Thursday, December 31, 2020

31 December 2020 - A "Heroes" Special

For many people, this David Bowie classic is seen as his greatest song.  It is a song that is seen as a catalyst for the reunification of Germany in the late 1980's - as it was heard on both sides and enjoyed together as he performed it live in 1987. It's been heard a lot in 2020 as well, for obvious reasons.

The inspirational message and history of the song has made it a favorite of many musicians.  This is pioneering metal band Motörhead performing the song.  It was a longtime favorite of theirs, and they do a great and strong version.

Next up we have Canadian folk group and Wicked Guilty favorite The East Pointers.  They recorded this take on a day off in their native PEI.  Hearing this song with a banjo accompaniment is something to behold.

In a similar folky vein, here is New Zealand legend Neil Finn - of Crowded House - performing the Bowie classic in his daily show, where he takes requests on his periodic show Fangradio.  It's delightful, and he does Bowie proud here.

Our next stop is at a performance in France by Bloc Party. Kele, much like Bowie, is an underappreciated vocalist who does this song proud.  

I wanted this to be our final stop.  When I saw David Bowie in 1991, Adrian Belew was his guitarist (and in fact, they had a released single together at the time - "Pretty Pink Rose" - which was fabulous in its own right).  This duet with Martha Wainright (daughter of Loudon, sister of Rufus, excellent musician in her own right) is both an off-kilter and at the same time fitting tribute to what is arguably Bowie's most beautiful song.  

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

30 December 2020 - Ashen Ringlets - Ivo

This song was originally performed and written by British ethereal pop group the Cocteau Twins.  This is a band that is practically impossible to cover.  The song's unusually title is a nod to 4AD Records founder and occasional Cocteau Twins producer Ivo Watts-Russell - and is lyrical gymnastics that this artist easily matches.

I personally think this music would not be out of place on 4AD.  Please check out their YouTube channel, and consider supporting them on Patreon.  Few artists are still making this shoegaze music, and I'd like to see more from this one.   

Friday, December 25, 2020

25 December 2020 - Alyssa Hankey - Back Door Santa

You say you want another cover of "Back Door Santa" today?  

Meet Alyssa Hankey.  If you like raspy voiced women and acoustic guitar, you are going to love this song.  I know I do.  If you do, go subscribe to her YouTube channel and seek out her music on Spotify. Do a small time artist a favor today, on this Christmas Day, and listen to her stuff.   

By the way, this cover is fire.  

25 December 2020 - Jet - Back Door Santa

Jet covered a Clarence Carter classic, and it is my gift to you this Christmas.  They managed to cover it without sounding like they were ripping off "Christmas in Hollis"....

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

23 December 2020 - Velvet Belly - The Man With The Child In His Eyes

I was today years old when I discovered this inventive 1997 cover of a Kate Bush classic - one of my favorites of hers, and a definite future Wicked Guilty Pleasures post - by Norwegian group Velvet Belly.   A lot of covers sound like the artist is trying to do an impersonation of the original.  This one is not that.  Velvet Belly truly takes the lyrics and music and does something new with the song.  Rather than light and airy, this version is practically bombastic.  

Friday, December 18, 2020

18 December 2020 - Mariah Carey - Joy To The World

Is it a Christmas song?  Yes.

Does it take a Three Dog Night hard left turn halfway through? Also yes.

Did we accidentally publish this two weeks ago and then unpublish it to republish it again?  You bet we did.  

Thursday, December 17, 2020

17 December 2020 - Acid Drinkers ft. Ania Brachaczek - Love Shack

Hey, I didn't expect a Polish thrash metal band to do a faithful cover of this song, either.  

But c'mon.  You're smiling, aren't you?  Isn't that what music is supposed to do?

Ania Brachaczek from SiQ fills in for Kate Pierson and most of Cindy Wilson's part (except, for some reason, "tiiiiiiiinnnn roof, rusted!") on this version and she's great in that role.

Rewarding those of you who came to this post late..... here they all are, doing the song live in 2014.  Watching Ania do the very different female parts in this song LIVE is really impressive.  Also, the band changes the lyrics to really communicate what the B-52's meant by "lovin'".  

Monday, December 14, 2020

14 December 2020 - Alex Guthrie and Jennifer Hudson – Lovely Day

As the story goes, Alex Guthrie was an Atlanta street musician who wanted more people to hear his music.... so of course big star Jennifer Hudson shows up to help him with that.  

The reality is, it was a commercial, but it's also an excellent and uplifting duet.  

Guthrie went on to be a contestant on The Voice in 2019. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

2 December 2002 - Seth Haapu & Stan Walker - Moemoeā

The song sounds familiar, doesn't it?  

It's a Crowded House cover, of this song. Stan Walker, the 2009 Australian Idol winner, from New Zealand, started singing the song - with blended English and native Maori lyrics - while on tour opening for Beyonce in 2014, as a way to pay tribute to New Zealand. In 2017, he and Seth Haapu recorded an all-Maori version. 

Last month, Stan Walker released a new version, bilingual - just like he used to sing live when opening for Beyonce.  His new album is live, with The Levites, and is available everywhere now.