Tuesday, December 31, 2013

31 December 2013 - HAIM & Lorde - Strong Enough

For a 2013 VH1 Special, HAIM did a cover of Sheryl Crow's "Strong Enough".  At about the 1:30 mark, their "good friend" Lorde and a gigantic jacket join them for the song. 

Try to get past Lorde's gigantic coat for a minute and listen to the harmonies between her and the ladies of HAIM.  It's absolutely astounding how well they work together, and I think more collaborations are necessary.

Monday, December 30, 2013

30 December 2013 - Meghan Linsey - Counting Stars

I'm completely out-of-my-mind bonkers for this soulful OneRepublic cover by Steel Magnolia's Meghan Linsey. Here's the stunning video which I've probably seen about 20 times since it's release last week.

I wrote about Meghan in November. In case you missed it, click right here and you can see her singing some Radiohead.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

19 December 2013 - Demarest - Heart of Gold

One of the biggest mysteries of the later part of 2013 is, who is singing this haunting cover of "Heart of Gold" over the trailer for Out of the Furnace? Well, according to iTunes, it's Demarest.

It is quiet and hauntingly beautiful.  The raw emotion of the original, which was almost sweet in its sound, is amplified by the ache in this lilting, other-wordly voice.

But, gee..... I know that voice.

Where have I heard that voice?

It's distinctive.  Where did I hear that voice?

Oh.  Right.  Yesterday on Wicked Guilty Pleasures

I have only circumstantial evidence to suggest that Sarah Barthel is actually Demarest.  From what I can see, she has NOT said so.  However.....                    
  1.  Last.fm user alin1 lists Sarah's full name as Sarah Demarest Barthel.  There are other references to that as full name as well.
  2. Most of Phanotgram's music are published under the Charlie Everywhere imprint, but some is also published under the Demarest Barthel imprint.
So... circumstantial.  But now go to this song and tell me you don't agree.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

18 December 2013 - Jason Aldean - Cowboy

I've been meaning to do a Jason Aldean post here since mid-summer. But I always found a way to put it off for no particular reason. Of course now that I'm temporarily (hopefully) without my Totally Covered list of prospective and past posts, I could only remember that I wanted to do a post of Jason Aldean covering...well...someone. I thought it might have been a Rascal Flatts song, but to be honest, I can't imagine posting a Rascal Flatts cover (although that may have explained why I didn't post it right away...nothing against them, they've had some fine songs over the years, but they aren't exactly my cup of country tea). I do know that it definitely wasn't this Kid Rock cover, because if it was, I'm sure I would have posted it the moment I found it. Please Note: You're going to have to turn the sound up on this live video, but it was the best version of it I could find.

Monday, December 16, 2013

16 December 2013 - The Swans - Love Will Tear Us Apart

So my laptop pretty much died last week. I was able to save most of my work files, my photos and some music (I should have saved WAY more music). In the mad rush to burn as many files onto DVD before the battery died, I somehow managed to forget my two most important reference documents: the list of my entire record/cd collection and most relevant to this site, Wicked Guilty Pleasures and Your New Favorite Song, my lists of all the videos we've posted, which also included about 20 potential covers for this site. Great. Right now, this Joy Division cover by The Swans is pretty much the only potential post I can remember. The Swans initially released "Love" as a 12" single and it eventually appeared on their Various Failures double disc compilation of their "not so best moments." I don't know, I kind of like it.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

12 December 2013 - Anna Kendrick - Cups (Pitch Perfect's "When I'm Gone")

Yes, you are on the right blog.  This is Totally Covered, not Wicked Guilty Pleasures.

When I first heard this song:

1. I thought it was boring.
2. I thought the whole cup thing was stupid.

You aren't going to change my mind on #2, but my mind was recently changed on #1.  The song was written by A.P. Carter - you know, of the Carter Family - in 1931 and recorded by Carter Family.  Even this version - complete with cups - is a cover, done in 2009 by Lulu and the Lampshades.... in two part harmony.

But this version is simple and reminiscent more of the original than the 2009 cover.  (Or the cover by Anna Burden.....) The lyrics are heartbreaking, and Ms. Kendrick does them justice with her strong but simple rendition.

I still think the whole cup thing is stupid.  But in this context, I guess it's ok.  Here's the original scene from the movie.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

10 December 2013 - The Pigs feat. John Williamson - Single Ladies

It ain't Beyonce.

It is a banjo/jaw harp version of her most recognizable song, however.  And it somehow works.  If you like bluegrass, maybe you should put a ring on this!

Monday, December 9, 2013

9 December 2013 - The Menzingers - Straight To Hell

Here's one of my favorite punk bands of today, playing a song by one of my favorite punk bands of all time. Check out this live video of The Menzingers playing The Clash's Straight To Hell. Admittedly, the sound quality here is a little bit dodgy (it was the best one I could find). The song also appears on their debut album A Lesson in the Abuse of Information Technology if you are interested in hearing the studio version.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

4 December 2013 - 10,000 Maniacs - Peace Train

I was a huge 10,000 Maniacs fan back in their In My Tribe days which seems like a zillion years ago (26 to be exact). I used to play that record over and over for most of my high school and college years. Sadly, like many of those "back in the day albums," I rarely get a chance to listen to them that often because there's just too much new music that I MUST check out. I actually hadn't thought of this wonderful Cat Stevens cover in years, but someone mentioned it to me online recently and I couldn't resist listening to it again. And again. And again. You get the picture. I probably haven't seen the Peace Train video in 20 years. It still puts a smile on my face.

Monday, December 2, 2013

2 December 2013 - 30 Seconds to Mars - Stay

Here's a cool live video of 30 Seconds to Mars playing Rihanna's Stay at this year's iHeartRadio Music Festival. I fully expected them to let loose and totally rock out toward the end of the song, but instead they played it close to the original, and I must say it sounds pretty awesome.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

27 November 2013 - Billie Joe + Norah - Silver-Haired Daddy Of Mine

I was totally intrigued when I first heard that Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong was doing an album with jazz/pop songstress Norah Jones (collectively known as Billie Joe + Norah). Then my mind was completely blown when I learned that the album (Foreverly) was a recreation of Songs Our Daddy Taught Us, the 1958 Everly Brothers collection of traditional American songs. Judging by the first single, That Silver-Haired Daddy Of Mine (originally written and performed by Gene Autry) I have to say that they sound awfully sweet together. I'll be picking this one up sooner than later.

Monday, November 25, 2013

25 November 2013 - Pink - Girl On Fire

I'm still grinning ear to ear from last night's Pink concert in Washington, DC. It was one of the wildest performances I've ever seen. It's astonishing how she does all of those acrobatics while singing. Heck if I was just harnessed and raised 20 feet into the air without doing the flips the only words coming out of my would be "AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH HEEEEEEELLLLLLPPPPP!!!!!" The woman has no fear (and clearly I have much). While she didn't play this this Alicia Keys cover last night, she did play Wicked Games by Chris Isaak which was very cool.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

21 November 2013 - Siouxsie and the Banshees - The Passenger

It's a rare cover that exceeds the original.  Some bring something new to the song, but few exceed it, especially when the original artist is so iconic.

