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Feb 272019
 
unwoman david bowie

For a cellist who frequently covers new wave, goth, and art-rock songs, David Bowie’s “Heroes” would seem one of the more obvious song selections. But San Francisco’s Erica Mulkey, who performs as Unwoman and appears regularly at sci-fi and steampunk conventions, says she resisted “Heroes” for years. Though one of her favorite songs, it seemed too obvious, and too often covered. Hard to find a fresh way to do it, especially after his passing. But backers on her Patreon pushed her to do it, and she ended up happy they did. Continue reading »

Apr 172013
 

We named San Francisco cellist Unwoman’s Uncovered the second best covers album of 2011 and next week, she releases the sequel Lemniscate: Uncovered Volume 2. She loops cello and vocal parts to make dark symphonies out of songs by MGMT and Amanda Palmer. We’re excited to premiere a highlight, her version of fellow big-voiced temptress Florence and the Machine. Continue reading »

Aug 192011
 

This Week on Bandcamp rounds up our favorite covers to hit the site in the past seven days.

This week’s set puts goth cello up against grunge noise, orchestral pomp against folksy throwback. It also features a couple familiar faces. Download our favorite Bandcamp tracks this week below. Continue reading »

Jun 102011
 

This Week on Bandcamp rounds up our favorite covers to hit the site in the past seven days.

Something of a dreamy electronic feel in today’s bunch. Hazy beats and watery synth burble along under most of these tracks in the service of what is, in several cases, really a folk aesthetic underneath. As the temperatures rise, these sounds soundtrack those moments sitting under the sun in a half-awake daze when it’s too hot to move. Well, except for the Tom Waits cover, which is a different approach from a familiar name. Continue reading »

Feb 042011
 

This Week on Bandcamp rounds up our favorite covers to hit the site in the past seven days.

Once again we delve back into Bandcamp to find the week’s top free covers. There’s a bit of an ’80s theme today, with covers of songs from Pixies, the Cure, and Wham! The two that round them out buck the trend a bit: a Buffy Sainte-Marie song from 1963 and a Dirty Projectors song from 2004. The average of 1963 and 2004 is 1983 though, so there you go! Continue reading »

Aug 092019
 

Full Albums features covers of every track off a classic album. Got an idea for a future pick? Leave a note in the comments!

blondie parallel lines covers

It’s been a mere 41 years since Parallel Lines was released, a fact that finds this writer flat on his back. How can it possibly be that long? But is is and it was, 1978 being a particularly good year for Blondie, themselves already far from spring chickens.

Debbie Harry, astonishingly already 33, just two years younger than Mick Jagger (and two older than Ronnie Wood), was the mother hen of the band, together with her partner, Chris Stein, half a decade younger. The pair of them and drummer Clem Burke, were the heart of the band, and the only omnipresent members, rounded out at that time by keyboardist Jimmy Destri, guitarist Frank Infante, and bassist Nigel Harrison. Of course they all hated each other and all hated their producer, Mike Chapman, drafted in for this record to widen their appeal.

This would be the band’s third album, the first two having been helmed by Richard Gottehrer, who maximized their punky charm and promise, turning them into the counter-intuitive leaders of the pack at and from Max’s Kansas City and CBGB’s. Chapman, an Australian, had produced UK chart toppers like the Sweet, exiled Music City maven Suzi Quatro, and Mud; he was immensely successful, but looked down upon by any serious musician or fan.

In truth, they didn’t actually all hate each other, Stein was allegedly far too stoned to know much of what was going on, but there was no love lost elsewhere, not least as Chapman felt that Infante was the only one up to it, musically. Burke could not keep time, it seemed; Destri couldn’t play; and whatever Harrison could or couldn’t do, Chapman’s criticism was enough to have Harrison throw a synthesiser at him. But Harry could sing, that much Chapman could sense, carefully restricting her involvement to both protect her voice and prevent costly meltdowns, weeping in the restroom.

Despite all of this, Parallel Lines still came in a full 4 months ahead of schedule, and, amazingly, this line-up and Chapman went on to make four more albums before the band’s 1982 disintegration. It wasn’t until 15 years later they reformed, the original trio with (for a while) Destri, augmented by any number of additional sidemen. They still play on.
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