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The Late Movies: Covers of Morrissey & The Smiths

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I'm a longtime Morrissey fan. From the first time I heard The Queen is Dead by Morrissey's band The Smiths in the 80's, I was hooked. Morrissey's music is generally very maudlin (if not straight-up depressing), but somehow it's also hopeful and sweet. Below I have collected some terrific covers of songs by Morrissey and Smiths for your mope-rock enjoyment.

"There Is a Light..." -Neil Finn & Johnny Marr

Neil Finn of Crowded House is joined by Johnny Marr (of The Smiths and lately of Modest Mouse) in this terrific cover of a classic Smiths tune. Sample lyrics: "To die by your side is such a heavenly way to die."

"Everyday is Like Sunday" -Colin Meloy

Colin Meloy of The Decembrists does a solo acoustic cover of Morrissey's classic beach song, which Meloy calls "a sad campfire song...the campfire is in danger of being put out by your tears." Sample lyrics: "Every day is silent and gray. ... Come, come, nuclear bomb."

"The Headmaster Ritual" -Radiohead

Performed live on the band's webcast, 9 November 2007. Sample lyrics: "Billigerent ghouls run Manchester schools."

"The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get" -Josh Ackerman of The Mickey Mouse Club

Utterly awful. Sample lyrics: "Beware; I bear more grudges than lonely high court judges."

"Ask" -Brett Johnson

My all-time favorite Smiths song. Sample lyrics: "If there's something you'd like to try, ask me, I won't say no; how could I? Spending long summer days indoors, writing frightening verse to a bucktoothed girl in Luxembourg...."

"Girlfriend in a Coma" -Josh Radin

Sample lyrics: "Girlfriend in a coma, I know, I know it's really serious."

"Panic" -Sweet and Tender Hooligans

There's apparently a Morrissey/The Smiths tribute band. Who knew? Sample lyrics: "Hang the DJ, hang the DJ, hang the DJ."

Post Your Favorites in the Comments

There are TONS MORE of these in the wild. Please post links in the comments!

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Animals
Australian Charity Releases Album of Cat-Themed Ballads to Promote Feline Welfare
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An Australian animal charity is helping save the nation’s kitties one torch song at a time, releasing a feline-focused musical album that educates pet owners about how to properly care for their cats.

Around 35,000 cats end up in pounds, shelters, and rescue programs every year in the Australian state of New South Wales, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). Microchipping and fixing cats, along with keeping closer tabs on them, could help reduce this number. To get this message out, the RSPCA’s New South Wales chapter created Cat Ballads: Music To Improve The Lives Of Cats.

The five-track recording is campy and fur-filled, with titles like "Desex Me Before I Do Something Crazy" and "Meow Meow." But songs like “I Need You” might tug the heartstrings of ailurophiles with lyrics like “I guess that’s goodbye then/but you’ve done this before/the window's wide open/and so’s the back door/you might think I’m independent/but you’d be wrong.” There's also a special version of the song that's specifically designed for cats’ ears, featuring purring, bird tweets, and other feline-friendly noises.

Together, the tunes remind us how vulnerable our kitties really are, and provide a timely reminder for cat owners to be responsible parents to their furry friends.

“The Cat Ballads campaign coincides with kitten season, which is when our shelters receive a significantly higher number of unwanted kittens as the seasons change,” Dr. Jade Norris, a veterinary scientist with the RSPCA, tells Mental Floss. “Desexing cats is a critical strategy to reduce unwanted kittens.”

Listen to a song from Cat Ballads below, and visit the project’s website for the full rundown.

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technology
ABBA Is Going on Tour—As Holograms
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Missed your chance to watch ABBA perform live at the peak of their popularity? You’re in luck: Fans will soon be able to see the group in concert in all their chart-topping, 1970s glory—or rather, they’ll be able to see their holograms. As Mashable reports, a virtual version of the Swedish pop band is getting ready to go on tour.

ABBA split up in 1982, and the band hasn't been on tour since. (Though they did get together for a surprise reunion performance in 2016.) All four members of ABBA are still alive, but apparently not up for reentering the concert circuit when they can earn money on a holographic tour from the comfort of their homes.

The musicians of ABBA have already had the necessary measurements taken to bring their digital selves to life. The final holograms will resemble the band in the late 1970s, with their images projected in front of physical performers. Part of the show will be played live, but the main vocals will be lifted from original ABBA records and recordings of their 1977 Australian tour.

ABBA won’t be the first musical act to perform via hologram. Tupac Shakur, Michael Jackson, and Dean Martin have all been revived using the technology, but this may be one of the first times computerized avatars are standing in for big-name performers who are still around. ABBA super-fans will find out if “SOS” still sounds as catchy from the mouths of holograms when the tour launches in 2019.

[h/t Mashable]

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