Matt Corley

Matt Corley is a writer and researcher in Washington, DC. A former college radio DJ, Matt is an inveterate mix maker with a healthy habit of always including a cover or two. His main motivation for applying to write for Cover Me may have been to forward his argument that Katrina And The Waves' cover of River Deep (Mountain High) is the best cover of all time. If you're interested in a 80/20 mix of tweets about campaign finance and music, you can follow him on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/mcorley

Apr 042014
 

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!

Rock history is full of bands who created something truly special, with inherent value, that for whatever reason never got their due in the music marketplace. The dB’s (that stands for decibels, don’t you know) could be a case study in how to make great music and influence other musicians, but miss out on commercial success. Passed over by labels hunting for the next Knack, the band, led by guitarists Chris Stamey and Peter Holsapple, signed with British label Albion Records at the very beginning of the ’80s, which meant that both their stellar debut and its follow up weren’t officially released in America for years.  The band only signed with an American label, Bearsville, after founder Stamey left to forge a solo career. When they submitted a video  to MTV for their suicide-themed song “Amplifier,” they were rejected.
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Feb 192014
 

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!

For most of their lifetime, the Silver Jews never toured and rarely played live. In fact, they hardly existed between albums. All that changed in 2006 when, after emerging alive from drug addiction, head Joo David Berman gathered players from the band’s 2nd and 4th albums to hit the road in support of Tanglewood Numbers. They promised to try their best and, generally, fans were pleased, if not ecstatic, to hear the songs they had long listened closely to on headphones blasted from a stage. But all that excitement may have been the beginning of the end. The band’s next album — the first written “post-applause” — would be their last. In January 2009, Berman announced that the Silver Jews were no more and he was “moving over to another category. Screenwriting or Muckraking.”
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Jan 312014
 

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

The oft-covered Chuck Berry gem “Memphis, Tennessee” was never meant for stardom, taking a back seat to Berry’s “Back In The U.S.A,” which was the A to “Memphis”’s B on the 1959 single they shared. Chart success would eventually happen in England, where it was released as a double A-side with “Let It Rock” and climbed to #6 on the UK charts. With this history, it’s no surprise that a who’s-who of the British invasion has covered it – the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Animals, the Dave Clark Five, and The Hollies have all taken a stab, turning the trip through “Memphis” into a rite of passage.
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Dec 132013
 

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!

Today, Tom Verlaine celebrates the day his parents named him Tom Miller. But we, the music nerdery, celebrate it as the birth of the man who (legend has it) opened CBGB’s doors to what would become punk when he talked Hilly Kristal into letting his band Television play. Though not quite a household name, Television is indisputably seminal. More punk in attitude than sound, Television began life as the Neon Boys, with Verlaine and Richard Hell as the leading lights. In time, the Neon Boys transformed into Television, adding Richard Lloyd to the mix on rhythm guitar. With tangoing guitars, they took downtown NYC by storm. Television recorded disappointing (to Verlaine) but intriguing demos with Brian Eno, Hell left the group, and then, finally, they produced the album that would solidify their legend, Marquee Moon. The band broke up soon after their follow up, Adventure, and Verlaine launched his solo career.

Television has reunited intermittently over the years, releasing an album of new material in 1992 and irregularly touring during the aughts – most recently, anointing the new Rough Trade store in Brooklyn with a performance (sans Lloyd, who quit years ago). For three decades, covering Television songs has been a right of passage for a certain stock of rockers, which should shock no one considering the awe in which many guitarists hold Verlaine and Lloyd’s fretwork. Here are five covers for the man who fell into the arms of Venus de Milo.
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