"The Passenger" is one of those songs. Iggy Pop did it first, but Siouxsie Sioux did it better.  It's spirited and bright, despite all the goth. The sound here is so much deeper and richer than the original (which admittedly didn't suck). 

The first video might have been the original, but this, cleaner version is the one I remember.  I can't explain all the blood.  I can say that it's a visually interesting video.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

20 November 2013 - The Wolfgang Press - Mama Told Me Not To Come

The song Mama Told Me Not To Come was originally written by Randy Newman and made famous by Three Dog Night. Over the years it's also been recorded by a number of artists such as Eric Burdon (one of the first versions), Tom Jones and the Stereophonics, Wilson Pickett, Lou Rawls, and Yo La Tengo...among others. Personally, I've always dug this trippy, laid back version by Wolfgang Press from their 1991 album Queer.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

19 November 2013 - Kitten & Charli XCX - I Want Candy

On her current US tour, Kitten is the opening act for Charli XCX.  Chloe Chaidez - who, at this point, is pretty much Kitten - has already developed quite a stage presence, at just 17.

Enough so that the headliner pulls her opening act out on stage to do this cover, which is the best cover of the Strangeloves classic I've heard since Annabella Lwin posed nude.

Monday, November 18, 2013

18 November 2013 - Elizabeth & the Catapult - When My Time Comes

I'm not feeling particularly literate today so I'll be brief. Here's Brooklyn's Elizabeth & the Catapult playing a very cool Dawes cover. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

13 November 2013 - Tristan Prettyman - Wide Awake

We don't post nearly enough Katy Perry covers here. I bet we could find one a week for a year and actually be picky about which ones to post. There's just something so dang catchy about her songs that make them so coverable. Here's one of my favorite singer/songwriters Tristan Prettyman playing a trimmed down acoustic version of Wide Awake.

Monday, November 11, 2013

11 November 2013 - Allison Moorer - Dancing Barefoot

I'm really looking forward to seeing Allison Moorer tonight. I've seen her a couple times over the last few years so I know I'll be in for a fantastic evening. Here's a live video of Allison playing Patti Smith's Dancing Barefoot which appeared on her 2008 mostly cover album Mockingbird.

Friday, November 8, 2013

8 November 2013 - Rhett Miller - Free Fallin'

If you EVER get a chance to see Rhett Miller solo or with his band the Old 97's just do it. Don't even think about it. I've seen him on his own and with the Olds a handful of times over the years and I can attest that he always gives it about 150 percent on stage (probably more, but I'm horrible at math). He also happens to be one of the friendliest dudes I've ever met which goes pretty far with me. Check out this live video of him ripping through Tom Petty's Free Fallin'. Sure, he doesn't hit all the high notes, but that's part of his charm.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

7 November 2013 - Social Code - Whisper to a Scream (Birds Fly)

Did you ever get a song stuck in your head?  Well, for me today, this song - the original version anyway - is that song.   So I sought out a cover, by Canadian band Social Code, and am now sharing it with you.

And that, my friends, is the creative process.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

6 November 2013 - Meghan Linsey - High and Dry

There's a pretty vicious rumor out there (likely started by me) that I don't like Radiohead. It's so not true. Their first two albums are favorites of mine. Heck, I'll even admit to enjoying OK Computer if I've had a couple beers. Of course, if I've had too many beers I'll likely say it's the worst album of all time (probably where those vicious rumors started). Regardless, I loved The Bends and particularly the song High and Dry, which is why it was so cool to hear this wonderfully soulful cover by Steel Magnolia's Meghan Linsey. Check out this video and then seek out Steel Magnolia's fantastic self-titled 2011 debut for some country goodness.

Thanks to @MegsMegafans for bringing this video to my attention last night on Twitter. Since you asked nicely, I'll add this note for our Totally Covered readers: Give Meghan a like on her Facebook page at and check out this very cool Caring for Creatures campaign to help celebrate Meghan's birthday while doing some good for our four-legged friends.

Monday, November 4, 2013

4 November 2013 - Supersuckers - Hey Ya

This is so incredibly awesome. Here are the all-mighty Supersuckers playing a badass live cover of Outkast's big cross-over hit Hey Ya. ROCK 'N' ROLL!!!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

31 October 2013 - Doctor and the Medics - Spirit In The Sky

Despite not being religious hippies like Norman Greenbaum, Doctor and the Medics did a really faithful cover of this song, a Christian classic.  Their goth look now makes this song more appropriate for Halloween than church. 

Their earnest performance makes the song - which I just told you a faithful cover of the faithful original - more associated with them than Norman Greenbaum - it's a better known song now because of Doctor and the Medics.  Of course, it also gave them their only real U.S. exposure and their only U.K. chart hit, where it was a #1 smash.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

30 October 2013 - Au Revoir Simone - Fade Into You

Here are Brooklyn dream-poppers Au Revoir Simone doing a playful cover (love the dancing) of Mazzy Star's highest charting and most known song -- Fade Into You. Who would have thought this song would sound so cool with synths?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

29 October 2013 (The Infamous Part 4!) - Karmin - No Scrubs & Lighters & Acapella.... wait, what?!

I pretty much promised you this was coming eventually.

If I am being totally honest, I thought I would have done it before now.  Today's first cover is of the TLC classic "No Scrubs", in honor of the VH1 movie.  This version sounds less angry and more.... well, lounge.

Today's second feature is their excellent cover of "Lighters".  I put this here mostly because I am amazed at how well Amy raps and still plays guitar.

This third one is only kind of a cover.  I mean, it's a Karmin song. Buuuuuuuuuuut, since the song is called "Acapella", doesn't it make sense that Mike Tompkins would team up with them to actually do it a capella? And yes, it is an interesting take.

Monday, October 28, 2013

28 October 2013 - Over the Rhine - The One I Love

Happy Monday everyone...yeah, I know. Anyway, I just picked up Over the Rhine's latest double album Meet Me At The Edge Of The World and I'm definitely looking forward to hearing it. I just need to find an evening where I'm not glued to the TV watching a baseball game, hockey game, football game or The Voice (well, at least baseball's almost over). Until then, here's Cincinnati's finest husband and wife led Americana band playing a smokey version of R.E.M.'s The One I Love.

Friday, October 25, 2013

25 October 2013 - Broken Bells - Crimson and Clover

Well, I think I may be the last person on the planet to learn that Broken Bells a is project between James Mercer of The Shins and Danger Mouse. A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. But probably not in this instance. Anyway, here's the indie supergroup playing a live version of a "rarely covered" Tommy James & The Shondells classic.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

24 October 2013 - The Carpenters - We've Only Just Begun

Believe it or not, this song started off as a bank commercial, written by and performed by Paul Williams.

Until Richard Carpenter was watching television in a Quaalude-induced haze and saw that commercial.  He knew it had to be theirs.  And, with Karen Carpenter's powerful pre-anorexic vocals, a wedding classic was born.

Not kidding about it being a bank commercial first..... This was the first in a series of commercials using this song, envisioned by the legendary ad man Hal Riney for The Crocker Bank.

