Friday, August 31, 2012

31 August 2012 - Jonathan Coulton - Baby Got Back

Sir Mix-A-Lot is highly regarded for working with musicians from other genres, most notable grunge groups, as he is from Seattle.

I don't think he's worked with folk singers, though.

Jonathan Coulton brings his slightly offbeat sense of humour (chronicled here on our other blog) to a hip hop tribute to ample female posteriors.  It is a very straight reading of a tongue-in-cheek song that seems to be the funniest of all.  Also, this brings new poignancy to the line "Even white boys got to shout."

Thursday, August 30, 2012

30 August 2012 - Mark Ronson feat. Lily Allen - Oh My God!

A song that you didn't know was a cover?  Yes, that's this one. A cover of a Kaiser Chiefs song, this was initially covered by Lily Allen on her early mixtapes.  It was rerecorded with Mark Ronson and rereleased on his album.  The video is a bit of an homage to Jessica Rabbit.

She's going by Lily Rose Cooper now.  So, update your notes accordingly.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

29 August 2012 - Cheap Trick - Day Tripper

I've been a fan of Cheap Trick ever since I was a kid and heard I Want You To Want Me (it was on a 45 with Flirting With Disaster by Molly Hatchet...I think it was a freebie from a candy bar company...fuzzy memory...but I do know these were the songs on it). I played the hell out of that 45. Eventually I would go on to buy a bunch of Cheap Tricks tapes over the years (yes, tapes). Sadly, I never saw them in concert. That's all changing this weekend as I'm seeing them headline an afternoon show in Virginia Beach on Saturday (the stage is on the beach!). Even better, Southern Culture on the Skids and Soul Asylum are opening. I was already planning on spending the day lounging on the I can do that and see a killer show.

Well here they are covering some band from Liverpool.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

28 August 2012 - Live - Dusted

On September 10, 1995, I went to see Live, PJ Harvey, and Veruca Salt in Hartford, CT.  This is by far - BY FAR - the worst show I've ever been to.  Veruca Salt were drunk and out of tune.  PJ Harvey - well, it was really Polly Jean and whoever she had in her touring group - was just boring and self-absorbed.

Live was mediocre, but there was one highlight.  One thing they did on their tour was, for a little bit, pull out their acoustic guitars and play a few quiet, intimate songs.  One of their choice was a cover of a song by Guided By Voices, and it was the best tune of the night, by far.  This recording was actually made the day before I saw them - when I saw them, it was a little better, but Ed's voice isn't bad here.

I walked out early on Live.  I've not done that before or since.  But at least I got to hear this.

Monday, August 27, 2012

27 August 2012 - Colin Meloy - Everyday is Like Sunday

I've had this Morrissey song stuck in my head since Saturday afternoon (no idea why, but hey, it could be a lot worse). Anyway, I knew someone cool must have covered it over the years. I think Colin Meloy of The Decemberists qualifies.

Friday, August 24, 2012

23 August 2012 - Tokyo Police Club - Since U Been Gone

I knew I was going to post a Tokyo Police Club video today. I figured though that the video would be them playing Friends of P by The Rentals. But then I stumbled upon this Kelly Clarkson cover...and as you should know by now, I'll always choose the Kelly Clarkson cover.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

23 August 2012 - The Bird and The Bee - I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)

I should open this post by saying that I'm a sucker for a Hall & Oates cover.  A very dear friend of mine when I was growing up was the world's biggest Hall & Oates fan.  He's no longer with us, so whenever I hear a Hall & Oates song, I think of him fondly.

So when Los Angeles duo The Bird and The Bee released their Interpreting The Masters: Volume 1 album - Hall and Oates covers and a couple of songs inspired by them - I was clearly interested.  Inara George isn't Daryl Hall, to be sure, but she brings that Philly soul feel to the song just the same.  Truly an admirable interpretation/homage to an underrated band.

And yes, that's John Oates, who guest starred on guitar for this live performance. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

22 August 2012 - Rasputina - Barracuda

I saw Rasputina for the first time in the mid 90s (they were opening up for Bob Mould). I knew absolutely nothing about them before the show. Needless to say I was kind of shocked when band's three members hit the stage carrying cellos, wearing old-style corsets and playing songs with Victorian themes. Within minutes they had me in the palm of their hands and I've been a big fan ever since.

