Saturday, January 09, 2010

Saturday Word Play- The Rock Bottom Remainders Suggested Cover Tunes

So why let Russell Crowe, Keanu Reeves, and Juliette Lewis have all the fun? Actors aren't the only ones doing what they have no business doing playing in a rock and roll band. Back in the early 90s a group of (mostly well known) writers got together to form a supergroup of sorts (super being used loosely-- one member is quoted as saying, "we play music as well as Metallica writes novels"). But, despite a lack of musical talent, they've raised a lot of money for charity over the years, gotten to play with the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Warren Zevon, and... Frank McCourt. Perhaps you've heard of them: they're the Rock Bottom Remainders. But can you name some of the past and present members?

Below I've given you 10 lists of songs that the Rock Bottom Remainders haven't covered (as far as I know), but might as well try (another quote from the band: "We know about 3 or 4 songs. But we play about 50"). Each list will give you a clue as to one of the authors. One word in each song in the list is also part of a book title. Figure out the title, then identify the author. For instance, if I gave you this list:

Eli, the Barrow Boy- the Decemberists
Church of the Poison Mind- Culture Club
Knock on Wood- Amii Stewart
Neon Bible- Arcade Fire

You could pick the, poison, wood, Bible from the song titles and know that I'm looking for Barbara Kingsolver, author of The Poisonwood Bible and once a member of the Rock Bottom Remainders.

As always feel free to do all ten at home, but only answer one in the comment section. That way nine more people will have a chance to play along.

The End- the Doors
Joy to the World- Three Dog Night
Hard Luck Woman- Kiss
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band- the Beatles

The Sign- Ace of Base
Five Feet High and Rising- Johnny Cash
People are People- Depeche Mode
Don't You (Forget About Me)- Simple Minds
We'll Meet Again- Vera Lynn
Once in a Lifetime- Talking Heads
Stairway to Heaven- Led Zeppelin

War Pigs- Black Sabbath
Back in Black- AC/DC
Monkey Gone to Heaven- the Pixies

Papa's Got A Brand New Bag- James Brown
Can't Get You Out of My Head- Kylie Minogue
Little Bones- the Tragically Hip

Ordinary Day- Great Big Sea
My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys- Willie Nelson

Everyday I Write the Book- Elvis Costello
One of Us- Abba
Bad Moon Rising- Creedence Clearwater Revival
The Songs That We Sing- Charlotte Gainsbourg

After the Gold Rush- Neil Young
Big Bottom- Spinal Tap
Open Book- the Rakes
Sisters of Mercy- Leonard Cohen
Straight to Hell- the Clash

Black Boys on Mopeds- Sinead O'Connor
Many Rivers to Cross- Jimmy Cliff

Color Me Impressed- the Replacements
Jigsaw Puzzle of Life- Kate and Anna McGarrigle
Don't Drink the Water- Dave Matthews Band

Alphabet St.- Prince
Gin & Juice- Snoop Dogg

Too hard? Then maybe you can just figure out one of the titles and add that to the comment section. Someone else might recognize the author.


Andersen Silva said...

#4, since he's my favorite of the Remainders: "Bag of Bones," by Stephen King

raidergirl3 said...

#2 - The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Mitch Albom

well, the things you learn about when playing the Saturday Word Play!

Wanda said...

#1 is The Joy Luck Club ~ Amy Tan

arcona said...

#3. War in Heaven - Charles Williams

John Mutford said...

Andersen: That's it. And mine too.

Raidergirl: If I can help just one person get that brown piece of pie in Trivia Pursuit than I know my time on this Earth hasn't been wasted.

Wanda: That's right. One of the long term members.

Arcona: Sorry, that was a bit of a tricky one. War in Heaven is there, and it is by Charles Williams, but he wasn't a Rock Bottom Remainder member. It's tricky for another reason, too...

Remi said...

I'm thinking the answer to 3 is Pigs In Heaven. Drawing a blank on the author, though.

Really tough one this week. Nice.

John Mutford said...

Remi: Pigs in Heaven is the title.

Pooker said...

#7 - The Big Book of Hell by Matt Groening

gypsysmom said...

I know that Pigs in Heaven is by Barbara Kingsolver but I'm blanking on any of the rest of the titles. Like raidergirl3 I had never heard of the Rock Bottom Remainders but it sounds like fun.

John Mutford said...

Pooker: That's it. Groening, of course, while one of the most well known in the band, doesn't immediately come to mind when one thinks of authors, though he has loads of titles under his belt. The Big Book of Hell being a compilation of his Life in Hell comics.

Gypsysmon: Yes, it was Barbara Kingsolver. Tricky to some perhaps because she was also the author I used in my example. I remember hearing about the RBRs when they first formed. I was still in highschool at the time and well into my Stephen King phase, so the news captured my attention. I didn't know they still performed until doing this post. However, the last date on their website is 2007 so I don't know if they've called it quits or not.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

This is a fun one!

#5 is Ordinary Heroes by Scott Turow?

John Mutford said...

Barbara: Glad you enjoyed it, and yes, that's the right answer.