Friday, October 18, 2013

18 October 2013 - Halestorm - Empire State of Mind

This one popped onto my Twitter feed a couple days ago and I had to share it. Here's hard rock band Halestorm playing the one Jay-Z song I don't mind (and that of course is because of Alecia Keys' fantastic vocal part...well that, and it just happened to be the unofficial anthem of the 2009 World Series win by the Yankees).

Thursday, October 17, 2013

17 October 2013 - Blake Babies - Passionate Kisses

Some covers are planned and happen with a lot of preparation.

Some covers happen when a guy hands John Strohm a guitar and he happens to be in a band with Juliana Hatfield, who happens to be standing right next to him.

This is the latter. The Lucinda Williams classic has never sounded quite so raw, but still, it works.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

16 October 2013 - We Are Scientists & Ash (WASH) - Touch Me I'm Sick

It's always cool when bands who tour together join up to play a song or two as an encore. Apparently, We Are Scientists and Ash (collectively known as WASH) felt the same a couple years ago when they toured together. Here they are in Melbourne playing the Mudhoney anthem Touch Me I'm Sick.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

15 October 2013 - Guano Apes - Big In Japan

Rather than spend time on a blog post..... I watched the Red Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 1-0 to take a 2-1 series lead in the ALCS.  And then I think back to Kevin Millar, one of the heroes of the 2004 Red Sox that broke the so-called curse of the Bambino - which was ridiculous, by the way - and how he was.... well, big in Japan, where he had played for a bit.

So here are Guano Apes, doing an Alphaville cover.  It's quite heavy. Enjoy.

Friday, October 11, 2013

11 October 2013 - Reel Big Fish - Take On Me

Here's third wave ska band Reel Big Fish playing a punked-up cover of Take on Me by a-ha. The video's kind of fun but how much cooler would it have been if they tried to recreate the original video...but without the animation?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

10 October 2013 - Puscifer - Bohemian Rhapsody

Sometimes, a video tells the whole story.  Sometimes, a video is just bizarre.  This video falls into the latter category.  It's weird, but the song itself is solid, full of the proper emotion, and faithful to the original.

And yet when you realize who Puscifer actually is - Maynard James Keenan, whose day job is lead vocalist of Tool and A Perfect Circle - this becomes all the more bizarre.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

9 October 2013 - Ben Folds & Rufus Wainwright - Careless Whisper

The endless search is finally over. I am proud to present you with "The New Wham!" Here's Ben Folds and Rufus Wainwright with a ridiculously earnest George Michael/Wham! cover.

How awesome would it have been if Ben and Rufus covered this Wham! gem instead?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

8 October 2013 - The Bangles - Going Down To Liverpool

My first exposure to The Bangles was a song on a Saturday morning music video show in 1985.  I didn't know at the time that this song was originally done by Katrina and the Waves (and was reissued afterwards as the B-side to "Walking on Sunshine").  I didn't know that Debbi Peterson was not the normal lead vocalist of this little group. I certainly didn't know why the camera was giving so much attention to the acoustic guitarist (it's Susanna Hoffs, if you weren't aware, and I would be aware two years later when she gave those sideways eyes again in the video for "Walk Like An Egyptian").

And I didn't know why Leonard Nimoy was so willing to appear in a video for four unknown women.  But it made them cooler.

I know all these things now.  Susanna Hoffs was friends with Adam Nimoy, Leonard's son.

Monday, October 7, 2013

7 October 2013 - Deer Tick - If I Should Fall From Grace With God

Here's a pretty rad live performance of The Pogues' classic If I Should Fall From Grace With God by Providence, RI indie rock/Americana band Deer Tick to get your week started out just right.

Friday, October 4, 2013

4 October 2013 - Coheed and Cambria - A Rush and a Push and the Land is Ours

Whenever I can't think of, or feel too lazy to find a decent cover, I can always count on the The AV Club Undercover series. They've bailed me out on many a Friday (my most vacant brain day of the week) with a killer cover. Here's another good one. I've been a fan of alternative/progressive metal/hardcore band Coheed and Cambria since their exciting debut The Second Stage Turbine Blade came out (hard to believe it's been over 10 years). I wasn't surprised that they chose A Rush and a Push and the Land is Ours by The Smiths. I WAS surprised however with their down-tempo acoustic approach to the song. It's very cool. Very cool indeed, Coheed.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

3 October 2013 - Atomic Kitten - The Tide Is High

So, what do we do to follow yesterday's epic post?

Well, today is our 400th post.  And I could only think of one way to be truly epic for today.

Oooooookkkkkaaaaaaayyyy....... so why pick a British girl group who are seeming desecrating a Blondie classic?  Well, 1. I don't think they are desecrating it and 2. I have a story.  You see, "The Tide is High" - the Blondie version - is the first song that I remember being my favorite song.  I was 8. I couldn't have told you at the time what the song was about, really.  But I loved the island feel of the song.

This version of the song doesn't exactly have an island feel.  It does have three young women - one of them significantly pregnant - earnestly performing a song that was specially crafted to include girl harmonies and fun dance moves.

Disney Channel fans actually know this song already.  It was used in the opening credits of the Lizze McGuire Movie.  (Oh yeah.  We went there.)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Diving Horses profile and interviews with DJ Dan and Jimi HaHa

Diving Horses was created by the Annapolis-based production duo of multi-instrumentalist Softeyes and DJ Dan. Their self-titled debut album due out this fall on Underground Wednesday Records re-imagines a range of seminal modern and classic rock songs (from artists as diverse as New Order and AC/DC) as indie-dancefloor anthems. It features vocalists from some of Annapolis, Maryland's best bands including Jimmie’s Chicken Shack, Future People, Swampcandy, Starbelly, Van Meter, the Geckos, Pompeii Graffiti, Cole Cash, Hypnotic Panties, Happy Little Robots, and Ethics Committee, as well as solo artists Tobias Russell Music, Dean Rosenthal and Joseph Karr.

Interview with DJ Dan of Diving Horses 

I met DJ Dan Mollen at an Annapolis, MD bar around three years ago. I don't actually recall how it all went down, but I can imagine a Pixies song was playing on the jukebox and a music conversation started that continues to this day. While we share a boatload of music in common, it's our differences that make an afternoon kicking back a couple brews that much more fun. Usually we'll start out talking about some hot new indie rock band and then without fail he'll mercilessly mock my love for pop, country or some "passe" 90s alt band that I happen to be seeing that week. As you'll read in my Totally Covered interview, DJ Dan has very strong opinions on what music should be and I respect that.

Totally Covered (TC): What was the impetus for this project?

DJ Dan: I’ve been a DJ for a long time but since the advent of the iPod, it’s a moniker that’s become increasingly troublesome to me. When I started playing music, I got hired for three things: I had a lot of records, I had taste in music that people seemed to respond to, and not unimportantly, I had equipment. Obviously now, every bartender in America has an iPod and while that’s not always a bad thing, a lot of the time it is. But rather than hearing a broader variety of music when we’re out at night, we’ve been subjected to either increasingly homogenous playlists or stuff that frankly, blows. That’s a long way of saying that I saw this project as a way of paying homage to the music that really formed my sensibilities and a lot of that is grounded in what I would call college radio or classic modern rock. Plus I’ve always been a sucker for a good cover.

