September Roundup

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Sep 302010

Every month I write about what a big month it was. It’s starting to feel disingenuous, but things are growing so fast around here that each month is big. Take September. Would a month where MTV began syndicating the site and we opened our doors to outside writers count as a big month? I think so. And our months are about to get even bigger. In the next few weeks we’ll begin unleashing the new Cover Me dream team. Remember that you can always apply to join the crew. Business/ad folks, web designers, and visual artists are especially encouraged.

Next month, for instance, marks Cover Me’s third year. Hard to believe…but I’ll save the misty-eyed nostalgia for then. The point is, we’ll be celebrating hard with special covers, posts, premieres, and much more. I don’t want to give anything away, but things are building towards an epic day. October 29th. Mark your calendars.

As always, we end the month by collecting some of our favorite posts. If you’ve just joined us or if you simply fell behind, see the best of what you missed below. Whether you want dozens of live tunes by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals or a whole slew of killer premieres, Cover Me’s got you, well, covered. Continue reading »

Sep 302010

Recently we’ve seen quite a few Roots posts (1, 2, 3). We’ve also seen some Jimmy Fallon. We haven’t yet posted the two together though (funny, given that they hang out five nights a week). Well now we can. They’ve even brought along Justin Timberlake, the best third wheel ever.

The trio (Timberlake, Fallon, Roots) takes us through a four-minute medley of rap hits from yesterday and today on last night’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. It starts with the Sugarhill Gang and ends with Jay-Z (“Empire State of Mind”). In between they tackle Eminem, Tupac, Kanye, Soulja Boy – well, pretty much everyone. Even the Roots’ own “The Seed 2.0” gets the Timb-Fall treatment. Continue reading »

Sep 302010

The Dead Weather are great and all, but the chances to listen to Jack White rip on guitar have gotten rarer and rarer. Well, here’s one. His partners-in-awesome are the Secret Sisters, a duo he produces on his Third Man Records label. For their latest 7”, the two covered Johnny Cash’s “Big River.” Jack White lends some furious Stripes-style axe, soloing his brains out.

White may be the big story here, but don’t discount the Sisters. Laura and Lydia Rogers more than hold their own with powerful gospel-tinged vocals that blast as loud as White. As if those three weren’t enough, My Morning Jacket’s Carl Broemel joins in on steel guitar (thanks to Pitchfork for the heads up).

Listen to the track below. Also, download an older White-Cash combo: the White Stripes playing “Get Rhythm” in 2005. Or, more accurately, Jack singing the lyrics to “Get Rhythm” while playing the Stripes’ own “Cannon.” Continue reading »

Sep 302010

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

Bruce Springsteen first recorded Nebraska with the full E Street Band. Known as “electric Nebraska,” it’s the holy grail for Boss collectors. Why? Because he threw out all those recordings and released the album using his solo demos instead. The bare-bones disc contains the songs and little else, inviting cover embellishment.

Take “Atlantic City.” The original features a double-tracked Bruce strumming on guitar. A nice enough performance, but not one that gives you much to grab onto. The covers, though, morphed the tune into a Springsteen classic. The Band brought in a mandolin hoedown. The Hold Steady blasted forth with some horn-infused rock and roll. Now Kingsbury comes along to bridge the gap. What starts as an acoustic strum gradually adds violin and tasteful synthesizer (it exists). It feels like it’s about to explode, but never quite boils over. Continue reading »

Sep 292010

Clare Burson first crossed our radar with her swooning cover of the Arcade Fire’s “We Used to Wait.” We fell instantly in love with the Brooklyn songwriter and now she’s back with a couple cover premieres. This woman is on a roll. Just last week the New York Times compared her recent cheese-inspired album Silver & Ash with Bruce Springsteen’s The Rising. High praise.

Today’s tunes continue the string of successes. Burson first grooves through the Magnetic Fields’ “With Whom to Dance?” and then layers on the spooky tenderness for INXS’s “Never Tear Us Apart.” We checked in with Burson to tell us more about the tunes. Give ‘em a listen and read what she had to say below. Continue reading »

Sep 292010

For a mainstream pop star, Kylie Minogue boasts a surprisingly quirky resume. The wider world may know her for megahits like “Locomotion” and “Can’t Get You Out of My Head,” but her work reaches beyond chart-toppers (though lord knows she has plenty). In 2004 she dueted with Nick Cave, about the least “pop” individual on the planet, on the murder ballad “Where the Wild Roses Grow.” Then just a couple weeks ago she appeared on British synthpop duo Hurts’ new album Happiness, dueting on “Devotion” and raising their profile considerably.

Minogue continued the Kylie Loves Hurts Promotional Tour on BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge. This time, she tackles “Wonderful Life,” one of the world’s more upbeat songs about suicide. “It’s basically based on two extremes: the first being a man who wants to kill himself and the second being love at first sight,” singer Theo Hutchcraft told Digital Spy. “He’s standing on the bridge about to jump and he’s stopped by a woman. They see each other and fall in love.” Continue reading »