Saturday, April 12, 2008

Songs Covered by Fluid Ounces

I decided to mention all the songs Fluid Ounces have covered in one quick stroke. All of these are covers performed by actual line-ups, not counting solo sets or guest bands. Many are one-offs, and I’m suspicious that there are a few more (maybe some other band members reading this can fill in some I may have missed). Seth filled in a couple I didn’t know about.

Sir Duke (Stevie Wonder)
This cover suited the Fluid Ounces set, sounding surprisingly full even in the absence of horns.

El Scorcho (Weezer)
I never would have thought this would be a song Fluid Ounces would cover, mainly because it doesn’t seem like a great fit. I know they’re early Weezer fans and all, but this is one of the last songs I would have ever guessed they would have covered. It works well enough, though, as you can see from this video from the Chukker show.

Ride a White Swan (T-Rex)
From Awkward Middle Phase: Seth Timbs' Home Demos, Volume One

This song was included on Awkward Middle Phase, and is easily the least-listened song of the lot on my player. Not being familiar with the source material limits what I can say about this one.

I Am the Walrus (The Beatles)
This was performed for a John Lennon tribute. The band played at more than one of these, and I’m suspicious that there are more songs than this and Instant Karma!

Aqualung (Jethro Tull)
Not being familiar with the source material limits what I can say about this one, but it’s hard for me to imagine Fluid Ounces covering this one, and I have no recording of it.

Synchronicity II (The Police)
Not being familiar with the source material limits what I can say about this one, but it’s easier for me to picture this one than the other.

She Blinded Me with Science (Thomas Dolby)
From the Japanese release of Foreign Legion

They played this one to close out the first Fluid Ounces show I ever saw, and I considered it the perfect cover to close out the perfect night. It is just obscure enough and just recognizable enough, not to mention danceable and random. It was played for two or three or more shows and never done again. I was given an advanced copy of Foreign Legion a year later and very surprised to find this song tacked on the end. It was also included in the Japanese release of FL.

Charlie Brown (Boo Boo Bunny)
It was implied that Fluid Ounces shared a Halloween show with Murfreesboro shock rockers Boo Boo Bunny for more than one year, but I don’t know for sure. I only caught the one in 2000. Billed as a “versus” show, Fluid Ounces taunted their opponent by covering one of their songs. I didn’t stick around to see if Boo Boo Bunny reciprocated by covering a Fluid Ounces song because the Features were playing across town at Sebastian’s that night, and well, you know.

Anyway, I was happy to acquire the video of that night’s show with this interesting cover along with it.

Good luck finding copies of either Boo Boo Bunny album. I’m not sure which one carries the original of this tune, Guitar Case Full or Porn or Prom Queen of Auschwitz.

Moby Dick (Led Zeppelin)
This instrumental tune was played once at Justin Meyer’s final show to showcase his fine drumming skillz as the rest of the band set down their instruments to let him bash out his solo for a couple minutes before they returned to finish the song.

Rock the Casbah (The Clash)
The band worked this one up for the Japanese tour in February, 2002. The genius part was a segue into The Police’s “King of Pain” using the same chord progression as sort of a bridge to the final chorus.

It’s Not My Birthday (They Might Be Giants)
From Hello Radio: The Songs of They Might Be Giants

I always liked this home demo as it is the most prominent accordion used on a Fluid Ounces recording, which in and of itself is a tribute to They Might Be Giants. Not being familiar with the source material limits what I can say about this one.

Pretty Ugly Before (Elliott Smith)
From A Tribute to Elliott Smith

Dave Dickerson was helping along with Fluid Ounces quite a bit when The Whole Shebang was released, maintaining their website and such. He also was running a record label at the time, and he put out a tribute to Elliott Smith on that label in the wake of Smith’s death. Fluid Ounces contributed this song that they may have played live at the record’s release. Not being familiar with the source material limits what I can say about this one.

Short People (Randy Newman)
The influence of Randy Newman on Fluid Ounces is obvious, and this song in particular obviously informed the quirkiness of Seth Timbs’ songwriting career. It was covered a few times in early 2005, and last played at the Basement in January, 2006, with Mike Grimes singing back-up from the sound board.

Everything Is Free (Gillian Welch)
I wasn’t surprised to see the band cover a Gillian Welch song since Seth and Brian Pitts are such big fans of hers (and possibly Tha B, too). I’ve seen Seth cover her rock-a-billy tune “Honey Now” numerous times in solo sets and with Moonie and the Johndogs. This song would be the only thing at the Mike Mahaffey Benefit Show that night to have a somber tone to it, singing about musicians willing to play for free.

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Instant Karma! (John Lennon)
This was a fitting cover performed at the very beginning of 2005. It only lasted a couple of times as the set closer, which is understandable since the screaming chorus would wreck Seth’s voice every time.

Sledge Hammer (Peter Gabriel)
The “Half Ounce” set in January, 2007, debuted this one that the full band picked up, with Brian Rogers adding a wah pedal and superimposing the lead part from “Tokyo Expressway.” I thought it over-stayed its welcome and was played a few too many times at most sets in 2007, but I accepted it as it unanimously united crowds and gave me one more song to hear before the night of music would end.

1 comment:

Soymilk Revolution said...

WHOA. "el scorcho" cover extremely unexpected, and a damn fine version as well. new weezer album coming out in a couple months (the red album) and the first single actually sounds like old weezer! (check it:

"everything is free" is definitely my favorite fl. oz. cover. "she blinded me with science" is cool, too.

Purchase Fluid Ounces mp3s Directly from the Band!