Me First & the Gimme Gimmes punk-ify the classics

by professor.knowsitall@evpl on Monday, November 17 2008, 9:58am. Viewed 1,874 times.

Me First & the Gimme GimmesMusical parody...such a fine art.  Back in the day, I was a big "Weird Al" Yankovic fan ("It's all about the Pentiums, baby!").  There are also bands that take well-known music and reinterpret it: some of my favs include Hayseed Dixie (they play AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Van Halen, etc. as bluegrass!), Richard Cheese & Lounge Against the Machine (90s-00s rock as lounge music), and the String Quartet Tribute series (Dylan, Clapton, Evanescence, Eagles, Rolling Stones).

My favorite parody band is, hands down, Me First & the Gimme Gimmes.  On their albums, they take a wide variety of popular tunes and turn em into blazing punk rock songs.  That probably doesn't sound too appealing...but you'd be pleasantly surprised.  They are masters of their craft, creating a catchy, brilliant mix of new and old...nothing beats hearing "Ghost Riders in the Sky" with blaring power chords, a constant bassline, and driving toms with double-kick on the drums!

Below I'll list the albums the EVPL has, the particular theme, as well as highlights from each album.

"Are a Drag" album artAre A Drag
1999
Showtunes!

This album features covers of beloved showtunes, including "Over the Rainbow", "Don't Cry for Me Argentina", "Favorite Things", and "Rainbow Connection".  I'm not that big of a showtunes fan (surprising, right?), but I love their interpretations of the songs I do know!

"Blow in the Wind" album artBlow in the Wind
2001
60s songs

Covers of songs from the 60s, including "Blowin' in the Wind", "Sloop John B.", "Elenor", "Stand by Your Man", and "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow".

"Take a Break" album artTake a Break
2003
R&B songs

An amazing collection of classic R&B songs, punkified.  Highlights include "Where Do Broken Hearts Go", "Hello", "Ain't No Sunshine", "I Believe I Can Fly", and "Nothing Compares 2 U".  A couple songs mash-up other songs with brilliant results: their cover of "I'll Be There" incorporates parts of The Cars' "Just What I Needed".

"Ruin Jonny's Bar Mitzvah" album artRuin Jonny's Bar Mitzvah
2004

This album doesn't have a "theme", per se, as it's a compilation of awesome tracks they performed live at...you guessed it, Jonny's Bar Mitzvah.  This album features covers of "Stairway to Heaven", "Come Sail Away", "Strawberry Fields Forever", "The Longest Time", "On My Mind", and "Take It on the Run".  Between the tracks, there's also lots of hilarious banter.

"Love Their Country" album artLove Their Country
2006
Country

I am not a fan of country music (I was subjected to it by my dad & sis when I was young), so I find this particular album hilarious!  Check out "Ghost Riders in the Sky", "Desperado", "Jolene", "On the Road Again", and "East Bound & Down" to hear these songs rock like you've never heard them before!

The Gimmes are brilliantly hilarious, as well as being excellent musicians, so I highly recommend checking them out!

More Information

  • EVPL Catalog: Check availability of albums by Me First & the Gimme Gimmes at EVPL libraries.
  • DailyMotion: Watch the Gimmes perform "Take it on the Run" live on Last Call with Carson Daly.
  • Amazon.com: Use this link to purchase their albums at Amazon, and the Public Library Friends will receive a portion of your purchase!

Comments (9)

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on Monday, November 17 2008, 12:49pm

I LOVE THES GUYS! I only discovered them about 10 months ago, but so far I can't get enough of them. Well, if I'm being completely honest, I'm not crazy about their latest, Have Another Ball (available at the EVPL, if you'd like to have a listen and disagree with me), but they have a lot of really good songs. I still haven't gotten over how well Rainbow Connection and Goodbye Earl work as punk songs. Who'd have thought? Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, I guess!

WashinMyGoat wrote
on Monday, November 17 2008, 1:51pm

This takes me back to high school:  All of the members are/were in other Fat Wreck Chords bands.  I'm not sure if the catalogue has any of the albums, but there are members of Lagwagon, Swingin' Utters, No Use For a Name, and NOFX.  Fat Mike sings and plays bass for NOFX, Joey Cape sings and Dave Raun drums for Lagwagon.  Spike did something in Swingin Utters, but I don't think he sang like he does in Me First.  Chris Schifflett played guitar in No Use for a Name before recently joining Foo Fighters.  I used to be a huge pop-punk(real pop-punk, not what MTV claims is pop-punk) fan if I didn't make that obvious.  

on Monday, November 17 2008, 3:19pm

@Shh_ImReading@evpl: I don't know how they're able to find so many songs that translate to punk so well, but they do!

I didn't mention "Have Another Ball"...I, too, don't think as good as their other albums.  The songs on "Have Another Ball" are ones that didn't make it (some for good reason, lol) onto their debut 1997 album "Have a Ball".  Unfortunately, EVPL doesn't have "Have a Ball", but it's definitely worth finding! (Danny's Song, Leaving on a Jet Plane, Uptown Girl, Sweet Caroline, Rocket Man, and more!)

@WashinMyGoat: Kickin it old school!  I knew about the Lagwagon/Swingin' Utters/NOFX crossovers, but not No Use For a Name...very cool!

Looking at Wikipedia, looks like they borrow a lot more riffs than I realized!  Take a look at en.wikipedia.org/.../Me_First_and_the_Gimme_Gimmes, as I'm sure you'll recognize more of em than I would.

on Tuesday, November 18 2008, 10:29am

Hey this sounds like fun.  I'm gonna get me one.

on Wednesday, November 26 2008, 5:07pm

I've got two of these albums checked out.  The band usually just pounds away at the song without judgment -- but sometimes can't resist a few snide asides.  

All the songs have a good fast handbanging beat that actually makes some of the more lachrymose songs sound better.  And the lead vocalist has a great voice.

So if you like the old classics but wish they would get speeded up a bit, check one out.

on Tuesday, December 9 2008, 12:11pm

I've decided they should do a Christmas album.

kiya@evpl wrote
on Thursday, December 11 2008, 7:16pm

A Christmas album is a little scary, though their name is on target for something skewering the commercialism of Christmas...

I really got on here to say that thanks to the Professer bringing it to our attention, some copies of Have a Ball have been ordered for the library system.  Merry Christmas!

on Friday, December 12 2008, 10:33am

@MediaPhile@evpl: Glad you liked em!  Upon first hearing the idea, most folks would assume that they completely butcher the songs, but they are actually very good, very catchy renditions.

@Shh_ImReading@evpl: That's a great idea!  I also think they should make an album of TV theme songs...I'd love to hear a punk-ified version of the Andy Griffith theme song.

@kiya@evpl: Awesome news about "Have a Ball"!  I will most definitely post about it once we've made it available.

TrackbackWhat is a trackback? from I Like Glen Campbell
on Thursday, February 4 2010, 12:32pm

It's not easy for me to say I like Glen Campbell . I don't think people my age are supposed to