Friday, May 31, 2013

31 May 2013 - Avril Lavigne - Tik Tok

TGIF! Let's get the celebration started a little early this week with Avril Lavigne almost keeping a straight face while covering Ke$ha's 2009 party anthem Tik Tok.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

30 May 2013 - MxPx - I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)

I thought this was going to be a terrible cover.  I mean, after all, it was meant to be sung by Scottish twins.  And it's an earnest folk tune, not a dark punk song.

And yet this punky version comes off just as earnest and perhaps even a bit more impassioned than the original.

Here's a more complete cover. It's a little fuzzier to hear, but the passion still comes through.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

29 May 2013 - Maggie Rose - Some Nights

I had every intention of posting Maggie Rose's fantastic cover of Linda Ronstadt's You're No Good today, but then I found this delightful fun. cover...and well, fun. brings in the crowd. Plus, you have to love Maggie and her band's awesome harmonies on this one. I've written about Maggie before at Your New Favorite Song (she's a new favorite of mine), so go on over there (after you watch this cover of course) and check out the cool first video from her solo debut.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

28 May 2013 - Kasey Chambers - Luka

What happens when an Australian national treasure covers an iconic song?  You get a twangy and faithful cover of a Suzanne Vega classic.  (We featured another Suzanne Vega classic on Wicked Guilty Pleasures just last week).

The under-lip piercing makes us a little uncomfortable, but we love Kasey Chambers anyway.  There's a little more ache in this version - probably due to the deep country influence - than in the original, which was a fantastically sad song in its own right.  Also, there's a lot more ache in this version than in the Lemonheads version we featured previously.

Friday, May 24, 2013

24 May 2013 - Placebo - All Apologies

So I was looking for an Offspring cover and instead stumbled upon a live video of Placebo playing some Nirvana. Makes perfect sense to me. I do have to say though that it's a pretty cool find. Check it out.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

23 May 2013 - Mary's Danish - Foxey Lady (sic)

Not Alice Donut.  Mary's Danish.  And not an homage, but named for an early failed songwriting attempt by Gretchen Seager and Julie Ritter, the two ladies who fronted the band.

The best blues/rock band from L.A. with the 2-part female harmonies to emerge in the early 90's came at us with a cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Foxy Lady".  They, of course, didn't know how to spell "foxy", but that's OK.   For this song, performed for their live EP (Live + Experience) the band brought in a bass-heavy trippy sound to complement the song's strengths and history.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

22 May 2013 - Lindi Ortega - I'm On Fire

What's up with me and the Springsteen covers lately? I'm not even really a fan of "The Boss" (I won't put him on, but I won't turn him off if it's playing). Anyway, last week I featured Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles playing Glory Days and today I have one of my favorite country singers at the moment -- Lindi Ortega -- playing I'm on Fire. Hmmm, maybe I just need some of country's finest singers to put together a tribute album for me to finally get into Bruce.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

21 May 2013 - The Flaming Lips - Can't Get You Out Of My Head

The current reigning kings of sonic experimentation and odd stage antics.....

Covering Kylie Minogue.

Those who read Wicked Guilty Pleasures know we featured the original version of this song last year.  So when I found this cover, I jumped at it.  It's far less frantic and dance-worthy than the original, but it brings a different ache - a longing - to the song that I don't think Kylie effectively brought to the original.  Plus, the harmonies on this version are to die for.   So, enjoy.

Monday, May 20, 2013

20 May 2013 - Eddie Vedder - Sheena is a Punk Rocker

Hey! Ho! Here's Eddie Vedder (and some punk rock friends) covering The Ramones for your viewing pleasure.

Friday, May 17, 2013

17 May 2013 - Jennifer Nettles - Glory Days (and I'm on Fire w/Ben Harper)

Just the other day I was talking about how I desperately needed a new Sugarland disc. Well, the news today may be the next best thing. It seems Jennifer Nettles is working with uber-producer Rick Rubin on a solo disc that should be out this fall. I'll take it. For now. Here she is at the 2009 Kennedy Center Honors paying tribute to The Boss with Glory Days, followed by a duet with Ben Harper as they perform I'm On Fire.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

16 May 2013 - "God Only Knows" Special Edition

From time to time, I like to showcase not a particular performance of a song, but a song - a song that transcends artists or versions or time.

"God Only Knows", Brian Wilson's masterpiece of writing originally sung by Carl Wilson and the Beach Boys, is just that type of song.  From the great Pet Sounds album, the original was a thing of beauty and a piece of art.

Take this version, re-imagined for strings by The Brodsky Quartet and belted out by Elvis Costello.  The aching in this song is made so much stronger by the arrangement.

Another way to do it is the way Petra Haden did it.  Known for her a capella work, she needed her group The Sellouts to pull this song off live, but it remains one of my favorite versions of the song by anyone, including the original.  So purely beautiful this version is, and so stripped down.

The Flaming Lips went a slightly different route.  They fuzzed up and noised up the original arrangement, but more importantly, they slowed it down.  No video for this one, but enjoy the organ part of this song anyway.

For my daughters, here is Taylor Swift.  It isn't badly done.

