Detholz! “Jukebox of the Dead” Halloween cover I – “Conga” by Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine

Welcome to Detholz! Mp3 Blog XI, and welcome to the Detholz! season of Advent!

Advent, you ask? Yes, my child. Let us light the first candle today– All Hallow’s Eve draweth nigh!

For those of you who are not as familiar with Detholz! lore, every year on Halloween for the past 8 years we have staged what we call “The Jukebox of the Dead,” featuring deconstructions of soft rock and adult contemporary hits: “the songs you love to hate to love.” Every week in October, we will post an unreleased Detholz! cover from years past and count down to Halloween!

This week’s track is “Conga” by Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine.

Preparations for this year’s “Jukebox of the Dead” have begun: Detholz! present “Jukebox of the Dead VIII: Xanadu!”

Mark your calendars for 3 manifestations of “Xanadu!”:

Friday, October 26
Zanies Too
Indianapolis IN
w/Creepin’ Charley

Saturday, October 27
The House
Dekalb IL

Wednesday, October 31 HALLOWEEN
Ye Aulde Empty Bottle
Chicago, IL
w/ the Mucca Pazza Marching Band & the amazing Lord of the Yum-Yum

Somehow prattling on about our compositional approach to deconstructing “Conga” strikes me as ridiculous. Also, I feel that I would be spilling trade secrets, like publishing the formula for New Coke or something. So, simply sit back, relax….and conga.

Tune in next week for another unreleased Detholz! cover!


20 Responses to “Detholz! “Jukebox of the Dead” Halloween cover I – “Conga” by Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine”

  1. Eriq Says:

    This just totally made my day! I love the vocal effects. It’s no “Invisible Touch” (my favorite of your covers), but this one is great. I especially liked the growling “stoooppp” at about 2:30 into the song. Every Wednesday will be like Christmas this month.

  2. detholz Says:

    Eriq: Thanks! That monster that shows up in the middle of the song is a manifestation of my subconscious that appeared after, oh, the 25th time I had to listen to the original “Conga” when I put this together.

  3. Blog Feeds about Music » Archive » Detholz! “Jukebox of the Dead” Halloween cover I - “Conga” by … Says:

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  4. kebabdylan Says:

    holy crap the singing is killing me. so so funny.

  5. Jim Says:

    I wasn’t gonna prattle, but I found the vocal effect to be quite horrendous (except for the Thriller-esque ‘stop’ in the middle). It seems to be getting good feedback though.

  6. detholz Says:

    ‘Bab/Jim: Care to duke it out?

    Here’s my 2 cents: whenever I do these covers, I typically have to listen to the original over and over again to develop the arrangement. In this case, I developed such a loathing for the original “Conga” that I felt personally violated singing lines like:

    “Feel the fire of desire
    as you dance the night away.
    ‘Cos tonight we’re gonna party
    till we see the break of day.”

    I’m sorry if the effect obscures the profundity of these lyrics, or is too unpleasant or distracting. But you’ve also missed the point.

    What you’re hearing is revenge– MY revenge– on Gloria Estefan. Even now when “Conga” plays on a loudspeaker at my dentist’s office, I have to fight the urge to run screaming from the room.

  7. Jim Says:

    Uh-oh. We’ve started prattling.
    I totally understand where you’re coming from Jim. I was originally going to let this go, until, to my surprise, everyone else was saying how much they like it. I had to play Devil’s advocate.
    Remember, unless I’m making a very conscious effort, I don’t initially hear lyrics (a fault I’m not proud of), and missed the creamy vocals and harmonies I was used to in the live setting.
    I love that you use this wonderful season to poke fun at all kinds of musical blunders. It’s hilarious. The songs are ridiculous. And so are some of the things you do to them, which is the point. It’s great.
    No duking here.

  8. detholz Says:

    Jim: Don’t back down. Hey, baby, there ain’t no easy way out.

    If anyone doesn’t like something– a song, a part, whatever– I hope he/she WILL speak up. I never, ever take any of these comments personally.

    (Unless they’re intended to be personal, in which case I will hunt you down like the dogs that you are.)

