Eric Garneau

Eric Garneau is a freelance writer and musician from the southern Chicago suburbs. He is also kind of a nerd -- he even ran his own comic book store for a few years after college, and blogs about comics weekly on the website Nerdy Nothings. Music in all its forms is his number one passion, and he's always been especially drawn to covers. In fact, on the weekends he can sometimes be seen performing in the cover band Take Cover or as the solo acoustic Bruce Springsteen tribute My Own Boss. He probably couldn't name his favorite cover even if he was forced to, but this much is clear: it would NOT be by Manfred Mann.

Nov 092011

Every Wednesday, our resident Gleek Eric Garneau gives his take on last night’s Glee covers.

In “The First Time,” McKinley High prepares to open their production of West Side Story, but stars Rachel (Lea Michele) and Blaine (Darren Criss) find themselves full of indecision after musical director Artie (Kevin McHale) suggests they need sexual experience to properly portray their roles.

West Side Story‘s over, and I’m not sure how much there’s left to say about McKinley High’s (really professional-looking) production of the classic musical. I’m really surprised this plot sustained itself over five episodes (with its songs making it into three of the last four), but it seems that for now we’ve seen the last of the West Side. Is that a good thing? Continue reading »

Nov 042011

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!

Even though the site you’re currently reading focuses solely on cover music, we seldom turn our attention to actual cover acts. Today, though, we’re going to spotlight one that’s risen to a level of notoriety much higher than most of their bar-dwelling brethren — Steel Panther, the most rockin’ band in the land. This four-piece group, comprised of lead vocalist Michael Starr, guitarist Satchel, bassist Lexxi Foxxx and drummer Stix Zadinia (get it?!) expertly merge tremendous musical chops and keen comic sensibilities to both pay tribute to ’80s hair metal icons and lay bare all the ridiculousness inherent to the genre. Through a regular Monday residency on LA’s Sunset Strip, Panther (formerly Metal Skool, Metal Shop and Danger Kitty) has built an impressive following out of their celebratory shows. In fact, the group’s been embraced by LA’s indie comedy community just as much as the world of rock music; in a hilarious episode of the Comedy Bang Bang podcast, they joke with Human Giant and Children’s Hospital star Rob Huebel that he’s the fifth member of their band, and Sarah Silverman has appeared in their music video for “Death to All but Metal.” Continue reading »

Nov 022011

Every Wednesday, our resident Gleek Eric Garneau gives his take on last night’s Glee covers.

In “Pot of Gold,” Irish foreign exchange student Rory Flanagan (Damian McGinty) makes his way to McKinley High just in time to see the glee club falling apart — Shelby’s (Idina Menzel) rival group continues to steal members from New Directions, while Sue (Jane Lynch) works tirelessly to end funding for arts programs once and for all. But all Rory really cares about is making a couple friends, and maybe convincing Brittany (Heather Morrison) to share her own pot of gold.

We can avoid the subject no longer – it’s time to talk about The Glee Project. Other than runner-up Lindsay Pearce’s appearance in Glee‘s season premiere, the influence of that summer reality show has so far been nonexistent on its parent program. However, in “Pot of Gold” that all changes as Project winner Damian McGinty begins his seven-episode guest arc as Irish exchange student Rory Flanagan. This episode makes it clear that Damian won more than just a bit part; he gets two of the show’s five songs tonight, making a big splash in an introductory episode which I’d guess will endear him to many a viewer. Continue reading »

Oct 312011

Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.

When Bruce Springsteen began to construct and record the songs that would make up his third album in early 1974, he knew the pressure was on. Following two critically-acclaimed but low-selling records, he had to produce a masterpiece or risk his career being over before he even got to make his impact on the world of pop music. Little did anyone, even Bruce himself, know at the time just what was stirring in his head, aching to get out: an 8-song magnum opus that stands almost unparalleled in the annals of rock. It’s one of the only records to earn a 10.0 rating from Pitchfork, and at least one critic has heralded its title track the greatest song ever written. We’re talking, of course, about Born to Run. Continue reading »

Oct 052011

Every Wednesday, our resident Gleek Eric Garneau gives his take on last night’s Glee covers.

In “Asian F,” auditions for West Side Story continue, with Mercedes (Amber Riley) and Rachel (Lea Michele) battling it out for the leading role of Maria. Meanwhile, Mike Chang (Harry Shum, Jr.) starts to falter academically, and Will (Matthew Morrison) tries to get Emma (Jayma Mays) to introduce him to her parents.

Week by week, Glee threatens to make me more culturally literate. Last week we got an education in West Side Story, while this week’s episode takes on something of a Dreamgirls theme — one of its songs comes from that classical musical-turned-film, while two others hail from the film’s stars. Unlike last week’s episode, however, we’ve got three more songs thrown into the mix as well: another from West Side Story, one from the musical Fame, and Coldplay‘s monster ballad “Fix You.” That gives us a bit more musical variety than we’ve seen so far this year, although songs from actual musicals still take up perhaps more than their share of space. Also, with all these songs from West Side Story already performed, do you think we’ll actually get to see the musical? There won’t be anything left to do! Continue reading »

Sep 282011

Every Wednesday, our resident Gleek Eric Garneau gives his take on last night’s Glee covers.

In “I Am Unicorn,” McKinley High gears up for their production of West Side Story, with several of our principal characters battling for the leads. Meanwhile, Kurt makes a run for class president, and music coach Shelby Corcoran (guest star Idina Menzel) steps back into the lives of Rachel (her biological daughter) plus Quinn and Puck (the parents of her adopted child).

Last week in this column we talked about Glee’s apparent attempts to carry out season three with a purpose many claimed the show lacked last year. One of the through-lines established in “The Purple Piano Project” was the performance of the school musical, which we learned would be West Side Story. I assumed they’d save its whole production for a few episodes down the line (much like last year’s Rocky Horror), but it seems the show is really taking to heart the notion of letting plots build throughout a season. Here we get only part of the West Side story in the form of auditions, with several of our main characters (namely Rachel and Kurt, but also Kurt’s boyfriend Blaine) attempting to claim the leads. That’s a serious change of pace from last season, where Rocky Horror was announced, produced, performed and cancelled in the span of 45 minutes. Continue reading »