Thursday, May 18, 2023

18 May 2023 - Breanne Düren - Everlasting Light

Remember when I said Breanne Düren was an outstanding vocalist in her own right?

You should.  I literally said it two minutes ago.   

She's good enough to get me to post on this blog, so that's something.  

Here she is, all by herself, brilliantly covering The Black Keys.  

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

2 May 2023 - An "If You Could Read My Mind" Special

Sadly, it is usually the passing of an artist that gets me off my ass to write on this blog.   

Gordon Lightfoot's passing was enough to do that.  I know I have twice featured covers of arguably his best known song, but there are so many other great tributes. 

I want to open this with a personal note: the original version of this song absolutely blows me away with emotion.  I find it very hard to listen to, but at the same time, it is a fabulous song.   

The late Glen Campbell, a fellow storyteller himself, paid great tribute to Lightfoot's worldwide #1 - arguably the greatest breakup song every written.  

I almost left this abomination off, but I didn't.

House music collective Stars on 54 did an electronic cover of this song that was a hit in 1998.  

You can skip this one.  Or don't  It's nothing if not interesting. 

A more surprisinging rich version was done in 2019 by former Go-Go Belinda Carlisle.  It's rich and beautiful - her raspy voice bringing serious gravitas to the already deep song.   

She also paid great tribute to Lightfoot on Twitter.  I'll let her say it best.  

There are so many great covers of this song, I could not include them all without being here all day writing.  I wanted to include one more.

The greatest tribute I can think of with which to end this post is one Canadian legend covering another Canadian legend, and with that, I bring you Neil Young. 

Monday, April 10, 2023

10 April 2023 - The Breeders - Freed Pig

This song, originally performed by Sebadoh, was written by Lou Barlow about his ex-Dinosaur Jr. bandmate J Mascis.  

This version, from the Head to Toe EP, was produced by J Mascis.  


That's funny.

I wonder if it was his idea.  

Anyway, they did a great job on the cover.  

Friday, March 24, 2023

24 March 2023 - Lights - How You Remind Me

As we think about expanding our Hall of Fame on Wicked Guilty Pleasures, let's welcome the latest Canadian Music Hall of Famer.

Oh, not Lights.  Nickelback.  She's just covering them.  Brilliantly.  

Friday, March 3, 2023

3 March 2023 - Lisa LeBlanc - Ace of Spades

Here, today's Wicked Guilty Pleasure, New Brunswick native Lisa LeBlanc, shows us her banjo skills and her understanding of how Motörhead should be played.  

I honestly cannot stop listening to this.  It's pretty amazing.  

Thursday, February 16, 2023

16 February 2023 - Frank Turner - Bob

I never truly considered getting a tattoo until I had a stroke a year before the “plague” hit the world.

Lying in a hospital bed for weeks of rehab and listening to my iPod at night will do that to you. I probably listened to Frank Turner’s “I Still Believe,” dozens of times in those weeks. I would meditate on this single line from that song, “Now who’d have thought that after all something so simple as rock and roll will save us all?”

I was convinced that when I got out of that place and got “well enough” I would get that line tattooed on my arm as a reminder of where I was and what I wanted to be. After my release I had an uphill battle with glorious victories, and annoying failures. Went back to work after a few weeks of my release (albeit in four-hour shifts) and was able to drive after five months. Sadly, playing guitar proved too frustrating and typing on cellphones or laptops is still a freaking chore (left hand freely types away while right hand labors behind frustrating me with errors as every misstep drives me bonkers.

But the greatest moment in the recovery process came just before I was headed to Jamaica for my annual vacation. My doctor, after a boring year of forced, yet absolutely necessary sobriety, cleared me to drink alcohol with one caveat: drink like an adult and not like a frat guy. I happily complied. I then thought, “I’m back. When I return from my trip, I’m gonna get that tattoo.”

Had a great vacation. Came home and saw some friends at the bar. We laughed about some threatening virus as we were saying our goodbyes.


F@cking Covid.

Suddenly everything fun was over. Not for days, or weeks, or months, but years. We seem to be getting back to a new normal, but the urge to get that Frank Turner lyric etched onto my skin has waned. It’s still a beautiful thought.

