Monday, September 30, 2013

30 September 2013 - John Doe - Here Comes A Regular

There's nothing better than one legend covering another. Here's John Doe's version of Here Comes A Regular by The Replacements...and it's awesome.

Friday, September 27, 2013

27 September 2013 - Kurt Vile & The Violators - Guns of Brixton

Here's Kurt Vile & The Violators playing Guns of Brixton by The Clash. It definitely wasn't as trippy as I expected, but it's still a pretty cool and true-to-the-original cover.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

25 September 2013 - Bjork and PJ Harvey - I Can't Get No Satisfaction

This might be the most menacing Rolling Stones cover ever. Bjork and PJ Harvey nailed this version of I Can't Get No Satisfaction at the 1994 Brit Awards. Can you imagine if a performance like this happened at the Billboard Awards?

Monday, September 23, 2013

23 September 2013 - Justin Townes Earle - Can't Hardly Wait

I thought I had previously posted this understated Replacements cover by one of my favorite Americana artists -- Justin Townes Earle. Apparently, I did not. Today I do. Enjoy!

Friday, September 20, 2013

20 September 2013 - The Vines - Clint Eastwood

Oh yeah. This one's pretty damn rad. Here's Australian psychedelic garage rockers The Vines playing the 2001 Gorillaz classic Clint Eastwood at an in-studio radio station performance. The Vines didn't stray too far from the original, but for some unknown-to-me reason, they made an already cool song, sound cooler.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

19 September 2013 - The Bangles - Hazy Shade of Winter

Perhaps the biggest hit of the Bangles' was a cover of a Simon and Garfunkel classic.  Clearly, these four women aren't a folky duo, but had - have - their roots in the LA punk scene.  So, to hear this rockin' take on a song that was clearly more folky is impressive.

That a lot of people don't know that this song - a reasonable hit in its original form - is a cover shows how strongly the Bangles take ownership of any song they do.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

18 September 2013 - Julia Price, Taryn Southern, Eliott Yamin, and King Bach - Blurred Lines

Everybody get up!

Yeah, it was only a matter of time before a couple of women tried to take a woman's perspective on this macho song.... But these ladies - each credble musicians in their own rights - bring in an American Idol for a cameo.  In this version of the video, on Julia Price's YouTube channel, Eliott Yamin is prominently featured....

....whereas this version, from Taryn Southern's channel, forgoes any American Idol cameos of any kind.  There are a lot of fun dance moves, though.

Whichever version you choose, know that these are two very talented women who clearly understand the nature of Robin Thicke's original song, and are in on the joke without being offended by it.  They write their own music - I especially strongly recommend checking out Julia's channel, which includes a lot of her original tunes.

Plus, they're clearly friends with American Idols.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

17 September 2013 - Kimmi Smiles - We Can't Stop & Best Song Ever

The discovery of this very fuzzed-up version of the modern Miley Cyrus classic started off life as a One Direction intention for my daughter, Isabella, who turns 9 later this week.  I was looking for covers that weren't just some whiny kid with an acoustic guitar in his or her bedroom.

And we found a nice fuzzed-up fun and different version.  But then we found this by the same artist.

Meet Kimmi Smiles, a 21 year old from Melbourne, Australia.  She's truly grown as a musician to the point where she actually has music for sale.  And stream her music 24/7/365 from her website.  This punked-up cover blew me away with its raw energy and remarkably twerk-free video.

In the interest of full disclosure, here is the One Direction cover that started all of this.  It's not as punky, but it is fuzzed up, and still pretty solid.   And if you check out her YouTube channel, you'll see she's still finding herself as an artist.  She seems to have found it in fuzz, but time will tell, and I, for one, am excited.

Monday, September 16, 2013

16 September 2013 - Norah Jones - Jesus Etc.

I really didn't "get" Norah Jones when I first heard her. For the life of me I couldn't figure out why our local independent station played Don't Know Why all the freaking time. It sounded so horrible sandwiched between The Grateful Dead and The Strokes. It took me about seven years to "get it" but when her 2009 record The Fall came out I was hooked. Her voice just knocked me out. And yes, I even went back and picked up her debut (and her other albums) and finally understood why Don't Know Why got so much air play on a mostly alternative station. Anyway, here she is playing a pretty cool version of Wilco's Jesus Etc.

Friday, September 13, 2013

13 September 2013 - Kings of Leon - Dancing On My Own

While I've never been a particularly huge Kings of Leon fan, I have to say that this slow-burn cover of Robyn's Dancing On My Own is pretty bad ass.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

12 September 2013 - Stacey Q - Two of Hearts

When this song was new, I loved it - still do.  And all of my punk and postmodern music friends wondered why.  I mean, it was little more than a fluffy synth pop love song.

It's more than a fluffy synth pop love song.  I mean, it is a synth pop love song, for sure. But SSQ - and, let's face it, this isn't just Stacey Swain here.  It's SSQ - were a little more subversive that your typical synth pop group.  Jon St. James was - is - a far more clever producer than you typically would see in 80's synth pop.

