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.