Wednesday, October 31, 2012

31 October 2012 - Neon Trees - Never Tear Us Apart

Here's Neon Trees doing an INXS classic. There's a short little interview before the performance, but it's worth the wait as they do a pretty good job with this cover. Have to say that the more I hear Neon Trees, the more I like them.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

30 October 2012 - Mary Chapin Carpenter - Passionate Kisses

A big hit for her on country radio, a lot of people didn't realize that this wasn't actually Mary's song.  Originally performed and written by Lucinda Williams, this version is far more chipper and smooth than the original.  Despite the change in tone, it's still really faithful to the original.  If anything, Mary's voice brings a little more urgency to the song. All in all, it's a really good performance of an already really good song.

As an added bonus, here is Mary, performing the song live.  Both Mary Chapin Carpenter (Best Female Country Performance) and Lucinda Williams (Country Song of the Year) won Grammys in 1993 for this song, so they both got a huge benefit.

Monday, October 29, 2012

29 October 2012 - Bon Jovi - Rock You Like A Hurricane (live medly)

Gotta make this quick as I'm about to literally get rocked by a hurricane. Here's Bon Jovi doing a medley of classic tunes (obviously only the first part is relevant, but it's still a fun listen all the way through). Stay safe east coast friends.

Friday, October 26, 2012

26 October 2012 - Robyn - Hyper-Ballad

I stumbled across this fantastic Bjork cover a few days ago. It's from the 2010 Polar Music Prize concert for Bjork. I actually posted an Ane Brun video from this same concert in June. Have to say, it must be pretty intimidating to perform an artist's song in front of that artist.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

25 October 2012 - The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy - California Uber Alles

This is a live version of the song, but you can hear the anger in their voices, still, even with all the horns.

The Disposable Heroes took some liberties with the classic Dead Kennedys song, originally about Governor Jerry Brown, who was governor of California both in the 1970s..... and today.  This version skewers Pete Wilson, making it more timely, if not a little unfair.

Now, I'd like to see them get together with Jello Biafra and redo the original, now that Jerry Brown is back in office.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

24 October 2012 - Dropkick Murphys (and NOFX) - TNT

Here's the all-mighty Dropkick Murphys, along with their friends from NOFX, rocking an AC/DC classic to a pretty huge crowd.

Can't say I ever expected to see Fat Mike with a banjo. Quite the sight huh?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

23 October 2012 - The 5th Dimension - Wedding Bell Blues (Marry Me, Bill)

A lot of people think the 5th Dimension originated this song, but they didn't.  It's Laura Nyro's song, through and through.  Marilyn McCoo's vocals just happen to be well suited for it.  She brings a longing to the song that even the original, itself a pretty good song, didn't have.

If you're like me, you didn't know that Marilyn McCoo was a member of the 5th Dimension until many years later.  You just knew her as the hostess of Solid Gold.  Well, she performed this song on that show! Even a decade and a half after its original release, she still sounded great!

Amazingly, I didn't know this song - amazingly! - until this particular show.  One of these days, I'm going to have a special Wicked Guilty Pleasures blog post on Gilmore Girls, but here, I want you to enjoy this use of a great classic song.

And now I want to use this song at my wedding!

Monday, October 22, 2012

22 October 2012 - Little Big Town - Born This Way

Gotta make this one quick. Busy, busy and all that. Here's one of my favorite country bands doing Lady Gaga's 2011 smash hit Born This Way. Dig those sweet, sweet LBT harmonies.

Friday, October 19, 2012

19 October 2012 - Gretchen Wilson and Alice in Chains - Barracuda

I wish I knew the back story of how 90s grunge legends Alice in Chains and the "Redneck Woman" Gretchen Wilson teamed up to cover this Heart classic. Sure, I could look it up, but does it really matter? Probably not. All that matters is it rocks. Actually, if you close your eyes and listen, Gretchen sounds just as good as another Wilson singing it.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

18 October 2012 - Marisa Monte - Pale Blue Eyes

Brazilian artist Marisa Monte - a woman who normally sings in Portuguese - brings us a live version of Lou Reed's classic song.  It's an interesting take on the tune - a lot more percussion-heavy than the Velvet Underground did, and a lot more of a torch-song delivery.  Also, it sounds angrier than the original.

