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)
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