Friday, December 28, 2012

28 December 2012 - Alanis Morissette - My Humps

Oh man, I totally forgot about this awesome Black Eyed Peas cover by Alanis Morissette. The fact that she spoofed the original video makes it even that much better.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

27 December 2012 - Edie Brickell & New Bohemians - A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall

Is she Bob Dylan?  No.

Does she bring a gut-wrenching feel to this song that even Dylan couldn't?  Yes.

I always loved this heartfelt version of the song, from the movie "Born on the Fourth of July."  You know, I never did see that movie.  It broke on the day I was supposed to see it, so I got a refund.  I hear Tom Cruise was great in it, though.

What was I talking about again?  Oh, right.  This great cover.

Friday, December 21, 2012

21 December 2012 - David Cook - Rolling in the Deep

I read yesterday that Adele's Someone Like You was named the most popular song to karaoke to in 2012 (Rolling in the Deep came in at No. 4). So of course that gives me a perfect excuse to post yet another Adele cover (hard to believe the last one was in September...I'm slipping). Anyway, here's Season 7 American Idol champ David Cook taking his turn at Rolling in the Deep.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

20 December 2012 - Bjork - It's Oh So Quiet

When this song came out, everyone thought it was just a clever new style by the very offbeat Bjork.  Well, that's not entirely true.  This song, originally recorded in 1951 by Betty Hutton, was faithfully covered by Ms. Gudmunsdottir, was already a cover, as it was strongly based on the German "Und jetzt ist es still" by Horst Winter.

It was Bjork's biggest hit, and remains so to this day.  Since she brings such a fun spirit to the song (as does the Spike Jonze-directed video), I can see why that would be.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

19 December 2012 - Pixie Lott - Use Somebody

I had every intention of posting Paramore's cover of Kings of Leon's Use Somebody today. But it occurred to me that I did a Paramore video earlier in the year. Never fear though as I've found a much more interesting version. I really don't know too much about English pop singer/songwriter Pixie Lott, but I love the soulfulness in her voice.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

18 September 2012 - No Use For A Name - Fairytale of New York

I am sure you read Scott's moving tribute to Kirsty MacColl over here. With his blessing - I got it when he called dibs on the song - I am posting a cover of the very same song, which in its original form defined The Pogues and brought the great Kirsty MacColl to a broader audience.  NUFAN certainly bring a less boozy, less melancholy, more energetic feel to the song - but somehow, it still works.  I hope you enjoy it.

 

Monday, December 17, 2012

17 December 2012 - Nada Surf - Enjoy The Silence

So it's been a whole week since I've posted a cover of Depeche Mode's Enjoy The Silence. First it was Italian metal band Lacuna Coil, now it's NYC indie rockers Nada Surf. I'm pretty sure between last week's post and this one I'll have proven two things. One, a great song can be done in many different styles and still retain it's greatness. And two, I'm very lazy and need to find another band to focus on for covers. Hmmm, I haven't done Adele or Kelly Clarkson in a while...

Friday, December 14, 2012

14 December 2012 - The Noisettes - When You Were Young

Here's a video of The Noisettes performing a very soulful version of one of my favorite songs by The Killers. I really like how they reimagined it.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

13 December 2012 - Dandy Warhols - Cherry Bomb

I am not sure if this is an official video or not.  I kind of think it is, but rather just someone who found this song cool and found themselves in Minneapolis.

At any rate, this is a strange cover - a song that is clearly written for a strong woman, sung by a man.  The slackertastic sound of the Dandy Warhols is in stark contrast to the in-your-face rock of The Runaways.... and yet, this cover still works.

Long time readers of this blog know that this isn't the first time we've heard a cover of it.  It's a song that endures, and it's one of my favorites of all time, even in its original form.  I hope you enjoy this version as much as I did.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12 December 2012 - Trampled By Turtles - Where is my Mind?

I've been hearing a lot about indie folk band Trampled By Turtles for a while now. After hearing this cool Pixies cover, I may have to do some further investigating and check them out sooner than later.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

11 December 2012 - The Maine - Everything to Everyone / Santa Monica

I really hate to like Everclear. They were a little pretentious, a little derivative of everything coming out of Seattle in the mid-90's, and not enough a part of the Portland scene they claimed to lead.

But I do like Everclear.  Their songs are damned catchy.  That's undeniable.

You know who else likes Everclear?  The Maine.   Here are a pair of Everclear covers that this woefully underrated band does live on a regular basis.



Monday, December 10, 2012

8 December 2012 - Lacuna Coil - Enjoy The Silence

Depeche Mode's dark songs lend themselves perfectly to metal interpretation. For example, here's Italy's Lacuna Coil playing a classic track from DM's Violator album.

Friday, December 7, 2012

7 December 2012 - Mates of State - I Will Dare

Leave it to Lawrence, Kansas indie-poppers Mates of State to totally reimagine one of the coolest Replacements songs. I saw the Mates a few summers ago at the Virgin Mobile FreeFest. If you ever get a chance to see them live, do it. Great music and they are a ton of fun.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

6 December 2012 - Cher Lloyd - OMG

We feature a lot of classy singer-songwriters on here doing classy covers.  So, to mix things up a bit, here's Cher Lloyd, a pop artist (with a fantastic set of pipes) doing a cover of Usher's "OMG" - in my opinion, it's better than the original.  It's a song that she originally picked to cover while she was on the UK reality competition "The X Factor".

That's right, America.  Cher Lloyd is a big-time pop star because she was on a reality show starring Simon Cowell.  I know that's hard to believe, Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, but it happens.  More amazing?  She didn't win.  I know that's hard to believe, Chris Daughtry.

She should have won.

 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

5 December 2012 - Metric - Between The Bars

I have nothing of consequence to say today. So just click on the video below and you'll see Canadian indie band Metric playing one of my favorite songs from Elliott Smith's Either/Or record.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

4 December 2012 - Selena Gomez - Cruella De Vil

Of course Disney is going to have their stable of artists cover their classics!

Cruella De Vil was one of the nastiest Disney villains - I mean, who the hell is going to make a coat out of  dogs?!  She was so iconic, she got her own song.  On a personal note, it's one of my favorite Disney songs, even in its original version.  I remember seeing 101 Dalmations at the drive-in - yes, I'm that old - and it made quite an impression.

This version, however, adds to the original - it brings a lot more guitar and energy, yet stays somewhat creepy.  Selena's raspy voice is well-suited for the tune. Also, if you think Selena Gomez is a (Wicked) Guilty Pleasure, you're right.

Monday, December 3, 2012

3 December 2012 - The Pierces - Alejandro

I wrote about The Pierces earlier this year when Your New Favorite Song was still called Your Forgotten Favorite (ahhh the good old days), so there's no need to rehash my adoration for these two sisters. Instead, let's just get down to gettin' down. Here's The Pierces playing a wonderfully understated acoustic version of Lady Gaga's Alejandro.

Friday, November 30, 2012

30 November 2012 - Ben Folds - Sleazy

Is there anything funnier than Ben Folds doing an ironic, yet earnest, Ke$ha cover? I think not.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

29 November 2012 - Lily Allen - Womanizer

This song, originally performed by Britney Spears, is done much less produced by the current Lily Rose Cooper and the former Lily Allen.  In its simplicity, it's an angry but beautiful song, and Lily performs it perfectly.

 

But what happens when it isn't so stripped down?  She still captures the attitude of the song to a T.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

28 November 2012 - Alex Clare - We Are Young

Here's Too Close singer Alex Clare doing a very stripped down version of a Fun song that I'm sure you're all sick of hearing at this point. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

27 November 2012 - Camper Van Beethoven - O Death

This song is a standard dirge from Appalachia.  So who better to cover it than a hipster college band?

Actually, I am flippant about the cover, but Camper Van Beethoven did a fantastic job with the bluest of the bluegrass songs.  They took a few creative liberties - lyrically, to make it even darker - but kept the dreary tone.  Brilliantly done.





Monday, November 26, 2012

26 November 2012 - Nelly Furtado - Crazy

When I decided to seek out a Nelly Furtado cover today, I was hoping to find someone like Rammstein playing I'm Like A Bird. Sadly, nothing that absurd exists. What I did find though was Nelly doing an acoustic cover of the Gnarls Barkley smash hit from 2006. Crazy, right?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

21 November 2012 - Brand New - Wish

This live video of Brand New playing one of my favorite Nine Inch Nails songs is just what I needed after a disastrous start to my day. Here's to hoping that the afternoon goes more smoothly.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

20 November 2012 - Cheryl Cole - Fireflies

Before Cheryl Cole was the host of The X Factor (both the UK version, and for a year, the US version), she was a recording artist.  OK, she was a reality show contestant - Popstars: The Rivals - and a pin-up girl (you might want to try a search on her maiden name, Cheryl Tweedy, boys!) first.

But she really is an excellent vocalist, and she does an excellent job on one of the most beautifully written elaborate pop songs of the past decade.  We've featured this song before, but this performance brings a different feel.  I hope you enjoy it.

Monday, November 19, 2012

19 November 2012 - The Gaslight Anthem - The House of the Rising Sun

Over the past few years New Jersey's The Gaslight Anthem has become one of my favorite punk bands. Most of their songs have a certain punk meets Springsteen sound. This gritty Animals cover does not, but it's still awesome.

Friday, November 16, 2012

16 November 2012 - The Shins - Breathe

Here's a live video of The Shins playing a pretty faithful version of Pink Floyd's Breathe. The audio and video quality isn't the greatest, but it will have to do as most of the other live versions I found online cut off the intro.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

15 November 2012 - They Might Be Giants - Santa Claus / Belle & Sebastian - Santa Claus (with an original bonus)

It's 40 days until Christmas.  I'm cracking open the carols now.

Actually, "Santa Claus" was a song originally performed by The Sonics, one of the early bands in the Seattle music scene.  Their garage sound influenced not only the later grunge sound from that city, but also bands from all over the world.  Originally from a 1966 record label compilation, this song has been recently reissued by the still-active band.

Strangely, I also asked for a brand new car, a twangy guitar, a cute little honey and lots of money for Christmas.

But you don't want to hear me prattle on about all this.  You want some music.  Here are They Might Be Giants, performing this great song, live on Good Morning America in 2009.  Let's forget about them butchering the lyrics for a minute - and boy, they did butcher the lyrics.  What they bring to this song is a cleaner sound, complete with horns, and that makes it a fun version.



In my opinion, the definitive version of this song was the one done by Belle & Sebastian.  Clearly, the Welsh group are fans of the garage sound, because they retain it more..... even while bringing a flute to the show.  Also, they know the lyrics.  (My eight year old daughter knows the lyrics, too.  It's her favorite carol)

The song starts at about 1:58 in this video, from a live performance, and it's a fantastic version.



As an added bonus, here is the original, which is just a terrific modern Christmas carol.  This is what garage music is supposed to sound like.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

14 November 2012 - The Avett Brothers - Slip Slidin' Away

This one seems almost too self-explanatory. But I'll try to state the obvious. It's a live video of The Avett Brothers playing a Paul Simon classic. Yup. That pretty much covers it. Now click on the video and see for yourself.



When you're done here, don't forget to check out my new music blog - Your New Favorite Song.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

13 November 2012 - Mary Lou Lord w/ Semisonic - Sugar Sugar

I have long been a fan of Mary Lou Lord.  So, today, I had intended to post a song of hers - a cover of a Pink Floyd song that she did.  Well, I haven't yet found a good enough version of that to post, but I did get a search result that intrigued me, mostly because I featured the original on Wicked Guilty Pleasures yesterday. I was familiar with the cover, but had forgotten about it!

Let's look at this version on its own merits. Mary Lou, a guitarist who got her start as a street musician, was smart enough to realize she needed a backing band for this very rich song, for whom she recruited the excellent Semisonic.  That made for an excellent, full sound that throws back to the late 60's while keeping modern harmonies.

Also, Mary Lou Lord is less Archie Andrews and more Betty Cooper on this song. Nevertheless, the lyrics still work.

Monday, November 12, 2012

12 November 2012 - Amanda Palmer - Video Games

This just in...There IS a safe for work Amanda Palmer video out there on the old interwebs...I know, I'm shocked too. But this fine Lana Del Rey cover is proof. Scandalous!

All kidding aside, Amanda Palmer is a wickedly talented artist. Whether it be on her own solo adventures or with Brian Viglione (the other half of The Dresden Dolls), I simply can't get enough. And neither can her rabid fanbase. She made headlines this year when her Kickstarter campaign raised almost $1.2 million for her new record (and I assume other projects/tours/etc.). If Amanda Palmer is "new to you" I would definitely suggest heading on over to YouTube and checking out some more of her songs/videos. Coin Operated Boy by the Dresden Dolls (another safe for work video) has always been a personal favorite. Seek! Discover! And if you dig it, pay for it!

Friday, November 9, 2012

9 November 2012 - Foo Fighters - Keep The Car Running

Talk about a cool way to kick off the weekend. Here's the Foo Fighters playing a straight-forward (if not more rocking) version of one of my favorite Arcade Fire songs.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

8 November 2012 - Issac Hayes - By The Time I Get To Phoenix

Rather than hunt around for a great cover that was completely undiscovered, I felt that I should share a Hot Buttered Soul remake of a Glen Campbell classic.  Who's with me?

Issac Hayes needs no introduction, and he needs no explanation.  He just needs to be enjoyed.  He brings a soulful pain to the song.  It's not better than Glen Campbell (very little is) - it's just different.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

7 November 2012 - KT Tunstall - Walk Like An Egyptian

While looking for a video to post today, I decided to see if anyone interesting had covered Walk Like An Egyptian (I have no idea why this particular Bangles song popped into my head...actually I have no idea how anything pops into my head...but as usual, that's another story for another time). What I found (almost immediately I might add) definitely put a smile on my face as I've been a big fan of Scotland's KT Tunstall since pretty much the first time I heard Black Horse and the Cherry Tree. This is a pretty cool, sparse cover. See for yourself.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

6 November 2012 - David Bowie - America

Happy Election Day to all my American friends.  Here's a song - a cover of a Simon & Garfunkel classic - to get you in the mood to vote.  It's quiet - even quieter than the original - and very tastefully done.  I'd almost call it chilling.   Almost.  Plus, the song itself is a reminder of a simpler time in this country - a time when it took four days to hitchhike from Saginaw and it was OK to do that.

Kids - vote.  Don't hitchhike.

Monday, November 5, 2012

5 November 2012 - Panic! At The Disco - Girlfriend in a Coma

Happy Monday everyone! Here's a cheerful Smiths' song performed acoustically by Panic! At The Disco.

Friday, November 2, 2012

2 November 2012 - Blake Shelton - Footloose

Blake Shelton certainly hit the jackpot last night at the CMA Awards. Not only did he take home the Male Vocalist of the Year and the Entertainer of the Year, but he also co-wrote the Song of the Year (Over You) with his wife Miranda Lambert, who herself took home the Female Artist of the Year. I'd say that's a pretty good night.

As for today, here's Blake's countrified Kenny Loggins cover for last year's Footloose movie remake (or should that be Footloose movie cover?).

Thursday, November 1, 2012

1 November 2012 - The Flaming Lips w/ Phantogram - Speak To Me & Breathe

As part of a Pink Floyd tribute, The Flaming Lips have performed the entire album "The Dark Side of The Moon", in order.  The first two tracks on that album are, of course, "Speak To Me" and "Breathe". At the Free Press Festival in Texas this year, they were joined by the pride of Saratoga Springs, Phantogram.  That's Sarah Barthel on keyboards, right up front.

It's a bit of an offbeat pair of covers - the Lips tend to be a bit offbeat - but fitting, given the psychedelic nature of this era of Pink Floyd music.  Longtime blog readers already know how much I love Phantogram, so we don't have to explore that any more today. I was surprised to see the two of them paired, but it works perfectly for these tracks.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

31 October 2012 - Neon Trees - Never Tear Us Apart

Here's Neon Trees doing an INXS classic. There's a short little interview before the performance, but it's worth the wait as they do a pretty good job with this cover. Have to say that the more I hear Neon Trees, the more I like them.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

30 October 2012 - Mary Chapin Carpenter - Passionate Kisses

A big hit for her on country radio, a lot of people didn't realize that this wasn't actually Mary's song.  Originally performed and written by Lucinda Williams, this version is far more chipper and smooth than the original.  Despite the change in tone, it's still really faithful to the original.  If anything, Mary's voice brings a little more urgency to the song. All in all, it's a really good performance of an already really good song.



As an added bonus, here is Mary, performing the song live.  Both Mary Chapin Carpenter (Best Female Country Performance) and Lucinda Williams (Country Song of the Year) won Grammys in 1993 for this song, so they both got a huge benefit.

Monday, October 29, 2012

29 October 2012 - Bon Jovi - Rock You Like A Hurricane (live medly)

Gotta make this quick as I'm about to literally get rocked by a hurricane. Here's Bon Jovi doing a medley of classic tunes (obviously only the first part is relevant, but it's still a fun listen all the way through). Stay safe east coast friends.

Friday, October 26, 2012

26 October 2012 - Robyn - Hyper-Ballad

I stumbled across this fantastic Bjork cover a few days ago. It's from the 2010 Polar Music Prize concert for Bjork. I actually posted an Ane Brun video from this same concert in June. Have to say, it must be pretty intimidating to perform an artist's song in front of that artist.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

25 October 2012 - The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy - California Uber Alles

This is a live version of the song, but you can hear the anger in their voices, still, even with all the horns.

The Disposable Heroes took some liberties with the classic Dead Kennedys song, originally about Governor Jerry Brown, who was governor of California both in the 1970s..... and today.  This version skewers Pete Wilson, making it more timely, if not a little unfair.

Now, I'd like to see them get together with Jello Biafra and redo the original, now that Jerry Brown is back in office.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

24 October 2012 - Dropkick Murphys (and NOFX) - TNT

Here's the all-mighty Dropkick Murphys, along with their friends from NOFX, rocking an AC/DC classic to a pretty huge crowd.



Can't say I ever expected to see Fat Mike with a banjo. Quite the sight huh?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

23 October 2012 - The 5th Dimension - Wedding Bell Blues (Marry Me, Bill)

A lot of people think the 5th Dimension originated this song, but they didn't.  It's Laura Nyro's song, through and through.  Marilyn McCoo's vocals just happen to be well suited for it.  She brings a longing to the song that even the original, itself a pretty good song, didn't have.



If you're like me, you didn't know that Marilyn McCoo was a member of the 5th Dimension until many years later.  You just knew her as the hostess of Solid Gold.  Well, she performed this song on that show! Even a decade and a half after its original release, she still sounded great!



Amazingly, I didn't know this song - amazingly! - until this particular show.  One of these days, I'm going to have a special Wicked Guilty Pleasures blog post on Gilmore Girls, but here, I want you to enjoy this use of a great classic song.

And now I want to use this song at my wedding!

Monday, October 22, 2012

22 October 2012 - Little Big Town - Born This Way

Gotta make this one quick. Busy, busy and all that. Here's one of my favorite country bands doing Lady Gaga's 2011 smash hit Born This Way. Dig those sweet, sweet LBT harmonies.

Friday, October 19, 2012

19 October 2012 - Gretchen Wilson and Alice in Chains - Barracuda

I wish I knew the back story of how 90s grunge legends Alice in Chains and the "Redneck Woman" Gretchen Wilson teamed up to cover this Heart classic. Sure, I could look it up, but does it really matter? Probably not. All that matters is it rocks. Actually, if you close your eyes and listen, Gretchen sounds just as good as another Wilson singing it.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

18 October 2012 - Marisa Monte - Pale Blue Eyes

Brazilian artist Marisa Monte - a woman who normally sings in Portuguese - brings us a live version of Lou Reed's classic song.  It's an interesting take on the tune - a lot more percussion-heavy than the Velvet Underground did, and a lot more of a torch-song delivery.  Also, it sounds angrier than the original.

All in all, I think this is the best take on this song this side of Andrea Corr.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

17 October 2012 - Rachel Platten - Gin and Juice

I wrote about Rachel Platten in July on Wicked Guilty Pleasures...go ahead and click on that link. I can wait...

...Welcome back.

I stumbled across this very playful Snoop Dog cover a couple days ago and I knew I had to share it as soon as possible. This is a live version, so all of Snoop's naughty words are there. If you're sensitive to that kind of thing, or your boss is, or your kids are around you may want to hold off on watching until the coast is clear.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

16 October 2012 - Amanda Seyfried - Gimme Gimme Gimme & L'il Red Riding Hood

Anyone who has seen the movie "Mamma Mia" knows that Amanda Seyfried can sing.  This song, an ABBA classic (and my favorite ABBA song), is from that very movie.  Of course, Ms. Seyfried is performing this in a setting outside the movie.  She did the song so well, she made her own video for it.



A reminder that this is the same person who played the dumb blonde in "Mean Girls".

She also played Little Red Riding Hood. Which brings me to our 2nd cover, originally performed by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs.  No, the song was not associated with the movie.  She just decided to perform it - probably to promote her movie - and play guitar.  And she did a fantastic job on it.  I can't say enough good things about this woman's rich voice.

Monday, October 15, 2012

15 October 2012 - Soundgarden - Search and Destroy

I had every intention on posting a video of Cracker playing Rainy Days and Mondays seeing that it's Monday and it's...well...raining. Alas, all I could find was a clip of a drag show where the song was being lip-synced...and well, the less said about that, the better.

So instead, here's a live video of Soundgarden playing an Iggy and the Stooges classic. This video doesn't exactly prove it (mostly because it was fan shot and the sound isn't that great), but I still say that Soundgarden was one of the best live bands of the 90s.

Friday, October 12, 2012

12 October 2012 - Dancing in the Streets-off

It's time for another cover showdown. A dance-off so to speak. So who in the 80s did a better version of the Martha and the Vandellas classic - Dancing in the Streets?

First up is Van Halen. This cover originally appeared on their Diver Down record.



Next up is David Bowie and Mick Jagger in what is either the greatest or most embarrassing video ever made (probably the second one).



Thursday, October 11, 2012

12 October 2012 - The Cardigans and Tom Jones - Burning Down The House

Scott has been on a Cardigans kick this week - he's posted twice about them on these blogs (Here is the cover, Here is the Wicked Guilty Pleasure).  This has ticked me off slightly... mostly because I was on a concurrent Cardigans kick and was going to do some posting myself.

Then I stopped being ticked off.  The Cardigans have done a lot of covers, so there was plenty of time and space for me to post a couple, too!

I wasn't really ticked off.  We do this to each other all the time.

This collaboration between The Cardigans and Tom Jones on a Talking Heads classic brings a different energy to the song than the original.  Tom Jones sounds strong when backed by a horn section, and he makes the song work for him.  Nina Persson has a thinner voice, but she still shows a darker side that "Lovefool" just doesn't.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

10 October 2012 - The Cardigans - Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and Iron Man

Yesterday at Wicked Guilty Pleasures I wrote about The Cardigans and their Lovefool video. Feel free to check it out here...I'll wait...Welcome back. Great video right?

One thing I always liked about The Cardigans was their ability to make iconic Black Sabbath songs their own. Here's Sabbath Bloody Sabbath from their 1994 Emmerdale record.



Now here's a live version of the band doing Iron Man. This song originally appeared on 1996's First Band on the Moon.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

9 October 2012 - Adele & Darius Rucker - Need You Now

I was a fan of Adele when her first album - 19 - came out.  So I was really happy to hear that she finally got some measure of commercial success with 21.

Hootie and The Blowfish..... I'm not so much a fan.

However, this Lady Antebellum cover - of a really big hit song, I might add - is done masterfully by both Adele and Darius Rucker, who I am sure you all thought was really named Hootie, in this performance from the CMT Artist of the Year special.

And yes, that is Lady Antebellum watching Adele and Darius Rucker knock their song out of the park.  And, to be fair, appreciating a fantastic performance.


Monday, October 8, 2012

8 October 2012 - The Cure - Hello I Love You

And now for some insight as to how my mind works...

You know how people say they get inspiration in the shower (or on the throne)...well, I get inspiration in the bar (to each his own right?). On an almost related side-note: if it wasn't for a happy hour I never would have "foolishly" weaseled my way into writing for this blog (and Wicked Guilty Pleasures for that matter). But that's a tragic story for another day (let's just say cheap booze and twitter can be a dangerous thing...and I freaking did it twice).

Anyway, I was sitting at the bar last week when some insufferable fool put the original Doors version of this song on the jukebox (followed by the Dead no less). Dude was lucky I didn't throw a pint glass at his head. Luckily for him I just got a full beer and wasn't about to waste a whole $2. It's called maturity people. Instead, I turned a negative into a positive -- post a video of the Cure covering the song. Not exactly revenge, but it saved me plenty of time finding a song to post today. And in the end, isn't that the most important thing? Well, that and not going to jail for assault with a pint glass.

