Fleetwood Mac is not easy to pigeonhole. Part of this is due to their talent and timelessness; more significantly, the band’s leader and line-up has changed 3 times over, taking the band from its incarnation with Peter Green at the helm as one of the fiercest English-blues bands on the scene, to a more adolescent stage with Bob Welch steering and producing hippie-of-the-times songs, to its final incarnation in which the ferocious duo of Buckingham and Nicks turned Fleetwod Mac into what it has now been hallmarked as. Point is, the band is more than Nicks and Buckingham, and the hope is that any Fleetwood Mac tribute album would duly recognize the band’s colorful history with remarkable covers that are juxtaposed in a way that reflect the unique unfurling of the band’s growth and self-discovery.
The Guided by Voices tribute album comes out this weekend, and as we approach its Record Store Day release, we’re hearing more and more of what we can look forward to. We’ve already played you covers by Thurston Moore, Cymbals Eat Guitars and Mass Solo Revolt, and now it’s time to draw your attention to another.
Wild Nothing burst onto the scene last year with the wonderful Gemini, and lately they’ve been touring in support of it. The album offers lovely, downtempo rock with a heavy emphasis on the atmosphere. Their melodies swoop in over the rest of the music in a way that feels both current and like a throwback to late ’90s dream pop and shoegaze. Given the debt to history, it’s no surprise that they have been taking on Primal Screams “Velocity Girl” during their current tour.
Trekkies, Hessians and absurdists, the day you didn’t know you’d been waiting for has arrived: William Shatner is working on a metal covers album! L.A. Weekly reports that Mike Inez (Alice in Chains), Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society) and Peter Frampton (Peter Frampton) will be manning the bridge. Other probable guest stars include Steve Howe (Yes), Ian Paice (Deep Purple), Brian May (Queen), Bootsy Collins (Parliament-Funkadelic) and the ghost of Ricardo Montalban (we wish).
Apparently all the songs are to have a “space” or “flying in space” theme. They will include “Space Odyssey” (The Byrds), “Iron Man” (Black Sabbath), “Learn to Fly” (Foo Fighters), “She Blinded Me with Science” (Thomas Dolby) and, inexplicably, “Bohemian Rhapsody” (Queen).
Every Christmas season brings us a litany of competing versions of the same tunes. This year, though, comedic actors seem to battling it out as much as would-be Tony Bennetts. Last week we LOLed at Jack Black and Jason Segel’s bombastic arena rock version of the Bing Crosby and David Bowie duet “Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth.” This week, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly threw their hat into the ring with their own version of the holiday classic.
Next Sunday, the Simon Cowell-helmed UK television singing competition The X Factor (based largely on American Idol, itself a spinoff of his British series Pop Idol, on which Cowell also judged) will crown the winner of its seventh go-around. As tradition has held since the show’s second season, the victor’s debut single will drop the following day so as to compete to be the “Christmas number one,” (the top spot on the UK singles chart for the sales-heavy week prior to the holiday), a feat accomplished by four of the last five champs, much to the chagrin of the show’s detractors. Last year, however, a grassroots Facebook campaign known as Rage Against the X Factor lobbied over 500,000 supporters to pay to download “Killing in the Name,” the explicit 1992 debut single by Rage Against the Machine, and the title held off the debut of X Factor winner Joe McElderry (a cover of Miley Cyrus‘ “The Climb”) to become the first download-only Christmas number one in chart history.
jj has a long history of covering R&B songs. For their friend ceo’s birthday this year, they covered “Birthday Sex” by Jeremih, and prior to that, they covered Akon‘s “Troublemaker.” Throw in their cover of Lil’ Wayne, and you could nearly call them prolific cover artists for a full-time non-cover band. So, considering their love of covering R&B songs, it should come as no surprise that their most recent cover is of The-Dream‘s “Right Side of My Brain.”
Arcade Fire continued their run towards world domination earlier this year with their highly anticipated new release, The Suburbs. It debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts, proving their popularity and exhibiting the total acceptance of indie music by the mainstream culture. The Suburbs is also proving to contain a rather coverable group of tunes; folks seem to love singing “We Used to Wait” in particular (as we have pointed out before). Calexico continued the Suburbs love, but bucked the trend with the brooding “Ready to Start” at their set at the Festiwal Ars Cameralis in Katowice, Poland on November 18. No surprise the song’s in their heads; the group recently completed a three-week tour opening for Arcade Fire.