Saturday, May 7, 2011

30 Songs, 30 Days, Day Three: I Wanna Be Like You by Jeff Pianki

Like I have to tell you what this song's a cover of a famous ditty (sometimes subtitled 'The Monkey Song') by a Michigan based alt-folker...

It's been far, far too long since I watched The Jungle Book. I was a child at the time, and saw it at the Sunrise Drive In, so we are talking a couple of decades. But I do recall it being a more...raucous number than the interpretation, which seems to approach it with a sort of softshoe jazz styling. I don't know what to make of it, to be honest--shorn of Louie Prima's rather broad reading or the , the song sort of just sits there lifelessly, without meaning or humor. It's almost like the way it was written demands a weird reading--which it gets in other covers by The Big Bad Voodoo Daddies, Smashmouth and others.

Far too often, I find, alt bands/musicians take rocking, rollicking tunes and give them an 'ironic' twist by slowing down the melody and subduing the line reading. The problem with that is that it doesn't work all the time. Hell, it doesn't work half the here.

No video for this here's one of Jeff doing one of his originals...

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