Y’all ready for this? March is here, and with it March Madness. This year, we at Cover Me have something different up our sleeves. After years of placing basketball bets solely based on team name (go Moundbuilders!), we decided to take charge and create a pool we know a little more about. Ladies and gentlemen, Cover Me presents: Moptop Madness.
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”.
For anyone interested in the stats game, Cover Me has seen a lot of big, round numbers recently. Yesterday afternoon we put up our 500th post (Eric Lauritsen’s epic roundup of dozens of live covers by Wilco). Then this morning we gained our 1000th Twitter follower (hi @u2acro!). As I’ve been promising on @covermesongs for a while now, that’s an occasion for a Twit-sclusive giveaway. No, scratch that. Five Twit-sclusive giveaways.
Here’s the deal: Tweet out a link to a page on Cover Me. Could be the homepage, could be a favorite post, could be our archives on a favorite artist (find ’em here). Whatever. Include the hash tag “#CoverMe1000” in your post. Do this as often as you like over the next week—as long as you’re tweeting a different page/post each time. Next Friday I’ll pick five tweets randomly. Those five tweet-ers win one of the following:
Cover Me has been around for almost three years (big birthday surprises in the works). For all that time, it’s been one person. Me. Ray. Hi.
However, as longtime readers know, in the past six months the site has grown tremendously. We switched domains. We debuted a fresh layout. Most importantly, we went from 3-4 posts per week to 3-4 posts per day. As the post count increases, so does the traffic. With the recent addition of MTVMusic syndication, things are getting bigger and better by the day. We want a crew to get bigger and better with them. So, for the first time ever…Cover Me is looking for more cover lovers to join the team!
You’ll notice a new “Write For Us!” link in the top menu bar. That page will give you all the details. Whether you’re a freelance writer building a resume, a college kid looking to blow off some steam, or a part-time blogger desiring a larger audience, we’d love to have you. Business/advertising types, web designers, and artists are also welcome.
Go here to apply or learn more. Please contact me with any questions.
Big things afoot at Cover Me HQ. As I’ve long been hinting on Twitter, this week we launch a new partnership with MTV. The company’s music-only MTV Music site is kicking into high gear this fall and we’re thrilled to be a part of it. Essentially, Cover Me will be syndicating half a dozen posts per week on their blog. That’s more people enjoying our content there and more people clicking to join us here. Win-win. See the first two here and here.
What does this mean for you, discerning reader? In the day-to-day, not much. However, as you can imagine, increased visibility has all sorts of intangible benefits down the road. More partnerships = More exposure. More exposure = More content. More content = More writers crafting that content (more on that next week).
As always, enjoy the tunes, spread the word, and thanks for reading! Now back to your regularly scheduled programming. I believe we promised the second part of our Pink Floyd tribute…
We’ve finished our first month on the new site! What a month it was. Cover Me 2.0 kicked things off June 1st with a Lucinda Williams exclusive and has been plugging away since. A bunch of new features made their debuts. Some turned people onto new artists, others just made folks angry (see: ScarJo). There’s Under the Radar, In the Spotlight, Song of the Day, Tribute Throwback, In Defense, and of course Giveaways (speaking of which, still time to enter to win a Neil Young tribute on vinyl). Whew!
With so much going on it can be easy to miss stuff, so I’ve pulled out some of the most popular June posts – and a few personal favorites – for a second airing. Catch up on what you missed, then give some feedback on Month #1 of the new site in the comments. All suggestions welcome.
• Lucinda Williams Covers “The Ballad of Lucy Jordan” (Cover Me Premiere) | The Grammy-winning Americana songwriter tackles Shel Silverstein’s classic. Hear it first on Cover Me.
• In Defense: Scarlett Johansson’s Tom Waits Album
• Under the Radar: Samm Bennett
• Cover Commissions: Corey TuT
• Review: Broken Hearts and Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine