Song Of The Day 11/14/2016: Señor Coconut y Su Conjunto – “Autobahn”


Quarterly Covers Report -- Señor Coconut is one of those novelty cover acts. I've never been able to figure out how I feel about such artists, who recast popular or iconic songs in trappings superficially unsympathetic to the original intent for the sake of Irony. Irony of course was a much more valuable commodity in the 1990's, and even in the years which I promise you we'll someday be calling "The Pre-Trump Age." Me First & the Gimme Gimmes, perfectly nice punks who ran a cottage industry of cover albums, should be lauded for never swerving one bit from their milieu come hell or high water (although Circle Jerks did it first). Then there was Black Velvet Flag, whose loungy versions of things like Suicidal Tendencies' "Institutionalized" seemed a lot funnier about 25 years ago. I figure getting older and losing sight of your youth's sacred cows make such exercises more jejune in retrospect.

Hey, what an enthusiastic setup for Señor Coconut! This is from the brain of Uwe Schmidt, a German from Frankfurt who had a million aliases, most notably Atom™ and Atom Heart. He moved to Santiago, Chile, which is where he pursued his affection for Latin music. The central moment in the Coconut canon is El Baile Alemán, an album that contains traditional Latin renditions of Kraftwerk songs. I don't know why, but I have an easier time dealing with this than other concepts. It's notably difficult to screw up Latin music, at heart. "The Robots" was a modest college hit, and "Trans-Europe Express" is also well-actualized. But I chose Coconut's version of Kraftwerk's most famous work because of its replication of the original song's introduction of a car starting up. The car in Señor Coconut's version -- well, it's probably not the product of German engineering, we'll leave it at that.

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