Feb 282010

Shuffle Sundays is a weekly feature in which we feature a cover chosen at random by my iTunes shuffle. The songs will usually be good, occasionally be bad, always be interesting. All downloads will only be available for one week, so get them while you can.

As a kid I remember watching VH1’s Top 80 of the 80s music video countdown and being enthralled by the clip for Billy Idol’s “White Wedding.” The candelabra, the leather glove and, of course, the sneer — it was all so wonderfully trashy. No one unwraps a head scarf quite like Billy.

Billy’s milked the wedding thing ever since, most notably in his star Wedding Singer cameo alongside Adam Sandler. Who would expect ol’ Billy I. to wax poetic on respecting women?

Still with us? Good. Named after a group of 19th-century waitress serving travelers headed West, the Harvey Girls are a Kansas duo who put out a fantastic covers album called Our History Is Your Kitsch a few years ago. It features covers of Blue Öyster Cult, Alan Parsons Project and, of course, Billy Idol. You can download it for free on their website.

The Harvey Girls – White Wedding (Billy Idol) [Buy]

What do you think? Sound off in the comments section below.

Feb 272010

Cover News is a weekly feature keeping you up to date on the goings-on in the world of cover tunes, tribute albums, etc. Plus, at the bottom we post the array of cover tunes we’ve been sent in the past week. Have you recorded a cool cover? Send an mp3 to the address on the right! As always, follow Cover Me on Twitter for the latest news.

Angélique Kidjo

This Week’s News

Remember when Weezer was good? Kristy Brannon does. Check out her “Say It Ain’t So” recorded for Cover Me. [Cover Me]

Angélique Kidjo is putting a new spin on the whole cover album thing, singing songs that inspired her as a child growing up in Benin. The songs range from a traditional lullaby to “Cold Sweat,” with Bono and John Legend along for the ride. [Kidjo]

Y’all want 14 more Lady Gaga covers? Thought so. [Twitter]

I don’t know what “I Put a Spell on You” has to do with Haiti, but after so many awful choices (“Everybody Hurts”…really??) that’s a blessing. Shane MacGowan (sober!), Johnny Depp (somber!) and friends sing it for charity. [YouTube]

Way back in November of 2008 we posted a full-album cover set of In Rainbows. If we did it again, we’d have to include Bat For Lashes’ string quartet-assisted version of “All I Need.” [24 Bit]

We’d also include Oh No Ono’s “Weird Fishes/Arpeggi.” Why is everyone loving on Rainbows all of a sudden? [Stereogum]

Do the D.A.N.C.E. I mean it! Do it now! [Et Musique Pourtous]

Bettye LaVette’s rendition of “Love Reign O’er Me” at 2008’s Kennedy Center Honors apparently brought Pete Townshend to tears. He can cry all over again when it comes out on Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook. [Paste]

These days Conway Twitty is best known as a long-running Family Guy gag, but he made music at one point too. Bonnie “Prince” Billy remembers. [My Old Kentucky Home]

While the world awaits a new My Morning Jacket album, Jim James is off performing some Valentine’s Day covers for the swooning masses. [You Ain’t No Picasso]

The XX have been getting so much blog love, it was only a matter of time before the covers started rolling in. Listen to El Perro del Mar’s take on “Shelter” at a recent NYC show. [Vimeo]

After weird-ifying The Velvet Underground & Nico and Songs of Leonard Cohen, Beck has just finished covering Skip Spence’s Oar with help from Feist. [Musical Pairings]

When Friendly Fires aren’t stirring shit up with Radiohead, they make music. Sometimes people cover that music. [Stereogum]

Cover Dylan, win fame and fortune! [Dylan Radio]

This Week’s Submissions

DREAMS – In Dreams (Roy Orbison) [more]

Luc & Nóe – 12:51 (The Strokes) [more]

My Favorite Robot – Fascination Street (The Cure) [more]

NewDay – Fire Love (Lil Wayne/Sade) [more]

Paper the Operator – I Get Wet (Andrew W.K.) [more]

Duke Robillard – Bye Bye Blues (Hamm/Bennett/Lown/Gray) [more]

Julian Shah-Tayler – Just Like Heaven (The Cure) [more]

Seth Shellhouse – I’ll Keep It With Mine (Bob Dylan) [more]

The Steel Wheels – Red Wing (Trad.) [more]

The Steel Wheels – Workin’ on a Building (Trad.) [more]

Send your cover to the address on the right for inclusion!

Feb 252010

Cover Commissions is a monthly series in which a featured artist covers a reader-selected song for this blog. Any artists interested in participating, email me at the address on the right.

