Friday, December 22, 2006

Echoing their joyous strains.

  • Twelve Girls Band "All I Want for Christmas (Is You)" (Mariah Carey cover)
    A few years back I posted My Chemical Romance's version of this, which is still my reigning favorite, but I like this version as well. For different reasons.

  • Dan Bryk "Hard Candy Christmas" (Dolly Parton cover, from The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas)

  • Innocence Mission "Edelweiss" (comp. Rodgers & Hammerstein, from The Sound of Music)

  • June "A Wonderful Christmas Time" (Paul McCartney cover)

  • The Rabid Fans "God Rest Ye Weary Shoeless Joe" (Traditional)
    Not a true cover, of course, but it's insane and, therefore, share-worthy.

  • The Smashup "A Coventry Carol" (Traditional)

  • Young Fresh Fellows "O Little Town of Bethlehem" (comp. Brooks/Redner)

  • Leigh Nash "Maybe this Christmas" (Ron Sexsmith cover)

  • Lena Horne "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (comp. Johnny Marks)

  • Nicotine "Do They Know It's Christmas?" (Band Aid cover)
    I'm always willing to forgive the Japanese for things I'd never forgive US bands for. Why is that, exactly?

  • Red Flag "Ave Maria" (comp. Schubert)
    Man. I haven't thought about Red Flag since my Medusa's days. (Non-Chicago folk: Medusa's was a legendary, multi-story all-ages house/synth/goth/punk/industrial club of the '80s & '90s that pretty much ruled.)

  • Reind Dears "(White) Christmas" (comp. Irving Berlin)

  • The Rev. Horton Heat "Santa Bring My Baby Back" (Elvis Presley cover)

  • Secretariat "Angels We Have Heard on High" (Traditional)

  • Syd Straw "(I Am Always Touched by Your) Presents, Dear" (Blondie cover)
    Leave it to Syd to rework this into a Christmas-themed song. I love Syd Straw so much. I'm a little biased because she is, by far, one of the most fun, gracious performers with whom I've had the pleasure to have a conversation or two. Here's my meeting-Syd story:

    More than 10 years ago, I was a hostess at a popular restaurant in Bloomington. Syd came up to pay the bill (I hadn't previously realized she was there) and said something like, "My boyfriend was coming up here to pay the bill, but I've been watching you and I told him I have to go talk to this amazing woman." (I'm not making this up!)

    I responded, "Oh my god! You're Syd Straw!" and she was surprised that I knew who she was. I went on to ramble like a star-struck moron about how I had just seen her cameo in Armistead Maupin's Tales From the City, that I loved her repeating role on The Adventures of Pete and Pete on Nickelodeon, that I had seen her sing backup for They Might Be Giants at the Taste of Chicago the year prior, and that I had taped her on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno doing the same. She said, in her amazing, unique southern drawl, "Wow... that's wiiiild."

    That same night I went to Second Story to see folksinger Iris DeMent since Syd said she'd be there. She and I wound up in the very back of the bar, talking so loudly people were shushing us. Maybe you're not familiar with Syd, but she is a wonderful singer/songwriter who's worked with or is friends with everybody who is anybody ever. I promise. I don't think anyone who meets her could NOT wind up being her friend. She's terribly funny and sweet. We talked REM, Kurt Cobain and Frances Bean and all the best gossip I can't remember now. Later that week, Syd went to the Thursday night karaoke that I'd told her about and she fabulously sang "D-I-V-O-R-C-E." I bought her a Stoli and cranberry and felt like the shit. When she played in Bloomington like a year and a half later (maybe two), she walked right up to me and said,"Hey, Liza! I bet you thought I wouldn't remember you!" She was right.

    About 5 or 6 years ago, I went to see her play at Schuba's and was waiting in line when she walked into the bar and who noticed me immediately and came by to chat. She told me she was nervous but that she thinks it'll be okay "because Elliott Smith is playing on the jukebox. I love Elliott Smith ." And, of course, I was the one who had played the song in the first place. ("Waltz #2," in case you're interested).

    Syd's songs are all witty and in that deliciously sentimental country-pop vein. But the best thing about her shows is that, even if you don't know her, you feel like you do. I always feel as if she's the host of a giant party and has been egged on by the guests to play. She is absolutely hilarious and I wish I could be around her all the time.
  • Saturday, December 16, 2006

    I don't need you to tell me what's going down.

    I'm not in a talky mood.

  • Class "Yuko & Hiro" (Blur cover)
    Many thanks to Peter of Class for sending this my way, as I could not locate my copy anywhere.

  • The Droyds "North Country Boy" (The Charlatans [UK] cover)

  • Ether Aura "I Speak Every Word" (Curve cover)

  • Katscan "Connection" (Elastica cover)

  • Eläkeläiset "Käänteishumppa (Tattva)" (Kula Shaker cover)
    Ah, crazy ol' Eläkeläiset.

  • Hinterland "For Love" (Lush cover)
    Barely sounds like a cover, but whatever. It's one of the most listenable tracks of the mediocre shoegaze tribute albums Never Lose that Feeling Vols. 1&2

  • Gillian Welch "Black Star" (Radiohead cover)
    I love Gillian and was very pleased to discover this.

  • CelTikA "Creep" (Radiohead cover)
    There are a million and half "Creep" covers out there (and a million and a half Radiohead covers in general) and I likely have most of them, so I tried to pick one you'd be less than likely to see someplace else. And you know you were craving Venezuelan power metal anyhow.

  • Amanda Rogers "No Surprises" (Radiohead cover)

  • Elvis Costello & the Attractions "What Do I Do Now" (Sleeper cover)

  • Year of the Rabbit "I Wanna Be Adored" (Stone Roses cover)
    This version is okay, but I'm a bit more partial to singer-songwriter Joshua English's version, which you can download for free at his site.

  • Mr. Hopkinson's Computer "Fools Gold" (Stone Roses cover)
    This cover makes me so very happy.

  • Mick Thomas & the Sure Thing "Made of Stone" (Stone Roses cover)

  • I Am the World Trade Center "Shoot You Down" (Stone Roses cover)

  • Flying Saucer Attack "The Drowners" ([The London] Suede cover)

  • Anthony Wong "Saturday Night" ([The London] Suede cover)

  • Mountain Goats "Trash" ([The London] Suede cover)

  • Of Montreal "Alright" (Supergrass cover)
    I wasn't going to post this because I think a lot of people have in the past and the quality isn't great, but it was either this or those god-awful versions of "Alright" and "Richard III" from the Donkey Konga games.

  • Scala & Kolacny Brothers "Bittersweet Symphony" (Verve cover)

  • Ben Harper "The Drugs Don't Work" (Verve cover)
  • Friday, December 08, 2006

    Chicago, we can change the world.

    Link: Our Favorite Chicago mp3 Blogs
    Many thanks for the mention to Andrew et al. over at Gapers Block. GB is the only Chicago-related blog I read regularly because its writers— unlike the folks over Chicagoist—aren't simply snark purveyors with poor editing skills. That's right, I said it, but I digress. (As if I should judge anyone else for being too snarky anyhow!) More importantly, thanks to those hip GBers for turning me onto Cake & Polka Parade, of which I was heretofore unaware. I loves me some crazy outsider weirdness.

    Thursday, December 07, 2006

    Something changed.

    First I planned to post some Christmas songs. Then I changed my mind and decided to go for actors singing badly. And then the third track listed below hit my shuffle play and I became obsessed with posting covers of hits from the Britpop heyday. These tracks represent the first installment of such, as I couldn't narrow it down to fewer than 20. And that was without finding any covers of Echobelly or Sleeper songs. Know of any? Help a sister out.

  • The Gimmicks "Girl from Mars" (Ash cover)
    Oh, Ash. I want to make out with them.

  • Terry Edwards & the Scapegoats "Girls & Boys" (Blur cover)
    This should be a traditional drinking song, methinks.

  • Popchor Berlin "Out of Time" (Blur cover)

  • Tony Evans "Wake Up, Boo!" (Boo Radleys cover)
    Oh, my. This comes from a dance instruction CD, so it's watered down... presumably so you can better hear the beats and tango your heart out. Um, yeah. Only included here because I was shocked it existed.

  • Yazbek "Son of a Gun" (The La's cover)
    Hey, did you know that the La's had songs besides "There She Goes"? And that somone covered one of them? Shocking but true.

  • Celluloide "Light from a Dead Star" (Lush cover)
    I've heard a handful of Celluloide covers and they all pretty much sound exactly like this. But that's synthpop for you, I suppose.

  • Evan Dando "Live Forever" (Oasis cover)
    Hey, did you know that there were artists who covered Oasis songs besides "Wonderwall"? We just keep learning new things today, don't we? (And, yes, I have tons of covers of other Oasis songs, I just needed to narrow it down.)

  • Kind of Like Spitting "Common People" (Pulp cover)
    Recorded live at Le Jive Music Cafe in Wyandotte, MI. Wow, Ben sounds so angry. I like it.

  • Cracklin' Moth "Mis-Shapes" (Pulp cover)
    This live version was recorded at Schuba's here in Chicago, as this is a local band. A local band who happens to be playing tonight at The Hideout. A local band I'd actually go check out tonight at The Hideout if:

    A. I weren't recovering from a cold
    B. I lived anywhere near The Hideout
    C. I had any disposable income whatsoever
    D. Small, smoky, crowded spaces didn't freak me out
    E. All of the above

    Answer: E

    But don't let my endless list of quirks keep you from going. Vive le rock, and whatnot.

  • Astrud "Algo Cambió (Something Changed)" (Spanish Pulp cover)
    Wow. The mid-song banter in this is so fast, I've no chance of deciphering it. Still, I'm all for foreign-language Pulp covers.

  • Roisin Murphy "Sorted for E's and Wizz" (Pulp cover)
    What? Pulp songs aren't gay enough on their own? In the movie of my life, this could SO be the track playing as I, wearing the tightest silver spandex top in the universe, practically pass out at Vortex at age 19.

