Aug 282015
 

YouTube is filled with amateur cover artists. Most stink. On The ‘Tube extracts the exceptions.

Ethan-Gold

Ethan Gold’s got smarts – he graduated magna cum laude from Harvard. Ethan Gold’s got genes – his father Herbert is a novelist, and his twin brother Ari is a student-Oscar-winning director who plays ukulele in their band, the Gold Brothers. Ethan Gold’s got serious music credentials – aside from scoring his brother’s films, he’s released 2011’s Songs from a Toxic Apartment (Gold’s residence had enough mold and asbestos that when the Department of Public Health condemned it, he needed a gas mask to get his possessions), which won high praise from Pitchfork and others, and his new album Beings features fan favorite “Our Love is Beautiful.”

And Ethan Gold’s got a bedroom closet, where he sometimes goes to record some amazing covers.
Continue reading »

Aug 242015
 
little wings

Back in the late ’90s, there was a California band named Rodriguez that consisted of Matt Ward and Kyle Field.  (They went through more drummers than Spinal Tap.)  Rodriguez released only one album, but those two guys went on to create names for themselves.  Matt Ward shortened his name to M. Ward, and – among other projects – is now the “him” in the duo She & Him.  (The “she” is actress Zooey Deschanel.) Continue reading »

Aug 212015
 

Cover Classics takes a closer look at all-cover albums of the past, their genesis, and their legacy.

makrosoft

One of the perks of writing for Cover Me is the degree to which it gives you the chance to make discoveries. For instance, I was searching for some good Clash covers (more on why in a minute) and it led to find the 2006 album Stereo Also Playable Mono by MakroSoft. After listening to a few tracks, I got the impression that John Barry, Lalo Schifrin, and Ennio Morricone had gotten together, in a laboratory sponsored by Kraftwerk, and created film scores based on some of the immortal songs of the previous half century.
Continue reading »

Aug 182015
 
EzraFurman

A few years back, Ezra Furman dumped his band the Harpoons to go solo. Anyone familiar with the Ezra Furman and the Harpoons records – and you should be, Mysterious Power is one of the best rock and roll records of the decade – would have a hard time thinking they were holding him bach. They were pretty all over the place sonically, after all. But perhaps they were, as his latest album Perpetural Motion swings about even more wildly. Twisted doo-wop, lo-fi garage, twirly synth-pop, brash soul: the style changes from one song to the next, following his restless interests. And clearly he’s stayed restless, as he now has a five-song bonus EP too, a covers set available when you purchase the album at Rough Trade. Continue reading »

Aug 142015
 

Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.

elton

The Apollo space program was still in progress in 1972; Apollo 16 launched on April 16th of that year. Two days earlier, Elton John released “Rocket Man,” a look at a world where the occupation of astronaut came not with built-in heroism, but with the drudgery of any job, where going back to the old grind held more heavy sighs than shouts of triumph. That may have been the message, but it was easy to miss behind the ascending slide guitar and the soaring sing-along chorus, as top ten charts worldwide went on to prove.

Continue reading »

Aug 112015
 
Mike Coykendall

Roger Miller had an amazing life in his short 56 years. He first learned to play the guitar by Sheb Wooley (yes, the “Purple People Eater” guy). He  went on to play fiddle for Minnie Pearl’s band, drums for Faron Young and wrote the music for Walt Disney’s Robin Hood, where he also played the voice for the narrating rooster. He also won a Tony Award for his musical Big River, which is inspired by Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Continue reading »

Aug 102015
 
DeerTickNewport2015

Last year, Deer Tick played a triumphant main stage set at Newport Folk Festival. This year they didn’t have a proper fest show, but made up for it with four nights of sweaty afterparties at the town’s Blues Cafe. As has become a tradition, the shows featured a ton of guests, costumes, rarities, and covers. The last song of Friday night was a cover of the Grateful Dead‘s “Touch of Grey.” Continue reading »