John Lenhardt

In addition to reviewing covers, John Lenhardt is a software consultant for large corporations. When not on the hamster wheel with big business or being told what to do by this family, he indulges in the happiness of dog parks with his best friend. John enjoys the exhausting and never-ending journey of finding the next best song to slip into his heavy rotation playlist.

Mar 082018

soft news cover

Erik Laroi, who records as Soft News, appeared on both our Best Cover Albums and Songs lists a few years back for his tribute to 1980s soft-rock hits. He’s also recorded terrific EPs covering New Order and Everything but the Girl. He’s plenty experienced covering 1980s synth bands, but Soft News’ new cover of Poison’s party song “Talk Dirty to Me” is Laroi’s first attempt at glam rock.

Laroi joined Janine Annett, a veteran punk rocker, and Margaret White, who has worked with Sparklehorse and Cat Power, for a trio take “Talk Dirty to Me” for the digital hair-metal magazine March Shredness. Annett always wanted to do an acoustic cover of a heavy metal song and says now she finally had the time. Annett sings, Laroi plays guitar, and White both sings and lends her talents on violin.

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Mar 012018
baby in vain cover

On their new single, Danish trio Baby in Vain gives a nod to their countryman Lars Ulrich with an updated version of the Metallica concert staple “For Whom the Bell Tolls”.

It’s a tall order to improve the stiff-upper-lip head-bobbing classic Metallica pumped out on 1984’s Ride the Lightning. Any self-respecting rocker instantly knows the guitar riff that anchors the original. Even when your mom hears this infectious tune, she gets the metal snarl while sporting the devil horns as she weaves through the carpool line. Continue reading »

Feb 262018
aimee mann drive

The music gods are off to a good start for 2018. Aimee Mann wins a Grammy. The Cars get voted into the Rock Hall of Fame. And, combining the two, Mann has covered one of the Cars’ biggest hits: “Drive.”

The Cars recorded “Drive” for 1984’s Heartbeat City, the Mutt Lange-produced album that marked the height of the band’s commercial success. “Drive” is a beautiful soft-rock ballad that was accompanied by a heavy rotation MTV video. Remember Paulina Porizkova crying while marking on the wall?

Mann recorded her cover for the television series The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (she also appears in an episode performing “Drive” in a bar). Mann has covered other songs before for tributes or a movie, and most of those efforts only get traction with her loyal fan base. Her take on Three Dog Night’s “One” (a cover of a cover) has broken out wider; she still performs it often on tour. Continue reading »

Feb 202018
conversing with oceans

Who can forget the video of the haunting song “Wicked Game” from rockabilly Chris Isaak? The 1990 video with the slow-motion beach scenes won several awards, and “Wicked Game” got a big commercial boost as well from the David Lynch movie Wild at Heart. Many artists have covered this favorite about obsessive love; we’ve written about some at Cover Me. Conversing with Oceans gives it a go this time.

Conversing with Oceans is the solo project of Alex Bondarev, who moonlights as a dentist. After leaving Chechnya as a refugee, with a stop in India, Bondarev landed in the Bronx. His original music has a positive theme, perhaps a nod to his refugee state of mind. This indie artist has kept the ball moving forward by playing with friends, being at SXSW and working with John Forte from the Fugees. Continue reading »