Geoff Geis

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Crazy Kids (Ke$ha cover)

I’m normally a huge Ke$ha fan, but the original version of this song is just bad. She nailed the affirmation anthem with “We R Who We R” but “Crazy Kids” is so bland. The worse part is the verse from will.i.am, which I left completely out of my cover version. This guy is known for ripping off other artist’s tracks, dumbing them down, and making huge hits. Yet somehow, on “Crazy Kids,” he manages to sound like a hacky facsimile of himself. Truly incredible in its badness.

I recorded this cover on Christmas Day and it was included on Mabson Enterprises’ Now That’s What I Call Mabson 2013 compilation.

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People Like Us (Talking Heads cover)

“People Like Us” is at the emotional core of David Byrne’s 1985 film True Stories. The movie is about a town in Texas and how all of its colorful characters are preparing for the town’s 150th anniversary. Perhaps the most charismatic of these characters is Louis, a lonely man played by a then-unknown John Goodman who spends the movie trying to find love via a video dating service. Louis is adorably pathetic, and Goodman is as good as ever in the role.

This song, which the character is supposed to have composed, is an ode to desperation: “We don’t want freedom, we don’t want justice, we just want someone to love.” He mentions picking up the phone, giving the impression that the “us” in the refrain literally refers to Louis and his fellow dial-a-daters. In one scene, he petrifies a woman by singing it to her, a capella, in her living room.

“It’s awful sad,” she says. “I couldn’t have that sort of sadness in my life. Do you really feel that way?”

“I never thought about it,” he replies after a stammer. His look is genuinely quizzical before there’s a flash of realization: “Maybe I am kinda sad. I like sad songs.”

He looks downward.

“They make me want to lie on the floor.”

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Tongue (R.E.M. cover – 2014 remix)

Monster is the most maligned of the well-known R.E.M. albums (among people who know R.E.M., the actual “turd in the punchbowl” — to borrow a phrase from Michael Stipe — is Around the Sun), and I remember it being a fixture in clearance bins of the used CD shops I frequented as a teenager. As a band increasingly known for mandolins and ballads, R.E.M.’s mid-90s electric about-face was interpreted as contrived and, because of their supposedly-old age (late 30s? early 40s?), embarrassing.

That’s silly, though.

First, R.E.M. had a long history of both writing rock songs and shifting sounds; the band had turned to ballads and mandolins in a previous about-face only a few years prior to the album in question. Second, Monster is the result of a band trying to break its formula and explore new ground — thus, it’s contrived by its very nature. So, what’s the problem?

It’s not their best record, but it’s still great and it has something that most records don’t have: a unique sound. It may have been the band’s “reaction to grunge,” as some people said at the time, but it certainly doesn’t sound like grunge.

“Tongue” doesn’t rock, but it does stand alone in R.E.M.’s catalog. The piano-led simplicity, the falsetto… in the midst of a catalogue from band so rich and diverse, this song is still somehow an outlier.

I built my cover off of a sample from the original and released it in 2011 on my EP Diva, but this is a remix that I just did for Zine Fest last month. It’s got bigger beats and more vocals than my first attempt.

This version is a lot better than the first one I did and it makes me want to do rerecordings of all sorts of jams but I must resist. I’ve got to move forward.

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New covers

I’m pretty bad about keeping this site maintained. Here I am in 2013 and I haven’t posted anything in months!

In that time, I’ve been working hard making demos for a new album. I just started rehearsing for the recording process. In the meantime, I’ve also recorded a few cover songs. Many of them have ended up on Kyle Mabson’s Mabson Enterprises compilations, like this version I did of Cher Lloyd’s “Want U Back:”

Others I’ve done “just for me,” like this version of Ellie Goulding’s “Anything Could Happen:”

I hope you enjoy the tunes. For more, you can visit my Soundcloud page.

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Music

This is Soft Sailors! We're a new band from Los Angeles. We don't have any upcoming shows scheduled, but you can hear us online:

Also, here are some solo songs I've uploaded recently to Soundcloud. I'm playing solo July 19th at the Pickle Factory at 647 Lamar Street in Los Angeles and September 1st at Los Globos in LA for a KCHUNG benefit.

In 2011, I released my first solo album, Princess. You can listen to it and download it on Bandcamp:

From 2005 until 2011, I was in the band Pizza! This is our album We Come From the Swamp:

From 2008-2010, I was in the band Big Whup. Here's one of our songs that I sang, called "Cover My Eyes:"

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