Friday, October 5, 2012

5 October 2012 - Social Distortion - Under My Thumb and Ring of Fire (acoustic)

Social Distortion have been a favorite band of mine for about 20 years. While they've only done a handful of covers over the years (that I can think of), I have to say these two are my personal favorites (I'm also a huge fan of the originals too).

First up is their Rolling Stones cover from 1996's White Light, White Heat, White Trash record.



Now here's an acoustic version of them doing Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire. The version on their 1990 self-titled album is more Social Distortion-like, but I thought I'd go with something different.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

4 October 2012 - Special "I Am The Walrus" Edition

Like my colleague on this blog, I will frequently get ideas for this blog from a simple YouTube search for a song, followed by the word "cover".  This type of search usually yields an awful lot of kids with acoustic guitars strumming for the guitar in their bedrooms.

Today, I initially went looking for a very specific cover.  This is the cover, a Beatles classic as performed by Oingo Boingo at their farewell show, before Danny Elfman went off for a life of movie scores. It's an uptempo version, with horns.....

 

..... and it wasn't as good as I remembered it was.   So I went off looking for other covers of the song I knew about.  Of course, when I think about Beatles covers, I think about the former Mr. Katy Perry, who performed the tune - in my opinion, admirably - at the 2012 Olympic closing ceremonies in London.  I'm not really a fan of the guy, but he seems to get this song and how it's supposed to be performed.



I knew, however, that most of you would be unhappy with this choice, so I kept looking.  And I accidentally stumbled upon THIS version by Oasis.  They thought they were better than the Beatles anyway.... In all seriousness, they also did an admirable job on John Lennon's classic.  This version is live, from 1994.  The band did record the song in studio, and used it as a B-Side.



Little known fact: "I Am The Walrus" was the B-side to "Hello Goodbye", another beloved song.  Now, let's listen to a post-Dennis DeYoung Styx desecrate it, complete with the worst music video ever made.



OK, I can't end on that.  I'll end with Jim Carrey?  He does an interesting (and slightly angry) rendition of the tune, but he doesn't murder it like Styx did.


BONUS COVER: Here are Colin's Hermits..... ok, it's XTC.... doing the same song.  There isn't a video, but it's still worth a listen.  Perhaps the best cover here.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

3 October 2012 - Saint Etienne - Only Love Can Break Your Heart

I find it hard to believe that I haven't posted this video already. Saint Etienne became an instant favorite of mine the first time I saw this video from their debut album Foxbase Alpha. At the time I had no idea it was a Neil Young song, which is somewhat understandable seeing how drastically different the two versions are performed.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

2 October 2012 - Relient K - Sloop John B

Oh, these Christian punks! Based on other covers they have done, I expected this one to be far more irreverent.  However, Relient K performed a straight-ahead faithful cover, complete with beautiful harmonies and banjo!

It's important to note that the original is one of my favorite songs off of one of the best albums ever produced, Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys.  So, for me to give it such high praise is a bit deal.  I love this song for its irreverence - it sounds like it is going to be a sweet song, and it's about a terrible boat trip.

Monday, October 1, 2012

1 October 2012 - Sara Evans - My Heart Can't Tell You No

I was a big fan of Sara Evans' Stronger record when it came out. Always dig a good break-up album. This song hit me right away. I feel dumb now saying this, but it really sounded familiar to me the first time I heard it, but I couldn't place it. I finally had the "duh Scott" moment when I heard it in the midst of its popularity on my local country station when the DJ casually mentioned it was a Rod Stewart song.

Friday, September 28, 2012

28 September 2012 - Andrea Corr - Pale Blue Eyes

Andrea Corr is best known as the lead vocalist for her family band, The Corrs, this time alone. I've been admiring this cover of a Velvet Underground song for a couple of years.  It's quiet and understated, and still powerful, building to be more bombastic as the song goes on.  In my opinion, this is the strongest version of this song I've heard, including the original.  I hope you enjoy it.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

27 September 2012 - Bulletboys - For The Love of Money

One of our greatest one-hit wonder hair metal bands of the late 80's, The Bulletboys released this cover of an O'Jay's classic as their 2nd single, long before "The Apprentice" brought this song back into the spotlight.  To say that this ain't good old Philly soul is an understatement.  Still, the Bulletboys brought a little bit of the soul to the pop-metal.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

26 September 2012 - Morrissey - You Say You Don't Love Me

Today was one of those days where I had no idea what to post (believe it or not I usually plan ahead). When these days happen, I end up typing a band name into YouTube followed by covers and see what comes up. Usually it's a pretty slow/trying process, but sometimes I stumble upon something good. Luckily I found this cover pretty quickly. While Morrissey doesn't really add much to this Buzzcocks classic, it's still pretty cool to hear him sing one of my favorite songs.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

25 September 2012 - Ani Difranco - Wishin' and Hopin' (with a Dusty bonus)

It was a year ago today that I proposed to my future wife, Lisa, on Soapstone Mountain, in Somers, CT.  That happens to be one of my five favorite places in the world, and that made it better.

So it seemed appropriate that I post this cover of a Dusty Springfield classic, made for the movie "My Best Friend's Wedding", a movie that was surprisingly enjoyable for a lightheaded romantic comedy.  I remember seeing the movie - and this opening scene - and needed to stick around for the closing credits to see who did this song.

When I saw it was Ani Difranco, known for her angry guitar-based folksy music, I was in shock.  It's simple, quiet, and brilliant.  The bass/kettle drum/tambourine combination makes for an enjoyable remake for a song that was a little more lively and heavy on the instrumentation in its original version, which needed to highlight Dusty's huge voice.  Ani's has a quiet brilliance here.



By the way, she said yes.

Update: Apparently, Dusty's version was a cover.  The song was originally done by Dionne Warwick.  So, for completeness, here is her version.  Note the horns and strings that make this a noisier version:

Monday, September 24, 2012

24 September 2012 - Lou Barlow - Bulletproof

I had totally forgotten about this cover from a few years ago. I love how Lou Barlow (Sebadoh/Dinosaur Jr) makes this song his own and turns an infectious pop song by La Roux into something that would seamlessly fit on any of his solo albums/projects.

Friday, September 21, 2012

21 September 2012 - The Promise Ring - Rumour Has It

It takes a brave artist to cover Adele. I've posted a few lately, including this straightforward cover by David Nail. Leave it to 90s emo kings The Promise Ring to completely go out of their wheelhouse and just have fun with it for The Onion's AV Club. Is it the best Adele cover I've ever heard? No. Is it the most fun? Certainly...and sometimes that's all that matters.


The Promise Ring covers Adele

Thursday, September 20, 2012

20 September 2012 - She and Him - Fools Rush In

Honestly, I got a little lazy today. That's why I turned to Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward, with their skills singing standards.

"Fools Rush In" was written in 1940, and originally performed by the Glenn Miller Orchestra.    It's been covered several times since. It's a quiet, jazzy song, that seems almost peppy in the hands of this duo.  So, enjoy!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

19 September 2012 - The Band Perry - Fat Bottomed Girls

I was pretty surprised when I saw The Band Perry cover this Queen song Monday night on the CMA Music Festival broadcast. Apparently, they've been playing it for sometime, as evidenced by this 2011 video from Billboard.com.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

18 September 2012 - Hole - Closer

My quest for a cover today didn't start with Hole, even though Courtney Love's raspy snarl lends itself to covers.  However, I stumbled upon this fantastic cover, recorded live in 2010, of a big Nine Inch Nails hit.  It's interesting to hear a female perspective on the song - it sounds completely different.

I should add that I saw Hole live in 1995, when Courtney was still in obvious mourning over the death of her husband the year before.  They were awful.  This performance - so much better.

Monday, September 17, 2012

17 September 2012 - David Nail - Someone Like You

So last night was the big Sunday in the Country show here in the Baltimore, Maryland area (Columbia, Maryland to be exact...but let's keep it simple and say Baltimore...close enough). Such a great day of country music. The all-day show was headlined by Eric Church (one of my favorite country singers at the moment). Also on the bill were the ridiculously cute Thompson Square, the adorably heartbreaking Jana Kramer, and good old country boys Craig Campbell and Justin Moore. Slapped right in the middle was country crooner David Nail. Unsurprisingly, most bands played at least one cover song last night (or a medley) and well...Nail...errr...nailed it with his surprising (to me) cover of Adele's Someone Like You. I hoped to maybe find a grainy live version of it on the old YouTube, instead I found a nice slick professional video. I had no idea that he had recorded and released it earlier this year.

