Cover Commissions is a monthly series in which a featured artist produces a special cover for this blog. Readers choose the song from a list of suggestions provided by the artist. Any artists interested in participating in a future installment, please email Cover Me at the address on the right.
Once upon a time there were two young men going to college in Wisconsin. Being in Wisconsin, they didn’t have much to do except eat cheese and be cold. One day Student A (Joe Maurer) heard Student B (Lucas Stangl) rocking out in his dorm room. He invited him over for a jam session.
Coconut and the Duke was born.
One jam session became many jam sessions. Wisconsin became Pennsylvania-New York. College became the real world. Over the years Joe and Lucas kept recording, eventually releasing EP and, last year, an album, In the Bamboo Forest.
Joe (Coconut) and Lucas (the Duke) describe their music as “invasive folk,” which is as good a term as any. Their songs have hilarious names like “Venison Jerky” and “Skinny Dipping with Your Hot Sister,” but are delicately produced acoustic jams that incorporate mandolin and ukulele. Check out In the Bamboo Forest at CD Baby or iTunes, then head to their website to download their 2008 We’ll All Be Homemade Boats Someday EP for free.
Last August the duo began a “Cover of the Month” series on their website. Since kicking things off with Eddie Money’s “Two Tickets to Paradise,” they’ve tackled everyone from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Jesus Christ: Superstar. Here’s a couple samples — get the rest at their site.
This month, they’re doing a special cover as April’s Cover Commissions artist. What song? It’s your call.
Each of the ten choices below is linked to a YouTube video. Listen to the originals, listen to Coconut and the Duke, then vote for what song you want to hear them tackle in the poll on the right.
Arcade Fire – Wake Up
Bon Jovi – Livin’ on a Prayer
Calexico – Writer’s Minor Holiday
Dizzy Gillespie – Con Alma
David Grisman – Japan
Jesse Harris (via Norah Jones) – Don’t Know Why
The Kinks – Sunny Afternoon
The National – Bloodbuzz Ohio
Shania Twain – Man! I Feel Like a Woman!
The Velvet Underground & Nico – Femme Fatale
Voting closes in one week, so get deciding! Vote in the poll on the right.