  • And, if you feel I've slighted you on bands performing live Pulp covers, former Bloomington, IN band Cadmium Orange covered "Disco 2000" and you can find it available over at their Musical Family Tree page. (Track 23 from "Too Hungry to Vote.")
  • It opened up my eyes.

    Link: YouTube User DanceTomatoTree
    Whoa. Just when I thought I had too much time on my hands and have wasted it by choosing to spend it collecting covers, a Google search leads me to a slew of videos created by Dance Tomato Tree, a YouTuber who has enough time to take cover songs (many of which had been posted here) and replaces the original audio of the original artists' videos with the covers. Like this Twang version if Blur's "Song 2", among many others, such as Chugga Chugga's version of Ace of Base's "The Sign":

    Thursday, November 30, 2006

    I don't mind you coming here.

  • Console "By This River" (Brian Eno cover)
    One of my favorite covers of the past few years. Very pretty. Fans of the Notwist (whose Martin Gretschmann IS Console) and Lali Puna take note. See also the video for their cover of Sonic Youth's "Magnolia":

  • Neverending White Lights feat. 311's Nick Hexum "Age of Consent" (New Order cover)
    Very pretty cover that inexplicably didn't make my New Order-themed post a while back. Neverending White Lights is a "band" or "project" with a rotating cast of performers. The album Act:1: Goodbye Friends of the Heavenly Bodies includes songs with lead vocals from bands such as Our Lady Peace, Finger Eleven, Hum, Creeper Lagoon, Shudder To Think, The Velvet Teen and many more.

  • Toshi Reagon feat. Marc Anthony "Chocolate Genius" Thompson "Just What I Needed" (The Cars cover)
    Another very pretty cover. I guess that's just the mood I've been in lately.

  • Death Cab for Cutie "World Shut Your Mouth" (Julian Cope cover)
    Hey! A DCFC cover that doesn't doesn't sound like Music to Slit Your Wrists By! Who knew?

  • Giant Sand "The Beat Goes On" (Sonny and Cher cover)
    A huge jazz fan I'm not, but I still love this.

  • Happy Drivers "La Isla Bonita" (Madonna cover)
    When I was in high school and college, I had the tendency to bust into hallways and bathrooms and other places with good acoustics and belt out the bridge to "La Isla Bonita" at the top of my lungs. It was pretty powerful stuff. But I like this French punk/rockabilly version, if only for the requisite ze in lieu of the.

  • The Jesus and Mary Chain "Tower of Song" (Leonard Cohen cover)
    One of my favorite bands covers one of my favorite artists. Should be awesome, right? Then why am I sort of falling asleep at my keyboard?

  • Yum!Yum!ORANGE "Don't Worry, Be Happy" (Bobby McFerrin cover)
    I honestly never thought I'd post a cover if this, one of my most-hated songs EVER, but dammit if those Japanese ska bands don't charm my socks right off everytime.

    The following songs are from a 2005 German cover compilation called Quotenrocker. It was very difficult to choose which of its 30+ tracks to select, so I put WinAmp on random and picked the first four that came up.

  • Wolke "Mein Süβes Kind (Sweet Child O' Mine)" (Guns N Roses cover)
    Another pretty one. I'm going all soft in my old age.

  • Little Shepherd "Beate Ausem Block (Jenny from the Block)" (J.Lo cover)
    Wow. This is like a terrible car crash from which I inexplicably can't turn away.

  • Die Sterne "Du Hast Die Welt in Deiner Hand (He Has the Whole World in His Hands)"(Traditional)
    I like this a lot. Traditional Bible school-type "hit" that sounds suspiciously like the Beatles' "Rain" gone all Wall of Sound.

  • Les Garçons "Oh, Glücklichkeit (Sweet Happiness)" (Newby & Johnson)
    Okay, here's where I need your help. This is the only song from the disc whose original artist is unknown to me. It sounds super-familiar, but I can't place it. Since I don't have any liner notes, I don't know the songwriter's name and all of my Google searches have been fruitless. It kind of reminds me of a Chicago song, but I'm pretty sure it isn't. Experts in '60s/'70s-era pop (at least that's what it sounds like), please help!

    I have sent an e-mail to a former member of the band in the hopes he can shine some light on this for us. I'll keep you posted as to the results.

    Edit 2: Mystery solved!

    From Martin H, former guitarist for Les Garçons:

    Dear Liza,

    Thanks for bringing this gem to my attention. I actually played the guitar
    on the track, but most stuff has been added long after I left for the
    States. It turned out pretty cheesy, but I guess that's what they wanted.
    The original title is 'Sweet Happiness,' which is a Newby & Johnson track.

    Best wishes,

    Although Newby & Johnson are a bit obscure in the realms of '60s Northern Soul acts, I know I've heard it before. I'm thinking my dad, who had an extensive R&B/Soul vinyl collection must have exposed me to it at some point.
  • Tuesday, November 28, 2006

    Rock your baby.

    Link: Baby Rock Records
    Soon to be as ubiquitous as String Quartet tribute albums, lullaby tributes will soon be a softer, gentler way for new rock-loving parents to introduce their babies to the work of their favorite artists. I'm digging the Cure and Radiohead albums, at least partially for the cover art, but if you want to send your little one off to sleep dreaming of Tool or Metallica, you can do that too. Some of the albums listed are forthcoming, but if you click on one that already exists, you can hear a few samples. Quite frankly, I feel as if I should be horrified by this for some reason, but quite the contrary: I'm kind of loving it. I think these might help me battle my insomnia. I can't wait for the Queens of the Stone Age tribute!

    You keep sayin' you got somethin' for me.

    Blog: Dans Mon Café

    Oops. I meant to include this blog in my earlier post. It specializes mostly in yéyé and other French pop of the '60s, some of which are covers. Today's post is chock-full of "These Boots Are Made for Walking" covers, not all of which are by French artists. [Note: Uses a file-sharing site and does not direct link MP3s.]

    Monday, November 27, 2006

    Where do we go now?

    I've decided that I'm going to try, in my own way, to be a better blogger. No, this doesn't mean I'm promising daily posts or anything. Let's not get crazy! But I have a tendency to stumble on things online that I want to share with readers, and then I promptly forget to do so. Mainly this involves finding other cover-sharing blogs or artist sites with cover-related info or downloads or whatever. I usually find these sites and wind up downloading tons of stuff thinking "I'll share it here eventually anyhow." But, let's face it, I could post 10 tracks every 10 minutes for the next 10 years and probably still not be able to share all of my files. Besides, doing it this way saves my bandwidth so I can post other stuff. So, here's my first attempt at it.

  • Link: Coverlar by Bugotak
    This is an all-cover album available for download on* by the Siberian Turki Tuvan throat-singing artist Bugotak. It's throat singing, so if you don't like throat singing, so might want to refrain. But if you want to hear the eeriest sounding cover of Nirvana's "Rape Me," I say go for it. And, strangely, though the Beatles' "Come Together" is one of my least favorite Beatles songs (despite being on my favorite Beatles album), I'm digging Bugotak's take.

  • Link: Live Panum 2006 by VHAB
    Another* find. Three live covers from Danish band VHAB. They're not great, but I do like that if you told me their version of The Cure's "A Forest" was actually performed by the Cult, I'd believe you.

  • Link: Io E I Gomma Gommas
    One more from*, only two tracks available for free download. Io E I Gomma Gommas (an homage to Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Italian-style) is an Italian punk cover band focusing on crafting their own versions of songs from the Italian beat era. Man, everything really HAS been done!

    *As far as I know, you don't have to be a logged-in user to download their FREE MP3s. If that's not the case, let me know. If that IS the case and you really want the track, you might as well sign up. It's free and, although I was very late to jump the train, it's already proved an invaluable resource to me.

  • Link: Glitter and Twang
    Marcus Kellis is a regular SongFight contributor who is sharing some of the covers he's done, as well as a SongFight-based compilation of The Sound of Music covers entitled Rolf is a Nazi, among other things, on his site. As with all covers by all bands, known or not, there are hits and misses, but Rolf is a Nazi does amuse & entertain me in equal amounts. My favorites of the lot: "Do Re Mi," "I Have Confidence" and "The Lonely Goatherd." (And while I'm referencing "Goatherd," may I just say that the new Gwen Stefani track that samples it makes me gag.)

  • Link: Cheryl Ladd Music
    Hey, did you know that model/actress Cheryl Ladd was also a "singer"? Neither did I until I began planning an upcoming post dedicated (mostly) to really bad covers by celebrity cover that shouldn't exist. Like most model/actors-turned-songbirds, I'm not sure I can recommend her songs sans irony, but if you're a collector of kitsch like me, you'll be down. The featured tracks are not all covers, I'll let you suss out for yourselves which might be. (Note: MP3s on said page are only 96kbps.)

  • Blog: Cover Freak
    Just as there's always room for Jello, there is always room for more covers. I do have a small "Covers" section over on my blogroll to the right, but just in case you don't regularly check it for updates, I want to keep you in the know. Copy, Right? fan Steve operates this newer cover blog that, thus far, has been similar to mine in that it's usually all-over-the-map. He's also recently posted a few tracks I've posted in the past, so it's not a bad idea to keep tabs on what he's doing if you've been dismayed that I refuse to repost songs.

    Caveat: The following blogs do not direct link MP3s, but instead use a file-sharing service instead to share files. Often these are large .rar or .zip files. If you do not enjoy waiting for downloads—and often being bombarded with ads while you do so—or you do not have a .zip- or .rar-opening program, these might not be the sites for you. But, if there's something you see there that you desperately have to have, it could be worth the trouble.

  • Blog: Fong Songs
    Not always covers and not always music, but generally cover-heavy.

  • Blog: Germans Under Cover
    Blog dedicated to German covers, with accompanying well-researched information-packed articles.