TC: How did it all come about? Ideally (and realistically), what are you trying to accomplish with this recording?

DJ Dan: As with anything else, it started off as a way to make music with my friends and have fun. But more than that, there were several things that I hoped to get in front of a broader audience. One, is that we have an incredibly vibrant music scene in Annapolis and it’s my hope that as a community, we can work together to get each other’s music heard outside of our immediate area. Secondly, it struck a chord with me to involve genuine talents in genres like folk, blues, or country and employ their voices in a dancefloor context. It’s not unlike the Verve Remixed series in that regard. Lastly, I really wanted to shine a light on the talent of my fellow Diving Horse, Softeyes. More people should be aware of his evil genius.

TC: We have previously spoken about IDM vs. EDM. Can you explain this concept for our readers?

DJ Dan: Defining EDM is tough because it’s become a uniquely American catchall term for a sound that has certainly permutated but has really been around for a couple decades at this point. But my mind conjures up several things when I hear the term -- simplistic but catchy vocals, big bass, grating synths, and a touch of white noise played really loud for shirtless frat guys in clubs where I would never go. I find its popularity to be somewhat perplexing especially when I consider how bad most of it sucks. But I don’t think that’s unusual for any genre really -- what seems to appeal to the mainstream is bad music of every stripe. Bad rock, bad rap, bad country, you name it. On the other hand, I’m really intrigued by this whole concept of Intelligent Dance Music (IDM). In my mind, it’s far more song-based and far less formulaic. When I think of the kind of dance music that Diving Horses aspires to, it’s artists like LCD Soundsystem, Hot Chip, and others that do such a great job of marrying lyrics that actually say something with electronic music that can do anything from soothe to rock. I’m not trying to compare us to them, but that’s the model.

TC: Are there any plans or thoughts to doing a live performance (even just a one-off) with the singers involved?

DJ Dan: That’s a tricky wicket, my friend, for such a studio-based project, but we’re ironing out the details, and I can tell you a few things. We’re going to have a release party. It’s going to feature a wide array of talented people that appear on the record. And it’s going to be great.

Interview with Jimi HaHa

Jimi HaHa (Jimmie's Chicken Shack and The Jarflys) sings Evil Woman and I Wanna Be Adored on the Diving Horses record. I thought it'd be pretty cool to check in with him (via DJ Dan) to talk about the record, his music and our great city of Annapolis. I desperately wanted to print Jimi's unedited responses but DJ Dan put the kibosh on that saying Jimi's depraved answers would destroy too many lives. I kind of agreed with DJ Dan, but only because I really didn't feel like doing the "fact checking."

TC: Did you have a previous connection with the guys in Diving Horses? What made you want to work with them?

Jimi HaHa: I've known both Dan and Casey (Softeyes) for years. I met Dan because of his DJing. We have a lot of the same taste. Oh except he loves Dave Matthews (editors note: HA! Dan was expressing his love for all things DMB with me just last week). I met Casey when he was playing in a band and he eventually ended up playing guitar with Jimmie's Chicken Shack for five years. When they approached me about being involved in the project I just thought it was going to be so cool. I had to do it. I loved the songs they picked and knew they would make something we all would enjoy.

TC: How was recording for this project different than your previous experiences with Jimmie’s Chicken Shack and the Jarflys?

Jimi HaHa: It was much easier. Basically I went into their studio and sang the tunes and my work was done. Dan remembers that I was sick. I don't remember that, but I count on his memory more than my own.

TC: What’s next for you musically?

Jimi HaHa: I hope to get working on a solo acoustic record. Just one guitar track and one vocal track. Stripped down to the core.

TC: What does Annapolis music mean to you? Is there truly an Annapolis sound?

Jimi HaHa: It just means good music to me. I don't know if you could say there is an "Annapolis sound" other than it tends to be quality. I think there is a wide range of sounds that bands have come up with. They are usually very honest and original.

Diving Horses Tracklist:

1. Ceremony (New Order) feat. Jennifer Van Meter
2. Money Talks (AC/DC) feat. Kahz
3. Evil Woman (ELO) feat. Jimi HaHa and Jennifer Reichwein
4. Heroes (David Bowie) feat. Pompeii Graffiti and Bri Ong
5. For Whom The Bell Tolls (Metallica) feat. Softeyes
6. Magnificent Seven (Clash) feat. Tobias Russell
7. Running Up That Hill (Kate Bush) feat. Ruben Dobbs
8. Let’s Go (Cars) feat. Joseph Karr
9. Never Tear Us Apart (INXS) feat. Starbelly
10. Cuts You Up (Peter Murphy) feat. Greg Harris
11. In Between Days (Cure) feat. Kevin Martin and Dean Rosenthal
12. I Wanna Be Adored (Stone Roses) feat. Jimi HaHa 

Give Diving Horses a like on Facebook and then check out the first single Evil Woman feat. Jimi HaHa at Soundcloud. If you like what you hear, you can then buy Evil Woman at either Amazon or iTunes.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

1 October 2013 - Sarah Brightman and Antonio Banderas - The Phantom of the Opera

Today is my daughter Juliana's 13th birthday.  She is a huge Phantom of the Opera fan.

Happy birthday, Juliana.  Here's some Phantom for you.

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.


Thursday, August 29, 2013

29 August 2013 - Hannah Trigwell - Wide Awake & Want U Back (Boyce Avenue feat. Hannah Trigwell)

The YouTube Artist Series returns today with a pair by a young woman from Leeds.  Whereas in the past, we have featured a lot of electronics and some looping in this category..... well, today, this is completely acoustic.

Thanks to the magic of YouTube, this onetime street musician has a chance to find a bigger audience than a Leeds street corner.

Let's open with a straight reading of Katy Perry's #2 hit from 2012 and the closing credits of Part of Me.  The song is a little stark in arrangement - slight percussion courtesy of Daniel from Boyce Avenue, but mostly Hannah and her guitar - but spot on.

Of course, this week would be incomplete if we didn't include some sort of Cher Lloyd hook. Her biggest hit (which we featured over on WGP some time ago) is re-imagined (and in several spots, re-lyriced) to be a duet (again with Boyce Avenue).... and one that is far more melancholy than the original.

I encourage you to check out her original music over on iTunes, as well as her official website.  She's really solid, and it's good to support small artists like Hannah Trigwell.  Also, here's a little unbilled bonus for you - her cover of "Electric Feel", a song that we've seen at least twice before on this little blog - once by Katy Perry, a cover that this version seems to emulate.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

28 August 2013 - Avenged Sevenfold - Linoleum

Avenged Sevenfold just released their sixth album Hail To The King yesterday which I'm sure I'll check out at some point as they are one of the better "popular" hard rock/metal bands around. Check out this live video of them playing one of my favorite NOFX songs (the sound's a bit rough but they certainly rock it). Oh yeah, just like the original, A7X screams one naughty word that starts with the letter "S" and rhymes with sit so put the "earmuffs" on the kiddies or your boss.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

27 August 2013 - Billy Ray Cyrus - Achy Breaky Heart

Don't tell his heart what his daughter did at the 2013 VMAs......