These days Weezer is an unfunny joke, but it seems the classics don’t go out of style. In January’s poll for what song you wanted Kristy Brannon to cover, “Say It Ain’t So” won by the biggest landslide in Commissions history. I think that’s what the pols would call a mandate.

Unfortunately, frontman Rivers Cuomo probably won’t stop making YouTube-meme videos or party jams with Lil Wayne anytime soon. Fans must content themselves with Blue Album and Pinkerton, albums that have provided consolation in one form or another to disillusioned and isolated teenagers (ie. all of them) since time immemorial (ie. 1994).

Brannon strips bare the daddy issues of “Say It Ain’t So” with an acoustic cover that sounds so natural you forget that the original was actually pretty loud. She describes the recording process:

I learned to play guitar doing Weezer covers so I’m really glad I got to do this song! Weezer has to be one of my favorite bands, [but] I wasn’t that familiar with this particular song until I started using Pandora radio and it came up a million times. Eventually it was so stuck in my head that I had to learn it to play it myself.

I recorded the guitar track first and put on headphones to sing so I wonder what my roommate thought hearing me sing a song with no music over and over again in my room. I tried to sing it really quietly but it sounded so creepy and way too high pitched so I eventually just turned the mic around. It sounds like I’m far away but I kind of like that sound.

A far away recording seems thematically appropriate for a song with lyrics like “This way is a waterslide away from me that takes you further every day.” Whatever that means.

Kristy Brannon – Say It Ain’t So (Weezer)

Check out Kristy’s website and MySpace for more info, then go download her new EP The Untold Story for free at BandCamp.

This mp3 may be freely shared with the artist’s blessing. Post it on your blog, send it to your friends, tweet it to the world. When you share this though, please include a link to this site. Cover Commissions is a monthly occurrence. Check back for future installments.

Feb 202010

Cover News is a weekly feature keeping you up to date on the goings-on in the world of cover tunes, tribute albums, etc. Plus, at the bottom we post the array of cover tunes we’ve been sent in the past week. Have you recorded a cool cover? Send an mp3 to the address on the right! As always, follow Cover Me on Twitter for the latest news.

New Order

This Week’s News

Last week’s Lady Gaga covers post was such a hit we’re posting bonus Gaga covers this evening on the Twitter machine… [Twitter]

Akron/Family invite you to cover their song “Woody Guthrie’s America.” Send it to them and you’ll snag free show tickets (or just listen to other people’s)! [Akron/Family]

Many people turned onto the debut by blog darlings Girls were disappointed that “Lust for Life” wasn’t an Iggy Pop cover. However, “The End of the World” is definitely a Skeeter Davis cover. [Stereogum]

The new version of “We Are the World” debuts. Justin Bieber and Barbra Streisand, together at last! Ugh. [YouTube]

The world does not need a Burt Bacharach covers album. But it does need collaborations by members of Wilco, Sonic Youth and Jim O’Rourke. Mixed blessing. [24 Bit]

The Twilight Singers cover “When Doves Cry.” Get it now before the Purple One’s lawyers attack. [Aquarium Drunkard]

Robert Smith of The Cure covers an Alice in Wonderland song no one remembered existed. I feel like there’s some irony there. [YouTube]

Jeff Beck is prepping an album of standards and classics of the American songbook. Hope orchestral arrangements doesn’t mean no guitar. [Billboard]

Special treat: Three preview tracks from the upcoming Ceremony: A New Order Tribute in Submissions below. For more: [Ceremony]

This Week’s Submissions

Moussa Clarke and John Ashby – And the Beat Goes On (The Whispers) [more]

Crash Kings – Hey Bulldog (The Beatles) [more]

Cymbals Eat Guitars – Ballad of Big Nothing (Elliott Smith) [more]

The Flying Change – Someone Great (LCD Soundsystem) [more]

Garden on a Trampoline – Bad Romance (Lady Gaga) [more]

The Marches – Black Swan (Thom Yorke) [more]

From Ceremony: A New Order Tribute:

Detachments – The Perfect Kiss [more]

Kites with Lights – Dream Attack [more]

Pocket ft. Shaun Robinson and Tracy Shedd – Sub-Culture [more]

Send your cover to the address on the right for inclusion!

Feb 152010

A covers post devoted to Lady Gaga is long overdue. I only held off for so long because I figured there wouldn’t be enough material. Boy was that wrong! Every one of her tunes seems to have a dozen unique and creative reinterpretations. These are some of the best. Ten really isn’t enough though, so look for a bonus set on Twitter later this week.

