Rachid Taha, Rock el Casbah

Rachid Taha's cover of the Clash song "Rock the Casbah" is a thorough mixing of punk and Algerian rai music. The iconic chorus is sung in English, but the rest of the song is rendered in Arabic, and rock beats and guitars mix with Egyptian-style strings. The result is amazing. Taha famously met the Clash in Paris in 1981 and handed them a tape of his band's music, which they seemed interested in. A year later, their next album included "Rock the Casbah". Coincidence? Taha thought his tape may have influenced the band. So this cover is kind of him returning the favor, bringing things full circle.

Link to Rachid Taha, Rock el Casbah

Posted on Saturday, May 25, 2024

Hakim e Cleopatra, Walk Like an Egyptian

I know absolutely nothing about this band. But my wife and I were laying in bed and she started playing this on her phone and I thought, "That could go up on Chocolate Tuba". And now it has. It doesn't particularly mesh the styles very well, but it may be more interesting for that failure.

Link to Hakim e Cleopatra, Walk Like an Egyptian

Posted on Friday, May 24, 2024

Talking Heads, Once in a Lifetime (Stop Making Sense extract)

The band that Talking Heads evolved into by the time the movie Stop Making Sense was made was the epitome of Chocolate Tuba, taking the angular minimalist punk the three- and four-piece versions of the band were known for and bringing in a healthy dose of R&B. Not something you would think would work, but boy did it ever, creating something unique.

Link to Talking Heads, Once in a Lifetime (Stop Making Sense extract)

Posted on Thursday, May 16, 2024

Kermit the Frog, Once in a Lifetime

This cover of "Once in a Lifetime" actually strays the least from the original of any I've found. Also, it's abbreviated, not the full song. But combining the original's punk/African fusion with whatever it is that the Muppets do is at the very least amusing.

Link to Kermit the Frog, Once in a Lifetime

Posted on Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Zoe Devlin Love, Once in a Lifetime

Following up from yesterday's post of Angélique Kidjo's cover of Talking Heads "Once in a Lifetime", another cover that reimagines the rather bloodless punk/African hybrid original, this time as deep roots reggae/dub. Gordon Wedderburn's translation of parts of the lyrics into Jamaican patois is a stroke of genius that really puts this one over the top, making it a paranoid masterpiece.

Link to Zoe Devlin Love, Once in a Lifetime

Posted on Tuesday, May 14, 2024