Sure, his daughter has one of the biggest hits of 2013.   And sure, everyone thinks she's lost her marbles.  But Billy Ray.... well, he had a hit that endures. And sure, it's a hit that gets a lot of slag, but it's a clever, well-crafted little song.

Besides, it's a cover of an obscure country song.  So Billy Ray just chose well.

Monday, August 26, 2013

26 August 2013 - The Killers - Don't Look Back In Anger

There's nothing particularly special about this Oasis cover by The Killers. So why am I posting this video? Simply put, I love that awesome communal concert experience when a chorus of thousands join together to sing an epic song (in this case a modern rock anthem).

Friday, August 23, 2013

23 August 2013 - Tegan & Sara - Umbrella

Even though the sound on this Tegan & Sara concert video is kind of so-so, I'm totally digging their new wavy take on Rihanna's smash hit Umbrella. Imagine how much cooler this cover could be if twins hit the studio and recorded it.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

22 August 2013 - Jon D. and Rebecca Black (!) - We Can't Stop

You read that post title correctly.   Rebecca Black. THAT Rebecca Black.

It's really Jon D.'s song - and well done - but - and I hope you're all sitting down for this - Rebecca Black steals it.  Right out from under him.  His performance is absolutely spot-on and cool, but hers is practically sublime.  It's almost like she knows about partying, partying, yeah, fun, fun, fun, fun.

Now, if I may editorialize for a minute, and elaborate on what I said HERE about Rebecca Black..... "Friday" was a poorly written song, and Rebecca didn't write it.  She only recorded it.  This, on the other hand, is a well-written song.  And, guess what?  She performs it earnestly and she performs it well.

And Jon D. - he's pretty good, too.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

21 August 2013 - Arctic Monkeys - Red Right Hand

Shameful admission: I just started to get into the Arctic Monkeys a few weeks ago. Welcome to 2007 Scott. Maybe next I should check out a hot new band like Vampire Weekend. Despite my occasional lack of indie cool, I know a great cover when I hear one. I found this Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds cover last week when I posted the Arctic Monkey's latest video at Your New Favorite Song. I really like this rockin' version Red Right Hand a lot, even though it's obviously not as menacing as Cave's original.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

20 August 2013 - Buena Vista Social Club - Clocks

So, I'm sitting around the other night and this song comes on.  And, about a minute in, I exclaim:

"Hey!  This isn't Coldplay!"

This particular group that calls themselves Buena Vista Social Club were spearheaded by Ry Cooder, and are not really the group from the famed 1940's Cuban dance hall.  No matter.  This version of the song replaces the huge bass and piano sound with a more intimate horn section.  And it works, beautifully.

Monday, August 19, 2013

19 August 2013 - Rachele Lynae - Acapella

WOW! I actually scooped Tony with a Karmin-related post. Regular Totally Covered and Wicked Guilty Pleasures readers should know that he's been pretty high on the Boston pop duo. Ahhh, remember the day he "shamelessly" did three separate Karmin posts here? (he's also done four Karmin posts at WGP in the last year . . . nothing wrong with that, I think I've done just as many Miranda Lambert posts at Your New Favorite Song in the past year . . . if not more)

Anyway, I was flipping through my Twitter feed last Friday afternoon and saw that up-and-coming country singer/songwriter Rachele Lynae posted a link to her countrified cover of Acapella. Of course I was all over it. Turns out Karmin dug it too as they posted on Saturday: "This girl did a sick country rendition of #KarminAcapella!" and included a link to Rachele's video. Very cool of them. So check out this fantastic Karmin-approved video and then head on over to Rachele's website and sign up to get 7 free songs (I assure you they are all aces!). While you're at it, give her a follow on Twitter.

Friday, August 16, 2013

16 August 2013 - The Avett Brothers - In The Aeroplane Over The Sea

This is certainly not a "WOOOHOOO!!!! It's Friday, let's party!!!" cover, but it's tremendous nonetheless. What we have here is The Avett Brothers playing a very true to the original cover of one of my favorite Neutral Milk Hotel songs.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

15 August 2013 - Traci Lords - Walking in L.A.

I'm sure a few of you did a double take when you saw the title of today's post?  I mean, isn't Traci Lords that porn star that threw herself an 18th birthday party after starring in pornographic films for more than two years?

The birthday party is urban legend.  She was arrested for starring in underage porn, though.  That's true.

However, those early mistakes gave her great opportunities in legitimate acting and in music.  She is a real hitmaker on the dance music charts, believe it or not.  This cover of the Missing Persons classic is from 2004, and actually premiered on the Oprah Winfrey Show!  It's kind of a chilled-out reading of the song - very deadpan, very cool, very fitting.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

14 August 2013 - Ed Sheeran - Wayfaring Stranger

When I saw Ed Sheeran this spring I was very impressed with how he crafted his songs live utilizing just a guitar and his loop pedals. He literally was a one-man band and it was awesome to watch. Well here's Ed in a studio performing the old American spiritual/folk song Wayfaring Stranger and you can see him working his loop magic up close. Very cool.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

13 August 2013 - Erasure - Solsbury Hill

I was in Rite Aid one day.  I don't remember what I was doing in Rite Aid.  That's not really the important part of the story.

The important part of this story is that, on the in-store radio, I heard the Peter Gabriel song "Solsbury Hill".  Except it was an electronic song.  And it sounded a lot like Erasure.  But I thought Erasure solely did Abba covers?

Well, long story short, I went home and looked it up.  Indeed, it was Erasure, and the cover was pure electronic magic.  And now I'm posting it for your enjoyment.

Monday, August 12, 2013

12 August 2013 - Kellie Pickler - White Lightning

Here's the irresistibly adorable Kellie Pickler playing George Jones' White Lightning live from the SiriusXM studios. I just found out that she's playing somewhat near my house next month. Shame I already have tickets to another concert that night. Someday I'll get a chance to see Kellie perform. Someday.

Check out Kellie's latest video with her Dancing With The Stars partner Derek Hough right here and also see links to the zillions of other times I've written about her.

Friday, August 9, 2013

9 August 2013 - Emily Kopp - Brave

Orlando's Emily Kopp is a soul-infused indie pop singer/songwriter on the rise. Between touring the Southeast and finishing her debut album Serendipity Find Me (out on Oct. 15th), she found the time to record this rockin' Sara Bareilles cover. Check out this video and then give her a follow on Twitter @EmilyKoppMusic.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

8 August 2013 - The Volunteers - Volunteers

I was fascinated by a band covering the song that gave them their name.  I rarely feature covers that are not great on here.  This cover is earnest, at the very least.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

7 August 2013 - Dustin Lynch - Friends in Low Places

I had scheduled a Dustin Lynch post for Tuesday at Your New Favorite Song to celebrate seeing him, Little Big Town and Keith Urban Thursday night. But that obviously didn't happen. Either I thought yesterday was Monday or I forgot how many days were between Wednesday and Thursday. Total space case. Anyway, I already posted Dustin's Bruno Mars cover this past March, so here he again, this time playing a Garth Brooks barroom classic.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

6 August 2013 - Set Sail - Bittersweet Symphony

What if you took all the attitude out of a really angry song and replaced them with good vibrations?