Corey TuT – Bad Romance
Joe Strummer has returned, and he’s blowing minds and taking names with rough-and-ready cowboy-punk Gaga covers. [Buy]

Le Peep – Paparazzi
No one remembers (or cares) who won anything at MTV’s Video Music Awards last year, but who can forget that bizarre bloody death sequence that closed her performance? A metaphor for the sacrificial nature of celebrity or just an excuse for weird outfits? You never can tell. [Buy]

No Monster Club – Summergirl
One of Gaga’s lesser-known tunes, “Summerboy” gets a gender switcheroo in a surf-fuzz transformation that sounds like the Beach Boys played through the worst speakers ever. [Buy]

Maximo Park – Just Dance
When this became Lady Gaga’s first hit, few predicted how huge this woman would become. Listening to it in the context of her other singles, what stands out is how ordinary it is. Also, I’m pretty sure Ke$ha copied this music verbatim for “Tik Tok.” [Buy]

Brendan Kennedy – Boys Boys Boys
Kennedy keeps the gender intact here, rumbling his way through a churning drum-machine cover. “Glitter mixed with rock and roll” sounds like a good description of Gaga herself. [Buy]

Jocelyn Scofield – Speechless
Just when you thought no one made power ballads anymore. Elton-approved. [Buy]

Death in Plains – Brown Eyes
Van Morrison’s “Brown-Eyed Girl” was originally titled “Brown-Skinned Girl” which, despite its incredibly disregard for anything PC, does make more sense with the lyrics. Wonder if this tune started the same way. After all… [Buy]

Kenny Mellman – Alejandro
…Gaga doesn’t veer away from line-toeing racial fetishism. Bonus shout out to Our Hit Parade, a fantastic blog that features covers of dozens of current pop hits, many be Mellman himself. [Buy]

Scientifika – LoveGame
Scientifika works out of Norwich, VT, just across the river from where I went to school. It makes me want to track them down and bask in their grunge-thrash brilliance. [Buy]

You Me At Six – Poker Face
Cover Me has hosted many, many covers of this one. Download this rock assault, then move on various renditions by Orba Square, Leftover Cuties, Weezer and Ben’s Brother (a Best Cover Song of 2009). [Buy]

Feb 132010

Cover News is a weekly feature keeping you up to date on the goings-on in the world of cover tunes, tribute albums, etc. Plus, at the bottom we post the array of cover tunes we’ve been sent in the past week. Have you recorded a cool cover? Send an mp3 to the address on the right!
 As always, follow Cover Me on Twitter for the latest news.

Vampire Weekend

This Week’s News

On Thursday we debuted a brand-new feature: Five Good Covers. Any ideas for future installments? [Cover Me]

Valentine’s Day is coming up! What could be more appropriate than Vampire Weekend covering Rancid? Answer: Absolutely anything. [Abeano]

Epic list of Decemberists covers. Finally I’ve tracked down a recording of them doing “The Weight” with Mavis Staples at Bonnaroo ’07. [You Ain’t No Picasso]

The Who may have embarrassed themselves at the Super Bowl, but the Postelles version of “I Can’t Explain” promises redemption. [Examiner]

The Air Force aired a Super Bowl ad containing an unauthorized instrumental White Stripes cover. Add this to the list of battles the military should never have gotten into. [Third Man Records]

YACHT cover Weezer’s “Holiday.” Teaser: Look for more Weez cover excitement here next week. [Tumblr]

Johnny Cash’s American VI will be his final album (probably). His version of “Ain’t No Grave” hints that it may be one of his best too. [Spinner]

Wilco cover Buffalo Springfield’s “Broken Arrows.” Jeff Tweedy likes Neil Young? Who’d have guessed! [YouTube]

Speaking of Neil Young, Graham Nash is the subject of a new tribute album. I hope it’s folksy! [Grass Roots Record Co.]

Cold War Kids (and Fiona Apple and She & Him) cover songs written by actual kids. Yes, very cute, but what are the odds of this actually being good? [Pitchfork]

Jersey ska punks Streetlight Manifesto have been teasing fans with the possibility of an eight-disc project for over a year now, but parts of the first disc are starting to leak. First up: their version of Radiohead’s “Just.” It’s loud. [Strike Gently]

This Week’s Submissions

Commuter – Always on My Mind (Brenda Lee) [more]

Jon Hardy & The Public – Where Did Our Love Go? (The Supremes) [more]

Julian Shah-Tayler – Joan of Arc (Leonard Cohen) [more]

That Noise – Sex on Fire (Kings of Leon) [more]

Send your cover to the address on the right for inclusion!