Because the Internet is stupid and people are stupid, I have to defend the upcoming Ghostbusters remake, not on the grounds that this movie will be good (I haven’t seen it yet) but because the Internet and stupid people, mostly men in their 30’s, think that Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones are ruining their childhood. When did an ’80’s summer blockbuster become sacred and untouchable? It’s a movie. Grow the fuck up.
The Replacements‘ “Bastards of Young” is an undeniable indie-punk anthem and the worst song you could cover. Walk into any opening set at Baby’s All Right and some hyped up indie-new-wave, Simpson-wave, or I-want-fall-asleep-this-is-so-meh-wave band will butcher this classic and will sound almost as bad as your lame alternative folksinger friend trying to cover “Skinny Love” with a tuba. If you’re going to cover The Replacements, pick a better song off Tim.
However, Katy Goodman (La Sera and formerly Vivian Girls) and Greta Morgan (Springtime Carnivore) covering “Bastards of Young” is newsworthy and worth your time for two reasons. One, it’s off the duo’s upcoming covers album, Take It, It’s Yours (August 26 via Polyvinyl Records), featuring covers of punk and new wave songs from The Stooges, The Jam, Blondie, Bad Brains, and more – check out Pitchfork for the full tracklist. Two, Goodman and Morgan actually manage to do something interesting with a song that’s been covered to death. They take out the yells and and the fight-or-die guitars and bring in poolside tremolo guitars and keyboards and soothing harmonies to highlight the surprisingly strong lyrics. It sounds like a Real Estate song in the best way possible, and it’s an example of one of the golden rules for covering songs: If you’re going to cover a massively beloved hit, it’s best to do something different and interesting.
Here’s Goodman in a statement about the upcoming album:
“On the surface a song like [Bad Brains’] “Pay to Cum” seems really masculine, but to me, the lyrics are really more about freedom. You have the right to sing, you have the right to dance. When you have two girls harmonizing on these songs, they take on a new meaning, because you’re listening in a different way. … These songs helped shaped who we are. They gave us the songs, and now we get to give them back as our thank you.”
Pre-order the album here. Photo by Julia Brokaw.
Like most people who say they love Guns N’ Roses, I’ve only listened to Appetite for Destruction, “November Rain,” and the deep cuts like “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “Cherry Pie.” Like most jealous people, I make fun of the things I love the most, and I know that I’ll never write as good hard rock music as Guns N’ Roses.
In May 2014, Cover Me wrote about Courtney Barnett, The Up And Coming Quirky Australian Singer-Songwriter, covering The Lemonheads‘ “Being Around.” Two years later, Courtney Barnett, The Critically Acclaimed And Pretty Big But Still Quirky Australian Guitar-Slaying Major Festival-Destroying Singer-Songwriter, covered the Lemonheads again for a stripped down acoustic performance of the alt-rock band’s 1993 song “Paid To Smile” on “The Strombo Show” on Canada’s CBC Radio 2.
I’m sure when Maya Rudolph and Martin Short booked Miley Cyrus to be the first musical act of their new variety TV show, NBC’s Maya & Marty, they expected Cyrus to perform naked on a glittered bulldozer while singing The Fall or Pasty Cline. Unfortunately, the second best case scenario happened: she gave a really tasteful, and really good, live performance.
Today we have a German funk band using Caribbean steel drums to cover an influential electronic song written by a singer-songwriter most famous for his acoustic folk. Got all that?
The band is Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band, an offshoot of the Hamburg instrumentalist collective the Mighty Mocambos. Lead by guitarist Björn Wanger, the group, which specializes in several styles of funk, uses steel drums to reinterpret a wide range of songs, from 50 Cent’s “P.I.M.P.” to Dennis Coffey’s “Scorpio” (their debut LP, 55, which includes several steel drum covers, is out now on Big Crown). Rather than cheesing up the place, the band is tasteful with its steel drums and adds elements of dub and jazz for a more compelling listen.