  • Blog: Mexicovers
    Blog dedicated to Mexican cover, often with accompanying well-researched information-packed articles or liner notes.
  • Thursday, November 23, 2006

    In our lifetime those who kill, the news world hands them stardom. And these are the ways on which I was raised.

  • The Now Time Delegation "Nothing But a Heartache" (The Flirtations cover)
    I had never heard the original version of this song until the fabulous Rhino box set One Kiss Can Lead to Another: Girl Group Sounds Lost and Found came out last year. And though it's difficult to pick a favorite from a collection so chock-full of gems, this song was (and is) defintitely my No. 1. Similarly, until I'd heard the original last year and went on an immediate hunt for any band who might have covered this track, I was unaware of The Now Time Generation—a punk/garage/soul indie supergroup featuring members of the BellRays and Monkeywrench, among others, that sprung from the ashes of the King Sound Quartet. As I suspected, any band that would cover this would instantly become a New Favorite Thing [TM]. Their Watch for Today album is about half lively contemporary covers of soul and mod classics and half originals that sound like lively contemporary covers of soul and mod classics. It's pretty awesome.

  • Chris Cacavas "Someone to Pull the Trigger" (Matthew Sweet cover)
    This hit my shuffle play the other day and I thought, "I don't remember having a cover of this by Neil Young!" Heh. I didn't. Upon closer listening, I don't hear it as Young-ian (clever, no?) as I did previously, but it's a sweet little Americana version nonetheless. And don't get me started on what an impact such a lovelorn, suicidal anthem (or any Altered Beast track, really) had on College Liza back in the day. My heart breaks all over listening to any version.

    Somewhat related: My former coworker Chad has a tattoo of of the dinosaur logo from Altered Beast. Now that's dedication. Adorable, adorable dedication.

  • Robyn "Jack U Off" (Prince cover)
    As I've mentioned previously, I'm loving Scandinavian artists lately. (BTW, Swedes Please is my favorite drug.) Robyn's 2005 album is one of my favorite albums of that year. And, hell, this year too. I can't get enough. She's adorably bad-ass. I'd been hunting for this a while and reader Jerker sent it my way. Callou callay, says I. What a cute little vulgar song!

  • Altered Images "Song Sung Blue" (Neil Diamond cover)
    It's weird. I love Altered Images' originals. I mean, what would Sixteen Candles have been without "Happy Birthday"? And how inspiringly poppy was "I Could Be Happy"? Granted, even back then, I could see how Clare Grogan's voice could be like nails on a chalkboard to many, but I kind of liked that it was so high-pitched and thought it added to the charm of the songs. And she was so cute in Gregory's Girl. Maybe I'm getting old or something, but hearing this cover kind of makes me want to beat someone up.

  • Cadaveric Sludge Dispenser Unit "Consequence of Sounds" (Regina Spektor cover)
    Whoa. This is just plain strange. When any band covers one of my favorite new performers, I take note. And often—even after collecting covers as long as I have been and seeing tons of bands covering the work of artists I can't even believe they've even heard of—I'm surprised. I rarely expect gore outfits with names like Cadaveric Sludge Dispenser Unit to cover quirky little anti-folksters like Regina Spektor. Maybe it was the fact that the song references "bowels" that drew CDSU to it. Or maybe the fact that they only had to play a note or two on their synthesizer. Or maybe they're huge Spektor fans. That's the beauty of the out-of-character cover. You choose your own adventure.

  • Epoxies "Join the Professionals" (The Professionals—or The Fabulous Stains—cover)
    So, the Sex Pistols broke up and Steve Jones and Paul Cook started The Professionals. But that's not the important part. The important part is that they showed up in the cult hit Ladies and Gentleman, The Fabulous Stains (with Ray Winstone acting as the lead singer) as the Looters and sang it. Then the more important part is when the heroine—a spunky, young, see-through-shirt-wearing Diane Lane—steals the song and makes it her own (aka much worse). (But not quite as iffy as her only other song.) Then, after much turmoil, her band goes on to make a mainstream new-wavey pop video of it. And most importantly, the Epoxies covered it and now it's featured here. I'm really liking their cover choices.

    Note: The Donnas-esque (although a bit poppier, kind of like Lindsay Lohan's band in Freaky Friday or something from the Valley Girl soundtrack/s) California band Rocket does a pretty good cover of this as well and you can hear it when you visit their site. I don't have the scratch to buy the EP it's on just now (nor their other cover-filled record), but it will happen soon. BTW, Why isn't everything in the world available as purchasable downloads yet? I thought this was the future!

  • Faye Wong "Silent All These Years" (Chinese Tori Amos cover)
    I'm sorry to report that I'm unsure whether this is the Cantonese or Mandarin version. Anyone?

    Edit: The verdict is in and Mandarin wins.

  • Larrikin Love "A Horse with No Name" (America cover)
    The Tower Records by my house, like all Tower Records locations, is going out of business. Generally, I don't latch onto corporations, but I must admit Tower was good to me. Not so much musicwise, 'cause their shit is expensive, but definitely on the movie rental and magazine selection fronts. Seriously, the magazine department was sick. (This is the first time I've ever used sick in its new "cool" compliment variation. I'm not so sure it works for me.) Anyhow, the good thing about the store closing is that back issues of magazines are 75% off, which means for a while I can actually afford British publications, such as September's issue of Q, which came with a CD brimming with '70s soft-rock hits. This is one of the better covers from said disc.

  • Flat Pack "Sweet Child O' Mine (Mylo Club Mix)" (Guns N Roses cover)
    As regular readers know, Axl would have been ultra safe hiding in my hair. Just sayin'. I like this version. It makes me want to break out the acid-wash and dance.

  • Russian Love "The Last of the Famous International Playboys" (Morrissey cover)
    Morrissey was in town last night. I didn't go to see him, and I haven't since the Kill Uncle tour a few days before my 19th birthday in '91. At the time, it was both the shortest and most expensive concert I'd ever been to. Morrissey was surly back then and I was unimpressed, unlike the person who wrote this who described it as "excellent." I vowed never again to pay to see him, but in recent years I must admit I've thought about amending my stance. But the tickets are even pricier now, so forget it.

    This all said, I was fortunate enough to meet him back in my Borders days one day when he was shopping. I made an ass of myself telling him how his music helped me get through high school, but at least I only did so after he approached my coworker and me outside and asked us for directions to another bookstore. (It was a pet peeve of mine to approach celebrities in general, let alone while working.) We walked him halfway to the Barnes & Noble and he was pretty gracious in the face of my fumbling attempt to thank him for the impact his body of work had on me. The only thing that would have been better would have been if he would have put us on the guest list for his show that night a la the keyboard player from the Fixx, but I digress.

    "The Last of the Famous International Playboys" has long been my favorite solo Morrissey track, and Russian Love are Scandinavian, so here we are.

  • The Jimmies "Chevy Van" (Sammy Johns cover)
    Sometimes you're just in the mood for a "Chevy Van" cover. Today was that day for me. And while punk bands are usually not my thing, I must admit that if The Jimmies were the regular band at any bar in my neighborhood, I'd go check them out from time to time.

  • Twang "Song 2 (Blur cover)
    Whether I love or loathe shticky all-cover bands depends on the day. Today I'm choosing to love Twang because there are millions of "Song 2" covers and 99% of them sound exactly the same, whether performed by pop, acoustic, grunge, metal or punk acts. And 99% of those completely SUCK. Granted, I'm a huge Blur fan and "Song 2" is quite possibly my least favorite song in their catalog so I'm biased from the get-go, but at least Twang did something different with it.

  • The Vienna Boys Choir "Supreme" (Robbie Williams cover)
    Hey, apparently it's "Singers I've Met" day here at Copy, Right? Robbie Williams was already huge for years in Europe by the time The Ego Has Landed was scheduled for US release. And the record label was touting him as the next big American thing. (Um, never really happened, sirs.) I got invited to a very swank, chichi Robbie Williams record industry showcase, which was primarily populated by EMI execs wearing suits. I was at the tail end of my phase involving hating all things mainstream pop back then, and I went to the show for the free top-shelf liquor and shrimp appetizers. I was aware of Williams and Take That and his reputation as a megalomaniac. I was expecting a really lame performance by a total jerk. But he was extremely charismatic, energetic performer who admitted being humbled by the fact that he can walk the streets here without being accosted. My "meeting" him was nothing more than saying something like, "Hi, I really enjoyed that" and overhearing him say that he was gong to have a smoke outside because, again, he was excited not to be bombarded. I remember him being super-short, but have since read that he's either 6'0" or 6'1" or so. I'm not sure if there's an exaggeration going on somewhere or if I was just really drunk. I'm 6'0" and remember looking down at him. Maybe he was standing in a hole.

    Since my experience back in the day, I have really come to enjoy Robbie Williams. In fact, I've listened to his new electro album Rudebox—which features lots of covers, reworkings, allusions and homages of/to acts such as Manu Chao, Human League, Stephen Duffy, the Pet Shop boys and more—more this week than any other. And "Supreme" is one of my favorite songs of all time. I sent this track to my friend Ray and his response was:

    Brilliant. Hearing a boys choir sing "all the handsome men are gay" makes
    me feel wrong. And a little turned on.

    I feel the same way about that and the "switch teams" part. Seriously, I love "Supreme," particularly for using the tune from "I Will Survive" in a way that doesn't send me into a homicidal frenzy. Seriously, do we ever need to hear anyone anywhere sing that tired track ever again?

  • MakroSoft "I Will Survive" (Gloria Gaynor cover)
    Answer: Maybe. MakroSoft (Ruediger Esch of Die Krupps, Trini Trimpop of Die Toten Hosen and trumpeter/composer Juergen Hahn) have put out an album called Stereo Also Playable Mono that is full of covers that sound as if they should be on Cinecitta soundtracks or '60s James Bond theme compilations. This would be on the latter, and again: no homicidal thoughts. I'm going soft in my old age.

