The Lagniappe Sessions: Ought cover Cyndi Lauper / Sexy Kids


Lagniappe (la ·gniappe) noun ‘lan-ˌyap,’ — 1. An extra or unexpected gift or benefit. 2. Something given or obtained as a gratuity or bonus.

A year ago next month, I happened upon Ought’s live show while in New York. Their performance that evening stands as one of the more memorable examples of going in to see a band cold and leaving a proselytizing fan. Shades of Talking Heads, Television, the Fall and the Feelies swirled around the room that night, though never approaching gross pastiche.

This week’s installment catches us with the Montreal group as they reinvent ’80s Cyndi Lauper and pay tribute to the defunct Sexy Kids. Ought, in their own words, below.


I was in an American High School the first time I heard She’s So Unusual. I had laughed, at first, at the cover art and then turned to a friend for social approval.   Stone-faced, he returned my gaze: “this is a seriously amazing record.”   She’s So Unusual might be my favourite pop record, and “Money Changes Everything,” being the lead-off, might be the first song in which I’d ever heard a synth (and what  a synth-line…), as well as my personal favourite to dance to. As a vocalist, I find Cyndi’s voice absolutely gut-wrenching. Also, Cyndi once saved my life: I was driving back to Montreal from the USA in the terrifying carcass of my old Honda Minivan (that Tim K and I did our first tours in). I felt myself dozing at the wheel, hitting the rumble strips as soporific Québécois folk tunes played on the radio until I remembered… a Cyndi mixtape! The first lines of “Money Changes” came on and gave me enough juice to cruise on home.

Ought :: Money Changes Everything (Cyndi Lauper)

“Sisters Are Forever” is a rare uniting force amongst the four of us; a track that can get us all out of the dumps pretty fast. I’m not even sure how we came across it–it’s a hard-to-find 2008 7″ on Slumberland, and the band seems to have disappeared from the internet. None of us have ever heard any other songs by them, as far as I know, anyway. I think some of them are in that band Veronica Falls now, which I’ve never heard, either. So it’s just this song, really, with no context, and us flailing like idiots while we pack our stuff after shows when Amy, our sound tech, plays it over the PA. For our version we thought it fitting to sap all the fun out of it.

Ought :: Sisters Are Forever (Sexy Kids)

Lagniappe Sessions Archives / imagery via d norsen.

6 thoughts on “The Lagniappe Sessions: Ought cover Cyndi Lauper / Sexy Kids

  1. I had the same experience when I saw them cold at Brooklyn Bazaar last Fall.
    Bought the lp and told everyone to check them out.

  2. Before Cyndi Lauper sang it, released in 1979 “Money Changes Everything” by the Brains (Gray Matter label$. “Tom Gray, leader of this unknown band from Atlanta, told his story in a strangled voice, as if he were trying to explain, but instead laid a curse. This extraordinary single rates much higher than I’ve placed it–but if it were anywhere else, how could I end with it? And how else could this decade end?” – Greil Marcus, dec 1979.

    She said, I’m sorry, baby
    I’m leaving you tonight
    I’ve found someone new
    He’s waiting in the car outside
    Oh honey, how can you do it
    We swore each other everlasting love She said, Yeah, well, I know
    But when we did there was one thing We weren’t really
    Thinking of
    And that’s money
    Money changes everything
    Money changes everything
    We think we know what we’re doing
    We don’t pull the strings
    It’s all in the past now
    Money changes everything.

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