So here's the coolest cello rock band playing a song of yore that was thusly made famous by the sisters Wilson.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

21 August 2012 - Katy Perry - I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)

Last week, I took my daughters to see Part of Me.  Yes, the Katy Perry movie.  You might expect that it was just a concert film - and it was that, to be sure - but it was much more.  It was the story of how Katheryn Hudson became the Katy Perry we all know and love.  And it was partly the story of her marriage falling apart, and all the work she did to try to make it work. There is one particular scene before a show in Brazil - her biggest on tour - where the emotions explode in a heartbreaking manner. Highly recommended.

There were also two covers featured in the movie.  The first a cover of a Whitney Houston classic.... featuring 1. Kitty Perry, and 2. a whole lot of fans that Katy invited to dance with her on stage.  I'll be featuring the other cover at a later date.  For now, enjoy the joy and exuberance of a happy song and fans that are unexpectedly getting the experience of a lifetime.

Monday, August 20, 2012

20 August 2012 - Ingrid Michaelson - Somebody That I Used To Know

I really don't have much to say today. Here's a video of the always wonderful Ingrid Michaelson covering the Gotye song that took over the airwaves this year.

Friday, August 17, 2012

17 August 2012 - Soul Asylum - Rhinestone Cowboy

As I mentioned at Your Forgotten Favorite today (please visit there too), I'm seeing Soul Asylum twice in the next two weeks. I haven't seen them in almost 20 years (which is a shame as they are one of my favorite bands). One of my favorite concert memories is watching them down a tray of shots before busting out their Rhinestone Cowboy encore to a very puzzled crowd. Years later it's become a fan favorite.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

16 August 2012 - Britney Spears - My Prerogative

OK, let's try this again!

A tabloid favorite doing a cover of another tabloid favorite?  What a perfect choice, and a terrific performance!  I disliked the original when it came out, but I love both versions now.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

15 August 2012 - Norah Jones - Are You Lonesome Tonight?

Here's the soulful Norah Jones paying tribute to The King, who made this song popular again in 1960 with his legendary cover of it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

14 August 2012 - Seu Jorge - Changes / Lady Stardust / Rock n' Roll Suicide

Continuing my personal tribute to the 2016 Olympics, here is Brazilian musician and actor (you saw him in "City of God") Seu Jorge.... doing an acoustic David Bowie cover.... in Portuguese. It's captivatingly different, and does not mesh with Jorge's typical salsa style.

Oh, you've also seen him in "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou."  That's where you saw this. I think his head must just be cold.  Again, eschewing salsa for a guitar, and again, covering Bowie.

This was from the same movie.  And yes, it's another David Bowie cover.  He's got a lot more Bowie covers than these - I encourage you to check them out.

Monday, August 13, 2012

13 August 2012 - Kasey Chambers - True Colors

As I mentioned at Your Forgotten Favorite today (you visit that site too right? If not, what are you waiting for? GO!), I'm seeing Kasey Chambers tonight for the first time and I'm really looking forward to it (even if I spaced on getting tickets and we're not in our usual front row center table...I'll deal with a second row table).

Anyway, enjoy this live video of Kasey playing some little known Cyndi Lauper song.

A LATE ADDITION TO THIS POST: So I'm finally sitting down and listening to Kasey's new record Storybook...yep, it's a cover album. That information would have come in handy earlier today writing this post (my fault for waiting over a week to listen to the record). I'm an idiot. And yes, today's cover is on that new record.

Friday, August 10, 2012

10 August 2012 - Keane - Disco 2000

I don't really have too much say about today's video. It's Keane doing a pretty true to the original cover of one of my favorite Pulp songs.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

9 Aug 2012 (part 3) (!) - Karmin - We R Who We R / Misery / Somebody That I Used To Know

While I am a fan of Ke-DollarSign-Ha, I recognize that she isn't Puccini.  The greatness of the original version of this song is its simplicity and raw energy.  Karmin takes that song and makes it simpler, more stripped down, and.... well, almost artistic.  

It's important to note that Karmin are quite openly clean in their music.  There is a lyric changed in this song to make it more... well, family-friendly.

But not only can Amy and Nick handle the Queen of Autotune, they can take on a straight ahead rock song by a judge on The Voice and his band..... I am a big fan of duos, especially ones that can make you feel like you're hearing a full band with their multiinstrumental talents and harmonies, both on display here.

OK.  Last one (unless they cover this sometime).  This song was featured in its original version on Wicked Guilty Pleasures. I have to be honest: I didn't think this song would work as well without the xylophone or Kimbra's huge vocal... and I wasn't completely wrong - not that this cover doesn't work (because it does), but because it becomes a different song with Amy's vocal, which is differently huge than Kimbra's.

Also, note that Nick can sing, too.