  • Mikiko "Human Nature" (Michael Jackson cover)
    Sheesh! I don't know how you real bloggers out there write something about everything you post. I'm exhausted after this "write a lot" entry, and I really didn't even have to do research or give an responsible, professional review of anything. I don't know that to say about this track, so I'll let Sony Music Online Japan's "helpful" description speak for me:

    Clear air in every respect! Listening to her voice, you can feel a brisk wind.

    And there you have it.

    Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! And by "everyone" I mean US residents. And by US residents, I mean those who like to celebrate genocide by binge eating. Mmmm! Cranberries!
  • Thursday, November 09, 2006

    A god-awful small affair.

    Wow, the week got away from me for a sec. Here is a mish-mash of foreign (in more than one sense of the word) or folky covers that have made me smile for whatever reason this week. Sorry I don't have more time (or inclination, more accurately) to write more right now. (I used the word more three times in that sentence. That's how guilty I feel for neglecting you all!)

  • Mummy the Peepshow "Fairytale in the Supermarket" (Raincoats cover)

  • Absurd Minds "Let the Music Play" (Shannon cover)

  • Kate Rogers "Here Comes Your Man" (Pixies cover)

  • Hanne Hukkelberg "Break My Body" (Pixies cover)

  • Frida (Anni-Frid Lyngstad of Abba) "Liv pa Mars" (Swedish David Bowie cover)

  • Hitomi Shimatani "Papillon" (aka "Doesn't Really Matter") (Japanese Janet Jackson cover)

  • David Kitt "Teenage Riot" (Sonic Youth cover)

  • Joshua Radin "Only You" (Yaz/Yazoo cover)

  • Neena Foundry "Indiana Wants Me" (R. Dean Taylor cover)
    Now-defunct Bloomington, IN band. (Members went on to bands such as Old Pike, The Brand Plastic and Pony Boy, among others, I'm sure.)


    And the three following songs are from what is currently my favorite Depeche Mode tribute album, DMDK: A Danish Celebration of Depeche Mode:
  • Sterling "Nyt Liv (New Life)" (Danish Depeche Mode cover)

  • CPH Jet "Just Can't Get Enough" (Depeche Mode cover)

  • Mikael Simpson "Det er Ligemeget (It Doesn't Matter Two)" (Danish Depeche Mode cover)


    Also check out local band The Grackles' cover of Billy Bragg's "A New England" here, which was mixed by Carl Saff, formerly of Bloomington, IN band Pencil.

    Likewise, there are a handful of pretty covers available for download on Liz Durrett's MP3 page, my favorite of which is the Vic Chesnutt duet of "Somewhere" from West Side Story.
  • Tuesday, October 31, 2006

    Calling all dandy highwaymen!

    The other day, I accidentally stumbled on a web site designed to carefully guide you through the difficult task of selecting which era-specific Adam Ant costume best suits you along with guidelines on what is needed to create each look. May I just say how awesome that is? It inspired me to do an artist-specific post because Adam Ant albums see more time on my turntable than any others.

  • OK Go "Ant Music" (Adam and the Ants cover)
  • Hyper "Ant Music" (Adam and the Ants cover)

  • Epoxies "Beat My Guest" (Adam and the Ants cover)

  • Bombay Black "Desperate But Not Serious" (Adam and the Ants cover)

  • Family of Hindus "Lady" (Adam and the Ants cover)

  • Hipster Daddy-O "Goody Two Shoes" (Adam and the Ants cover)
  • Unwritten Law "Goody Two Shoes" (Adam and the Ants cover)

  • Nine Inch Nails "Physical (You're So)" (Adam and the Ants cover)

  • Rocket From the Crypt "Press Darlings" (Adam and the Ants cover)

  • Frigid Vinegar "Prince Charming" (Adam and the Ants cover)
  • XXL (Xiu Xiu/Larsen) "Prince Charming" (Adam and the Ants cover)

  • Society Burning "Stand and Deliver" (Adam and the Ants cover)
  • Sugar Ray "Stand and Deliver" (Adam and the Ants cover)

  • Fangoria feat. Terry IV "Viva el Rock" (Adam and the Ants cover, in Spanish)

  • Coachwhips "Whip in My Valise" (Adam and the Ants cover)
  • Thursday, October 26, 2006

    I won't have to cry no more.

  • Bombones "Stroke of Genius" (Freelance Hellraiser cover, by way of Christina Aguilera and the Strokes)
    I believe I jokingly once told a friend back in the initial heyday of mash-ups that I wanted to start a mash-up cover band. You can imagine how excited I was to discover this existed.

  • Budget Girls "Glad All Over" (The Dave Clark Five cover)
    In my grand tradition of being very mildly acquainted with people who start bands that achieve slight success, I once had friends who were friends of one or both of the Budget Girls during their stint living in Bloomington, IN. I believe Christen and I might have spoken a sentence or two to one another at some point. I had one of their 7-inches, but can't find it anywhere now. Hearing this reminds me of fun, drunken times.

  • Camera Obscura "Modern Girl" (Sheena Easton cover)
    I really like Camera Obscura, but even if I'd never heard of them, I have to admit they would have had me at "Sheena Easton cover."

  • Cash Nexus "Number Three" (They Might Be Giants cover)
    Lyrics have been altered (a little iffily, but whatever, I find self-effacement charming) to indicate the "theft" of the original.

  • The Editors "Orange Crush" (REM cover)
    Hmmm. Yep. It sounds like the Editors covering REM, and that's cool with me.

  • The Captain Howdy "Always Something There to Remind Me" (comp. Bacharach/David)
    So I'm listening to this and thinking, "This guy sounds just like Penn Jillette." And, lo and behold, it is. After catching his totally obnoxious appearance a while back on Celebrity Poker Showdown, I vowed to do my best to avoid any project with which he's involved. But if Kramer's producing and the result is a completely reworked classic, I suppose I'm willing to make an exception.

  • Thea Gilmore "Ever Fallen in Love" (Buzzcocks cover)
    The best cover of this I've heard in ages, and the prettiest as well.

  • Stereo Total "Get Down Tonight" (KC & the Sunshine Band cover)
    When Stereo Total covers anything, I listen. Often.

  • Poster Children "(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thing" (Heaven 17 cover)
    Oh, Poster Children! I was mildly obsessed with them in the mid-'90s, and recently my love for Heaven 17 has been revived thanks to the purchase of a few 49-cent used LPs. Man, my editorial today is boring as hell. Or is it... ?

  • Witchy Poo "Moonshadow" (Cat Stevens cover)
    Sometimes I post things not only because they're great or strange (this is somewhere between the two, very Waitsian), but also because I 've a desperate need to force people to read about my geeky past. That's what's happening here, people:

    In 5th-grade music class at my NW Indiana Catholic grade school, we generally sang songs about God, America or the one about the mule named Sal and barges and bales. But every so often, Mr. Borgetti, our fey, young, Hawaiian-shirt-clad instructor would bring in "popular," "modern" songs. (Read: Songs that were popular within a decade or two before, but that we'd at least heard on the radio at some point.) This—along with another Stevens classic, "Morning Has Broken"—was one of said hits. We weren't as excited about the Stevens songs as we were about "Arthur's Theme," of course, because that song was only a year old. And fantastic. Seriously, when Peter Allen, Burt Bacharach, Christopher Cross AND Carole Bayer Sager get together to pen a theme, you'd better believe it will kick ass—but I digress.

    So, there we were singing "Moonshadow" in class on "music days." (I think we only had music class once or twice a week.) Later, it was determined that it would be one of the songs we'd be singing at some evening chorus extravaganza. But there were problems. First, apparently there was no way a group of priests, nuns and Catholic parents paying for private school were going to accept a 5th-grade (or any grade, I suppose) class singing the line: "And will you stay the night." Therefore the line was changed to: "And will it be all right?" Okay, whatever. We didn't want to go to hell or anything.

    The second problem was one that was never adequately explained to us, but we had no choice but to go along: For some odd reason, Mr. Borgetti did not feel comfortable with the class singing said line the way it is in the song. In the song, "And are you gonna stay the night"—or in our case, "And will it be all right"—was more like: "And are you gonna stay the ni-i-i-i-ght." We were repeatedly warned not to sing the "i-i-i" version.

    Of course, my best friend Julie (we're still friends) was quite the class clown and troublemaker and devised the dastardly plan that, during our big performance, we would INDEED sing the "i-i-i" part. Several times during rehearsals she'd gather everyone together and remind us to do it. And again right before the show. It was a scandalous idea, and we were all on board. Until we were actually on stage. As it turns out, no one but Julie truly had the guts to buck the system and she loudly sang the "i-i-i" part while the rest of us sang the blander version. Talk about being totally lame and bad-ass at the same time! She was furious at us and so was Mr. Borgetti. He attempted a witch hunt to find the "i-i-i" culprit, but none of us would rat Julie out. She'd have killed us.

    That's the one great thing about Catholicism: You can lie your ass off and simply confess later and be free of sin. It almost makes me miss it. Almost.
  • Friday, October 20, 2006

    No one's gonna drag you up to get into the light where you belong. (Except dorky MP3 bloggers, of course.)

    I hope this "post a whole bunch of tracks approximately once a week" thing isn't too annoying for you. It seems to be the pattern that's suiting me best lately.

  • Tralala "Never Understand" (The Jesus and Mary Chain cover)
    I've been revisiting my 1990s obsession with shoegaze lately, so I figured I'd hunt out a few of the acts who've covered some of my fave shogazers. [See next three songs as well.]

  • Mirafiori "No Te Necesito (I Don't Need You)" (My Bloody Valentine cover in Spanish)

  • Deerhoof "Lose My Breath" (My Bloody Valentine cover)

  • Ochiqueochenta "Little Trouble Girl" (Sonic Youth cover, partially in Spanish)

  • Chugga Chugga "The Sign" (Ace of Base cover)
    I find this adorably charming and hope some of you do too, but don't get too attached as this fresh-out-of-high-school collaboration is now defunct.