And together, St. James and Stacey Swain Q chose this song, a cover of an earlier Sue Gatlin club hit.  This post started off as a Wicked Guilty Pleasure itself, until that little fact revealed itself.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

11 September 2013 - Band of Horses - Summer Babe

If you're going to cover Pavement's Summer Babe (one of my favorite songs of the 90s), you better do it well. Seattle's Band of Horses, in fact, did it well. They amped up the tempo but kept the spirit and groove of the original. Check it out.

10 September 2013 - Fine It's Pink - When I'm Small

As some of you may know, the Phantogram song "When I'm Small" is one of my favorites.  I snuck this compelling, different, hypnotic song into a post over on Wicked Guilty Pleasures back in January, and on this blog twice before - I encourage you to go to the original posts (by Lizzy Land here and Antique Firearms here.  They're both fantastic versions of the song, and very different from the original and each other.

What got me thinking about this song is an interesting story.  I was upstairs in my house, and the Bills game was on downstairs.  And I heard this:

And I came immediately downstairs.  Because why the hell was Phantogram playing during football?  Of course, I saw it was a Gilette commercial.  And I tweeted as much.  At that time, I decided that I would post a cover of the song today, my day to do the covers blog.

Fine It's Pink are a Romanian - ROMANIAN - band that decided to take this slow burn of a sound, pick up the pace, and add a little beatboxing.   And it worked beautifully - they captured the raw emotion and despair of the original, while amping up the anger just a bit.  By the way, check out their Facebook page.  They've got a lot of terrific original songs, too!

Monday, September 9, 2013

9 September 2013 - Sarah Jarosz - Shankill Butchers (and Broussard's Lament)

Sarah Jarosz's third album Build Me Up From Bones comes out in two weeks and it's going to be amazing. I know this because I saw her perform many of the songs last night from a front row table (this was my second time seeing her). She's a ridiculously talented singer, songwriter and musician who played mandolin, guitar and banjo throughout her set. At the age of 22 Sarah will be the face of contemporary bluegrass for years to come.

Shankill Butchers and Broussard's Lament both appear on her fantastic debut album Song Up In Her Head and on her Live at the Troubadour EP (where today's video comes from). I sometimes forget that Shankill is a Decemberists song, which is odd, because The Crane Wife happens to be one of my favorite records of the last decade.

Friday, September 6, 2013

6 September 2013 - Killdozer - Unbelievable

I was looking for the perfect EMF cover today to kick off the weekend, but all I could find was this classic B-side by Madison noise rockers Killdozer. The video obviously isn't an official one -- someone was clever enough to make this with scenes from the movie Killdozer! I for one have never seen the film, but judging by the movie's wikipedia page, it seems totally awesome.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

5 September 2013 - Queens of the Stone Age - Blurred Lines

How about a cool acoustic cover that makes abundantly clear what Robin Thicke was actually trying to say here?  Queens of the Stone Age clearly don't have the tune memorized yet, but they've come up with a brilliant version of it. And, for some reason, it sounds ever so slightly creepier to me than the original....

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

4 September 2013 - Faith Hill - Stealing Kisses

Lori McKenna is one of my favorite singer/songwriters. Whenever I find out that she has a song on someone's album I HAVE to hear it. While it was a couple years after its release, I learned that Faith Hill covered three Lori McKenna songs on her 2005 Fireflies album (including the heartbreaking Stealing Kisses). I was intrigued. All I really knew about the country superstar at the time was that she was ridiculously gorgeous (this was shortly before I started exploring the pop country world).

I must admit that I didn't really have a particularly positive reaction to Faith's version of Stealing Kisses when I first heard it. There was no desperation in her voice. No sadness. No longing. I didn't hate it, but it had to grow on me, and it eventually did when I finally realized that Faith and Lori are completely different, yet brilliant singers in their own ways.

So yeah, I know many people got into Lori McKenna because of Faith Hill, but am I the only one who got into Faith Hill because of Lori McKenna?

I've heard quite a few Faith Hill covers over the years, but this one by Joy Turner is totally kick-ass.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

3 September 2013 - One Direction - Teenage Dirtbag

Clearly, this is One Direction Day on the blogs.  It's an early birthday gift for my daughter.

When I first heard this cover of a song that I wasn't a big fan of, I was shocked.  It actually didn't suck.  In my opinion, 1D gives a richer performance of the song than the original.  Also, they've already got more hits than Wheatus did.

And clearly, they're also Iron Maiden fans, baby.

Monday, September 2, 2013

2 September 2013 - Franz Ferdinand - Oblivion

I'm sure that, by now, you've already read Wicked Guilty Pleasures today, and you know that our artist today is Grimes, with her fantastic song "Oblivion."  What?  You haven't?  It's OK.  I'll wait.

Are you back?  OK, good.  So now that you've heard all that electronic goodness. check out Franz Ferdinand's acoustic cover of the same song. It's weird to hear it this way, but it works, strangely.