Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Smells like absurd overcovering

Jewish date:  15 Shevaṭ 5772 (Parashath Yithro).

Today’s event:  Kite Flying Day.


Previously on this blog I have noted covers of the Nirvana song “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by 2CELLOS and the Muppets.  This is rather amazing, as the song’s lyrics are complete and utter nonsense—not nonsense like the Lewis Carroll poem “Jabberwocky”, but real, genuine nonsense.  I do not remember what inspired me, but I have searched and found that despite the obvious deficiency in the song, it seems to have become a challenge for people to cover, regardless of what instrument they play.  Arguably this includes instruments whose sound is such that the tone of the song is changed dramatically.  Today’s weird thing is a demonstration of how absurdly overcovered (and covered absurdly) “Smells Like Teen Spirit” really is:


Alto saxophone and piano, which somehow quickly goes awry:


Bass clarinet and steel drums:

Bluegrass instruments (in which the bluegrass band has always been and always will be until the end):

Classical guitar:

Clarinet, alto saxophone, trumpet, French horn, euphonium, and two tubas:

Drums, steel-string guitar, alto saxophone, trombone, and tuba:

Electric ukuleles and drums:

Electric violin, with extra weirdness in the middle:

Flute and (probably) piano:

Harmonica and guitar:


Jazz instruments (with the lights out, presumably so it’s less dangerous, with extra trumpet and trombone material in the middle):

More instruments that you can shake a stick at:



String quartet:

Symphony orchestra:

Toy pianos:

(I cannot make something like this up.)


Trumpet and rock band:


(And, yes, the effect is comic.)

Ukuleles (again):

Ukuleles, with extreme goofiness:


Viola and electric guitar:



And finally, I would like to note two covers in which the song is changed substantially:

Willie Nelson’s impromptu cover:

Patti Smith’s cover, which inserts new lyrics in the middle but somehow does not make any more sense than the original version:

Also:  Please note the lack of covers on oboe, bassoon, tympani, double bass, viola da gamba, the new violin family, arpeggione, and serpent.  There are still opportunities for anyone wishing to compound this absurdity.

Enjoy and share the weirdness.


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