  • Lena Horne and Gabor Szabo "Rocky Raccoon" (Beatles cover)
    I was shopping at Hi-Fi Records a few weeks ago and they were playing this and I was immediately hooked.

  • Jon Auer "Beautiful Stranger" (Madonna cover)
    I'd almost forgotten about the original. This version annoys me far less.

  • Magnolia Electric Co. "Werewolves of London" (Warren Zevon cover)
    These guys are pretty popular nowadays, it seems. Good for them, I say, as they are from my home away from home, Bloomington, IN and whenever they're in Memphis they stay with my best friend Ryan. They're playing in Chicago tonight at the Abbey Pub, although I won't be seeing them because I'm going to the Dresden Dolls show. But you should go. Really.

  • Zombina and the Skeletones "Where is My Mind?" (Pixies cover)
    Am I the only person in the world who finds the sound of babies laughing and crying super creepy? Apparently not.

  • Unknown Japanese Artist "That's Entertainment" (The Jam cover)
    This is on a '97 Jam tribute album called English Rose, but I've been unable to find any sites that translate the artist's name into English. Edit: Reader Denis has translated the artist as Hachima Yoshihiro, drummer for Dekishiido Za Emonzu. Thanks!

  • Kiki and Herb "Why" (Annie Lennox cover)
    I saw a free screening of John Cameron Mitchell's Shortbus the other day and loved it. Justin Bond of Kiki and Herb is in it, fabulous as ever. It reminded me that I've never posted a K&H track here. Vive le catty gay drag cabaret!
  • Thursday, October 12, 2006

    All the dreams that we were building... we never fulfilled them.

    Sorry so long between posts. I had jury duty last week and my friend visited over the weekend and I all but forgot my position as an Internet superstar. Heh.

    Aaaanyhow, all of today's selections came to me courtesy of my free trial. eMusic truly is a treasure trove of independent tribute albums and individual covers. That you can search by track titles helps a lot. I spared you the a capella results. Because I care.

  • Dipstick vs. Barbara Manning "These Days" (Nico cover, comp. Jackson Browne—or maybe it's a cover of Browne's own version, who knows?)
    About a decade ago I was temporarily obsessed with SF Seals and Barbara Manning. I was happy to stumble on this.

  • Gémeas "Lessons in Love" (Level 42 cover)
    Not the only cover on their Sigo A Viagem album, but the best.

  • Jacqui Naylor "Lola" (Kinks cover)
    Lately I've been pleasantly surprised by covers of which I thought I never needed to hear another version again. That is the case here as well.

  • Lisa Loeb "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves" (Cher cover)
    I know there are people out there who worship Lisa Loeb, but more often than not I'm left with the overwhelming feeling of "meh" upon hearing her songs. This song elicits the same feeling, but I'm guessing some readers might be interested.

  • Oizone "Baby Can I Hold You" (Tracy Chapman cover)
    Lately covers of this Tracy Chapman tearjerker have been surfacing left and right. This oi version probably strays from the somber tone of the original the most, but it's intriguing in that "THEY covered THIS???" way.

  • O.V.N.I. "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!" (Abba cover)
    I kind of like the psych trance intro to this better than Madonna's sample in "Hung Up."

  • St. Fiachra's Junior School Choir "Sweetest Thing" (U2 cover)
    This track is from Even Better Than the Real Thing Vol. 3, which unlike its predecessors is dedicated solely to U2. I've never been a huge U2 fan (especially post-The Unforgettable Fire), but I like children's choirs.

  • Sunnysmack "Tom Courtenay" (Yo La Tengo cover)
    Hmmmm. I can't decide how I feel about this.

  • The Fabulous Rudies "99 Luft Ballons" (Nena cover)
    You really can't swing your arms in your favorite P2P program without hitting a California ska cover of this. But one in the original German? Now that's a feat.

  • The Red Paintings "Mad World" (Tears for Fears cover)
    It's so funny to me that covers of this are everywhere now that Donnie Darko is a cult hit. I swear that before that movie practically no one I know was aware of any TFF songs beyond "Shout" and "Everybody Wants to Rule the World." But "Mad World" is a great song, so I guess I shouldn't begrudge anyone the chance to cover it, however predictable I find it. This band is opening for the Dresden Dolls show I'm going to next week. I must admit I'm intrigued.

  • Trash Pour 4 "Take on Me" (A-ha cover)
    I know I should be tired of lounge acts covering ubiquitous hits, but I'm not if they're done well.

  • Undermine X "Maps" (Yeah Yeah Yeahs cover)
    I must be in a good mood today because the idea of this garage metal cover pleases me.

  • Wanda Jackson "Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under" (Shania Twain cover)
    There is a bit of sacrilege in the fact that Wanda is covering Shania and not the other way around, but whatever. I don't hate Shania and I LOVE Wanda, so I'll take whatever she gives.
  • Tuesday, September 19, 2006

    I need someone to take some joy from something I do.

    I've been meaning to bring up what I think is thus far my favorite tribute album of the year, the Belle and Sebastian tribute A Century of Covers. I'm a great fan of B&S and there are very few tracks on this tribute that I don't like, and it's turned me on to a slew of international artists I now want to further check out.

  • Bob Corn "I'm Waking Up to Us" (Belle and Sebastian cover)
    This one is my favorite, which sounds as if it's the product of a love child of Will Oldham and Paolo Conte. Heaven!

  • Billie the Vision and the Dancers "I'm a Cuckoo" (Belle and Sebastian cover)

  • John Wayne Shot Me "Waiting for the Moon to Rise" (Belle and Sebastian cover)

    Oh, and did I mention that, if you like the few tracks I've shared, you can get them along with EVERY OTHER TRACK ON THE ALBUM in .rar form right here from the gal who curated it, who also offers links to the participating bands? Pretty cool, no?

    Now, unrelated to B&S, I will present what has become my guiltiest cover pleasure lately. It's been around for years and it's sort of an abomination because I cherish the original so, but I can't help loving it:

  • Primal Scream feat. Kate Moss "Some Velvet Morning (New Version Extended Mix)" (Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood cover)
  • Monday, September 18, 2006

    The message lost in this machine.

    I'm kicking myself for linking to AOL, trust me, but you can stream the Yeah Yeah Yeahs covering the Rentals' "The Love I'm Searching For" here. Would that I were technologically savvy enough to turn it into an MP3, but I'm not. No, that wasn't a hint or anything. Far be it for me to recommend stealing from the AOL overlords.

    Friday, September 15, 2006

    It's harder than it looks.

    Around this time last year, I posted a cover of Dolly Parton's "Jolene" by Norway's Susanna and the Magical Orchestra that I really loved. (Me love a Scandinavian act who covers songs? Never!) Luckily for me, I learned recently that SATMO (my abbreviation, not theirs) released an all-cover album this year entitled Melody Mountain. Here are a couple featured on said album:

  • Susanna and the Magical Orchestra "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)" (AC/DC cover)
    When this track started I had one of those freaky "I know all of the lyrics to this song but I can't place it" moments. Of course, when it got to the chorus, I figured it out, but it's refreshing to hear a cover that isn't nearly identical to the original for a change.

  • Susanna and the Magical Orchestra "Hallelujah" (Leonard Cohen cover)
    The original is probably close to No. 1 on my list of all-time favorite songs, and it's been covered several times by several artists. Even my favorite cover by John Cale doesn't stray far from the original in terms of pace, melody and overall feel of the original, which is near perfect. This version, though, has hit me in a new way. It's unbelievably the saddest version yet, and when it ends I want more.

  • Susanna and the Magical Orchestra "Enjoy the Silence" (Depeche Mode cover)
    By the time Depeche Mode's Violator came out, "alternative" was starting to become a buzz word to describe a lot of the music I was into and my backlash started. "Enjoy the Silence" was my least favorite track on the album, at least partially because everyone and their brother seemed to love it. (Not to mention that my crazy bisexual boyfriend at the time had inexpicably declared it "our song," the concept of which just plain irked me with its lameness.) Surprisingly, I can stomach this version. Maybe I'm just in a stark, ethereal mood lately.
  • Saturday, August 26, 2006

    Sail away with me to another world.

    I don't mean to get too YouTube-heavy on you here, but my idol Leslie Hall of Leslie and the Ly's (aka The Keeper of Thyn Gems) has finally performed a cover. In a Nashville mall's video karaoke booth. With a guy who is a regular there. Heaven.

    P.S. Leslie and the Ly's will be playing at the Abbey Pub on Friday Sept. 29 as part of Estrojam this year with Fannypack and others. My ticket will be waiting for me at Will Call. Will yours?

    P.P.S. If you are intrigued by Leslie and a fan of the Internet (and earworming jams about the Internet), do yourself a favor and check out the videos at We Are the Web. Fun work for a great cause.

    Friday, August 25, 2006

    I'll shoot, you run.

    Jesus H! It's taken about 40 hours for me to make this post now that Blogger Beta is making things CRAZY!!!

  • Orchestre National de Jazz "Black Dog" (Led Zeppelin cover)
    From their all-Zeppelin tribute Close to Heaven.

  • The String Quartet Tribute "A Favor House Atlantic" (Coheed and Cambria cover)
    Before you die, there will be a String Quartet Tribute to you.

  • Siouxsie and the Banshees "You're Lost Little Girl" (The Doors cover)
    Kicking it old-school with a classic cover, baby.

  • The Starting Line "Big Time Sensuality" (Bjork cover)
  • Cartel "Wonderwall" (Oasis cover)
    These are from Punk Goes '90s. Man, if there's an era of music I despise, it's that of the early/mid '90s. But Bjork and Oasis, I liked. And yet I'm posting these covers anyhow. If these bands are "punk," I'll eat my copy of The Ramones. Although a group of preppy-looking emo boys calling themselves Cartel does crack me up.

