Tuesday, April 30, 2013

30 April 2013 - Built To Spill - Paper Planes / M.I.A. - Straight To Hell (?!)

You know what?  I just felt like hearing a "Paper Planes" cover today.  Here's Bulit To Spill doing a good one.

Now, go ahead - just tell me that "Paper Planes" just samples "Straight To Hell" and is a cover anyway.  That's the only excuse I need.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

25 April 2013 - R.E.M. - (All I Have To Do Is) Dream

From the 1986 movie Athens, GA Inside Out, a movie about that city's music scene, here is R.E.M., who everybody knows and loves now, but didn't in 1986, covering a beloved song.  

I love how Michael Stipe starts the song with his mournful voice, unaccompanied.  What I love more, and a lot of people don't notice, is that this version of the song maintains the original 2-part harmony made so famous by the Everly Brothers.  Mike Mills is the other voice that can be heard on this track.  Of course, R.E.M. go one step further on this harmonies - Mills and Peter Buck are both playing guitar on the song.

All in all, this is one of my favorite songs of all time, as performed by one of my favorite bands of all time, and I hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

24 April 2013 - Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Let The Day Begin

I've been wanting to post a video from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's awesome new record Specter At The Feast but I wasn't able to find one until yesterday (apparently it was just released). I was all set to post it at Your New Favorite Song too, but then I learned that it was actually a cover and obviously better suited for this site. The story behind BRMC's version is kind of interesting. The song was written by Michael Been, singer and guitarist for The Call who also happened to be the father of BRMC's bassist Robert Levon Been (Michael Been passed away in 2010). The band decided to record the song (and album) as a tribute to their former producer, live sound technician, mentor and of course family member.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

23 April 2013 - Punch Brothers - Just What I Needed

Today, I went with the Scott Colvin method of choosing covers.  For those not familiar, we think of a song title, and search YouTube for the covers.  Very simple.

And today, I knew exactly what song I wanted.  The Cars are a band I have covered on this blog in the past - Kris Delmhorst covered this song as part of what I considered the best album of 2011, although I did not feature it in my past post - but I found this terrific version of the song, complete with strings AND banjo (I have a bit of a banjo fetish).  And I had to do it. So, enjoy Punch Brothers!

Monday, April 22, 2013

22 April 2013 - The Wallflowers - Heroes

This David Bowie cover from the Godzilla soundtrack wasn't exactly a monster hit for The Wallflowers, but it's still pretty good nonetheless.

Friday, April 19, 2013

19 April 2013 - Ed Sheeran - We Found Love

This is pretty cool. Check out Ed Sheeran as he turns Rihanna's mega-dance hit We Found Love into a slow-burning solo acoustic jam. I think I almost like this better than the original. Almost.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

18 April 2013 - Manfred Mann - The Mighty Quinn (with a Manfred Mann's Earth Band bonus)

Anyone who knows me knows that I am sucker for a good piccolo solo.

Best known for their song "Do Wah Diddy Diddy", Manfred Mann did an awful lot of Bob Dylan covers in the late 60's.  This, a retitled, upbeat cover of Dylan's "Quinn the Eskimo", was their biggest hit of that era - I mean, it was no "Do Wah Diddy Diddy", but it was well interpreted.  The song itself, as originally written, was lyrically fun, but performed more in a ragtime style.  And it was really good - this version, which is more pop/rock/jazz, fits the song's lyrics just a little better.  

The strangest part of this?  Manfred Mann released their version in 1968, a year after Bob Dylan had recorded it as part of his Basement Tapes.  Dylan did not release the song himself until 1970.

A little footnote here.  Manfred Mann - the band - was named after their keyboard player.  He went on to found another band - Manfred Mann's Earth Band.  Guess what song they covered? The single, with a rock/disco feel, was released in 1978.  It's not bad.  It's just different.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

17 April 2013 - Laura Marling and Mumford & Sons - Jolene

I just found out English folk singer Laura Marling has a new album coming out next month and it's already garnering rave reviews in all of the music rags that "matter." I've thoroughly enjoyed this 23-year-old singer/songwriter's previous records (such a sweet voice) and look forward to picking up Once I Was An Eagle when it comes out.

Here's a cool cover that I discovered earlier today of Laura performing my favorite Dolly Parton song with Mumford & Sons.

This of course isn't the first time I've posted a cover of Jolene. Click here to see Mindy Smith's haunting version.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

16 April 2013 - Dwight Yoakam - Sloop John B

I have always liked Dwight Yoakam.  I like him as a classic country musician, and I liked him as an actor in Sling Blade - an excellent movie if you haven't seen it.