All in all, I think this is the best take on this song this side of Andrea Corr.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

17 October 2012 - Rachel Platten - Gin and Juice

I wrote about Rachel Platten in July on Wicked Guilty Pleasures...go ahead and click on that link. I can wait...

...Welcome back.

I stumbled across this very playful Snoop Dog cover a couple days ago and I knew I had to share it as soon as possible. This is a live version, so all of Snoop's naughty words are there. If you're sensitive to that kind of thing, or your boss is, or your kids are around you may want to hold off on watching until the coast is clear.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

16 October 2012 - Amanda Seyfried - Gimme Gimme Gimme & L'il Red Riding Hood

Anyone who has seen the movie "Mamma Mia" knows that Amanda Seyfried can sing.  This song, an ABBA classic (and my favorite ABBA song), is from that very movie.  Of course, Ms. Seyfried is performing this in a setting outside the movie.  She did the song so well, she made her own video for it.

A reminder that this is the same person who played the dumb blonde in "Mean Girls".

She also played Little Red Riding Hood. Which brings me to our 2nd cover, originally performed by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs.  No, the song was not associated with the movie.  She just decided to perform it - probably to promote her movie - and play guitar.  And she did a fantastic job on it.  I can't say enough good things about this woman's rich voice.

Monday, October 15, 2012

15 October 2012 - Soundgarden - Search and Destroy

I had every intention on posting a video of Cracker playing Rainy Days and Mondays seeing that it's Monday and it's...well...raining. Alas, all I could find was a clip of a drag show where the song was being lip-synced...and well, the less said about that, the better.

So instead, here's a live video of Soundgarden playing an Iggy and the Stooges classic. This video doesn't exactly prove it (mostly because it was fan shot and the sound isn't that great), but I still say that Soundgarden was one of the best live bands of the 90s.

Friday, October 12, 2012

12 October 2012 - Dancing in the Streets-off

It's time for another cover showdown. A dance-off so to speak. So who in the 80s did a better version of the Martha and the Vandellas classic - Dancing in the Streets?

First up is Van Halen. This cover originally appeared on their Diver Down record.

Next up is David Bowie and Mick Jagger in what is either the greatest or most embarrassing video ever made (probably the second one).

Thursday, October 11, 2012

12 October 2012 - The Cardigans and Tom Jones - Burning Down The House

Scott has been on a Cardigans kick this week - he's posted twice about them on these blogs (Here is the cover, Here is the Wicked Guilty Pleasure).  This has ticked me off slightly... mostly because I was on a concurrent Cardigans kick and was going to do some posting myself.

Then I stopped being ticked off.  The Cardigans have done a lot of covers, so there was plenty of time and space for me to post a couple, too!

I wasn't really ticked off.  We do this to each other all the time.

This collaboration between The Cardigans and Tom Jones on a Talking Heads classic brings a different energy to the song than the original.  Tom Jones sounds strong when backed by a horn section, and he makes the song work for him.  Nina Persson has a thinner voice, but she still shows a darker side that "Lovefool" just doesn't.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

10 October 2012 - The Cardigans - Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and Iron Man

Yesterday at Wicked Guilty Pleasures I wrote about The Cardigans and their Lovefool video. Feel free to check it out here...I'll wait...Welcome back. Great video right?

One thing I always liked about The Cardigans was their ability to make iconic Black Sabbath songs their own. Here's Sabbath Bloody Sabbath from their 1994 Emmerdale record.

Now here's a live version of the band doing Iron Man. This song originally appeared on 1996's First Band on the Moon.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

9 October 2012 - Adele & Darius Rucker - Need You Now

I was a fan of Adele when her first album - 19 - came out.  So I was really happy to hear that she finally got some measure of commercial success with 21.

Hootie and The Blowfish..... I'm not so much a fan.

However, this Lady Antebellum cover - of a really big hit song, I might add - is done masterfully by both Adele and Darius Rucker, who I am sure you all thought was really named Hootie, in this performance from the CMT Artist of the Year special.

And yes, that is Lady Antebellum watching Adele and Darius Rucker knock their song out of the park.  And, to be fair, appreciating a fantastic performance.

Monday, October 8, 2012

8 October 2012 - The Cure - Hello I Love You

And now for some insight as to how my mind works...