  • Sara Noxx "Rent" (Pet Shop Boys cover)
  • Junobot "What Have I Done to Deserve This" (Pet Shop Boys cover)
    These two are from the Pet Shop Boys tribute Always On Our Minds that came out a few months ago. It's hit or miss, as most tributes are, but the Sara Noxx track in particular is strangely compelling to me for some reason.

  • Mephisto Waltz "Iceblink Luck" (Cocteau Twins cover)
    From Dark Treasures: A Gothic Tribute to the Cocteau Twins. Heh. Cleopatra.

  • Biffy Clyro "Buddy Holly" (Weezer cover)
    From the all-cover CD that came with Kerrang!'s 25th Anniversary issue in June.

  • Jarvis Cocker and Kid Loco "I Just Came to Tell You That I'm Going (Je suis venu que te dire que je m'en vais)" (Serge Gainsbourg cover)
    From this year's Monsieur Gainsbourg. Um, Jarvis? I love your scraggly hair (see video below) and I want to make out with you!

  • Tuesday, August 22, 2006

    Ban you so hard.

    I've long thought of having some sort of cover contest a la Songfight / Coverfight where readers could submit a cover of my choosing and I'd pick the best one. Or maybe I'd have readers vote via some kind of poll, but that seems like a lot of work I don't want to do. Heh. I wouldn't have much to offer in the way of prizes anyhow, so I'm okay with surrendering the dream.

    But if I were going to host a cover contest, I think I've found the first contender. I'd want English (or Spanish, French or Italian) versions of the following insane song, a parody version of which is inexplicably No. 2 in Netherlands right now (that parody version appears to be about a boat, not a bot, but the bot version rules harder—I'm usure which came first*):

    Boat or bot, It's obvious anything can hit the charts in Europe.

    No need to submit entries, but you totally know you want to!

    *Oh yeah, when in doubt, Wiki!

    Tuesday, August 15, 2006

    Do what I please, gonna spread the disease because I wanna.

  • Cobra Verde "Temptation" (New Order cover)
    I forgot to include this in the New Order post a few weeks back, and I like it a lot. It's my favorite on Cobra Verde's all-cover album, Copycat Killers.

  • Elakelaiset "Humppaa Suomesta (Living in America)" (The Sounds cover in Finnish)
    The Finnish humppsters have a new(ish) album of bizarre oompa covers out since the last time I posted anything from/about them. It still seems as if the lyrics of their versions have little, if anything, to do with the lyrics of the originals, but I still don't know Finnish, so I can't be sure. The Sounds's "Living in America" was one of my favorite songs a few years ago, so that's the track from Humppasirkus I chose to share here.

  • Gavin Castleton "I Still Believe" (Tim Capello cover)*
    I think a reader sent this track to me. When I saw the title, I thought it might be a Brenda K. Starr cover. It took me about a minute into the track to figure out where I recognized this song from. It was so familiar, I knew all the words, I knew when to expect the sax solo, but couldn't for the life of me figure out how I could so intimately know a song and not instantly remember the name the original artist. It makes sense though. When a song is from a soundtrack you've listened to a million times in the '80s that was sandwiched between songs by INXS and Echo and the Bunnymen and other artists you'd actually heard of at the time, your ought-era recall will understandably be off. Ahhh, The Lost Boys soundtrack, how could I have forsaken thee? God, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea obscure soundtrack-related covers. Yay, Gavin!

    *Edit: Apparently this is originally by The Call and Tim Capello covered it, which makes sense since The Lost Boys soundtrack was chock-full of covers. I plead ignorance, as I was never a fan of the Call and Capello's was the first version I heard and the version I believe Castleton covered.

  • The Flu "I Hate to Say I Told You So" (The Hives cover)
    I swear, if Swedes are covering anything, I'm so there!

  • Ginger Sling "Can't Stop the World" (The Go-Go's cover)
    As a pre-teen/teenager, I listened to Beauty and the Beat more than any other album, I think. It always kind of bothered me that the Go-Go's had such a poppy squeaky-clean image in the mainstream but really wrote such sad, dark songs that weren't making the charts. Granted, those were poppy too, but they were no "We got the Beat." This is one of the Go-Go's's (?) more optimistic tunes covered by some innocuous pop chickadee I've never heard of who really didn't change it up all that much. I still like to see it being covered though. (It's on the Sky High soundtrack, which is full of far worse covers than this, to be sure.)

  • M.I.A. "Every Day I Love you Less and Less" (The Kaiser Chiefs cover)
    From a live performance on a radio show. Shit. Remember all the M.I.A. buzz in the blogosphere back in the day? I feel it was warranted, but I almost forgot all about it.

  • The Riffs "I'm Waiting for the Man" (Velvet Underground/Lou Reed cover)
    Portland, OR, punks whose "riffs" actually remind me more of glam-metal like Poison's than that of anything punk, but whatever. I've certainly heard worse.

  • Devendra Banhart and Jana Hall "Little Monkey/Step in the Name of Love" (Devendra Banhart original/R. Kelly cover)
    The cover part of this track doesn't start until about 3 minutes or so in, but I'm liking it. Because it's Devendra and it's a cover of R. Kelly that isn't "I Believe I Can Fly" or "Ignition." I still wish I could go back in time and relive and better document the R. Kelly/Jay-Z show I went to in 2004. (The first day of their later-defunct 2004 tour, I believe.) That was some crazy shit.

  • Absolute Body Control "Baby's on Fire" (Brian Eno cover)
    Good or bad, this sounds to me what I imagine my friends and I hanging out, messing around with a 4-track and deciding to cover this song would sound like. Hmmm. Maybe I should get on that project, come to think of it.

  • Brass Band Willebroek "It's My Life" (Bon Jovi cover)
    There's a reason this exists. I'm just not certain I've discovered it yet.
  • Monday, August 14, 2006

    Stop whispering, start crunking.

    Before a million people comment telling me about it, I should probably go ahead and do what everybody's doing and link you to DJ Gyngyvytus's Skeet Spirit: A Crunk Tribute to Radiohead. [Note: The downloads are .rar files and you will need a program like WinRAR to open it. If you don't have WinRAR, you can get it at]


    Friday, August 04, 2006

    All of our time spent keeps us alive.

    It doesn't happen very often, but I do get in a hard-rock/metal mood from time to time. As someone who collects covers, this is a good mood to be in, as the ratio of metal covers to non-metal covers is approximately 15:2.

    There are details about my past that newer friends are often shocked to learn about me. One of them is my history as a hard-rock/glam-metal fan, which at times overlapped with my new-wave/alternative/indie periods. In high school/college, I saw a slew of concerts performed by the likes of Bon Jovi (four or five times), Poison, Motley Crue, Guns N' Roses. Not to mention seeing Skid Row at least three times opening for said acts. I mean, just look at me my junior year:



    My hair could have totally beaten up your hair.

  • Thy Majestie "In God We Trust" (Stryper cover)
    As I'm certain you all well know, sometimes we lovers of irony get so embroiled in making fun of something that before we know it, we actually do wind up kind of loving that which we mock. Such is the history of my relationship with Stryper. Obviously, my hair-band-loving friends and I were quick to laugh at the idea of Christian metal, but dammit if those songs weren't catchy. And I LOVE this cover version. It's a sickness, I know.

  • Big Country "Paranoid" (Black Sabbath cover)
    At first I thought I wasn't going to include this because I was more looking for metal acts covering non-metal songs, but this is surprisingly rocking for Big Country.

  • Jaded Heart "Larger Than Life" (Backstreet Boys cover)

  • Sonata Arctica "The Wind Beneath My Wings (comp. Larry Henley/Jeff Silbar, most popularly performed by Bette Midler)

  • Sun'N'Steel "I'm So Excited" (Pointer Sisters cover)

  • Strawberry Slaughterhouse "Kids in America" (Kim Wilde cover)

  • Superbeing "Hungry Like the Wolf" (Duran Duran cover)

  • Renato Zero "Sgualdrina (Dreamer)" (Supertramp cover in Italian)
  • Tuesday, August 01, 2006

    No, I've never met anyone quite like you before.

    Let's all hope my bandwidth hold up so you can grab today's covers!

    New Order covers:

  • The Arcade Fire "Age of Consent"
  • Devine & Statton "Bizarre Love Triangle"
  • Even As We Speak "Bizarre Love Triangle"
  • Mathilde Santing "Blue Monday"
  • Xiu Xiu "Ceremony"
  • Seabound "Confusion"
  • Bis "Hurt"
  • Hungry Lucy "Love Vigilantes"
  • Color Filter "Regret"
  • Ming "Subculture"
  • Moby "Temptation"
  • Flunk "True Faith"
  • The String Quartet Tribute "True Faith"

    (And this was after I narrowed it down to 13!)
  • Tuesday, July 25, 2006

    A million lights are dancing and there you are.

  • Frente "Hounds of Love" (Kate Bush cover)
    I was never a really big fan of Frente's covers of "Bizarre Love Triangle," probably because I grew completely sick of that song in the late '80s and because I found it too syrupy, but I really like this.

  • The Puppini Sisters "Wuthering Heights" (Kate Bush cover)
    You knew it was just a matter of time before there were Andrews Sisters-style cover bands, didn't you? Quite adorable.

  • Negazione "I Think I See the Light" (Cat Stevens cover)
    Not exactly the song I'd expect an Italian punk band to cover, but it works.

  • The Mekons "Alone and Forsaken" (Hank Williams cover)
    I love this cover and thought of it last week while watching the 1964 film Your Cheatin' Heart starring George Hamilton as Hank Williams. While the casting confused me a bit and it was quite historically inaccurate, it was great to be reminded of how talented Williams truly was.

  • 18th Dye "Trains and Boats and Planes" (comp. Burt Bacharach)
    there was a time in the mid-1990s when I was obsessed with droning, fuzzy guitars and fell in love with German band's 18th Dye's Tribute to a Bus album. I just learned of this cover the other day and was ecstatic in the geekiest way, as I am also a huge Bacharach fan.

