Welcome to Cover Me Q&A, where we take your questions about cover songs and answer them to the best of our ability.

Here at Cover Me Q&A, we’ll be taking questions about cover songs and giving as many different answers as we can. This will give us a chance to hold forth on covers we might not otherwise get to talk about, to give Cover Me readers a chance to learn more about individual staffers’ tastes and writing styles, and to provide an opportunity for some back-and-forth, as we’ll be taking requests (learn how to do so at feature’s end).

Today’s question: What’s a favorite country & western cover of a non-country & western song?
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A couple nights ago, the Mountain Goats played an intimate show at a NYC winery to to celebrate the release of their pro wrestling-themed album Beat the Champ (which is way better than that description might imply). They threw a couple covers into the mix, one of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Shot in the Dark,” which they released on a 7″ last year, and a new solo take on the Grateful Dead‘s “St. Stephen.” Continue reading »

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.

 

Kings are not born. They are made by artificial hallucination. – George Bernard Shaw

The first time I heard Kings of Leon, I wondered if I hadn’t dreamed them into being. A quartet of charming Southern gentlemen playing the kind of bluesy rock that I really needed to help me get through the aha shake and heartbreak of my early twenties? It couldn’t possibly be real.

Luckily for the rest of humanity, this was so much more than an artificial fever dream trapped in my pop-culture-addled mind. In the decade since I discovered them, I’ve done some roaming around, but no one fills the places I can’t reach like Kings of Leon.
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Mark Ronson‘s “Uptown Funk” can seem inescapable at points. It is one of those songs that fits every radio station’s genre standards, whether it’s a JACKFM-esque or only plays Top 40. The track has been in at least twelve trailers of films starring Kevin Hart. Your Dad likes it. Your boss adds a pep to his step when it plays over the office PA. Several drunk girls at a party “WOOOO” in unison as soon as its instantly recognizable introductory “Duh-da-duh-da-duh-da-da-doh” ripples over the speakers. It’s not even a few days into April, and this has already become the “Blurred Lines” of 2015, minus the glaring problematic lyrics and Marvin Gaye lawsuit. Continue reading »

When it comes to Brandon Flowers, there are two types of people: 1) those that like him for his music and 2) those that are so over-the-top infatuated with him that it’s borderline psychotic.  (Think “Deadheads” who shower regularly and have less body hair.)

I only say this because I have multiple family members and friends that fit into the latter category. Continue reading »

When I say, “Name a singer or band from Seattle”, I’m sure that bands like Heart, Modest Mouse, Nirvana or Pearl Jam might be the first to pop in your head.  Some of you may even think Hendrix or Judy Collins.  I will even give extra credit to anyone who first thought of Kenny G or Queensrÿche.

Let me add one more to the list: Fly Moon Royalty. Continue reading »

Johnny Marr has had quite the career.  Besides being the guitarist for The Smiths, he has also been part of The The, Electronic, The Pretenders, The Cribs and Modest Mouse.  He started a band with Zak Starkey (Ringo’s son) called Johnny Marr and the Healers.  He has worked with Paul McCartney, Talking Heads, Beck, Pet Shop Boys and a whole slew of other artists as a session musician.

Here, he takes on the 1993 Depeche Mode hit, “I Feel You”.  To some of you, that may mean nothing.  To a kid raised in the ’80s, though, this is the best of both worlds.

This limited edition 7″, released for Record Store Day 2015, will also include a B-side live performance of The Smiths’ “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want”.

At first, it almost sounds like a George Thorogood tune with the drum and guitar, but then it quickly becomes the well-recognized song that I wore out on Depeche Mode’s Songs of Faith and Devotion album.

Check out more Johnny Marr on his website.

In 1995, it seemed like you couldn’t turn on the radio without hearing Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise”.  I know this because I was working at a Top 40 radio station at the time and nine out of every ten phone calls I answered were a request for this song.  (The other one was for “anything by Boyz II Men”.) Continue reading »

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