One that I won't promise: that I will never do a Part IV.  But I think I'm done for now.

9 Aug 2012 (part 2) - Karmin - Pumped Up Kicks / Superbass / Look At Me Now

A wise man once said that Foster The People made him hate music.  (I hope he reads this and remembers that he said that)  This cover makes their biggest hit song a lot better. Sadly, Karmin are fans of Foster the People.  I love this video, because they talk about the choice of cover at the end of it, and there's even a juxtaposition of the original and the cover, which is in a higher key.

From the same Billboard sessions, here is their version of Nicki Minaj's "Superbass".  Did I mention that I thought Karmin was Nicki Minaj the first time I heard them?  Needless to say, this cover, which brings a little lounge to the song, works perfectly.

Moving from lounge music to music suited for play at hockey games...... Karmin takes on Chris Brown. 'Nuff said.  This one is By Request.  Karmin has said that they "butchered" Chris Brown's song.  I disagree.  They brought a different feel to it - less boastful, I suppose - and, once again, it works.

The question is, will there be a Part 3?  Stay tuned.

9 Aug 2012 (part 1) - Karmin - Tonight (I'm Loving You) / Firework / Price Tag

Today, I decided I was going to feature one artist and a bunch of their covers.  In order to do that, I had to pick an artist that had more than one.  Well, this artist (who we featured yesterday on the other blog) got their career started with a YouTube following and a bunch of covers.  This was one of their earliest ones, a cover of an Enrique Iglesias hit, showcases the vocals, but not the hip-hop style, of the group.

Amy and Nick (together they are Karmin) also do an admirable job on this Katy Perry hit.  It's a lot quieter than the original, but Amy's really powerful vocals shine on this version.

Yesterday, I talked a lot about Amy's vocals.  Today, I want to make sure you noticed that Nick is multiinstrumental.  On this version of "Price Tag", he pulls out the TROMBONE, giving the song a Dixieland feel and a whole new dimension.  (And yes -we get Amy's hip-hoppery on this tune).

Now, eagle eyed fans will notice that all three of this songs were featured in their original form on our other blog, Wicked Guilty Pleasures (here, here, and here).  Yeah.  I did that on purpose.  More eagle eyed fans will notice the qualifier "(part 1)" on this post.  I did that on purpose, too.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

8 August 2012 - Erasure - Take A Chance On Me

OK, I'm totally shooting blanks today after receiving a very "intimidating" note this morning from Tony that his post tomorrow will be EPIC. So instead of finding something clever to preemptively top him, I've decided to get this Abba cover stuck in your heads. Remember, IT'S ALL TONY'S FAULT!!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

7 August 2012 - Jedward - Under Pressure (live)

This might be one of the most clever covers I've ever seen.  Jedward were on the UK TV show X Factor.  Although Simon Cowell wasn't a fan, even he had to admit this unison version of Ice Ice Baby Under Pressure was really clever.  And, despite what you think of their talent, there is nothing about this version, which includes lyrics from a completely different song as well, that isn't fun.

In this live version of the song, Jedward are joined by none other than Rob Van Winkle, who interpolates his little early 90's hit that's a completely different song into the Under Pressure cover....

....which, of course, renders the statement made in this video clip invalid....

Monday, August 6, 2012

6 August 2012 - Florence Welch and Mark Ronson - Since U Been Gone

Well, this was a totally pleasant surprise. I was actually looking for a video of someone covering Florence and the Machine and instead found this video of Florence Welch (along with Mark Ronson) covering one of Kelly Clarkson's biggest (and best) hits.

Friday, August 3, 2012

3 August 2012 - No Doubt - Sailin' On

Here's No Doubt paying respect to hardcore legends Bad Brains...and it was for a good cause.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

2 August 2012 - Juliana Hatfield and Tanya Donnelly - Josie and the Pussycats

Juliana Hatfield was the indie darling of the moment in the mid 90's, having been the lead vocalist of the effervescent Blake Babies and then having a moderately successful solo career.  (We've featured her before in this blog.) Tanya Donnelly, or, as I prefer to refer to her, Kristin Hersh's half sister, was the lead vocalist of Belly, after a short stint as a Breeder and a very long one as part of Throwing Muses (my favorite band, but that's a story for another day).

And Josie & the Pussycats was my favorite cartoon ever.

So, yeah, I pretty much love this song.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

1 August 2012 - Paramore - Sweetness

I love going to a concert and a band that I love plays a random tune by another band that I love. If I was at this 2008 Paramore show in Brixton, I would have lost my mind as they played one of my favorite Jimmy Eat World tunes.