Pharrell William’s “Happy” is one of those instantly catchy, ultimately forgettable pop songs that somehow find their into your head and get stuck there, even if you don’t listen to Top 40. The song is well written and produced, it has hooks and, as much as you might try and resist, it kind of makes you feel…happy.
Coachella has taken over the music blogosphere for the past two weeks, so it was surprising when this gem popped up from a radio station on the opposite side of the country from the desert festival. Philadelphia’s WXPN has a free concert series appropriately titled “Free At Noon,” and Atlanta-rockers Black Lips teamed up with Boy George for a gritty rock rendition of T. Rex‘s glam-rock staple “Bang a Gong (Get it On).”
Norwegian DJ Todd Terje has worked his magic yet again on Robert Palmer‘s track “Johnny and Mary,” with a little help from the legendary Bryan Ferry. While Terje has been active in the electronic scene since 1999, he released his debut album It’s Album Time just this month. Ferry lends his signature vocals and piano playing to the track. Terje’s interpretation is slowed-down and laid-back, allowing the lyrical emotion to shine.
The Horn The Hunt, a dreamy pop duo hailing from Leeds, has released a cover of Neil Young‘s “Heart of Gold.” The cover was officially released as a B-side for the band’s single, Starless, at the end of March and has been making waves since.
1994 was 20 years ago. That may not be news to many of our readers, but there is a certain 30-something subset of you who just sprayed your screen with water in a hilarious spit-take that would not be at all out of place on the show Friends (also 20 years old this year, by the way).
There is a long-standing jazz tradition of reinterpreting pop music favorites. John Coltrane’s version of “My Favorite Things” may be the most famous example, but there are hundreds, if not thousands, more. One of the latest features saxophonist Dave Koz. He teamed up with Postmodern Jukebox keyboardist Scott Bradlee for a jazz quartet performance of the “Game of Thrones” theme song, which is appropriately, if not imaginatively, named “Main Title” on the original soundtrack recording. The tune lends itself well to jazz interpretation. With a prominent bass line, hummable melody and 6/8 time signature, there is plenty of room for Koz and Bradley to stretch out, though they don’t venture too far into uncharted territory.