Song of the Day posts one cool cover every morning. Catch up on past installments here.
Yesterday we heard the Walkmen cover “Driver 8,” so we’ll keep the R.E.M. momentum going with arguably their most famous song and inarguably the most famously mandolin riff in popular music. Think how many high schoolers picked up the mandolin to learn this run. And think how many, upon learning it, realized they knew no other songs that featured the mandolin. Whoops.
One way to avoid this is to perform the song without a mandolin at all, as Amber Rubarth does. Her twee-folk lament needs just a gentle guitar melody and some high-pitched harmonies. We checked in with her to find out more; here’s what she said:
A friend of mine has a great theater company in Venice, CA called Bagavagabonds and together with Filter Magazine they were putting together a big Film / Music / Art event called Dream Art Explosion. I was asked to record a cover song for it that mentioned the word “Dream.” Other artists involved were Cold War Kids, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, and Band of Horses. I posted for suggestions on Facebook and Twitter and got at least 500 responses within the first day. Listened to every one and tried some out. I wanted to find something I could really own and put my personal spin on, and at the last minute as I was browsing through Rolling Stone‘s “500 Greatest Songs” I ran across R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion” which has always been a favorite of mine, and recorded that.
Now…off to find those other tracks.