Jun 172013

They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s special day with other people singing his or her songs. Let others do the work for a while. Happy birthday!

Today, Eric Boucher turns 55 years old. This might not interest you, unless you know that his stage name is Jello Biafra. Which still might not interest you, unless you like provocative, politically charged hardcore (or need to).
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Jun 142013

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!

My mother raised me on Dylan. In my house when I was a kid, there was the holy trinity — which was Leonard Cohen, Van Morrison and Bob Dylan, with Bob sitting center. — Glen Hansard

Neutral Milk Hotel. Townes Van Zandt. Britney Spears. Yes, Britney Spears. Glen Hansard has been covering other people’s songs for 30 years, from the street corner to the stage. His music career started early, stemming from a deal with his headmaster when he was 13: he could leave school and follow his musical heart;  if it didn’t work out in a year, he would be welcomed back with open arms. So off he busked. Continue reading »

Jun 142013

Every summer has its songs, and there’s no denying that Icona Pop’s “I Love It” is among the biggest of 2013. There’s a degree of youthful, reckless, incomprehensibility to the song, a sheen of glittery grit that makes it perfect for the humid restlessness of summer. Leavves takes all of this and covers it in kaleidoscopic dreampop and heavy drums, distilling and morphing the song into a different breed of summer jam, something that feels less like racing through city streets and more like late (but no less manic) nights under boardwalk neon. Continue reading »