Thursday, June 25, 2020

25 June 2020 - Weezer - Africa

One of the most requested covers for me to post is this one.

It was similarly frequently requested that Weezer cover this Toto classic.  It was a Cleveland teenager named Mary Klym who requested that Weezer cover "Africa" on Twitter.

On May 24th, 2018, Weezer replied by posting this song.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

24 June 2020 - René Froger & Candy Dulfer - Baker Street

René Froger is a Dutch artist who took a while to become a successful artist.

Candy Dulfer is perhaps the best known saxaphonist of the late 1980s and early 1990s. She also happens to be Dutch.

This live performance by two moderate Dutch stars is a somewhat perfect pairing - at least for this song, with perhaps the best known saxophone solo of all time.  

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

23 June 2020 - Veruca Salt - My Sharona

If you ask me about my ten favorite covers of all time, this one would be in the conversation, without hesitation.   One of these days, I'm going to do that post.  It's going to be a tough one.

A B-side to the single "Victrola", Nina Gordon and Louise Post bring a much slower, darker feel to this song, a huge hit for The Knack.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

10 June 2020 - The Dixie Chicks - Goodbye Earl

I didn't post this because I'm a fan of Lauren Holly, Jane Krakowski and Dennis Franz - but the visuals they bring to the story this song tells.

I posted this because this might be the cheeriest song about domestic violence ever performed.  And it DOES tell a great and clear story.

And OK, zombie Dennis Franz.

I posted this because there's a great story and a controversy.

This song is a cover of a song originally recorded by country band Sons of the Desert - BUT there's a bit of a story here.  Soon after Sons of the Desert recorded the song for their planned album, the Dixie Chicks discovered the song and claimed it as their own.   Their shared record label parent company (different labels, both owned by Sony) sided with the ladies, and Sons of the Desert left Epic Records as a direct result. 

At any rate, this version is denser and more layered - so enjoy.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

9 June 2020 - Instituto Mexicano del Sonido - Sinfonía Agridulce

How about a Spanish cover of a Verve classic? Complete with a vague recreation of the video and added horns, this cover makes me smile, every time.

Instituto Mexicano del Sonido - Mexican Institute of Sound in English - is the brainchild of Camilo Lara and is part of a growing Mexican electronic movement.  This cover of the Verve song "Bittersweet Symphony" appears on the 2009 album Soy Sauce, which, in the case, would be sauce asserting its identity.

I don't feel good about that terrible joke, so let's get to the music.

Monday, June 8, 2020

8 June 2020 - Kelly Willis - Little Honey

When I was a student at St. Bonaventure University, I was a college radio DJ.  I was on late night and played what was known at the time as "alternative" or "New wave" music.  It was typical college/indie music of the period.

As you know from my two blogs 1) this is where and how I met my former co-writer, Scott Colvin, and 2) I am a fan of somewhat guilty pleasure music, so I pushed the envelope of definition of that format, which was mostly met positively.

Coincidentally, I discovered an alt-county artist named Kelly Willis.  At the time, MCA Records was trying to sell her as some sexpot artist - but she was - IS - much more than that.

Take this cover of Dave Alvin's "Little Honey", which originally appeared on the soundtrack to the motion picture Thelma and Louise.  Her huge emotive voice brings a different, angrier and yet still heartbroken feeling to the song. This is a live performance from 2016, 25 years after the original version was released.

I closed almost every show I did on WSBU from 1991 on with this song.  Was it an odd choice for someone who regularly played rock, new-wave, and punk music?  Maybe.  I didn't care.  It's a beautiful song, and alternative is alternative, be it rock or country.  It resonated with me and had a good end-of-show feel. 

So, this is the last song I played as a college radio DJ.  So, for that reason and so many more, it retains a lot of personal feeling for me to this day.

Here's the studio version of the song.  It was as fantastic then as it is today, almost three decades later.

Monday, June 1, 2020

1 June 2020 - First Aid Kit - America

Over this past weekend, a lot of American cities saw protests and riots, in support of George Floyd, who was killed in police custody in Minneapolis.  We are in what seems like the darkest timeline, and between this and the coronavirus pandemic, it seems like 2020 is never-ending.

I struggled with what to post here.

I chose to go with a cover of a very innocent and idealistic Simon & Garfunkel song that celebrates the beauty of our country and the idealism of youth.  The cover is performed by two Swedish sisters, Johanna & Anna Söderberg, and they do a fine job of paying proper tribute to Paul Simon's composition.