These days, it seems that every band or artist puts out tracks before new albums come out, and it’s easy to understand why – at $1.29 on iTunes, an individual song purchase costs more than it would in relation to the album, or, if you get the tracks by pre-ordering, you’re locked in for the whole shebang. Most, however, will release a track or two in anticipation. That, apparently, is not She & Him‘s style. In the last few weeks, the easy-listening power-duo of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward have already released four tracks (out of thirteen total) from their upcoming collection of standards, Classics, which comes out on December 2.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the release of Deep Purple’s hard rock classic Machine Head. In recognition of Deep Purple’s influence some of rock music’s biggest names have contributed a version of their favorite track from the album for a tribute. The result is Re-Machined: A Tribute To Deep Purple’s Machine Head. There are two very differing versions of the album’s most famous track “Smoke On The Water”, one from guitar legend Carlos Santana with vocals by Jacoby Shaddix and one from alternative rockers The Flaming Lips.
You know the soft rock/world music CDs you see at the check-out point of your local Starbucks? Turns out that these CDs aren’t entirely worth passing up. Starbucks’ label Hear Music/Concord has gathered some of the best and brightest musical talents for the Fleetwood Mac tribute compilation, Just Tell Me That You Want Me, and with producers Randall Poster and Gelya Robb, who were behind the grammy-nominated Rave On Buddy Holly, you know it’s going to be worth adding on to your $4.85 tall skinny vanilla latte.
A little less than a year ago, we over here at Cover Me couldn’t help but gush over Catherine A.D.’s delicate, weep-inducing take on Bon Iver‘s “The Wolves (Act I and II).” Since then, Cover Me has stalked her page and covered five of her covers. Needless to say we’re fans and couldn’t be more excited for her next covers release. Between finishing up at university and her debut full length album that’s due out this winter, Catherine A.D. found some time to put together all of her reworkings and covers for her album Reprise.
Can you ever have ever too much Bob Dylan? With the release of an astounding line-up of artists for the latest Dylan tribute, the answer is a resounding – never! Last month we brought you more info on the upcoming Bob Dylan tribute album, Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International (including Ke$ha’s unfortunate quote comparing her music to that of the legend), but the full tracklist gets us even more excited. Elvis Costello! The Gaslight Anthem! Pete Townshend! Flogging Molly! Kronos Quartet!
No stranger to the charity compilation game, The National (or at least bassist Scott Devendorf) confirmed to Spinner last weekend that they are working on a follow-up to 2009’s Dark Was The Night compilation. Looking again to benefit the Red Hot Organization and the fight against HIV/AIDS, the band plans to gather Grateful Dead covers by willing indie artists. Given that the lineup of the previous compilation consisted of a veritable who’s who of the indie world, the prospect of a covers record has the folks here at Cover Me giddy with anticipation.
So who would you like to see? Devendorf batted around names like Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver and Crystal Castles (?!?). How about Wilco performing “St. Stephen”? Animal Collective playing “Dark Star”? Cat Power singing “Casey Jones”? Robyn doing “Truckin'” (or maybe not!)? Let us know your suggestions in the comments below.
Photo credit: Pitchfork.
Most musicians would find the task of covering Joanna Newsom daunting. The songs are not uncoverable, but she infuses each performance with a uniqueness and delicacy such that each track becomes almost untouchable. Fortunately, some artists possess more vision and creativity than the rest of us.
Due in December, Versions of Joanna (thumbs-up for the title) collects 22 Newsom covers to benefit Oxfam. The usual suspects turn up – if you want to compile a tribute album to anyone, you call M.Ward. That Owen Pallett takes on “Peach, Plum, Pear” isn’t shocking either; he seems to occupy similar artistic and intellectual space to Newsom. More surprisingly though, folk-punk legend Billy Bragg turns in a cover of “On a Good Day”.
Pablo Díaz-Reixa calls the music he makes as El Guincho “space-age exotica.” While this may hold true for his original material, his new set feels more “old-world cucaracha.” The Piratas de Sudamérica series of EPs takes a fresh look at South American standards. You may not know these songs, but listen below to get in the spirit.