It's also well-established that I like this song.  I have posted covers of it in the past. Pet Sounds, the Beach Boys album on which it originally appeared, is one of the best produced pieces of art the music world has ever seen.  The Beatles listed the album as an influence when they moved to the later part of their career.

This song - which sounds like it's going to be a sweet tale of affection but ends up being far more of a bummer - remains one of my favorites to this day.  I was surprised how well it translated to country.

Monday, April 15, 2013

13 April 2013 - Fun. - We Owned The Night

Here's the normally bombastic Fun. playing a low-key acoustic version of an ebullient Lady Antebellum smash hit from two summers ago. What do you think? Do they "own" it?

Friday, April 12, 2013

12 April 2013 - Motorhead - God Save The Queen

(Note: this is going to be yet another "how I got inspired post"...I promise it won't be too long...or boring)

I was walking through the house this morning in the "afterglow" of a 4-mile run on the treadmill. Feeling "good" (more like relieved), I started to sing. Oh did I sing. 'Twas a glorious lounge lizard version of Anarchy in the UK by the Sex Pistols.

That ridiculous moment of course got me thinking about craptacular covers of the quintessential Sex Pistols song. All I could really find were the versions by Megadeth and Motley Crue. But everyone knows that those versions suck (mind you I said their versions, not the bands themselves). Mercifully, I decided not to subject y'all to that mess and instead opted for a killer Pistols' cover. So here are the kings of metal playing God Save The Queen.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

10 April 2013 - Queens of the Stone Age - White Wedding

The Queens of the Stone Age have always been hit or miss with me. There are times when I hear them and frantically start fist pumping. And there are times when I hear them and can't change the channel (or hit skip on my iPod) fast enough. I guess I must be in the mood for them today. Or maybe, I'm just in the mood for some Billy Idol. Yeah, probably more of the latter. But this is a pretty cool acoustic cover by Josh and the boys so I'll give credit where credit is due.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

9 April 2013 - Antique Firearms - When I'm Small

We like to applaud unsigned bands here from time to time.  Antique Firearms is an unsigned band from Asheville, NC.  By the way, if you have never been to Asheville, go.  It's like a little Austin in North Carolina.  One of my favorite places on Earth.

Anyway, here is the band doing a cover of a song originally done by the great Phantogram.  Enjoy.

Friday, April 5, 2013

5 April 2013 - Keith Urban - Fastest Girl In Town

Well I'm a happy dude right about now. I just got tickets to see Keith Urban, Little Big Town and Dustin Lynch in August (feel free to click on those links for cover songs by them). This will be my first time seeing Keith, who I heard puts on a killer live show (I saw LTB two years ago and Dustin last summer...both were great).

Now I'm in the mood for doing a little celebrating. So here's Keith performing one of my favorite songs off Miranda Lambert's last album.

To see Miranda's video for Fastest Girl In Town, head on over to Your New Favorite Song.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

4 April 2013 - Olivia Ong - I Can't Go For That (No Can Do) & Lovefool

I know what a lot of people thought when they saw this.  Who the hell is Olivia Ong?  I'm here to answer your questions.

Olivia Ong is a superstar in her native Singapore and surrounding countries.  As is not atypical of Asian artists, she sings largely in English, and she does a lot of covers.  Here she is covering a Hall & Oates classic, live in Korea.  She's got a big voice and keeps up with the song as well as anyone I've heard doing it.

What is a little atypical is her love of the bossanova style.  Her first album, 2005's A Girl Meets Bossanova - highly recommended - is, as the title suggests, full of the style.  The soul she exhibited in the cover above is really an extension of this love. The cover below - The Cardigans' biggest hit - works brilliantly in pure bossanova.  Enjoy and comment!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

3 April 2013 - Ben Gibbard - Punk Rock Girl

I've been in a Dead Milkmen mood lately. Not sure why, but I've learned to not fight these things. Decided to see if there were any interesting Milkmen covers out there. Deep down I hoping to find someone like Jewel covering Stuart (can you imagine that?). What I did find though was Death Cab For Cutie's Ben Gibbard playing an acoustic version of Punk Rock Girl. Works for me!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

2 April 2013 - Nouvelle Vague - Blister In The Sun

What would happen if the Violent Femmes were a couple of French women, much like their name says they should be?

Nouvelle Vague answers that question... in a way... with their very different cover of arguably the Femmes' biggest hit.  I.... I have no words.  I mean, it's awesome.  I just don't know how to describe it.  It's kind of lounge-y, kind of French poppy, kind of torch-song-like.

Help me out - how would you describe it?

Monday, April 1, 2013