Countdown to Pete Yorn’s ArrangingTime :: Day 2 of 11


Countdown to Pete Yorn’s ArrangingTime :: Day 2 of 11

Day two is here. Another day closer to the release of ArrangingTime and we are here at lyriquediscorde still anxiously counting the days until it’s here.

So, what shall we do for day two? (Besides that awkward rhyming I just did – ha!)

What about some cover songs? We all love cover songs around here, and though its usually Sundays when we do the “under the covers” segment, maybe this week we can have a bonus day. How about a Top 5 of Pete Yorn cover songs? Sound good?

Don’t forget, if you haven’t pre-ordered the album yet, if you click here and are among the next 200 VINYL orders your album will be signed.

Alright, alright, let’s do this, let’s cover it all up for day two of the ArrangingTime countdown:


Keep Art Alive :: Photograph by Jim Wright

My Top 5 Cover Songs:

5. China Girl
originally by David Bowie

One of my all-time favorite Bowie songs covered by Pete. There’s a bit of the seventies-songwriter in this take, a bit of 90’s jangly alternative fare (I hear Pixies, Posies and some Dinosaur Jr. in this), and a hefty dose of guitar rock (the guitar work is incredible, gritty in the right places, don’t miss that solo). The vocals show just how much range Pete has. I’d love to hear this one played live.

“And when I get excited
my little China girl says
oh baby,
just you shut your mouth.

She says : sh-sh-shhh.”

4. I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend
originally by The Ramones

Punk re-interpreted as Power Pop in the best way. Pete’s version shows how hooky and catchy this song really is. I always when punk songs are deconstructed in a way that shows just how much melody and pop sensibilities live just under the surface. This has Summer written all over it to me – ready-made for your trip to the beach soundtrack, or a “I want you to be my Summer-love” mix tape (you know the kind).

“What do you say?
Do you love me babe?
What can I say?”

3. Panic (live at KCRW)
originally by The Smiths

No surprise that Pete would cover The Smiths, right? The thing I love the most about this take on Panic is the locale changes, and how it name checks Los Angeles and Echo Park. I’m a 3rd generation LA-girl, and I have a thing for songs about the city of angels. Even though this isn’t a LA-song, Pete makes it into one.

I also love that this version, recorded for KCRW, includes Pete saying “but, of course, not Nic Harcourt” – KCRW DJ).

“But there’s panic on the streets of Los Angeles:
Dublin, Dundee, Echopark –
I wonder to myself.”

2. Splendid Isolation
originally by Warren Zevon

Is it wrong to say you prefer a cover to the original? If it’s wrong, I guess I’m going to do wrong here. Though I do enjoy Zevon’s original, Pete’s version is my favorite. So full of longing and loneliness, a god-damn beautiful desperation, its existentialism set to a alt-pop melody with a jangly guitar – yes, yes, yes!

“Don’t want to wake up with no one beside me.
Don’t want to take up with nobody new.
Don’t want nobody coming by without calling first.
Don’t want nothing to do with you.”

1. Dancing in the Dark
originally by Bruce Springsteen

There are quite a few Springsteen covers to choose from (not a big surprise) that Pete has covered, many that I love, especially the mash-up of Atlantic City (Springsteen) with Murray (Yorn), that I was lucky to see/hear live at The Roxy last year. That said, though, I had to choose my favorite Springsteen song – Dancing in the Dark. This song seems like it could have been written for Pete to sing – everything in it is just perfect for his vocals, his delivery, his complex emotional delivery. I love this one so much – it just had to be my #1 favorite!

Also also also…don’t miss the T-Rex “I was dancing when I was twelve” lyrical lines at the end…from Cosmic Dancer…another all-time favorite song of mine!

“I’m sick of sitting ’round here trying to write this book.”


Keep Art Alive :: Photograph by Jim Wright

3 thoughts on “Countdown to Pete Yorn’s ArrangingTime :: Day 2 of 11

  1. Well, the Ramones cover is a dream. It’s still got the pop and jangle of the original and really fits. I don’t believe in that idea that it’s wrong to like a cover better. That assumes the original is best simply for being first. You’re not wrong! But, if you’re wrong, I’m wrong too.

    1. Well then we can be wrong (or RIGHT) together 🙂 I should do a post sometime of covers I prefer to the originals.

      I like that/agree that the original is just first, not necessarily “best”. Do you have any cover songs you prefer to the originals?

      I agree on the Ramones cover – it does really fit, and it has the jangle!!! Yeah!

      1. That’d be an excellent post. Yep-so many! Mostly covers the Lemonheads & Evan Dando did and their are lots and lots of those. I equally like The Postal Service original & Iron and Wine’s version of “Such Great Heights”. One of my favorite favorite covers is The Murder City Devils doing Neil Diamond’s “I’ll Come Running”.

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