Monday, August 09, 2004

This ain't a song for the brokenhearted.

Welcome to all the new Rochester, NY, readers. I hope you enjoy your stay.

  • Ida "Everybody Knows This is Nowhere" (Neil Young cover)
    Ida is one of my favorite bands and they have some of my favorite covers, so choosing which to use was difficult, but I was in a kinda country mood—well, until I stumbled on the last two tracks, anyhow—so this track won out. It's light and airy and folksy and pretty and, well, just plain Ida-esque.

  • Kelly Hogan & John Wesley Harding "I'm a Little Bit Country, I'm a Little Bit Rock 'n' Roll" (Donnie & Marie Osmond cover)
    A perfect song choice from two decidedly more rocky of our alt-country/alt-folk superstars. JWH has been a long-time favorite of mine, and not solely because a few of his albums were released by Zero Hour, a former obsession I detail here. Actually, I think I first stumbled on JWH and his Billy Bragg-esque wit, cynicism and folkishness, via his track, "When the Beatles Hit America," which was on one of the Just Say ... comps back in the day. Kelly Hogan, on the other hand, despite being known to me for years, is someone whose oeuvre I'm just beginning to explore and enjoy. Her voice is that awesome combination of power and subtlety and Southern twang that makes me wish I'd been born to a musical family in Georgia. And if I ever want to meet her, rumor has it I can swing by the Hideout and watch her play or pay her for whiskey. Accessible artists rule.

    This you-really-can't-do-much-with-a-song-like-this-but-it's-fun track comes from one of the three all-cover compilations released by Chicago's own Pravda Records, 20 More Explosive Fantastic Rockin' Mega Smash Hit Explosions! These comps mostly feature Chicago-area artists rehashing old K-Tel radio hits and is, as most all-cover comps are, full of hits and misses.

  • Pastel Vespa "Living on a Prayer" (Bon Jovi cover)
    This is where the country ends. Brazilian-born (but currently living in Australia) chanteuse Pastel Vespa (her real name, it appears), is my new hero. I've long been waiting for the day in which I'd hear a Bon Jovi song rendered in an immensely listenable fashion. (Don't get me wrong, I was a big Bon Jovi fan back in the day, but most modern covers of their work are unbearable.) If you liked the Nouvelle Vague track a few entries ago and/or any of the loungey Japanese tracks I seem particularly obsessed with, this is for you.

  • Boy Division "It's My Life" (Bon Jovi cover)
    My friend Matt and I have had a few discussions about forming a band that solely performs covers but that isn't your standard cover band. You know, we'd just be a band who happens to sing other people's songs but is so innovative and experimental that we'd make each song our own. A lofty goal, to be sure, but one that apparently others have had. Yes, Germany's own Boy Division has beaten us to the punch. Fortunately, a quick sampling of their covers lends me to believe that they weren't as interested in making each cover sound different from one another, but it's all, um, interesting to say the least. Like what you here? Check out a few of their other covers here.
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