Set Sail has the answer for you today.  From Sydney, Australia, these guys bring a live fiddle into The Verve's classic anthem full of opulence and pretension.  And they manage to strip out the opulence and pretension.  It becomes an earnest tribute to life in their bright and cheery hands.

Friday, August 2, 2013

2 August 2013 - Grouplove - Party Hard

Here's a shockingly tender and sunshiney acoustic Andrew WK cover by Grouplove. I like how they got into the spirit of the song by recreating Andrew's iconic look from the I Get Wet album cover.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

1 August 2013 - Katy Perry - Your Love & (the irresistible) Electric Feel

Let's kick off an August to Remember with Katy Perry covering The Outfield!  Those of you who are readers of Wicked Guilty Pleasures will recall that Ms. Perry was our 1st Hall of Famer.

Katy is so awesome, she got a cover on Wicked Guilty Pleasures.  Here is her cover of "Electric Feel", the MGMT classic.  It's a work of art.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

31 July 2013 - Paramore - Use Somebody

I can't believe I totally forgot about this wonderful acoustic Kings of Leon cover by Paramore. I was actually going to post this video in December but decided to go with this version by Pixie Lott instead. At the time I liked Pixie's version better (plus I had recently posted Paramore covering Jimmy Eat World), but now, I'm not so sure. There's just something about Hayley's voice that always gets me.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

30 July 2013 - Lily Allen - Heart of Glass

I've always loved this cover of Blondie's classic as done, very simply and earnestly, by Lily Allen.  I can't believe I never posted it until now!

Even Debbie Harry liked the cover.... which is why they performed the song together on The Today Show.

Monday, July 29, 2013

29 July 2013 - Foster The People - Say It Ain't So

A year ago I posted a live video of Weezer covering Foster The People's uber-hit Pumped Up Kicks. Well here's a live video of Foster The People "returning the favor."

Friday, July 26, 2013

26 July 2013 - Dixie Chicks - Landslide

I guess last week's Court Yard Hounds release and the recent Natalie Maines' solo debut have me in a Dixie Chicks frame of mind. So I thought, why not find a someone covering the iconic country trio? I found Taylor Swift's version of Cowboy Take Me Away, but the intro was a bit too long for my liking. Then it hit me, why not actually post the Chicks' gorgeous cover of Fleetwood Mac's Landslide? Sure, I could have posted the actual video, but this live version is pretty darn sweet.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

25 July 2013 - Snow Patrol - Ray of Light

I love Snow Patrol's sublime cover of Madonna's high point.  It's respectful and quiet, but still is clearly not a carbon copy.  Please enjoy!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

24 July 2013 - Capital Cities - Holiday

Here's a live video of Los Angeles indie synth-poppers Capital Cities getting into the groove with some Madonna. Something tells me that these guys would be a whole lot of fun to see in concert.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

23 July 2013 - Zebrahead - Girlfriend

A note-for-note remake of an Avril Lavigne modern classic (which we took care of over here)..... deserves a note-for-note remake of the video.

And it's a cover that doesn't lose the original's energy.  Which is an achievement.

Monday, July 22, 2013

22 July 2013 - Lana Del Rey - Chelsea Hotel No. 2

I really don't have too much to add. What you see (and hear) is what you get. And what we have right here is Lana Del Rey doing a slow-burn version of Leonard Cohen's Chelsea Hotel No. 2.

Friday, July 19, 2013

19 July 2013 - She & Him - Sunday Girl

So I finally checked out Volume 3 by She & Him a couple days ago. Basically, if you liked the first two records, you'll like this one. And, if you didn't like the first two records, then you won't like this one. I know, I'm so freaking deep. Anyway, this true to the original Blondie cover on Volume 3 certainly caught my ear. Here's a live version of it for your viewing pleasure (you may need to turn it up a bit as it's kind of quiet).

Thursday, July 18, 2013

18 July 2013 - Julieta Venegas - Otra Cosa / Lovecats

For those who don't know (and therefore never read our other blog post about her), Julieta Venegas is a brilliant Latin alternative singer/songwriter - born in the USA, living in Mexico now - who just happened to become a huge hitmaker.  She refuses - REFUSES - to write songs in English, a language she speaks natively, because of the beauty of the Spanish language (which, admittedly, she also speaks natively).  I frankly don't blame her.

That doesn't mean she refuses to cover songs written in English.  At about the 1:50 mark of this video, her original song "Otra Cosa" suddenly transforms..... into "Lovecats" by The Cure.  Brilliant transition, and an engaging performance.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

17 July 2013 - Yellowcard - E.T.

It's been a while since I posted a Katy Perry cover. I think. Like it really matters. Here's Jacksonville pop punkers Yellowcard playing Teenage Dream's third single.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

16 July 2013 - Motorhead - Louie Louie

Sure, the Kingsmen didn't intend for their song to be metal.  And yet, it seems like this song, an icon in its own right, was written just for Lemmy's raspy growl and the straight-ahead metal guitar that made Motorhead so famous.

I must add that, although this version of the song was from 1978, I didn't know this existed until this past weekend.  It's been sitting out there for 35 years and I had never heard it.   Amazing.

Monday, July 15, 2013

15 July 2013 - Sugarland and Sara Bareilles - Come On Eileen

Sara Bareilles' new album The Blessed Unrest comes out tomorrow (you can watch the video for the first single right here). I'm definitely looking forward to checking it out as she's been a favorite of mine ever since I first heard Love Song. Here she is teaming up with Sugarland (another favorite) for a fun Dexy's Midnight Runners cover.

Friday, July 12, 2013

12 July 2013 - Belle & Sebastian - The Boy With The Thorn In His Side

I'm seeing Glasgow indie poppers Belle & Sebastian tonight. I saw them a few years ago and was shocked at how much fun they were live. Don't get me wrong, I've been a B&S fan for years, I just didn't expect the "party" that was happening on stage that night (I figured that they would simply play motionless while staring at their feet). Hopefully tonight's show will have that same vibe. If not, it's no big deal, because the music will be great.

Here they are playing The Boy With The Thorn In His Side by The Smiths. Not the greatest song choice for them (Stuart Murdoch's vocals seem a bit off...or maybe I'm just so used to hearing Morrissey sing it), but it's certainly spirited.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

11 July 2013 - Special "Smells Like Teen Spirit" Edition

There are some songs that you're not supposed to cover.  Songs that are iconic, that defined a generation, usually fall into this category.

"Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana is the textbook example of a song you aren't supposed to cover.

Not like that stops anyone.  Like Miley Cyrus.  Sure, she does an admirable and faithful cover of the song.... but she's Miley Cyrus, not Kurt Cobain.  She kind of pulls it off.... but not really.


Perhaps I am not ever more annoyed than when someone mistakes Nirvana's song for cheesy rap metal. Here is my message to Fred Durst: You did a good job with "Faith."  Stay the hell away from this song.

I'm not really a fan of the Paul Anka lounge version either.  I think he was going for homage, but it seems more like parody to me.  YOU DON'T PARODY AN ICON!