Friday, September 14, 2012

14 September 2012 - They Might Be Giants - Tubthumping

I don't know what possessed me to look for Tubthumping covers this morning, but I'm glad I did because this version by They Might Be Giants is so much fun (and it sure looks like the band and AV Club staffers were having a blast performing it). Please note that there is a short intro/interview with the Johns before the song starts. Trust me, it's worth the wait.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

13 September 2012 - Gael Garcia Bernal - Quiero Que Me Quieras

I'm not going to tell you what the English language title of this song is.  Not yet, anyway.  I want you to listen to this Mexican cover of a classic song, and appreciate it for what it is.  Appreciate the accordion played in the Mexican style. Appreciate the colourful video!


I could see this song playing in almost any Mexican restaurant.  I am pretty sure this wasn't Cheap Trick's intention when they wrote the song.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

12 September 2012 - Brandi Carlile - Folsom Prison Blues

I write a lot of notes to myself because I can be kind of forgetful. Today I unearthed a post-it note attached to the back of an old ESPN The Magazine that simply said, "BC FPB ACL 4TC." So after about 20 minutes I finally figured out what the cryptic message meant. Here's Brandi Carlile playing the Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison Blues on Austin City Limits.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

11 September 2012 - Verbal + Yoon - Cherry Bomb

You might recall that last week, we featured a cover from the Dr. Martens 50th anniversary album.  This song, a collaboration by (married) Japanese artists Verbal and Yoon, is a cover of the Runaways classic and most enduring tune.  It keeps the bombastic rebellion of the original, while adding an electronic slant and a scream to rival anything Joan Jett ever did.

And no.  I don't understand the flying fish. However, it does add to an otherwise already interesting video.

Monday, September 10, 2012

10 September 2012 - Ben Kweller - Today

I always get this Smashing Pumpkins song stuck in my head whenever I'm having one of those days where even the simplest of tasks completely overwhelms and befuddles me. Today is one of those days...and I wouldn't exactly call it the greatest day I've ever known.

Friday, September 7, 2012

7 September 2012 - The Ramones - Spider-Man

After walking through a spider web for the seemingly 400th day in a row today while going out to my truck, I started to spontaneously break into this song (OK, after cursing and flailing about...hoping beyond hope that there wasn't a creepy arachnid on my head). I'm pretty sure this song was on The Ramones' last studio album, but I first heard it on the wickedly fun Saturday Morning Cartoons' Greatest Hits comp.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

6 September 2012 - The Raveonettes - I Wanna Be Adored

A couple of years ago, Doc Martens commissioned an album of covers to commemorate their 50th anniversary.  My favorite of the set is the dreamy cover of this Stone Roses' classic single by Danish duo The Raveonettes.  It's very faithful to the original, but does stray a little poppier and dreamier, which I think are good adds to an already excellent and quietly angry song.  Their very close harmonies further enhance an already well-written song.

The video itself is a reinterpretation of the 1971 film Harold and Maude.   I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

UPDATE: The original video was removed from YouTube.  I have replaced it with another video of the same song, which I believed to be fan-made, but it's still worth it for the tune.



UPDATE: The original video is back, and it's great, so I put it back.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

5 September 2012 - Duffy - Wonderwall

Here's Welsh singer/songwriter Duffy playing an oft covered Oasis tune and doing a pretty good job at it as well.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

4 September 2012 - The Gourds - Gin 'n' Juice

Rather than give you a long dissertation on the merits of gangsta rap as musical genre, I'd going to let the mandolins, violins, and drums of The Gourds do that for me.  Truly, they see the artistry in the lyrics, and the rhythms of hip-hop translate well to country.

Also, notice how they cleverly slip a couple of other covers in the middle here, including Cheap Trick's "Surrender".

Friday, August 31, 2012

31 August 2012 - Jonathan Coulton - Baby Got Back

Sir Mix-A-Lot is highly regarded for working with musicians from other genres, most notable grunge groups, as he is from Seattle.

I don't think he's worked with folk singers, though.

Jonathan Coulton brings his slightly offbeat sense of humour (chronicled here on our other blog) to a hip hop tribute to ample female posteriors.  It is a very straight reading of a tongue-in-cheek song that seems to be the funniest of all.  Also, this brings new poignancy to the line "Even white boys got to shout."

Thursday, August 30, 2012

30 August 2012 - Mark Ronson feat. Lily Allen - Oh My God!

A song that you didn't know was a cover?  Yes, that's this one. A cover of a Kaiser Chiefs song, this was initially covered by Lily Allen on her early mixtapes.  It was rerecorded with Mark Ronson and rereleased on his album.  The video is a bit of an homage to Jessica Rabbit.

She's going by Lily Rose Cooper now.  So, update your notes accordingly.




Wednesday, August 29, 2012

29 August 2012 - Cheap Trick - Day Tripper

I've been a fan of Cheap Trick ever since I was a kid and heard I Want You To Want Me (it was on a 45 with Flirting With Disaster by Molly Hatchet...I think it was a freebie from a candy bar company...fuzzy memory...but I do know these were the songs on it). I played the hell out of that 45. Eventually I would go on to buy a bunch of Cheap Tricks tapes over the years (yes, tapes). Sadly, I never saw them in concert. That's all changing this weekend as I'm seeing them headline an afternoon show in Virginia Beach on Saturday (the stage is on the beach!). Even better, Southern Culture on the Skids and Soul Asylum are opening. I was already planning on spending the day lounging on the beach...now I can do that and see a killer show.

Well here they are covering some band from Liverpool.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

28 August 2012 - Live - Dusted

On September 10, 1995, I went to see Live, PJ Harvey, and Veruca Salt in Hartford, CT.  This is by far - BY FAR - the worst show I've ever been to.  Veruca Salt were drunk and out of tune.  PJ Harvey - well, it was really Polly Jean and whoever she had in her touring group - was just boring and self-absorbed.

Live was mediocre, but there was one highlight.  One thing they did on their tour was, for a little bit, pull out their acoustic guitars and play a few quiet, intimate songs.  One of their choice was a cover of a song by Guided By Voices, and it was the best tune of the night, by far.  This recording was actually made the day before I saw them - when I saw them, it was a little better, but Ed's voice isn't bad here.

I walked out early on Live.  I've not done that before or since.  But at least I got to hear this.

Monday, August 27, 2012

27 August 2012 - Colin Meloy - Everyday is Like Sunday

I've had this Morrissey song stuck in my head since Saturday afternoon (no idea why, but hey, it could be a lot worse). Anyway, I knew someone cool must have covered it over the years. I think Colin Meloy of The Decemberists qualifies.

Friday, August 24, 2012

23 August 2012 - Tokyo Police Club - Since U Been Gone

I knew I was going to post a Tokyo Police Club video today. I figured though that the video would be them playing Friends of P by The Rentals. But then I stumbled upon this Kelly Clarkson cover...and as you should know by now, I'll always choose the Kelly Clarkson cover.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

23 August 2012 - The Bird and The Bee - I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)

I should open this post by saying that I'm a sucker for a Hall & Oates cover.  A very dear friend of mine when I was growing up was the world's biggest Hall & Oates fan.  He's no longer with us, so whenever I hear a Hall & Oates song, I think of him fondly.

So when Los Angeles duo The Bird and The Bee released their Interpreting The Masters: Volume 1 album - Hall and Oates covers and a couple of songs inspired by them - I was clearly interested.  Inara George isn't Daryl Hall, to be sure, but she brings that Philly soul feel to the song just the same.  Truly an admirable interpretation/homage to an underrated band.

And yes, that's John Oates, who guest starred on guitar for this live performance. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

22 August 2012 - Rasputina - Barracuda

I saw Rasputina for the first time in the mid 90s (they were opening up for Bob Mould). I knew absolutely nothing about them before the show. Needless to say I was kind of shocked when band's three members hit the stage carrying cellos, wearing old-style corsets and playing songs with Victorian themes. Within minutes they had me in the palm of their hands and I've been a big fan ever since.

So here's the coolest cello rock band playing a song of yore that was thusly made famous by the sisters Wilson.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

21 August 2012 - Katy Perry - I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)

Last week, I took my daughters to see Part of Me.  Yes, the Katy Perry movie.  You might expect that it was just a concert film - and it was that, to be sure - but it was much more.  It was the story of how Katheryn Hudson became the Katy Perry we all know and love.  And it was partly the story of her marriage falling apart, and all the work she did to try to make it work. There is one particular scene before a show in Brazil - her biggest on tour - where the emotions explode in a heartbreaking manner. Highly recommended.

