The British are always trying to musically one-up us Americans. Yes, we know the Beatles are from the U.K…but we got them on iTunes. Just when we thought things were pulling even though, Club Seat (pronounced SAY-at) appeared. The British online community is getting the drop on the A.V. Club with a new series “On Track… With SEAT” for Channel 4 in the UK. The series takes artists like Robyn to London Metropolis Studio to record tracks straight to vinyl.
Not too long ago, late night star Jimmy Fallon covered Bruce Springsteen. Now he's back with one better: covering…with Bruce Springsteen. Yes, as Fallon reprises his Harvest-era Neil Young impersonation, the Boss himself (the real one) comes aboard to cover, of all things, Willow Smith's “Whip My Hair.” Willow, the 10-year old daughter of actor, rapper, and Fresh Prince Will Smith, is topping the charts with her latest single, which inspired a folk rendition last night from these grown men.
Springsteen was on the show promoting The Promise: The Darkness On the Edge of Town Story and had some fun providing back up vocals for Jimmy while sporting his 1978 look courtesy of a messy wig and taped-on beard. Jimmy Fallon's Neil Young impersonation is spot on, further proving he can sing whatever he wants and we'll love it. Still, covering a 10-year old girl is a lot cooler when you have Bruce Springsteen accompanying you.
Live Collection brings together every live cover we can find from an artist. And we find a lot.
The recent release of Easy Wonderful has given Guster fans reason to fall in love with them all over again. As their album title insinuates, they have an agreeable sound that resonates with you and has aged well over the past (almost) 20 years. If the Beach Boys went to college in the 90's, added some bongos, and stayed out of the sun, Guster is what they would sound like.
Featured on soundtracks like Life as a House and Wedding Crashers, their songs can pull at the heartstrings as you croon along with them. On the other hand, they are better known for their laid-back, wisecracking personalities that beam from the stage and infect their fans. During their years of touring, they have taken on many cover songs with both their sensitive and playful dispositions (but mostly the latter). Typically at the end of a show, Guster will rile up the crowd with a number from Madonna, Talking Heads, or whoever sings the “Cheers” theme song (Portnoy) and get everyone involved. Most of the time, it's just an excuse to get drummer Brian Rosenworcel out in front showing off his questionable vocals, calling in the crowd for backup. It's just like being at a karaoke bar.
While they aren't a band of brothers, Mumford & Sons covered The Avett Brothers' “Go to Sleep” as if they were one big happy family. Bringing in help from opening band Cadillac Sky, the whole collective jammed on stage with no shortage of banjos. As a good family should, they all took turns with various vocal and instrumental solos.
The high point of the cover came when they took to the floor for a quick nap while the audience took over. Soon after, they arose with more energy and dancing to bring it all home. Though they hail from England, Mumford & Sons had no trouble channeling the southern vibe that the Avett Brothers project so well. If I didn't know any better, I'd say that Mumford & Sons and the Avett boys were all in the same family after all.
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!
Note: This post was supposed to go up yesterday, but due to server issues it never did. So a happy belated birthday to Mr. Dogg!
Happy b-dizzle to Cordozar Calvin Broadus, the king of Tha Dogg Pound. Hailing from sunny California, Snoop Dogg turns 39 today and still continues to make cameos on some of the latest pop hits. His association with Dr. Dre, a penchant for the smokier things in life, and of course the addition of “izzle” to our vocabulary have made him a legendary icon in hip hop.
His soothing rap voice is unforgettable, his ability to party is undeniable, and he'll leave you no choice but to join in. For a tough rapper, Snoop has shown he has a sense of humor in various movie roles. Artists have adopted that same humor in their covers of his songs.
Telephoned is not your average cover band. For one, this Brooklyn singer/DJ duo spent the past year opening for Chromeo. Transforming, sampling, and remixing, they told Spinner they aim to take a song and turn it into something that gets you moving on the dance floor. The pair's latest cover is “O.N.E.,” the hipster anthem from Yeasayer's Odd Blood.
While the original version of “O.N.E.” is actually better for dancing, Telephoned did make it theirs by mashing it up with the reggae beats from Gyptian's “Hold Yuh” and adding their own vocals. It feels like “O.N.E. on vacation” as a laid back, dance in the sand, sip a daiquiri kind of tune. If you're looking for a little more soul and a little less dancing, Telephoned will take you there. But when vacation's over, head back to Yeasayer… because they are the real thing.