Anyway, here we are with Frank covering “Bob” by NOFX. The video is very meta as NOFX portrays Frank’s band covering themselves. "What is Bob gonna do now that he can't drink?" for a while there, I could certainly relate. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 9, 2023

9 February 2023 - Molly Tuttle - Olympia WA

The first five Rancid albums are “go to” albums for me (the records after…not so much but they each had their “moments”). That said, they are one of my favorite bands ever. …And Out Come The Wolves is punk perfection.

Over the years I discovered that I like bluegrass music, too. Well, if the singer is a woman. I can’t think of a male bluegrass singer I like…and that includes Billy Strings who everyone seems to dig. Hell, I even hated Sturgill Simpson’s two bluegrass albums where he reworked his perfect contributions to country music into a bluegrass bore. Gimme Sarah Jarosz, Sierra Hull, Alison Krauss, Rhonda Vincent and the like and I swoon. It’s time to now add Molly Tuttle to that impressive list.

And as the world is now learning of her via her latest album Crooked Tree (which received a couple Grammy nods), I’m still grooving to her previous album …But I’d Rather Be With You which includes this tasty Rancid cover, among others.

  • Random Point 1: I went to Olympia High School. Totally unrelated to this song.
  • Random Point 2: I went to Olympia High School with the drummer of Mastodon. He was two years younger, and we didn’t know each other (surprisingly I was told this bit of info on Facebook by my considerably shocked friends from high school). This random point is even funnier to me as I’ve been a huge Mastodon fan for at least 15 years.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

1 February 2023 - The Interrupters - Bad Guy

After 20 years my truck said “no more” in a liquor store parking lot. Lots of smoke, cussing and believe it or not laughing. Needless to say, the new truck I purchased hours later is amazing. First vehicle I have ever owned without a tape deck or CD player. Eek!

It has XM though, which I love (Hits 1 and Outlaw Radio rule). I also discovered the Faction Punk station which has become my go to. I also found my new favorite band (at the moment).

The Interrupters.

The first time I heard them I was blown away. I told virtually everyone, “Dude, they’re like a female fronted Rancid,” not knowing they were signed to Tim Armstrong’s Hellcat Records. Fortunately, no one called me out on it (to be honest I doubt they cared).

Anyway, while picking up everything I could find by them on vinyl, I discovered this Billie Eilish cover on their Live in Tokyo album.


Tuesday, January 31, 2023

31 January 2023 - Rolling Quartz - Misery Business

Two days, two covers by Rolling Quartz?

Well, this time, 1) it's in English 2) it's a Paramore classic 3) it rocks really hard.  I guess #3 was the same as yesterday, but it felt like I needed to say it.  

Monday, January 30, 2023

30 January 2023 - Rolling Quartz - Zitti E Buoni

Korean girl rock band Rolling Quartz covering Italian Eurovision winners Måneskin.

Does that sentence sound strange?  Maybe.  It shouldn't, although we've come to expect K-Pop and not K-Rock.  Does the cover rock?  Holy hell, yes it does.  

That was the "Hot" version.  Rolling Quartz rocks this song so hard, they had to do a "Cool" version, too.

I don't know if this is hot or cool.  I can tell you that, the first time they performed the song was live, and no, they don't speak Italian.  

Thursday, January 12, 2023

12 January 2023 - Kim Petras - Running Up That Hill

In 2022, the Netflix show Stranger Things featured an old synth-heavy Kate Bush song.  That song ended up being a bigger hit in 2022 than its original release in 1985.  

Covers followed.

It would make sense that German synth-heavy artist Kim Petras would come with a great version of the song.  

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

11 January 2023 - Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You

I will rarely post a song I dislike.  



This is one of them.  And it's not that it's a bad song.  It isn't.  Whitney OWNS the hell out of Dolly's song.  That's doubtless.  Even Dolly admits that.  

It's just not the song I grew up with.  I don't dislike it on its merits.  I dislike it because it isn't Dolly.  But I can appreciate that it's a great performance of a great song.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

10 January 2022 - Ra Ra Riot - Valerie

In 2012, American indie band Ra Ra Rior released a cover of this Steve Winwood classic between albums.  It's a faithful cover, with maybe even a little more synth than the original.  Give it a go.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

4 January 2023 - Miley Cyrus and David Byrne - Let's Dance

There are very few times that I'm completely speechless.

This is one of them. 

Completely unexpected.   

I didn't expect David Byrne to hold up the bravado and stage presence of David Bowie.  I didn't expect Miley Cyrus to pair so well with him.  

And yet, here we are.