July Roundup

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Jul 302010
 

July was a busy month here at Cover Me. How busy? Let’s put it in some perspective. Last July we wrote 11 posts. This July? 46. Not too shabby. With things coming so fast though, it can be easy to miss something cool. So once a month we round up some of the month’s most popular posts, plus a few personal favorites. We’ve got July’s best Features, News, Videos, Downloads, and Songs of the Day laid out below. See what you missed; see what you want to revisit; see what you want to tell your friends about (nudge!). Plus, don’t forget, only three days left to vote for what disco hit you want to hear the Peptides cover! It’s a tie as I write this, so start campaigning for your pick!

As always, feedback is appreciated. Drop a note in the comments below and let us know what you think about the site, the posts, or just the month of July in general. See you in August!

Features

Corey TuT Brings a Little Trent Reznor to Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know” (Cover Me Premiere) | TuT wonders what Nine Inch Nail would sound like covering Alanis for the song you chose in June’s Cover Commissions. Answer: weird, rocking, amazing.
In the Spotlight: Allison Crowe
Five Good Covers: Love Will Tear Us Apart (Joy Division)
Under the Radar: edibleRed
Review: Amanda Palmer Performs the Popular Hits of Radiohead Continue reading »

Jul 302010
 

A few weeks ago we saw Jack White and Dave Grohl cover Paul McCartney at the White House as a preview of the PBS special: Paul McCartney: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. The full special aired Wednesday night, but so far only two videos have hit the interweb. The first is Elvis Costello, who brings his froggy drawl to “Penny Lane” alongside a piccolo trumpet. A cute story about first hearing the song on the radio precedes the cover.

But Elvis Costello’s impressive-as-always performance isn’t the real story here. The Jonas Brothers take on “Drive My Car,” which will likely provoke outrage from anyone reading this. Prepare to be pleasantly surprised. Presumably invited to appease the Obama girls, they turn in a shockingly decent performance! Being accompanied by McCartney’s band surely helps, but their singing and playing doesn’t sound that far off the original. While ordinarily a carbon-copy cover would be a bad thing, I give the JoBros credit for even managing. Continue reading »

Jul 302010
 

Song of the Day posts one cool cover every morning. Catch up on past installments here.

2010 is only half over, but LCD Soundsystem’s new (and supposedly final) album This Is Happening is already being hailed as one of the year’s best. It got a 9.2 from Pitchfork – about as close to a perfect score as they give these days – and hit number one on Amazon.com’s midyear best-of list. Not bad for a frumpy 40-year old hipster writing songs about detachment.

With such love already pouring in, it’s no surprise the covers have begun arriving as well. First to catch our eye was See Green, who tackled the album’s second single, “I Can Change.” The ‘80s-throwback synths vanish in the wake of thudding drums, crunchy guitar riffs, and Courtenay Green’s grrrl-power vocals. The break where some guy starts shouting out random LCD song titles adds an endearingly quirky touch. Continue reading »

Jul 292010
 

In our post on Street Sweeper Social Club’s “Paper Planes” cover, we predicted their version of “Mama Said Knock You Out” would be “explode-your-face dynamite.” Call it prophesy or just an ear for the inevitable, but now we can hear that LL Cool J cover and confirm that it’s exactly as brain-shattering as expected. Tom Morello bursts forward with shrieking guitar while Boots Riley channels LL almost as well as Bob Dylan did.

The cut comes off their upcoming The Ghetto Blaster EP, due August 10th. Don’t call it a comeback! (via MissInfo) Continue reading »

Jul 292010
 

Song of the Day posts one cool cover every morning. Catch up on past installments here.

Gary U.S. Bonds is often overlooked in the annals of rock history. To some degree, this is fair. His presence didn’t change much. While his sound was never particularly innovative though, his one hit “Quarter to Three” is 1950s rock and roll bliss (despite the fact it dropped in ’61). These days more fans remember the song for Bruce Springsteen than U.S. Bonds though. The Boss closed his shows for decades with “Quarter to Three,” sometimes stretching it out to fifteen minutes or more, complete with James Brown passing-out shtick.

Bonds made a moderate comeback in the ‘80s and once again, the world has Springsteen to thank. For Bond’s 1981 album Dedication, Bruce wrote three songs, sang on one, and co-produced the whole thing with Little Steven. If Bonds’ backing group sounds like the E Street Band, that’s because it is the E Street Band. Having gotten many miles out of “Quarter to Three,” the whole gang repaid the favor by giving Bonds the muscular sound (and star power) his talent demanded.

The album includes covers of the traditional “Jolé Blon,” Bob Dylan’s “From a Buick 6,” and this, Jackson Browne’s lite-FM staple “The Pretender.” Bond goes high octane on it, bringing in a backing chorus to boost the E Street sound even further. It won’t get you dancing ‘til quarter to three, but it’ll show you just what can happen to a faded has-been when the right people remember. Continue reading »

Jul 282010
 

In the Spotlight showcases a cross-section of an artist’s cover work. View past installments, then post suggestions for future picks in the comments!

There are some voices that speak (or sing) for themselves. You know the ones. Voices where it doesn’t matter what they sing. Voices where it doesn’t really matter what instruments support them. Solomon Burke has such a voice. Jeff Buckley had it. Allison Crowe has it too.

Born in British Columbia, Crowe has amassed a loyal following in Canada and Europe. The songwriter’s songwriter pure tones sound like a bell, no show-off acrobatics necessary. The amazing thing isn’t just that she performs the best version of Leonard Cohen‘s oft-covered “Hallelujah” (sorry Jeff); the amazing thing is that she does so using the same solo piano style that everyone else does. There’s nothing particularly creative about it; her voice is just that good! So throw all those other “sensitive” covers. This one’s the keeper.

Her others are equally charming. The Beatles’ “In My Life” gets the uplifting piano too, while Cyndi Lauper‘s “Time after Time” mixes it up with – wait for it – a guitar! A full band joins in for Pearl Jam’s “Indifference” and the Rolling Stones’ “Shine a Light,” but as always Crowe’s voice is the star. Continue reading »