George Lewis Jr., better known by his dark pop moniker Twin Shadow, has embarked on a monthly cover series entitled “Under the CVRS.” Through Facebook and Twitter, the band will be taking suggestions of which songs to tackle. The inaugural tune for this series is 10cc’s gauzy pop single “I’m Not In Love.”
Tackling a beloved band like Radiohead for a cover is a big enough challenge. Add in that the cover is from an influential and esteemed album like OK Computer and it becomes downright treacherous. Sometimes, attempting to cover an old favorite in a new way is an especially daunting task. But sometimes, these unexpected covers are the best kind.
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!
Forty-six years old. In some ways, it’s hard to believe that Jeff Tweedy, the songwriting genius behind Wilco, has hit his late forties. On the other hand, think back, way back through his recorded output. When Wilco released their first album 18 years ago, Tweedy was already a groundbreaker, having co-founded Uncle Tupelo with Jay Farrar eight years earlier. Together, they practically invented the genre of alt-country before their acrimonious split, when Tweedy was just 26 years old.
Not one to rest on his laurels, Tweedy assembled Wilco out of the ashes of Tupelo’s touring band and slowly built a following. The band teetered on the edge of disaster when they presented their masterpiece Yankee Hotel Foxtrot to their label, only to have it rejected. Instead of going back into the studio to record a boy-band album or whatever the hell the label wanted, they bought the master tapes back and walked. Eventually they signed to a subsidiary of the same company (go figure), and the album came out and went gold. From there on, Tweedy & Company have continued to push the sonic envelope and remain just as vital as ever.
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!
Sunday is Elvis Costello’s birthday, an occasion where we usually feature covers of an artist’s songs. But seeing as the birthday boy is one of the hardest working songwriter/musicians in the music world, it would be a shame to give him a break now. So we’ll look at some of the covers he’s done and get his birthday weekend started tonight, like we all do when a good birthday falls on a Sunday.
When Kitty Pryde (now known simply as “Kitty”) burst onto the scene a few years ago, she came out full force rapping. After some time under the radar, instead of exploding back into the blogosphere, she has taken on a soft ode to Sky Ferreira with “Everything is Embarrassing.”
Justin Vernon is known as a busy guy with Bon Iver side projects such as Volcano Choir, The Shouting Matches, and the numerous collaborations he’s done with artists like Kanye West. Adding to his long list of works is his contribution to an album of Peter Gabriel covers, And I’ll Scratch Yours, a response to Peter Gabriel’s 2010 covers album, Scratch My Back. Several artists that Gabriel covered will also be contributing, with heavyweights like Arcade Fire, Brian Eno, and Lou Reed.