There were also two covers featured in the movie.  The first a cover of a Whitney Houston classic.... featuring 1. Kitty Perry, and 2. a whole lot of fans that Katy invited to dance with her on stage.  I'll be featuring the other cover at a later date.  For now, enjoy the joy and exuberance of a happy song and fans that are unexpectedly getting the experience of a lifetime.




Monday, August 20, 2012

20 August 2012 - Ingrid Michaelson - Somebody That I Used To Know

I really don't have much to say today. Here's a video of the always wonderful Ingrid Michaelson covering the Gotye song that took over the airwaves this year.

Friday, August 17, 2012

17 August 2012 - Soul Asylum - Rhinestone Cowboy

As I mentioned at Your Forgotten Favorite today (please visit there too), I'm seeing Soul Asylum twice in the next two weeks. I haven't seen them in almost 20 years (which is a shame as they are one of my favorite bands). One of my favorite concert memories is watching them down a tray of shots before busting out their Rhinestone Cowboy encore to a very puzzled crowd. Years later it's become a fan favorite.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

16 August 2012 - Britney Spears - My Prerogative

OK, let's try this again!

A tabloid favorite doing a cover of another tabloid favorite?  What a perfect choice, and a terrific performance!  I disliked the original when it came out, but I love both versions now.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

15 August 2012 - Norah Jones - Are You Lonesome Tonight?

Here's the soulful Norah Jones paying tribute to The King, who made this song popular again in 1960 with his legendary cover of it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

14 August 2012 - Seu Jorge - Changes / Lady Stardust / Rock n' Roll Suicide

Continuing my personal tribute to the 2016 Olympics, here is Brazilian musician and actor (you saw him in "City of God") Seu Jorge.... doing an acoustic David Bowie cover.... in Portuguese. It's captivatingly different, and does not mesh with Jorge's typical salsa style.



Oh, you've also seen him in "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou."  That's where you saw this. I think his head must just be cold.  Again, eschewing salsa for a guitar, and again, covering Bowie.


This was from the same movie.  And yes, it's another David Bowie cover.  He's got a lot more Bowie covers than these - I encourage you to check them out.

Monday, August 13, 2012

13 August 2012 - Kasey Chambers - True Colors

As I mentioned at Your Forgotten Favorite today (you visit that site too right? If not, what are you waiting for? GO!), I'm seeing Kasey Chambers tonight for the first time and I'm really looking forward to it (even if I spaced on getting tickets and we're not in our usual front row center table...I'll deal with a second row table).

Anyway, enjoy this live video of Kasey playing some little known Cyndi Lauper song.

A LATE ADDITION TO THIS POST: So I'm finally sitting down and listening to Kasey's new record Storybook...yep, it's a cover album. That information would have come in handy earlier today writing this post (my fault for waiting over a week to listen to the record). I'm an idiot. And yes, today's cover is on that new record.

Friday, August 10, 2012

10 August 2012 - Keane - Disco 2000

I don't really have too much say about today's video. It's Keane doing a pretty true to the original cover of one of my favorite Pulp songs.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

9 Aug 2012 (part 3) (!) - Karmin - We R Who We R / Misery / Somebody That I Used To Know

While I am a fan of Ke-DollarSign-Ha, I recognize that she isn't Puccini.  The greatness of the original version of this song is its simplicity and raw energy.  Karmin takes that song and makes it simpler, more stripped down, and.... well, almost artistic.  

It's important to note that Karmin are quite openly clean in their music.  There is a lyric changed in this song to make it more... well, family-friendly.



But not only can Amy and Nick handle the Queen of Autotune, they can take on a straight ahead rock song by a judge on The Voice and his band..... I am a big fan of duos, especially ones that can make you feel like you're hearing a full band with their multiinstrumental talents and harmonies, both on display here.



OK.  Last one (unless they cover this sometime).  This song was featured in its original version on Wicked Guilty Pleasures. I have to be honest: I didn't think this song would work as well without the xylophone or Kimbra's huge vocal... and I wasn't completely wrong - not that this cover doesn't work (because it does), but because it becomes a different song with Amy's vocal, which is differently huge than Kimbra's.

Also, note that Nick can sing, too.



One that I won't promise: that I will never do a Part IV.  But I think I'm done for now.

9 Aug 2012 (part 2) - Karmin - Pumped Up Kicks / Superbass / Look At Me Now

A wise man once said that Foster The People made him hate music.  (I hope he reads this and remembers that he said that)  This cover makes their biggest hit song a lot better. Sadly, Karmin are fans of Foster the People.  I love this video, because they talk about the choice of cover at the end of it, and there's even a juxtaposition of the original and the cover, which is in a higher key.



From the same Billboard sessions, here is their version of Nicki Minaj's "Superbass".  Did I mention that I thought Karmin was Nicki Minaj the first time I heard them?  Needless to say, this cover, which brings a little lounge to the song, works perfectly.



Moving from lounge music to music suited for play at hockey games...... Karmin takes on Chris Brown. 'Nuff said.  This one is By Request.  Karmin has said that they "butchered" Chris Brown's song.  I disagree.  They brought a different feel to it - less boastful, I suppose - and, once again, it works.



The question is, will there be a Part 3?  Stay tuned.

9 Aug 2012 (part 1) - Karmin - Tonight (I'm Loving You) / Firework / Price Tag

Today, I decided I was going to feature one artist and a bunch of their covers.  In order to do that, I had to pick an artist that had more than one.  Well, this artist (who we featured yesterday on the other blog) got their career started with a YouTube following and a bunch of covers.  This was one of their earliest ones, a cover of an Enrique Iglesias hit, showcases the vocals, but not the hip-hop style, of the group.



Amy and Nick (together they are Karmin) also do an admirable job on this Katy Perry hit.  It's a lot quieter than the original, but Amy's really powerful vocals shine on this version.



Yesterday, I talked a lot about Amy's vocals.  Today, I want to make sure you noticed that Nick is multiinstrumental.  On this version of "Price Tag", he pulls out the TROMBONE, giving the song a Dixieland feel and a whole new dimension.  (And yes -we get Amy's hip-hoppery on this tune).


Now, eagle eyed fans will notice that all three of this songs were featured in their original form on our other blog, Wicked Guilty Pleasures (here, here, and here).  Yeah.  I did that on purpose.  More eagle eyed fans will notice the qualifier "(part 1)" on this post.  I did that on purpose, too.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

8 August 2012 - Erasure - Take A Chance On Me

OK, I'm totally shooting blanks today after receiving a very "intimidating" note this morning from Tony that his post tomorrow will be EPIC. So instead of finding something clever to preemptively top him, I've decided to get this Abba cover stuck in your heads. Remember, IT'S ALL TONY'S FAULT!!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

7 August 2012 - Jedward - Under Pressure (live)

This might be one of the most clever covers I've ever seen.  Jedward were on the UK TV show X Factor.  Although Simon Cowell wasn't a fan, even he had to admit this unison version of Ice Ice Baby Under Pressure was really clever.  And, despite what you think of their talent, there is nothing about this version, which includes lyrics from a completely different song as well, that isn't fun.

In this live version of the song, Jedward are joined by none other than Rob Van Winkle, who interpolates his little early 90's hit that's a completely different song into the Under Pressure cover....



....which, of course, renders the statement made at 1:12 of this video clip invalid....

Monday, August 6, 2012

6 August 2012 - Florence Welch and Mark Ronson - Since U Been Gone

Well, this was a totally pleasant surprise. I was actually looking for a video of someone covering Florence and the Machine and instead found this video of Florence Welch (along with Mark Ronson) covering one of Kelly Clarkson's biggest (and best) hits.

Friday, August 3, 2012

3 August 2012 - No Doubt - Sailin' On

Here's No Doubt paying respect to hardcore legends Bad Brains...and it was for a good cause.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

2 August 2012 - Juliana Hatfield and Tanya Donnelly - Josie and the Pussycats

Juliana Hatfield was the indie darling of the moment in the mid 90's, having been the lead vocalist of the effervescent Blake Babies and then having a moderately successful solo career.  (We've featured her before in this blog.) Tanya Donnelly, or, as I prefer to refer to her, Kristin Hersh's half sister, was the lead vocalist of Belly, after a short stint as a Breeder and a very long one as part of Throwing Muses (my favorite band, but that's a story for another day).

And Josie & the Pussycats was my favorite cartoon ever.