Glen Campbell was part of the touring group of The Beach Boys when Brian Wilson could not anymore.  In essence, he partially replaced Brian Wilson on tour. So, to close this post, let me show you his cover of this song, which he did record for one of his own albums (Southern Nights).  It's very 70's-country, but still so full of emotion, which Campbell is really good at adding to other people's songs, including my favorite of all time.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

15 May 2013 - Natalie Merchant (with Michael Stipe) - To Sir, With Love

I haven't thought about this Lulu cover in a LONG time. Natalie Merchant and Michael Stipe (the "it" couple that never was) performed this song at one of President Clinton's inaugural balls in 1993. If I'm not mistaken, Natalie also performed Because The Night during this performance (I still hear that song on the radio every so often).

Monday, May 13, 2013

13 May 2013 - The Gaslight Anthem - Everlong

Oh man...This is so freaking good. Here's Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem playing a solo acoustic version of one of my favorite Foo Fighters songs.

Friday, May 10, 2013

10 May 2013 - The Vaccines - We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together

Here's English indie rockers The Vaccines playing Taylor Swift's pop smash from last year. I'm seeing one of these two acts on Sunday. I'm fairly certain that the one I'm seeing will be performing this song unironically.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

9 May 2013 - Carrie Underwood - Instant Karma

Some days, I know exactly what song I want to see on this blog.  This is one of those days.

John Lennon's 1970 classic - his third solo single initially credited to Plastic Ono Band - is considered by many to be his finest solo achievement - yes, even greater than "Imagine".  All these years later, the song still resonates.  It still gives me chills.

And Carrie Underwood does well with the tune, adding a country twang to a clear rock tune.  Her backing band is kind of bland, but she brings all the energy from the original and saves it.  And yes, she gives me chills with her version.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

8 May 2013 - Kelly Clarkson - Perfect x2

Welcome all to a most awesome 300th Totally Covered Post. When I think of 300, I think of bowling perfection. When I think of vocal perfection, I think of the original American Idol Kelly Clarkson. Seeing that Kelly was my first post here at the site, I figured she would be the perfect choice to celebrate today. And what a coincidence, here's her Perfect Alanis Morissette cover.

But wait, here's her Perfect Pink cover.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

7 May 2013 - Harry Nilsson - Everybody's Talkin'

It is the rare song that is so iconic that it defines an artist.  It is even rarer when it is a cover.

Harry Nilsson's cover does just that.  In its original version, by Fred Neil, it was a snarky condemnation of the music industry, as his manager wanted just one more song and wouldn't shut up about it.  The song was kind of a throwaway.

Nilsson turned it into so much more - a mournful daydream of a sunnier place, where the sun keeps shining through the pouring rain, where the weather suits his clothes.  It defined him as an artist, it defined the movie "Midnight Cowboy".... it defined a generation.  

Monday, May 6, 2013

6 May 2013 - Weezer - Los Angeles

I've been in the mood for The Pixies lately. I guess that's what happens shortly after reading The Pixies' Doolittle (33 1/3) book (an insightful read for any Pixies fan). Of course this is not a Pixies cover, but it's close enough. Here's Weezer playing Frank Black's fantastic first single after The Pixies broke-up in the early 90s.

Friday, May 3, 2013

3 May 2013 - Lissie - Bad Romance

It seems like forever since we've posted a Lady Gaga cover. Time to remedy that. Here's Rock Island, Illinois singer/songwriter Lissie playing Bad Romance from her Covered Up With Flowers EP.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

2 May 2013 - INXS and Jimmy Barnes - Good Times

From the 1987 movie The Lost Boys, and released prior in their home country as a single, INXS - at the height of their popularity in the United States at the time - teamed with friend and Australian superstar Jimmy Barnes to cover a 1968 hit by the Easybeats.  Think of the Easybeats as the Aussie Beatles and you aren't too far off.

So, this song was revered - it was a classic in Australia.  So for INXS and Jimmy Barnes to cover it... well, it wasn't necessarily a song that the rest of the world would instantly recognize, but for sure it would be unmistakable in their home country.

And as long as we are collecting opinions.... INXS did a far tighter and more coherent version than the Easybeats did from a musical standpoint.  And, like the original, when Steve Marriott of Small Faces (and later of Humble Pie) did a guest vocal, Michael Hutchence doesn't solo the song.

As a bonus, here are the guys - complete with Jimmy Barnes - performing the song live.  They were a great live band, to be sure. Well, they knew how to put on a show, anyway.

Here is the band after the death of Michael Hutchence, in their first public performance.  Jimmy Barnes joined them for this, too.  I don't think he gets enough credit for his huge voice that needed to keep up with Hutchence on vinyl and prior live performances, but he had and has a huge voice.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

1 May 2013 - Lights - Fall Back Down

I thought Lights' electro-pop debut album The Listening was a lot of fun. Her latest album Siberia displayed a darkier/grittier side of the Canadian singer/songwriter which I thought was pretty cool. What I didn't know was that in between the two releases, she put out an acoustic EP with this Rancid song on it. To be honest, while I've always been a Rancid fan, this song never really did too much for me (the chorus is just so cheesy) until now. It's amazing how a sweet voice can change my mind on a song (even the "you're gonna be my friend" line doesn't make me cringe coming out of her mouth like it does Tim's).