Sara Stoudt

Sara is a statistician, but during her free time she is crafting the perfect playlist for any occasion. Her dad trained her well in the art of music appreciation (for which her live music trivia team is thankful for), and she is definitely judging you by your karaoke song choice. Follow her on Twitter or check out her website.

Jan 142020
 

They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s special day with covers of his or her songs. Let someone else do the work for a while. Happy birthday!

foo fighters covers

Dave Grohl turns 51 today, and in half a century he has managed to be part of legendary bands such as Nirvana and the Foo Fighters as well as play with Scream, Them Crooked Vultures, Late!, Probot, and Queens of the Stone Age. He is also raising a kick-ass daughter who is brimming with musical talent.

The Foo Fighters have recently been releasing live and acoustic songs from the “Foo Files.” Since July, 10 EPs have appeared, giving fans a fresh take on old favorites and a trip down memory lane for those lucky enough to hear them live. New music is in the works for the Foo Fighters as well, and this headline says it all. Oh, the anticipation!

Speaking of fresh takes, we wish a “Happy Birthday” to Grohl with homages to some of the Foo Fighters hits. If you are more in the mood for Nirvana covers, we understand! Check out our post on their MTV Unplugged album and our list of the Best Nirvana Covers.

Continue reading »

Jan 102020
 

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

hand in my pocket covers

As 2020 gets off to a rocky start, if you “haven’t got it all figured out just yet,” that is okay. Alanis Morissette is back to remind us that “everything’s gonna be fine, fine, fine” with a (super relatable) new single, the promise of a new album in May, a new tour featuring guests Garbage and Liz Phair (“all I really want” is a ticket to that show), and the debut of the Broadway musical based on her iconic album, Jagged Little Pill. That album, her international debut, won five Grammys and made Morissette the first Canadian to have an album go double diamond (selling 20 million copies). Here are just a few albums that Jagged Little Pill has sold more copies than: The Beatles’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Abbey Road, Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A., and Nirvana’s Nevermind. Not bad!

A New York Times Magazine feature by Rachel Syme sets the scene for the release of the album:

The riot grrrl ethos was “girls to the front” — a communal taking up space — while Morissette’s was more like “girls to your car,” where you could process your baggage in private. One was like being at a protest, and the other is like being in therapy — different impulses, but both about making conscious changes.

The album hasn’t yet been featured on Pitchfork’s Sunday Reviews, but it is destined to be. Hit me up, Pitchfork Editorial Staff, I’m happy to do it.

“Hand In My Pocket,” the second single off of the album, followed another classic, “You Oughta Know.” It was Morissette’s first number one single in Canada, but it did not make the Hot 100 in the USA (it was never released as a CD single there, though it posted high on other US charts). These five artists appreciate the song’s depth, paying their homage via a cover. And to all of you musicians out there, keep the Alanis covers coming! I dream of a Full Albums post for Jagged Little Pill.

Continue reading »

Jan 042020
 

They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s special day with covers of his or her songs. Let someone else do the work for a while. Happy birthday!

Michael Stipe

Today Michael Stipe, lead singer of R.E.M., reaches a decade milestone, as he turns 60 years old. Stipe was born in Decatur, GA, but raised all over, as his father was in the military. He met Peter Buck, soon to be the lead guitarist in R.E.M., in 1980 at a record store near the University of Georgia in Athens while he was attending school. Not long after, they both dropped out of school to start R.E.M., along with Bill Berry and Mike Mills, and the rest is history.

Some of our readers wanted more covers by R.E.M. upon reading our list of covers of R.E.M. We have a couple points of reference, but celebrating Michael Stipe’s birthday gave us an opportunity to give you even more covers. Moral of the story: ask and you shall receive! This post provides covers by Michael Stipe and friends, paying tribute to his tributes and providing a history of his historical moments.

Continue reading »

Dec 062019
 

Full Albums features covers of every track off a classic album. Got an idea for a future pick? Leave a note in the comments!

Love Angel Music Baby covers

Last week Gwen Stefani’s first solo album, Love Angel Music Baby, turned fifteen. In celebration, the album was remastered and reissued. Gwen Stefani even performed a medley of the album’s greatest hits on The Voice, her latest venture, complete with an appearance from Eve for her iconic rap in “Rich Girl.”

The album has plenty of haters (Pitchfork’s review was especially brutal), and the Harajuku girl motif had cultural appropriation written all over it. However, I tend to agree with the take from Hazel Cills of Vice:

What keeps me going back to Love. Angel. Music. Baby. time and time again is how, in all of its racism and spliced-up electronica madness, Stefani inadvertently made a classic. You can call it silly, you can call it bad, but you can’t deny that Stefani aced her retro hodgepodge. It’s a “problematic fav,” but it’s difficult to not sing along to Stefani’s kitschy new wave homage.

Whether you unabashedly love these tunes or love to hate them, these covers will take you back to your early-aughts self.

Continue reading »

Nov 272019
 

Some covers are more equal than others. Good, Better, Best looks at three covers and decides who takes home the gold, the silver, and the bronze.

independent women covers

In honor of the new Charlie’s Angels movie, directed by Elizabeth Banks, we throwback to the original movie and the lead tune from its soundtrack. Before Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus, and Lana Del Rey told us not to call them angels, Destiny’s Child informed us that if you “try to control me, boy, you get dismissed.” Before Ella Balinska, Naomi Scott, and Kristen Stewart, we had “Lucy Liu, with my girl, Drew, Cameron D and Destiny.”

This song, despite heavy references to the movie in the intro and throughout, rose to fame beyond the soundtrack. Destiny’s Child even released the song as a single off of their Survivor album, home to other bangers like the title track and “Bootylicious.” There is even an “Independent Women Pt. II” on the album, if you aren’t pumped up enough from just one. Part I was number one on Billboard‘s Hot 100 for 11 weeks, putting it among only three percent of top hits lasting for a double digits number of weeks at the pinnacle.

Fifth Harmony did a Destiny’s Child tribute medley including this jam (pre-Camila Cabello’s departure), and KT Tunstall’s version of this song is superb, but here are three more covers that tell us how “angels get down like that.”

Continue reading »

Nov 192019
 

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

livin on a prayer covers

“Once upon a time, not so long ago,” Bon Jovi followed up their first Billboard Hot 100 single, the #1 smash “You Give Love a Bad Name,” with another number one hit: “Livin’ On a Prayer.” The second single off of Slippery When Wet , Bon Jovi’s breakthrough third album, “Prayer” is number one in many people’s hearts, including voters for VH1’s 2006 list of the Greatest Songs of the ’80s and readers of this blog.

Bon Jovi has evolved over time, continuing to produce music consistently since the ’80s and unafraid to tour through different genres, even going country and teaming up with Jennifer Nettles and LeAnn Rimes (though, to be fair, Jon Bon Jovi has been a cowboy from early on). The band just doesn’t quit; they even released a thank-you song to veterans earlier this month.

But “Livin’ On A Prayer” remains a classic. You’ve belted it at karaoke; you’ve pumped your fist to it at a wedding reception. The song speaks to the masses, and we need the song’s message just as much now as we did when it was released in 1986. A good cover of this song will channel the original’s spirited perseverance, hope in the face of adversity, and faith in the power of love to overcome all. It’s a tall order, but these five artists “give it a shot.”

Continue reading »