy debt to the American Blues tradition. The call-and-response of the vocal and instrumental melodies were just begging to be dragged back to the juke-joints of the Delta and set loose with hammers, tin-cups and bullwhips, so I had to oblige. Plus, I had that cool cash-register recording that I’ve been dying to use…

 

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10. (Listen To The) Flower People

Arrica Rose

Arrica Rose About Arrica Rose: 

Arrica Rose & the …’s (the dot dot dots) brand of indie-folk-pop shines on La La Lost , a Paste Magazine recommended album produced by Dan Garcia (Leonard Cohen, David Crosby, Christina Aguilera). Rose’s music was featured on NBC’s Lipstick Jungle, in light of this feature multi-platinum, award-winning producer Jeff Savage (Jars of Clay, Toby Mac) re-mixed the song which was featured exclusively on the NikeWomen.com website. Arrica Rose just released her follow-up EP Pretend I’m Fur which debuted at 32 on the iTunes charts and was featured as a ‘New and Noteworthy’ release on iTunes homepage. Citing influences such as Tom Waits, Billie Holiday, David Bowie and Bob Dylan, Rose has one foot planted in singer/songwriter land…another in indie folk-rock…and an intermittent hand in pop. In addition to her music projects, Arrica Rose is co-founder of I HEART, an artist operated non-profit organization that raises money for charitable initiatives via creative projects and events. “Arrica Rose’s voice has the ability to make your heart stop.” –Performer Magazine

ARRICA ROSE- www.arricarose.cim

About (Listen To The) Flower People:

The Flower People. Somewhat French Pop vibe. It all seemed to fit together. I’m a huge 60’s French Pop fan so when Dan Garcia (who produced the track) made the suggestion of this direction I was all in. And no I don’t speak French so the French whispering part…is brought to you by google translate.

 

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11. Bitch School

Chris Cohoon

Bio to come!

 

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12. Break Like The Wind

Dave Verdick

Dave Verdick About Dave Verdick: 

With extensive performance experience and a strong education in musical theory, including classical and jazz, Dave offers a variety of creative offerings for the avid music listener.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy…

Dave’s uber.fm page

About Break Like The Wind:

“Break Like The Wind” is the quintessential Spinal Tap song that always pops into my head whenever someone mentions the band. I felt that this song, in all of its silly attempts to be serious despite nonsensical lines (after all, the title line IS nothing more than a giant fart reference!), deserved an acoustic rendition to increase the intimacy of the song. In the end, I think that the casual listener will dig the melody and rhythm as even deeper than the original, and the avid Spinal Tap fan will chuckle even moreso at the underlying nonsense conveyed through my coffeehouse-style arrangement.

 

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13. Christmas With The Devil

John Dissed

John Dissed 

photo:

Mila Reynaud

About John Dissed:

After years of various collaborations with vocalists, guitarist John Dissed began singing and recording his own songs in the fall of 2007.

In January, 2008, he announced that he would unveil a new solo acoustic track per week for the entire year. Alternating between originals and covers by such artists as David Bowie, The Clash, Johnny Thunders, The Ramones, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty, the songs were announced via Myspace Bulletins and Blog entries.

As a guitarist, John has spent the past four years performing throughout the Southwest with Los Angeles female-fronted punks, Bull Lee.

A song co-written and co-produced by Dissed (“Mr. Madness” as performed by the artist Manda Mosher) was chosen as Rock Single of the Year by the Los Angeles Music Awards in 2006. He also co-wrote the song “Not What Love is For” on Mosher’s debut album Everything You Need, released in April, 2009 on Red Parlor Records.

The original songs from Dissed’s Song of the Week project, comprise five solo EPs on the DIY Bull Lee Records label, distributed by CD Baby, iTunes and the other major online digital music retailers.

The 25+ covers from the project are all available for free download on a password-protected blog called Secret Covers. For the url and password, sign up for the John Dissed Email List at http://johndissed.com.

www.johndissed.com

About Christmas With The Devil:

John: When Brian announced on the Coverville podcast over the summer that he was looking for artists to participate in a Spinal Tap Tribute CD, the workaholic in me couldn’t resist offering my services. From the menu of unclaimed songs, I chose the Tap’s “Christmas with the Devil” to cover. Brian kindly agreed to give me a shot at it.

I had my friends N and F from the French grindcore band Nique Ton Foetus help out with bass, lead guitar and a creepy Devil-Santa voice (the boys were here in Los Angeles from Lyon, France for two months this summer interning for our Bull Lee Records label).

You can hear them on Episode 10 of my rock podcast, The Bull Pit as well.

Complete .zip file containing all songs and album art

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Squeeze Breakfast In Coverville