  • Angtoria "Confide In Me" (Kylie Minogue cover)
    I'm not the biggest fan of orchestral metal, but I don't hate this. And this chick could totally kick Amy Lee's ass, an idea that appeals to me.

  • Javier Alvarez "Xanadu" (Olivia Newton-John/ELO cover)
    A strange, slow doo-wop/R&B/electronic take on the ONJ/ELO classic, with which I've been obsessed the past few weeks. Thanks to unemployment and insomnia, I've been scouring YouTube for all thing ONJ and happily discovered the Making Xanadu documentary I remember seeing as a child on Channel 32. Heaven, I tell you:
        *Making Xanadu (Part 1)
        *Making Xanadu (Part 2)
        *Making Xanadu (Part 3)
        *Making Xanadu (Part 4)

        *Also on YouTube: Check out Abba, ONJ and Andy Gibb jamming out some Beach Boys songs. A kitsch orgasm, to be sure.

  • The Popdudes "Waterloo" (Abba cover)
    Speaking of Abba, here's a cover by a power-pop supergroup sent in by reader Pete. I'd like it to be a little faster and poppier, but whatever.
  • Wednesday, July 19, 2006

    And when you wake up it's a new mornin'—the sun is shinin' it's a new morning.

  • Big Heavy Stuff "Hyper-Ballad" (Bjork cover)
    Pretty Australian cover #1.

  • Martin White "Army of Me" (Bjork cover)
    Of course, I have to follow the nice, laid-back Bjork cover with a crazy accordion Bjork cover. You know how I roll.

  • Foo Fighters "Baker Street" (Gerry Rafferty cover)
    When I was a kid, the sax solo from "Baker Street" was one of those earworms that I could never get out of my head. Even if I'd gone months or years without hearing the actual song, the solo would pop into my head on at least a weekly basis. Therefore, I grew to loathe the song. But my respect for soft '70s schmaltz has returned since then, and I can finally handle it.

  • The Brown U. Derbies "Karma Police" (Radiohead cover)
    It's been a while since I've creeped myself (and others?) out with an a cappella track, so here's a new one. (For my inadequate description of my horror/fascination with a cappella, see this super-old post.)

  • Kasey Chambers "Better Be Home Soon" (Crowded House cover)
    Pretty Australian cover #2.

  • Missy Higgins "Moses" (Patty Griffin cover)
    Pretty Australian cover #3.

  • Luther Wright & the Wrongs "Is There Anybody Out There?" (Pink Floyd cover)
    From the LW&TW's country/western/bluegrass/punk Rebuild the Wall album, which is exactly what the title infers: a song-for-song tribute to The Wall. Somebody had to do it, right? Right?

  • Susperia "The Sun Always Shines on TV" (A-Ha cover)
    Most covers of this song—aka one of my favorite songs EVER—fall in either the Hi-NRG techno/trance genre or the Death Metal genre. I'm not sure what's up with that, but this cover is definitely part of the latter.

  • Emery "Holding Out for a Hero" (Bonnie Tyler cover)
    Meh. I'm neither her nor there on soft emo punk covers in general, but I love the original a lot (I recently performed quite a rousing version of my own at karaoke) and this version didn't make me want to hurt anyone or anything.
  • Thursday, July 13, 2006

    The livin' is easy.

    Apropos of nothing, I just wanted to say that I really screwed up by not trying out for the World Series of Pop Culture when tryouts were in town. Especially since, as of last week, I'm unemployed and could use the prize money. Whatever, right? Just gives me more time for random cover smatterings, yes?

  • Montefiori Cocktail "Sunny" (comp. Bobby Hebb)

  • Friends of Dean Martinez "Summertime" (comp. George Gershwin, from Porgy and Bess)

  • Claudine Longet "End of the World" (comp. Sylvia Dee/Arthur Kent, most popularly performed by the Carpenters)

  • Nina Persson (of The Cardigans) "The Bluest Eyes in Texas" (Restless Heart cover)

  • Richard Cheese "The Rockafellar Skank" (Fatboy Slim cover)

  • Area 7 "I Want to Break Free" (Queen cover)
  • Tuesday, July 11, 2006

    Remember when you were young? You shone like the sun.


    Syd Barrett's "Vegetable Man" as performed by:

  • Baby Robots (USA)
  • Bugo (Italy)
  • Enzima (Italy
  • Kech (Italy)
  • Les Little Searchers (France)
  • Kawabata Makoto (Japan)
  • Swedish Whistler (Sweden)
  • Larsen (Italy)
  • Mandog (Japan)
  • Tirlindana (Italy)
  • Wednesday, June 28, 2006

    Tuesday, June 20, 2006

    I'd like to tell you the way I feel for you, but I'd only be lying to myself.

    Ten years ago today Jim Ellison committed suicide, which in turn killed one of my absolute favorite bands of the era. Jim and Material Issue, you are missed.

  • Material Issue "Jet" (Paul McCartney/Wings cover)
  • Material Issue "Blockbuster" (Sweet cover)
  • Material Issue "Bus Stop" (Hollies cover)
  • Material Issue "Run to Me" (Bee Gees cover)
  • Material Issue "The Boxer" (Simon & Garfunkel cover)
  • Thursday, June 15, 2006

    I'm back in the ring to take another swing.

  • The Mexicos "Everything I Do" (Bryan Adams cover)

  • Ohm Guru "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" (Smiths cover)

  • Bing Ji Ling "You Shook Me All Night Long" (AC/DC cover)

  • Bis "Love Will Tear Us Apart" (Joy Division cover)
  • Tuesday, June 13, 2006

    Do you suppose they could save my life?

    It's this sort of thing that makes me wonder whether I should cherish or regret that I don't have any sort of self-recording skills:

    Tom 7's Do-It-Yourself Guided By Voices Cover Band

    Truthfully, I respect anyone who likes GBV this much. And I kind of love his "14 Cheerleader Coldfront."

    My tattoo has inspired me and I've been listening to GBV nonstop for days. I'll probably post a few GBV covers soon. I'm waiting for a few CDs to arrive via mail first.

    Until then, there's also a pretty cover of "Atom Eyes" here on the Bright Paper Werewolves' Sounds Page.

    Monday, June 12, 2006

    All you ever wanted, all you ever needed, is here in my arms.

  • This was a bit too massive covers-wise to allow to stay hidden in the comments, so if you're a Depeche Mode fan and you find yourself wishing for more covers of "Enjoy the Silence" than ever needed to exist, head over to this MOKB post.

  • Also, here's a nice e-mail I received recently from web animator extraordinaire, Scott Bateman, who creates a new web animation every damned day:

    Here's how it happened:

    A while back you posted Sawa Kobayashi's cover of "Patience." I
    listened to it like, all the time, and mentioned it in my blog. Sawa
    Googled herself apparently, and left a comment in my blog. I asked her
    if I could animate "Patience" as part of my Bateman365 project (I'm
    making an animated film every day for a year; today is day 271). She
    said yes.

    The animation went up this morning at:

    And it couldn't have happened without you!

    Take care,

    Pretty cool, huh?
  • Saturday, June 10, 2006

    You can't lie to yourself that it's the chance of a lifetime.

    Well, since my last post, I learned that another Internet friend of mine died this week. Those of you with Live Journals (or without) may have known or known of Andrew (aka Andrew Watchmaker, Mandrew, the_passives, andrewpants). He was either the most popular or most unpopular person on the Internet at any given time, but he was never anything but nice to me. When he came to Chicago a few years back, he introduced me to my close friend Ray who, in turn, introduced me to a handful of other fabulous people.

    After hearing of his death, I learned that a very new friend of mine was a close friend of Andrew's for years. She and I met up last night at the L&L and invited the friend who introduced us to come out and meet us. A slew of whiskey and beer later, and the next thing you know, we all had brand-new band-related tattoos. Um, we're bad-ass. I think.

  • Braid "Trompe le Monde" (Pixies cover)

    It was Jessica who led us to the tattoo parlor, as she and a few other friends of Andrew had decided to honor his memory by getting uber-emo and tattooing lyrics from Braid (see previous post as well), one of Andrew's favorite bands, on themselves. Oh god, I can picture him laughing his ass off about it right now.

  • Jawbreaker "Into you Like a Train" (Psychedelic Furs cover)

    The other day, Lauren talked to me for about 20 minutes about Jawbreaker, a band I never really paid much attention to. But now I know that the one of the guys is now an English professor at Hunter College. Her contention is that even though he's a teacher now, he will always be "the guy from Jawbreaker." My response? "Yeah, to the minority of people in this country who know who in the fuck Jawbreaker is." (I mean, come on, the bulk of the people in this country actually like that godawful "Bad Day" song by Daniel Powter!!!) What can I say? Punkish stuff isn't usually my bag. But it is Lauren's; thus, her Jawbreaker logo tattoo was born.

  • Minor Majority "Motor Away" (Guided by Voices cover)


    My turn. I've said elsewhere that this is either the coolest decision or the geekiest decision I have ever made. I also implied that it might actually be a powerful combination of the two, the resulting explosive strength of which will ensure I take over the world—or at least my own version of it——this summer. So, we'll see. GB-motherfuckin'-V, people!
  • Wednesday, June 07, 2006

    The pleasure, the privilege, is mine.

    Feeling a touch morose the past few days. First, I learned I will most probably have to have my bone marrow tested next week due to the fact that I inexplicably have a giant spleen. Then I learned that my longtime Internet friend—and passionate music lover—Greg died after battling pulmonary fibrosis for quite some time. Sad news. And there's no band in the world that has helped me wallow and vent more over the past few decades than the Smiths. And no song more than the first Smiths song I ever knew, covers of which follow this paragraph. I have more covers of this, but felt I had to draw the line. I make no claims that any of these are great, although the Ghost Mice version in particular makes me smile, though I know not everyone would say the same.

