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.