So, yeah, I pretty much love this song.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

1 August 2012 - Paramore - Sweetness

I love going to a concert and a band that I love plays a random tune by another band that I love. If I was at this 2008 Paramore show in Brixton, I would have lost my mind as they played one of my favorite Jimmy Eat World tunes.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

31 July 2012 - Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya, & Pink - Lady Marmalade

We almost forgot one from last week's Hall of Fame Week on Wicked Guilty Pleasures, where we featured P!nk.  This cover of a Labelle classic featured her and three other women with gigantic voices.  Now, brush up on your French and enjoy.

Monday, July 30, 2012

30 July 2012 - Matisyahu - Use Somebody

I can't say that I'm really into Matisyahu or Kings of Leon (although I do like this song), but this video kind of intrigued me. It's pretty true to to the original...well at least until the beatbox breakdown at the end. I have to admit though that it's pretty good.

Friday, July 27, 2012

27 July 2012 - Weezer - Pumped Up Kicks

Do I really need to say anything about this live video? It's Weezer covering last year's uberhit by Foster the People. What are you waiting for? Click on the video box and party!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

25 July 2012 - Linkin Park - Rolling in the Deep

I was tooling around YouTube this morning looking for inspiration for today's post when this unexpected Adele cover popped up. I've never really liked Linkin Park (OK, I'll admit that Crawling was a rad tune), but I have to say this is a very subtle and well-done cover. Call me surprised.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

24 July 2012 - Eli Young Band - Even If It Breaks Your Heart

The Eli Young Band has now spent the last two weeks atop the country charts with today's song (one of my personal favorites at the moment and a really cool video as well). What I didn't know is that it was a cover (this is really becoming a sad trend with me lately isn't it?). While I knew the song was co-written by Nashville singer/songwriter Will Hoge, I had no idea that he recorded it for his 2009 record The Wreckage. It's a pretty solid record and I'm definitely going to check out the rest of his catalog.

Monday, July 23, 2012

23 July 2012 - Mindy Smith - Jolene

The concert train keeps rolling...Tomorrow night I'm seeing one of my favorite singers - Mindy Smith. For the record, this will be my forth concert in the last 12 days.

I was first introduced to Mindy when her debut record One Moment More came out in 2004. Our local independent radio station played her fantastic single Come To Jesus a lot (look for that video tomorrow at Your Forgotten Favorite). I of course bought the record and fell in love with it. Sadly, I didn't get a chance to see her when she toured for One Moment More, BUT I did get to see her a couple years later on her Long Island Shores tour. As expected, it was a great performance (I even had a chance to chat with her after the show, which I always appreciate). Needless to say, I'm pretty psyched to see her again tomorrow.

So that brings us to today's video from her debut record. Here's her stunning cover of Dolly Parton's classic (with Dolly providing backing vocals).

Friday, July 20, 2012

20 July 2012 - Elizabeth Cook - Sunday Morning


Me and Elizabeth

I wrote about Elizabeth Cook yesterday at Your Forgotten Favorite so I'll keep it short and sweet today. I'm really excited to see her play again tonight. Here's the video for her Velvet Underground cover which appeared on the album Balls.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

19 July 2012 - Sixpence None The Richer - Don't Dream It's Over / There She Goes

True story - I saw Sixpence None The Richer opening for a Natalie-free 10,000 Maniacs at St. Bonaventure University in 1994.  This was years before they had any hits - they were just a little Christian rock band.  I enjoyed them an awful lot, and was really happy to see that they became big hitmakers.

Yes, I do have a signed copy of their first CD.  Why do you ask?

This song is a cover of a classic done originally by Crowded House.  The original is, to my knowledge, the only hit song to ever use the words "deluge" and "obliteration".  The cover is brighter and sublime - Leigh Nash captures the feel of the song well, without sounding morose.



I always thought this second song was an odd choice for cover.  After all, it was written for a man, and for that matter, a two-part harmony.   However, this version ended up being a bigger hit than the original, and still kept the earnest sweetness of The La's.  That earnest sweetness comes naturally to Sixpence None The Richer, actually.....




Wednesday, July 18, 2012

18 July 2012 - Mandy Moore - Have A Little Faith In Me

So I was going to post a live video of Mandy Moore covering XTC's Senses Working Overtime from her Coverage album. Unfortunately, I remembered that I already did so at Wicked Guilty Pleasures. I could just repost that here, but that'd be cheating and I ain't no cheater. I may be lazy, but I'm no cheater. Never fear though, I found another Mandy Moore video to post. It's her cover of one of John Hiatt's most well-known songs.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

17 July 2012 - Save Ferris - Come on Eileen

The original version of this song, by Dexy's Midnight Runners, is on my list of Least Favorite Songs in History, right next to Stairway to Heaven and Don't Stop Believin'.  Save Ferris added a ska feel to the song and made it fifty times better. The fun seen here is what the original should have been.

Rather than sit here and comment on how Monique Powell is a far more suited vocalist for this song than the self-obsessed Kevin Rowland, I'll let you enjoy the video.

Monday, July 16, 2012

16 July 2012 - Less Than Jake - I Think I Love You

Some days I have a ton of things to say about either a particular band or song. Today is not one of those days (obviously). So just sit back, relax and enjoy this fun ska-punk cover of a Partridge Family classic.

Friday, July 13, 2012

13 July 2012 - Nouvelle Vague - Dancing With Myself and Love Will Tear Us Apart

You'd think that with it being Friday the 13th I'd be able could come up with a suitable cover for the day. You'd be wrong. Instead, here's a French band that does bossa nova covers of 80s/new wave songs. Here's their version of Billy Idol's Dancing With Myself.



Since I'm suffering from a lack of intelligent things to say today, you get an extra video (it's my way of bumping up the font on a term paper...do kids still try that?). Here's a live version of them playing Joy Division's classic tune Love Will Tear Us Apart.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

12 July 2012 - that dog. - Midnight At The Oasis

We've featured that dog. member Petra Haden already.  This song is a little different than that was.

The original Midnight at the Oasis, performed by Maria Muldaur, was a cool, mellow, AM Gold anthem to... well, let's just say it's in the same vein as Afternoon Delight and we'll leave it at that.  In this case, the sultan's son is waiting until midnight, as opposed to during the day.

This version of the song adds two things that the original could not deliver.  The first is the harmonious vocals of Petra Haden and Anna Waronker.  The second is the fuzzy, punky guitars. Put all this together (along with the news that that dog. is back together), and you have a superior version.

I apologize for the video.  The song is 100% worth it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

11 July 2012 - Kenny Chesney (with Grace Potter) - You and Tequila

Today's post, is pretty much the same as the one I did on Monday, only worse. While I knew You and Tequila was written by Matraca Berg and Deana Carter (two fantastic singer/songwriters), I had no idea that both had previously recorded the song. It appeared on Carter's I'm Just a Girl album and on Berg's latest, The Dreaming Fields. Embarrassingly, I OWN both of these records. I guess I just don't listen to Carter's older records nearly enough anymore and just forgot about it (my feeble brain can only hold so much information). There's NO EXCUSE for me not remembering Berg's version though. Her record was released LAST YEAR and I have had Chesney's album since it came out in 2010. The song was clearly in my consciousness when I got Berg's record, as Hemingway's Whiskey was one of my favorite records of the year and still gets a ton of play at my house. I must have somehow "missed" Berg's version (I'm usually doing 800 things at once while I'm listening to music...you know...cleaning, organizing, chasing cats, sending texts, tweeting, facebooking, breakdancing, etc.). For whatever reasons though, it's a shame, because both Carter and Berg's versions are exceptional (just listened to both of them).

Basically, I either need to slow down on the new releases (and give them each enough time to fully sink in) or make time to revisit my older records each week (instead of listening to my current faves over and over again). Probably a little bit of both I suppose.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

10 July 2012 - The Sugarcubes - Motorcycle Mama

When I was a DJ at WSBU, St. Bonaventure University's radio station, there was a CD sampler from Rubaiyat, the Elektra Records 40th Anniversary tribute album.

On that CD, there was a handwritten note.  "Don't Play Motorcycle Mama!"  There might have been an expletive scrawled in there somewhere.

That's like a dare.  Became a staple of my shows.  And I got a lot of angry calls about it, mostly from late night program director Jonathan Falls, who wrote the note.  He did NOT like this tune.  I think the CD ultimately disappeared, which was OK, because I had my own copy of Rubaiyat.