    "There is a Light That Never Goes Out" (Smiths cover) by:
  • Ally Craig
  • Braid
  • Deluxe
  • Edison Shine
  • The Ghost Mice
  • The Lancaster Orchestra (Actually a version of "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want," 'cause I got lazy. I'll leave it though, for those interested.)
  • Loquat
  • My Awesome Compilation
  • Nada Surf
  • The Ocean Blue
  • Saloon
  • Schneider TM - aka "The Light 3000"
  • Speedstar
  • Thursday, June 01, 2006

    Only God knows where I've been.

  • B.A. Baracus Band "Africa" (Toto cover)
    I've recently become a little obsessed with Yacht Rock (I know, I'm TOTALLY late on this), so I've been meaning to hunt out covers of smooth rock. Of course, I already have a lot, but I need new stuff, you know? And lo and behold, this version of the Toto classic hit shuffle the other day and here we are.

  • H-BLOCKX "Celebrate Youth" (Rick Springfield cover)
    Similarly, I've been revisiting my childhood love of Rick Springfield. I believe I thought the lyrics to this song were very deep. The whole "younger man looking at the older man" and "the older man looking at the boy" thing. What can I say, I was a kid. I don't know that it inspired me to celebrate my youth or anything, as it sure depresses me now.

  • Rick Springfield "I've Done Everything for You" (Sammy Hagar cover)
    I was pretty upset when I learned decades ago that this wasn't a Springfield original. Why is it that with mediocre pop stars the covers are always the rockingest?

  • The Concretes "Miss You" (Rolling Stones cover)
    I must admit that I cursed the Concretes for the Target ad using their "Say Something New," thereby allowing it to earworm me with such frequency that I began to despise it. Alas, they are Swedish and I love the Swedes. Not to mention disco-era Stones. So I'm all for this.

  • Your Eyes are Doves "Blaze of Glory" (Jon Bon Jovi cover)
    I'm not remembering who pointed me in the direction of Your Eyes Are Doves, but I wholeheartedly thank you. Or maybe I stumbled on it by myself, in which case I will remind you that I'm fucking awesome.

  • The BossHoss "Toxic" (Britney Spears cover)
  • The BossHoss "All the Things She Said" (T.A.T.U. cover)
    The Rawhide theme meets today's pop acts in German country/western coverversionen experts The BossHoss' Internashville Urban Hymns album. Listening to it all at once gets a little annoying, but a track here or there thrown onto a crazy mix CD will wow your friends. Trust me.

  • The Fixx "These Boots are Made for Walking" (Nancy Sinatra cover)
    I'm not particularly crazy about this cover, but posting it gives me an opportunity to share one of my favorite stories, so I'm going for it:

    When I worked at the Borders on Michigan Avenue back in my retail-whore days, one of my co-workers was a friendly guy named Ted who was about 10 years older than I and who was big on old-school new wave and whatnot. One day, I assisted a very friendly man with an English accent for about 10 minutes or so. When I'd sufficiently located his discs, he descended the escalator and Ted comes up to me excitedly and asks, "Do you know who that was?" I tell him, "No, but he did look slightly familiar." He answers, "That was the keyboard player from the Fixx!!!" Ah. Ted. After giggling delightedly and remarking to Ted that he's probably the only person I know who could possibly recognize the keyboard player from the Fixx—Rupert Greenall, BTW—Ted brings me the Fixx CDs we have in stock and remarks that it's too bad he's gone because he'd like to have the CDs signed. I, of course, heartily admire and respect Ted's new-wave passion and offer to walk around the store and see if I can find him.

    I didn't have to go far, he was in line at the cafe. I approach him and say, "I'm sorry to bother you, but my co-worker recognized you and was hoping you might sign a few CDs for him." Well, you can imagine how much Rupert Greenall gets recognized in the States—or anywhere, for that matter—and he happily comes back to the music department with me and meets Ted and signs the discs. He tells us that the Fixx is playing at the House of Blues and he asks if we'd like to be on the guest list, an offer we obviously couldn't refuse. Unfortunately, I was a bit under the weather that day and wasn't able to go, but Ted went and said he got to hang out with the band backstage and had a really cool time with one of his favorite '80s acts. And I'd wish nothing less for him because his love for music was more genuine than that of anyone else I worked with at the time. I wonder what he's up to nowadays.
  • Tuesday, May 23, 2006

    As random as I wanna be.

    I figured I'd better post something this week, seeing as my mystery illness debilitated me last week and this week I'm headed to Memphis. I haven't stopped loving you. Promise.

  • The Kooks "Crazy" (Gnarls Barkley cover)
    I have to sheepishly admit I don't really get the whole Gnarls Barkley craze. I think their cover of "Gone Daddy Gone" is zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. But here's a cover I'm sure you've seen elsewhere because I'm not very cutting-edge.

  • The Danes "Off Your Face" (My Bloody Valentine cover)
    My favorite MBV track covered by a Dallas-area band I thought was defunct, but apparently isn't.

  • Glambeats Corp. "She's So Cold" (Rolling Stones cover)
    From Volume 2 of the Bossa N' Stones series.

  • Optiganally Yours "Wichita Lineman" (Jimmy Webb cover)
    All hail the Optigan.

  • Helena Noguerra "Can't Get You Out of My Head" (Kylie Minogue cover)
    Breathy French bossa, baby.

  • Raf "Self Control" (Laura Brannigan cover)
    Um, you know how I am. Edit: Apparently, this is the original artist. Whatever. I'll leave it up.

  • The All Seeing I "The Beat Goes On" (Sonny & Cher cover)
    This hits my shuffle play more than any other cover. I'm not certain why.
  • Thursday, May 18, 2006

    I miss you, Kirsty!

    I'm pretty addicted to YouTube for its virtual cornucopia of '80s music videos, among other things. I had Kirsty MacColl's "There's a Guy Works at the Chip Shop Swears He's Elvis" in my head all day so I thought I'd case out what videos I could find. Here are the covers in the collection:

    Kirsty MacColl's version of Billy Bragg's "New England":

    Tracey Ullman's version of Kirsty MacColl's "They Don't Know":

    Thursday, May 04, 2006

    Consider this.

    No time to chat. Enjoy the Swedes!!!

  • Junip "The Ghost of Tom Joad" (Bruce Springsteen cover)

  • Nina Persson [Cardigans] "Losing My Religion" (REM cover)

  • Souls "Take Me With U" (Prince cover)

  • Stina Nordenstam "Bird on a Wire" (Leonard Cohen cover)

  • Stina Nordenstam "People are Strange" (Doors cover)
  • Wednesday, May 03, 2006

    Yeah, give it to me now.

    If you missed it when I posted Travis Morrison's cover of Ludacris' "What's Your Fantasy," Ben has it up here.

    Unrelated: I'm currently obsessed with Scandinavian artists. I'm ODing on Robyn, Jenny Wilson, The Knife, Christian Kjellvander, Komeda, etc. Whom else should I be checking out?

    Tuesday, May 02, 2006

    Tell me: We both matter, don't we?

    I'm not sure if it's the fact that the piano-heavy music and experimental vocals of Jenny Wilson and Regina Spektor keep hitting my iPod's shuffle play lately, but last night I was consumed with the need to listen to some Claudia Brücken (formerly of '80s gothy new-wave bands Propaganda and Act). I know I once posted Propaganda's cover of "Femme Fatale," which I love, but Brücken has paid homage to many artists, especially most recently on her collaboration with minimalist composer Andrew Poppy on their 2005 album Another Language—which was one of my favorite nearly all-cover albums of last year. Fans of Siouxsie, Tori, Kate Bush, the Art of Noise and Yoko Ono (and the aforementioned Wilson and Spektor) and the like: Commence to downloading posthaste.

  • Propaganda "Sorry for Laughing" (Josef K cover)

  • Act "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" (Smiths cover)
    I wasn't aware of the existence of Act until a few years ago, but I stumbled on this cover and was duly impressed with its decidedly strange but intriguing arrangement.

  • Claudia Brücken and Andrew Poppy "Lipstick Vogue" (Elvis Costello cover)

  • Claudia Brücken and Andrew Poppy "Running Up that Hill" (Kate Bush cover)
    Claudia already sounds so much like Kate that I wasn't sure what her point of covering this was... until I heard it. Poppy's arrangement completely shakes it up and I'm left a little awestruck by it.
  • Sunday, April 30, 2006

    I have my books and my poetry to protect me.

  • Magnet with Gemma Hayes "Lay Lady Lay" (Bob Dylan cover)

  • The Church "I am a Rock" (Simon and Garfunkel cover)

  • The Doleful Lions "There's no Other (Like my Baby)" (Crystals cover)

  • Equipe 84 "Bang Bang" (in Italian, comp. Sonny Bono)
  • Tuesday, April 25, 2006

    Relax and float downstream.

    My best pal Ryan told me about this last week or so, and listening to the new Musical Family Tree podcast just now, I was reminded of this downloadable tribute to the Beatles Revolver by Hideki. It's awesome.

    Freeze frame, screen kiss, hot heads, lights and power.

    Sometimes you just have to post when the mood strikes, even if that mood hits when you're nowhere near your vast catalog of covers. Luckily, I have a few work-accessible tracks sent in by readers that are just waiting for attention.

  • Rev. Tom Frost "You Belong to Me" (comp. Chilton Price)
    Somebody over at Closed for Private Party Records [sorry, I deleted the e-mail and lost your name!] sent me a Zip file of the new Rev. Tom Frost album, which I truly love and which you can purchase here. Like a Frencher Tom Waits. Raunchy and bluesy and magnifique.

  • My Summer as a Salvation Soldier "Hey Ya" (Outkast cover)
    Skotta sent along this track by a Reykjavikian singer-songwriter whose Americanized name would be something like Thorir Georg Jonsson and who recently played SXSW. Very nice. Hey ya, indeed, to our Icelandic brethren!

  • Spielerfrau "She's in Parties" (Bauhaus cover)
    Again, I don't remember who sent this along, but here it is. Or maybe I got it from the band's web site, from whence it's a free web-only download. It's all a blur.