The rare exception is when an artist can take such an iconic song and make it their own while still highlighting the lyrical strength of the songwriter.  Such is the power of the Tori Amos version of this song, which takes the power way down, translating the song to piano.  However, her voice, while nothing like the wail of Kurt Cobain, puts a beautiful focus on the lyrics as written.   I bet you didn't all know all the lyrics until you heard this version!

Tori Amos's cover was so good, IT gets covered! Here is the unique Yael Naim covering Tori's version, but still making it somewhat her own.  Frankly, it starts off like Tori, but ends a little closer to Nirvana. And I have to admit - it's pretty good.  Even if she can't pronounced "albino" correctly.

That leaves us with Patti Smith.  Ah, the great Patti Smith.  I don't know what to think of this version.  She enunciates too much - "dan-ger-ous".  She turns the song into a slow and angry song, almost lazy.  And it still kind of works.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

9 July 2013 - Josie Charlwood - Electric Feel

It was time for YouTube Artist Series #2.  I chose young UK singer/songwriter Josie Charlwood, who combined three of my current favorite things into a great package:

1. Looping, which allows a solo artist so much depth.
2. "Electric Feel", one of my favorite songs.
3. Picture-in-picture technology, which gives you a little glimpse as to how all the magic happens.

Josie's voice is near pixie-like, but still shows a proper amount of power to keep up with the song.  Plus, she doesn't just do simple looping here - she mixes up the tracks and harmonizes with herself brilliantly.  I'm simply in awe.

Please go check out Josie's Bandcamp page and support her and artists like her, who are doing innovative musical stuff, often with little support.


Monday, July 8, 2013

8 July 2013 - Alanis Morissette - Basket Case

After Billie Joe Armstrong's 2012 freak-out at the iHeartRadio Music Festival and subsequent trip to rehab all of Green Day's obligations obviously had to be canceled. Among them was a performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Never fear though as 90s alt queen Alanis Morissette stepped in and played a stunning version of Green Day's Basket Case (the very song where Billie Joe lost it in Vegas) as a tribute to her friend.

Friday, July 5, 2013

5 July 2013 - Leona Lewis - Hurt

I clicked on the link to see this video almost as a joke. I mean no disrespect to Leona Lewis, who happens to be a fantastic singer, but the thought of her covering Trent Reznor's achingly powerful song about heroin addiction was laughable to me. But it didn't take long for me to realize that she found her own "connection," because she nailed it. (please note: that pun was completely unintentional...trust me, I'm NOT that clever).

Thursday, July 4, 2013

4 July 2013 - Julia Easterlin - Break My Body

As you probably know by now, I am a fan of loop machine song building. I based the first YouTube Artist Series post to just that type of music.  This doesn't quite qualify for that series, but it's the same type of idea.

This song is a complete and beautiful reimagination of the Pixies song "Break My Body", built live.  It's a very very different song than the original, but it works perfectly with the lyrics.Give it a listen, and maybe one of you can get me a loop machine for Christmas.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

3 July 2013 - Jimmy Eat World - Only Girl (in the World)

Short and sweet post today as the beach beckons. Here's Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat World playing a solo acoustic version of Rihanna's pop smash Only Girl (In The World).

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

2 July 2013 - David Bowie (& Moby?) - Cactus

I've seen both David Bowie and Moby live.   Both of them were excellent in their live shows.  I've also seen the Pixies live.  They were better.

Still, this is a really really solid cover.  It says a lot when a legend like David Bowie is covering your song, and the Pixies can say that.  It says even more when David Bowie calls you out during a live performance - and with "B-L-A-C-K, Charles", he called out Black Francis, aka Frank Black, aka Charles Thompson.  Give it a listen.

Monday, July 1, 2013

1 July 2013 - Lights - Behind Blue Eyes

Behind Blue Eyes has long been one of my favorite songs by The Who. I used to play the hell out of that 45 as a kid (it was my dad's if I'm not mistaken). As for this acoustic version by Canadian electro-popper Lights -- I simply love it.

Friday, June 28, 2013

28 June 2013 - Thompson Square - Jackson

Here's just one more reason to love country's most adorable couple. I think Keifer and Shawna do Johnny and June proud with this live cover of Jackson.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

27 June 2013 - Charli XCX - I Want It That Way + I Love It (I Don't Care) + Killing Moon

This post started off with me debating what would constitute a cover.  Can an artist cover a song when 1. they wrote the song and 2. they appeared on the original?  Or perhaps the original is the cover.

Such is the case of Charli XCX, the UK singer/songwriter who co-wrote a little hit called "I Love It (I Don't Care)" that a lot of the kids seem to like to dance to.  Well, she's performed the song herself.  So, is that a cover?

Then I found this gem, a cover of a Backstreet Boys classic.  It's simply and beautifully done - those multipart harmonies are difficult to replicate as a solo artist, but she does so masterfully.  Plus, this is clearly a cover, so my quandary is solved.

Now, you didn't think I was going to leave you without the Icona Pop "cover", did you?  Frankly, she does such a strong job on this song, I think she should have kept it for herself.

I found this after I was done writing this post.  Yes, Scott posted a different cover of this yesterday.  We're just coming all sorts of full circle this week.  It's not as dark as it should be, in my opinion, but it's well and reverently performed.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

26 June 2013 - The Joy Formidable - Killing Moon

The Joy Formidable are one of my favorite indie rock bands of the year. At least that's what I said in January when I wrote about them at Your New Favorite Song. Click HERE if you want proof and to see a couple killer videos by them (and I know you want to). Anyway, here they are playing pretty faithful acoustic cover of an Echo and the Bunnymen favorite.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

25 June 2013 - Victoria Justice - I Love It (I Don't Care)

Yesterday, Scott posted a cover of the recent Icona Pop hit song "I Love It (I Don't Care)".  (He also posted the original a day before I was going to on Wicked Guilty Pleasures, but hey, I'm not bitter!)

And, sensing a theme, I decided that it was completely appropriate to add a more traditional take on the song, performed live by Nickelodeon star Victoria Justice.  It's better than I expected it to be, if I'm being totally honest.  So, enjoy.

Monday, June 24, 2013

24 June 2013 - Florence Welch and Dev Hynes - I Love It

I saw this video a couple days ago and wasn't quite sure what to think of it. I'm still not sure if I like it or not. Of course Florence Welch (of Florence and the Machine fame) sounds tremendous, if not a little forced at times. But then again, I can't help but think that this sleepy cover with Dev Hynes (AKA Lightspeed Champion and Blood Orange) could have used a bit more oomph. It's certainly a far cry from the bombast of the original.

Friday, June 21, 2013

21 June 2013 - The Strangest Lady Gaga Cover Ever

We here at Totally Covered have never shied away from a Lady Gaga cover. I probably should have shied away from this one, but it's so freaking odd that I couldn't resist. Here is the strangest Lady Gaga cover, EVER. You have been warned. Happy weekend.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

20 June 2013 - Silkk the Shocker - Express Yo(ur)Self

In hip hop circles, there are some things you don't do. There are some icons you just don't cover.