    When it comes to the music, it’s only rock ‘n roll– but I like it!

    We’ve already scheduled a recording session to knock out many of the JOtD songs that haven’t been committed to tape by the full band. “Conga” is among them– and fear not, the pitch shifter will be nowhere to be found!

  9. dj Says:

    A quick check of the calendar show FIVE Wednesdays in October. This could be a great month. Can we make requests?

    And thank you for another outrageous cover. I remember playing this in Pep Band at basketball games in High School. I’d wager ours was a bit closer to the original.

    And to Jim’s defense, when you played this live, the vocals weren’t as disturbed. Here’s a YouTube of a grand rapids performance from last year.

    The insipid lyrics really have a chance to shine through.

    Bring ’em on!

  10. Jim Says:

    That’s excellent news about the sans pitch shift recording. Thank God! I was worried about that as soon as I heard this version. Good call.
    And if we can make requests, I’d hope to hear the most awesome cover of yours, Ring of Fire. I remember hearing that for the first time at the Chapel of Ribs. That was a fun, loose show. Almost as if you were verging on ….*gasp*….jam band-ism.
    (I kid ’cause I love.)

  11. kebabdylan Says:

    so basically. i really hate hate hate this song. its so bad that I don’t even really like this version of it. the only that that i like about it. and I love this cover for it, is that the cover version seems to hate the original version about as much as i do. The one thing its got going for it is that the vocals are such a middle finger to the song.

    what it reminds me of, not sure if there are any camper van beethoven fans out there, is CVB’s TUSK. Story goes that they got snowed in a cabin and their drummer broke his arm, so they decided to cover on 4-track the entire double album by fleetwood mac. Its quite the experiment that ranges for wonderful moments to complete flops. One thing though. they intentionally butchered every single stevie nicks song on purpose. I do not know why but its hilarious. In one song, they swap out all the words of th song and just recipe passages from Moby Dick.

  12. kebabdylan Says:

    i still thing the poetry of “rock you like a hurricane” is begging for the detholz treatment. “The bitch is hungry / She needs to tell / So give her inches / And feed her well…”

  13. dj Says:

    I need to place a vote for Tom Sawyer. I still smile when I think about it. Out-math-rocking the anthem of math-pop-rock.

  14. detholz Says:

    Jim: More like “jammed-full-of-ribs band”-ism.

    ‘Bab: Let’s hear it for hate!

    “Rock You Like a Hurricane” is missing one important criterion: I’ve never heard it in a dentist’s office.

    Deej: This year’s Halloween set is set to “smite.”

    Oh, and Geddy *may* or may not make an appearance on the next Jukebox of the Dead album cover…

  15. kebabdylan Says:

    that’s right I forgot the dentist office criteria. Do you have serious problems with your teeth? you seem to have spend a LOT of time at the dentist.

  16. dj Says:

    You’ve heard Tom Sawyer at the Dentist?

    What, is your dentist office in Canada?

  17. detholz Says:

    ‘Bab: I didn’t used to until I knocked out my front tooth during the shooting of a Baby Teeth video.

    Deej: Ben was the guilty party who stooped to do the “Tom Sawyer” arrangement. Maybe you should ask him. Remember to “handle with kid gloves.”

  18. grosser Says:

    Since everyone is complaining, I’ll join the fun. My complaint is about the lack of commentary. I mean, I get the thing about “you didn’t write the lyrics” (tacit and valid reason for not waxing eloquently on the lyrical composition) and “you don’t want to give away trade secrets”, but neither of those preclude you from writing a touching and unironic short essay on The Way This Song Has Touched My Life.

    Oh wait–that’s in the comments.

    Anyway, love the blog. Been lurking for awhile.

  19. Dexter Says:

    I stumbled upon this random cover of Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab”, check it out, it’s worth a listen:

  20. detholz Says:

    Grosser: Thanks for tuning in!

    For the record, “Conga” is really best experienced while sitting naked on a rough log with a case of the bad craps. Oh, and did I mention chugging 6 gallons of “Old El Paso” salsa?

    Feel the rhythm of the islands!

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