June 11, 2005

Paul Anka sings "Smells Like Teen Spirit"

I meant to talk about this right after I saw it, but whatever.

I was watching the Late Show the other night, as I do many nights, and was amused to hear that Paul Anka was the musical guest. After a hilarious interview with Robert Klein, Paul Anka went on.

I didn't catch it at first, but when they got to the chorus, it was obvious: Paul Anka was singing a lounge version of "Smells Like Teen Spirit". I was stunned. I didn't know what to think. Isn't this an atrocity? Is he mocking Kurt Cobain? Does he actually like Nirvana? It was mind-boggling. To this very moment I don't know whether I loved it or hated it. I'll need to discuss it with my brother to get a knowledgable musical opinion first.

Did anyone else see this? If so, what did you think? If not, what do you think anyway?

1 comment:

Ron said...

Well, I didn't see it, but I already know, based on your reaction, that it probably has to be pretty great. The fact that you were moved to write about it, the fact that it brings up unanswerable questions, the fact that seeing this performance makes you return to the very basis of your musical aesthetic to decide whether you love it or hate it...clearly, it moved you, and that makes it great art, campy or no.

I'm sure you've heard Pat Boone's cover of Ozzy's "Crazy Train;" it opens every episode of the Osbournes on MTV--if it's a good song, it'll survive the loungifying, and if the lounge performer is good, it's a good cover. I wish I'd seen it.

At the very least, it has to be better than the techno-dance version I've heard.