Unless you happen to be doing a tribute album produced by DJ Yella and Dr. Dre.  Then you can cover this particular iconic song by N.W.A.  Since it came a decade after the original, and didn't have DJ Yella or Ice Cube performing, some words had to changed - hence the Master P (his brother) and Tha Pound references and more hopeful lyrics.

It isn't N.W.A.  But Silkk's version is his own - it's a different song and still a reverent and fitting tribute to the original.  I don't hate it, and neither will you.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

19 June 2013 - Arcade Fire - Guns of Brixton

I've always had a take 'em or leave 'em attitude when it came to Montreal indie rockers the Arcade Fire. But I have to give credit where credit is due, this Clash cover is simply stunning. They totally re-imagined the song with an Americana-like vibe. Makes me want to get re-acquainted with them. I think I might have to pop on The Suburbs this afternoon and take a nice long walk around town.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

18 June 2013 - Paul Young - Everytime You Go Away

When this song came out in 1985, many people thought it was an original.  Paul Young so masterfully made this song sound like a British pop ballad.  But the song was written by Daryl Hall, and originally appeared on the 1980 Hall & Oates album Voices.  The original was never released as a single, but Paul Young magically transformed this Philly blue-eyed soul into a lovely pop song.  The guy could belt out a ballad.  Young's version, while clearly a ballad, is a little faster-paced than the original, which really was a soulful take.

Now, Spin Magazine wasn't a big fan of Paul Young, saying that he "doles out bland versions of even blander songs" and calling this song "warmly moving fuck music."  Which just tells me that you can't please everyone.

Monday, June 17, 2013

17 June 2013 - Hellsongs - Run to the Hills

I kind of got it in my head this morning to find an Iron Maiden cover. And find one I most certainly did. Hellsongs is a Swedish indie folk pop band that plays metal covers -- which may be one of the coolest ideas ever. So raise up the horns and chill out with a glass of Merlot to this calming Maiden cover.

Friday, June 14, 2013

14 June 2013 - LeAnn Rimes - Swingin

I've been meaning to post this John Anderson cover off of LeAnn Rimes' stellar Lady & Gentlemen album for some time. But you know, things come up and I didn't really have much of a hook (I still don't exactly have one, but that's never stopped me before now, right?). Anyway, LeAnn (whose voice has never sounded better) has a fantastic new classic country album out called Spitfire. It's a fine mix of songs that she wrote, collaborated on and covered. I highly suggest picking it up as it's already one of my favorites of the year.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

13 June 2013 - Mates of State - I Am A Scientist

This Guided by Voices cover was commissioned for the compilation album Science Fair, a benefit to support girls studying science and engineering.  This is something about which I'm somewhat passionate, being the father of two daughters.  I strongly encourage them to be whatever they want, and both have shown significant interest in science, which makes me very happy.

The cover itself is strong and a sharp rereading of the original.  Being one of my favorite GBV songs, it had the great potential to disappoint, and it didn't. They replace the jangly guitar with bass, but it works. The video is even better!  Look at the girl, actually being curious, naturally, about science and discovery, even in the face of ridicule!

If you are interested in learning more about Science Fair, or about Girls Inc., the charity it benefits, please visit their websites.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

12 June 2013 - David Gahan - Love Will Tear Us Apart

I was actually looking for a Depeche Mode cover when I stumbled upon this live footage of their charismatic frontman singing a Joy Division classic. Eh, close enough.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

11 June 2013 - Hot Chelle Rae - Teenage Dream

I wanted so desperately to hate this. I mean, it's Hot Chelle Rae!

But it is a sparse cover, in the right ways.  It translates well to an acoustic performance.   And it's reverently performed by a bunch of guys who clearly wish they wrote this song.

They have done electric, arena-ready versions of this song as well.  Again, they do it with reverence - they know the song is bigger than they are, and they accept that.  Even this cover stays sparse.

Monday, June 10, 2013

10 June 2013 - Bat For Lashes - Lullaby

It took me five hours to find a video to post today. It's safe to say that we can blame the unintentional beerathon I "ran" yesterday for this. Totally worth it though. Anyway, check out this a chilling Cure cover by Bat For Lashes while I continue to clear the cobwebs in my empty head.

Friday, June 7, 2013

7 June 2013 - Carrie Underwood - Paradise City

Awwww yeah. You have to admit that there's something kinda awesome (hot) about the wholesome "Good Girl" Carrie Underwood singing a song by the ultimate bad boys of rock and roll.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

5 June 2013 - Jewel - Needle and the Damage Done

Oddly enough, the only time I've ever seen Jewel in concert was when she opened up for Neil Young in the mid-90s. Actually, Jewel was the middle act. The Afghan Whigs opened up the show. Confusing times. Anyway, here's everyone's favorite yodeling country folkie putting her stamp on Needle and the Damage Done.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

4 June 2013 - Lizzy Land - Pumped Up Kicks & When I'm Small

I've decided to occasionally feature YouTube-only artists on here, but I have some criteria that I'm going to use to choose who gets posted.  First of all, the artist needs to have at least one video of themselves performing out and live, for an audience.  Second, the artist needs to do something to blow me away.

Lizzy Land, an artist out of the Portland, OR scene currently living in Los Angeles, fits criteria #1 with this heavily beat-boxed version of Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks".  I want you to notice how she layers this completely acapella version in a live setting, starting with her beatboxed background "instruments", and continuing with the vocals.  It's simply constructed, but it gives the song a rich feeling.

Remember what I said Criteria #2 was? The artist has to blow me away.

Lizzy starts with an acoustic guitar piece - a bassline of sorts - then layers a beat on the guitar over that. She adds a 2nd guitar piece on top of that. Layer 4 is a breathy vocal paired with a simple keyboard part.  Then the main vocals start.  There are keyboard accompaniments for parts of the vocals as well.  And yes, near the end, there's a 6th layer - a vocal "ah oh" type thing.

The song in its original form, by Phantogram, is one of my favorites.  So that Lizzy Land - which, according to her Twitter profile, isn't just a stage name, by the way - can make me not hate her version is an accomplishment already.  That she can make me love her version, and make it her own, and blow me away with a well-constructed song, speaks volumes.

4 June 2013 - Selena Gomez and The Scene - I Knew You Were Trouble

Did you ever get a song inexplicably stuck in your head?

Er, yeah, me neither.

In all seriousness, my daughters can't agree on much, but they can both agree that they love Taylor Swift.  (My co-blogger Scott shares that same love, which he details here) And, since this blog is more focused on covers, I figured I'd find a fun young artist doing a cover.

I didn't expect that it would be Selena Gomez that I would find, especially since we've had her here in the past.  (We've featured her over on the other blog before as well) It's a simple acoustic version, that once again is well-suited for Selena's high but slightly raspy voice.

By the way, Scott posted Selena's new song at Wicked Guilty Pleasures today.  Check it out!

Monday, June 3, 2013

3 June 2013 - Smashing Pumpkins - Space Oddity

As an old Smashing Pumpkins fan I TOTALLY want to hate Billy's latest version of the band. But I can't. And even though I don't listen to them too much these days (this has more to do with my changing musical tastes and less to do with who is or isn't in the band) they always did trippy well as evidenced by this David Bowie cover.

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.