Do you like any cover songs better than the originals?

There are quite a few songs I’ve heard that were simply remakes of an older version. An easy one to use as an example is “Can’t Help Falling In Love.” Everyone and their mother knows this song was made popular by Elvis Presley.

But this isn’t the version I heard first. For me, it was the recording by UB40 that I fell in love with in the early 1990s.

There are other songs, too, that are only a newer artists take on an old classic. So my question is this:

Does a person generally like the first version they hear of a song, even if it’s not the original artist singing it?

Alien Ant Farm “Smooth Criminal,” Boyz II Men “In the Still of the Night,” Jeff Buckley “Hallelujah,” Whitney Houston “I Will Always Love You,” and Sinead O’Connor “Nothing Compares 2 U” are arguably better covers than the originals, along with many, many other songs. If you heard these first, would you think they’re better than Michael Jackson, The Five Satins, Leonard Cohen, Dolly Parton, and Prince’s originals?

What are your thoughts? Do you have a few cover favorites you like better than the original? Chime in below!

-Out of the Wilderness

5 things that might blow your mind

 

I love a good list about, well, anything. So here’s one for you today… it’s a list of things that might surprise you. I know they throw me for a loop if I think too long about them. Do you have anything to add? Comment below!

5 things that might blow your mind…

  • Only 11 years ago Michael Jackson, Prince, and Whitney Houston were all still alive
prince-michael-and-whitney
image source CBS News
  • 15 years ago there was no such thing as an iPhone
iphone 11
source Apple.com
  • Will we ever think of Facebook the way we now think of MySpace

[After however many years, I was able to sign in to my old MySpace account and my head hurts from trying to figure out what MySpace is now]

 

  • President Trump is the 45th president of the United States. The 50th president may not have even been born yet

 

IMG_20171211_071358325

-Out of the Wilderness

The dancers in Keith Urban’s “The Fighter” music video

Keith Urban has two music videos for his latest song “The Fighter.” The song is a duet with Carrie Underwood. The first video features Keith and Carrie with clips of a lone female dancer. The second video, dubbed the Dancers Version, leaves Keith and Carrie out visually but adds in a male dancer along with the female from the first video. You’ve probably already seen it, that’s why you’re here but click here for the video on YouTube. The pair was most recently seen on stage at the ACM Awards in Las Vegas as part of Keith and Carrie’s performance, but who are these dancers, anyway?
Lindsay and LyleTheir names are Lindsay Richardson (left) and Lyle Beniga (right). The pair are an item, as my parents would say. And they were also part of the Tennessee Kids (Justin Timberlake’s band and dancers for the 20/20 Experience tour).

[click here for more about Keith Urban’s new video “We Were”, the post will open in a new window]

Lyle Beniga
Starting with Lyle, he’s got quite the dance resume. He’s danced with A-list artists who are known for their own dance skills: Justin Timberlake, Usher, Jennifer Lopez. Adding to that list, he was part of a Michael Jackson tribute that aired on MTV. So yeah, dancing in any professional capacity as it relates to Michael Jackson is definitely saying something! A few more fun facts:

  • His hometown is Waldorf, MD.
  • College major was engineering.
  • He has his own clothing line.
  • You can follow him on Instagram here, and Twitter here.

Here’s the Michael Jackson tribute performance, although I can’t tell which one is Lyle.

Lindsay Richardson
Moving on to Miss Lindsay Richardson now:

  • She’s a dancer, a yoga instructor, and an actor. Her dance resume includes Justin Timberlake, Tinashe, Justin Bieber, and Britney Spears, just to name a few.
  • Her hometown is Berlin, Vermont.
  • Her first concert was Hanson. In an mmm bop they’re gone.
  • She has two dogs named Bruce and Charlie.