I do.  First of all, I clearly am a fan of covers.  I mean, c'mon, I made this blog.  Second of all, I really liked The Sugarcubes, featuring the unique Björk (before she wore a swan costume) and the equally unique Einar Örn in harmony, were an Icelandic supergroup if there ever was one.  This song was originally performed by boring 70's AM Radio Mellow Gold staples Sailcat, and it was a laid-back tribute to rebellion.  The Sugarcubes made it both peppier and angrier at the same time (even if they didn't entirely understand all the words they were singing).

Monday, July 9, 2012

9 July 2012 - Julie Roberts - Whiskey and You



Me and Julie

First off, I'd like to thank Tony for covering for my lazy beach bumness last week. I had every intention to post, but the OBX weather was just too awesome to sit in front of a laptop (plus I had a bunch of books to barrel my way through: Mansfield Park, The Punk Rock Book of Lists, Dave Mustaine's autobiography and the first two books in the Hunger Games series).

Anyway, this track off Julie's latest record Alive really blew me away the first time I heard it. But, I never knew it was a cover until recently. Since I'm seeing Tim McGraw perform soon I decided to reacquaint myself with his back catalog. One afternoon I put on his Let it Go cd while doing some work around the house. Imagine my surprise when I heard one of my favorite Julie Roberts songs, or should I say, one of my favorite songs done by Julie Roberts. Regardless of who played it first, it's a great sad country tune.

Friday, July 6, 2012

6 July 2012 - Bran Van 3000 - Cum On Feel The Noise

A cover of a cover? Originally done by Slade, famously (and excellently) covered by Quiet Riot, this cover by BV3K is quieter, cooler, and more electronic.  I am generally a fan of Bran Van 3000, and I think you'll be seeing them around these blogs again really soon.

No video, but the song is worth it.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

5 July 2012 - Fun. - Call Me Maybe

Fun. have had one of the biggest hits of 2012 with "We Are Young", which is like fingernails on a chalkboard for me.  However, their version of another big hit of 2012 is compelling.  I mean, it's not like I have well-documented love for this song or anything like that.  This version is more reminiscent of the many, early acoustic versions of the original.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4 July 2012 - Heart - Alone

The late 70's band Heart made a comeback in the mid-80's, which included this power ballad.  They showed that they still had chops.

They also did it with someone else's song.  The song was originally recorded by i-Ten, who wrote it, and was previously covered by John Stamos.  This version was far and away the most popular version, but it was very faithful to the original, right down to the piano and harmonies. However, Ann Wilson's vocal really makes the song - she truly belts the song and shows her anguish.

It ended up being Heart's biggest hit of their entire career, making it to #1 worldwide, including spending three weeks there in the US.



As a bonus, here are the Wilson sisters performing the song in an acoustic setting.  They still got it.



Tuesday, July 3, 2012

3 July 2012 - Todd Snider - Fortunate Son

I've always enjoyed this version of the Creedence Clearwater Revival classic. Todd Snider is not as brash as John Fogharty, but is rather quiet in his anger and protest.  There is a version that he recorded in studio with Patty Griffin, but this live version captures the emotion just perfectly.  Enjoy.

Monday, July 2, 2012

2 July 2012 - George Harrison - Got My Mind Set On You

I bet you thought this former Beatle wrote this song.  You would be wrong.  It was originally performed by R&B singer James Ray in 1962.

Really, this song is worth it just for the video and the obvious dancing stunt double.  However, George really makes the song his own by bringing happiness and spirit to it.  The original featured horns - this version was able to bring the same excitement with guitars and percussion.

Friday, June 29, 2012

29 June 2012 - The Walkmen - Holiday Road

And with this totally appropriate Lindsey Buckingham cover, I'm off to the beach for a week...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

28 June 2012 - Joan Jett (& The Blackhearts) - I Love Rock 'n' Roll

I bet you all thought this was an original.  Well, it was.  When The Arrows performed it in 1975.

This song helped Joan Jett launch a post-Runaways career, but she would never have a bigger hit than this cover, a faithful one at that, with a twist. The original was sung by a man, and so the person standing by the record machine.... was a she, not a he.  For some reason, that original version was a little creepier.



This was the second time Joan Jett recorded the song.  The first time was in 1979, while still a Runaway, with Paul Cook and Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols.  Here is a badly dubbed version of the same video, in color, with this version.   It's a little more glam-rock and less rockabilly.  As an added bonus, the video is the original color version - Joan Jett was not a fan of the red leather.



Wednesday, June 27, 2012

27 June 2012 - The Killers - Shadowplay

When I saw The Killers in 2009 they busted out this Joy Division cover which appeared in the 2007 film Control. I had no idea they covered it, which is sad because I had the DVD for the movie at the time (which to this day still hasn't been opened).

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

26 June 2012 - Glen Campbell - Wichita Lineman

This.  This is my favorite song of all time.  Bar none.

Glen Campbell captures perfectly the heartbreak of... well, a Wichita lineman.  The ache of the loneliness of the work comes through in the guitar/violin combination as well as Glen's gentle vocals.  He wants to hear his love through the wires, and yearns for it.  

It's a song I wish I could sing.

It's also a song Glen didn't write.  In a Totally Covered twist, the recording of Jimmy Webb's song - which was written for piano - was released before Jimmy Webb ever was, and in fact was written FOR Glen Campbell.  Jimmy Webb wrote a lot of Glen Campbell's hits.

But it is his song.  And it is the most perfect song ever written and performed.



As an added bonus, here is a video of Glan Campbell performing the song in Toronto last year, on his Goodbye tour, as he is suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer's. I haven't seen him live yet, and I really hope I get the chance to.

Monday, June 25, 2012

25 June 2012 - Berlin - The Dope Show

I got to see Berlin play a few years ago, which I have to say was pretty cool. While they played a ton of their old hits (The Metro was always a favorite of mine), they were touring for a new album of covers, which of course brings us to today's live video of the band covering Marilyn Manson (the only video I could find wasn't exactly the best quality, but you'll get the idea of how cool it was...and yes, they brought up the crowd at my show too...and no, I didn't go up and shake it with Teri and the band).

Thursday, June 21, 2012

21 June 2012 - Kris Delmhorst - You Might Think / Drive

Anyone who reads my other blogs knows what my Album of the Year pick was for 2011.  Far and away, it was Cars by Kris Delmhorst.  This is a bit of an understatement; I would call it the best album I've heard in the last five years, at least. She was able to retain the dark optimism of Rik Ocasek's original lyrics and vocals (and yes, in some cases, Ben Orr's), while bringing her own folky soulfulness to the music.  This was the best of the best.  Expertly done, this version gives me chills.



The album was so good, I wanted to also share Kris's take on Ben Orr's lyrics.  Equally chilling, this is a song I don't like in its original form, but love in hers.



Wednesday, June 20, 2012

20 June 2012 - Paul Weller and Amy Winehouse - I Heard it through the Grapevine

Do I really need to say anything here? It's Amy Winehouse AND Paul Weller covering a Motown classic from the Later...with Jools Holland show. Just sit back, push play and bask in the awesome goodness that is this video.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

19 June 2012 - The Carpenters - Superstar / Sonic Youth - Superstar

I always found The Carpenters to be dull.  I mean, Richard was an excellent songwriter, and Karen a talented drummer and vocalist, but the combination of the two of them was just so boring.  However, there are exceptions, such as this Delaney and Bonnie song.  Karen really captures the heartbreak of the unrequited love of an adoring fan, and made it huge.



Of course, the song was so popularized by The Carpenters that it really became their song, so when Sonic Youth covered it, it was featured on the Carpenters tribute album.  It's clearly a darker version than the one sung by Karen Carpenter, but still captures the heartbreak.

Monday, June 18, 2012

18 June 2012 - Ane Brun - Jóga

A few years ago I was looking for something new to listen to while I was at work (this was when Lala.com still existed as a streaming music site). I asked a few Lala friends with similar tastes for some suggestions. As expected, I got some interesting, and some not so interesting suggestions, but the "big win" that day was discovering Norway's Ane Brun. Of course I picked up her records. How could I not? That voice is so incredible.

So that brings us to today. I had no idea what to post but for some reason had Ane Brun on my mind. I wondered if she had done any interesting covers and a simple YouTube search turned up this stunning performance from the 2010 Polar Music Prize Ceremony in Stockholm (Björk who originally did the song was one of the year's prize winners). Brun later said about the performance, “I’ve never been so nervous. It felt like my heart was leaping out of my chest...I couldn’t look at her until I was done.” (From an interview on wearsthetrousers, February 24th, 2012).