Posts from December 16th, 2013

Monday, 16 December 2013

Mary Lambert Covers “Teenage Dirtbag” by Wheatus

Mary Lambert covers Teenage Dirtbag

She Rings My Bell.

Mary Lambert, the (now Grammy-nominated) chanteuse behind the chorus of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s smash hit song “Same Love,” was recently on Billboard’s Candid Covers internet show thing, where she covered the 2000 song “Teenage Dirtbag” by Wheatus. If you’re not familiar with that song, here are a couple of things you should know about it:

  1. The original Wheatus version is a pretty rockin’ power-pop song.
  2. It’s actually one of my favorite songs. It routinely makes it onto my mp3 player mixes.
  3. You can listen to it here.

Good? Okay. Now let’s watch this cover (you’ll probably have to sit through a commercial, unfortunately).


http://bcove.me/0w9uc0n3

I am a bit disappointed that Mary left out the “he brings a gun to school” line, but in fairness that line was omitted from most radio-broadcast versions of the song. But I do think it’s pretty awesome that Mary Lambert thought that the lead singer of Wheatus was a girl.

I really appreciate that she completely takes this kinda power-rock song and completely transforms it into her own plaintive, sad style. I’ve never seen the point of doing a cover of a song if it’s just going to sound like the exact same song. It also isn’t done in an ironic way, like all those folky covers of hip-hop songs that appeared after Jonathan Coulton’s “Baby Got Back” cover. It turns a kind of cheeky song into something really heartfelt.

This reminds me a lot of Tori Amos’s pretty durned amazing cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (listen to that here).

What are some of your favorite covers?

Categories: Music, Videos.