You can follow her on Instagram here, and Twitter here


Lindsay posted a couple of videos of Keith’s take on using her and Lyle for this video. Take a look by clicking these links.
Part 1 and Part 2

These two dancers are amazing! Keep an eye out for them in all types of forms: live, music videos, and who knows where else! And since you made it down this far, you might as well check out my children’s book and pick up a copy! 🙂

-Out of the Wilderness

My Beef With Christmas Music as Heard on Christian Radio

Since I was a little guy, I’ve loved Christmas music. From “Joy to the World” to “Christmas Canon” to “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer,” all of it reminds of why I love this time of year. Well, not because someone’s grandma got run over by a reindeer, mine certainly didn’t, but you know what I mean… being with family, creating memories, and of course, the history-altering birth of Jesus.

manger1What really gets my goat this season is the Christmas music I’m hearing on Christian radio. Here’s what happens… I’m driving down the road flipping through the stations. I hear “Joy to the World” which is my all-time favorite Christmas song. So of course I’m going to turn it up and sing along. Verse 1… awesome. Verse 2… awesome. Then as soon as I gracefully begin singing verse 3, I’m cut off by… what’s this? Different lyrics? And the melody doesn’t even sound the same! Now instead of singing about joy to the world, I’m asking “What in the world?”

I understand since American Idol came around, it’s popular to “make it your own.” I get that and for the most part, I like the idea. I still remember hearing Phillip Phillips’ version of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” It was amazing. Or David Cook’s heartfelt rendition of Lionel Richie’s “Hello.” Plus, who can forget Adam Lambert singing “Ring of Fire”? I loved all of those. But when it comes to this issue I have with some Christmas songs, well, it’s a genre of music you don’t really need to change. It’s what the American Idol judges would say about a Whitney Houston song. Just sing it well. That’s all.

scene from A Christmas Story
scene from A Christmas Story

It’s like these artists took your favorite Christmas sweater, sewed in their initials, and now they’re selling it on Etsy. Or if I were to repackage everyone’s favorite movie “A Christmas Story” with an added scene I shot myself because, well, I wanted to call it my own. Then I sell it on eBay as the “extended version.” The most recent example I’ve heard this season is a song called “Joy to the World (Unspeakable Joy).” Let’s not even get into the confusing conflict of a song with lyrics about something that’s unspeakable. That’s not the point. The point is they damaged a perfectly good sweater.

A wise man once said that if a person comes to him with a problem, they should also come with a solution. So I’ll take his advice. The solution to this problem is simple. Sing the songs as they were meant to be sung. Or come up with something original. I know it’s tough to come up with a timeless Christmas song… nearly impossible. But artists should try. Mariah Carey did it with “All I Want For Christmas.” Another instant classic was written by a comedian, “Mary, Did You Know?”

There’s more that can be said about this whole “repackaging” thought, especially in Christian music. But instead of repackaging that conversation, this site hits the bull’s-eye.

Merry Christmas!
-Out of the Wilderness

Wacky Wednesday: Man in the Mirror

I know I’m not the only narcissistic person in the world, and for me it mostly shows up during my afternoon jog/workouts. There’s a sidewalk over on James Robertson Parkway beside a building with reflective windows. Every time I jog past those windows, I make a point to look at myself on the way… and the way back. Hey, if helps me stay motivated, I’ll keep doing it!

“I’m looking at the man in the mirror, oh yeah!”

Liking Michael Jackson and Disliking Osama bin Laden Makes You Cooler

You’re at a wedding. The couple begins their first dance as Mr. and Mrs. Suddenly the romantic ballad stops, and Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel” echoes through the banquet hall as the bride and groom perform a choreographed dance. Cool.

You’re standing on a rocky ledge at a marina. The water is calm until all of the sudden a gigantic while jumps over you. Cue percussion intro to “Will You Be There?” by Michael Jackson. Cool.

You’re watching the news announcing that bin Laden is dead and you put your American flag out, even though it’s night time. Cool.

In summary, if you need help making something cooler, add a Michael Jackson song or mention you’re strong dislike for the person responsible for September 11th. Adding a quick comment about what you would do if you found him works well here, too. For example, “If I was in Pakistan and found bin Laden, I’d tie him to a chair and tell him he can have face chat with his buddies in the cave on an iPhone 4 but then I’d drop the bomb that there’s no WiFi!” That kind of stuff is hardcore dislike.

Thank you to the military of the United States of America. You are stronger and cooler than any military anywhere (with or without a Michael Jackson song).