You know how people say they get inspiration in the shower (or on the throne)...well, I get inspiration in the bar (to each his own right?). On an almost related side-note: if it wasn't for a happy hour I never would have "foolishly" weaseled my way into writing for this blog (and Wicked Guilty Pleasures for that matter). But that's a tragic story for another day (let's just say cheap booze and twitter can be a dangerous thing...and I freaking did it twice).

Anyway, I was sitting at the bar last week when some insufferable fool put the original Doors version of this song on the jukebox (followed by the Dead no less). Dude was lucky I didn't throw a pint glass at his head. Luckily for him I just got a full beer and wasn't about to waste a whole $2. It's called maturity people. Instead, I turned a negative into a positive -- post a video of the Cure covering the song. Not exactly revenge, but it saved me plenty of time finding a song to post today. And in the end, isn't that the most important thing? Well, that and not going to jail for assault with a pint glass.

Friday, October 5, 2012

5 October 2012 - Social Distortion - Under My Thumb and Ring of Fire (acoustic)

Social Distortion have been a favorite band of mine for about 20 years. While they've only done a handful of covers over the years (that I can think of), I have to say these two are my personal favorites (I'm also a huge fan of the originals too).

First up is their Rolling Stones cover from 1996's White Light, White Heat, White Trash record.

Now here's an acoustic version of them doing Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire. The version on their 1990 self-titled album is more Social Distortion-like, but I thought I'd go with something different.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

4 October 2012 - Special "I Am The Walrus" Edition

Like my colleague on this blog, I will frequently get ideas for this blog from a simple YouTube search for a song, followed by the word "cover".  This type of search usually yields an awful lot of kids with acoustic guitars strumming for the guitar in their bedrooms.

Today, I initially went looking for a very specific cover.  This is the cover, a Beatles classic as performed by Oingo Boingo at their farewell show, before Danny Elfman went off for a life of movie scores. It's an uptempo version, with horns.....


..... and it wasn't as good as I remembered it was.   So I went off looking for other covers of the song I knew about.  Of course, when I think about Beatles covers, I think about the former Mr. Katy Perry, who performed the tune - in my opinion, admirably - at the 2012 Olympic closing ceremonies in London.  I'm not really a fan of the guy, but he seems to get this song and how it's supposed to be performed.

I knew, however, that most of you would be unhappy with this choice, so I kept looking.  And I accidentally stumbled upon THIS version by Oasis.  They thought they were better than the Beatles anyway.... In all seriousness, they also did an admirable job on John Lennon's classic.  This version is live, from 1994.  The band did record the song in studio, and used it as a B-Side.

Little known fact: "I Am The Walrus" was the B-side to "Hello Goodbye", another beloved song.  Now, let's listen to a post-Dennis DeYoung Styx desecrate it, complete with the worst music video ever made.

OK, I can't end on that.  I'll end with Jim Carrey?  He does an interesting (and slightly angry) rendition of the tune, but he doesn't murder it like Styx did.

BONUS COVER: Here are Colin's Hermits..... ok, it's XTC.... doing the same song.  There isn't a video, but it's still worth a listen.  Perhaps the best cover here.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

3 October 2012 - Saint Etienne - Only Love Can Break Your Heart

I find it hard to believe that I haven't posted this video already. Saint Etienne became an instant favorite of mine the first time I saw this video from their debut album Foxbase Alpha. At the time I had no idea it was a Neil Young song, which is somewhat understandable seeing how drastically different the two versions are performed.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

2 October 2012 - Relient K - Sloop John B

Oh, these Christian punks! Based on other covers they have done, I expected this one to be far more irreverent.  However, Relient K performed a straight-ahead faithful cover, complete with beautiful harmonies and banjo!

It's important to note that the original is one of my favorite songs off of one of the best albums ever produced, Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys.  So, for me to give it such high praise is a bit deal.  I love this song for its irreverence - it sounds like it is going to be a sweet song, and it's about a terrible boat trip.

Monday, October 1, 2012

1 October 2012 - Sara Evans - My Heart Can't Tell You No

I was a big fan of Sara Evans' Stronger record when it came out. Always dig a good break-up album. This song hit me right away. I feel dumb now saying this, but it really sounded familiar to me the first time I heard it, but I couldn't place it. I finally had the "duh Scott" moment when I heard it in the midst of its popularity on my local country station when the DJ casually mentioned it was a Rod Stewart song.