Happy Monday Mixtapers! Welcome to another stunning, flawless, amazing, snatching Elton John tickets off your favorite edition of the Majak Mixtape, where pop culture waits because it's gonna be a long long till touchdown brings it round again to find. As you can obviously tell, we're taking a Sir Elton John aka the REAL Queen of England and his upcoming concert Tuesday at the La Crosse Center.
In our first bit of tea, "Scream 4" ended up getting crapped on by some macaws at the weekend box office as the fourth entry in the "Scream" franchise ended up coming in distant second to the G-rated bird-a-thon of "Rio." Coming some 11 years after "Scream 3" pretty much killed the whole franchise in one fell swoop of shitty plotting, the Weinstein Brothers are trying to revive the franchise with a mix of the old (Neve Campbell, David Arquette, the lines in Courtney Cox's face) and the new (Emma Roberts, Kieran Culkin, other stars anybody over the age of 23 probably have no idea exist). Maybe this will spur Neve Campbell to team up with Jennifer Love Hewitt to a do a real-life "Ghost Whisperer" show where they get in contact with their former successful careers.
And while their movie may have underperformed at the box office, at least their life choices aren't underperforming like Nicholas Cage's as he was arrested for domestic abuse and disturbing the peace; he was bailed out of jail by, of all people in the world, A and E reality star and professional mullet wearer Dog the Bounty Hunter. Nic Cage has been in the gossips a lot recently with his IRS troubles and a stolen-now-found "Superman" comic book that may put an insurance payout in jeopardy. Someone has clearly been reading their copy of "Hot Mess Yourself Into Winning Relevancy Again" by Charlie Sheen.
Speaking of hot messes, we're still following the delicious one-sided Twitter feud between Austin A. from Logo's "The A-List: New York" and Gretchen Rossi from "The Real Housewives of Orange County." We're still not sure what has exactly inspired so much 140-characters vitriol from Austin A., but it is an amazing thing to see in our Twitter feed to watch Austin A. sling shade with the sort of haphazard devil-may-care attitude that his "The A-List" co-star Mike Ruiz routinely has about his hair styling choices. Behold a tweet from the weekend:
When a follower of Austin A.'s tried to kindly point out that calling somebody a slut all over the Internet wasn't the wisest idea in our very sue-happy climate, Austin maturely summed up his argument about his right to freedom of speech. Nah, just screwing with you. He wrote:
Never change Austin. Never. Change.
And that's the tea for today. Get in touch with your inner William Shatner and continue reading as we take on our favorite Elton John songs as done by him and others.
So here's the thing about Elton John's concert tomorrow. We've been asked by all sorts of people if we're going because logic would dictate that since we write a music column/blog that wed be all over it. When we heard Elton was coming to town, our collective reaction was a big ole giant MEH. Is that wrong? Should we give back our gay card? Maybe this was the mid-1990s during the height of "Lion King" fever or the early 1980s or even the 1970s, we'd be all about the Elton John concert. But now Elton has basically turned himself into the pop music equivalent of the old man shaking his feet at the damn kids playing their rock music too loud. And when he's being notoriously crotchety about pretty much everything, he's acting as Lady GaGa's unofficial press agent. Frankly, we're more likely to forgive Elton John for playing at Rush Limbaugh's wedding reception than we are for Elton talking about how wonderful GaGa's single "Born This Way" was.
Anyway, though we aren't beating down the doors of the La Crosse Center to watch Elton perform his tiara off doesn't mean we don't appreciate his music. Elton John movies have routinely made shitty movies turn awesome by the placement of one of his tunes in the trailer (LOOKING AT YOU "RUNNING WITH SCISSORS" and "MOONLIGHT MILE.") Though a lot of the lyrics, as penned by Bernie Taupin, are the height ridiculous, you've got to appreciate anybody committing to "Bennie and the Jets" with the same amount of sincerity as he did with say "Candle in the Wind."
Elton's music is incredibly distinctive but also able to handled by a variety of people with varying ranges of success. For every Ewan McGregor in "Moulin Rouge," you've got the misguided "American Idol" contestant who decides to melisma their way through a hokey verison of the already hokey "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me." In celebration of Elton's upcoming appearance, we're posting some of our favorite songs and covers of Elton John.
We begin with Ellie Goulding and her version of "Your Song."
Though we think Ewan McGregor's version of "Your Song" is the gold standard for Elton John covers, but we love Ellie Goulding and her endearingly wobbly singing voice. Not as bombastic as McGregor nor as sweepingly romantic as the original, Ellie Goulding has a certain wistfulness that we appreciate. It warms our little hipster heart. Ironically of course.
One of the more insane Elton John covers is our next song, Beastie Boys and Biz Markie team-up for a straight-forward cover of "Bennie and the Jets." Basically, if you ever wanted to know what it would sound like if the Tracey Jordan character for "30 Rock" would sound like doing an Elton John song, your wish has just been granted by this YouTube video as Biz Markie gamely mumble-sings his way through the tune with all the style and vocal mastery he showed on his one hit "Just a Friend."
"Bennie and the Jets" formed the basis of the Mary J Blige tune "Deep Inside."
Another tote brills cover of Elton John is when Aretha Franklin decided to take on Elton's song "Border Song." The original version:
Aretha's take with Elton:
Aretha, as always, was not playing any games when she showed up to the piano to sing with Elton.
We know that it's common to dismiss all of Mandy Moore's music career, but we have to give the girl credit because her album "Coverage" was filled with awesome cover versions of things like XTC's "Senses Working Overtime" and Todd Rundgren's "Can We Still Be Friends." It's better than anybody who got popular singing a song about oral sex (Don't tell us "Candy" was about anything other than that) should ever have for an album. Moore smartly chose a lesser known Elton John tune to cover when she did her own spin on the great song "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters."
We know. We know. You can't do a post about Elton John covers without this video. Feel free to enjoy and cringe at equal turns.
So much hilarity, from the random appearance of Karen Black to Bernie Taupin's "Has the check cleared" expression to Shatner's performance, there is a reason why this performance will never ever be forgotten.
And with that disgrace, we end this Mixtape. As always, we wish you love, peace and downloads. BRING ON THE RUPAUL AND ELTON JOHN.