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.
Remember when that robot band covered “Rock Lobster?” They’re back, and they’re living in their own private Idaho.
Get ready to feel the all of the feelings, because the ever-fabulous Dixie Chicks have covered Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball.” This stripped-down ode to heartbreak hits with even more intensity than the original. Natalie Maines’ vocals take no prisoners, and with the help of beautiful harmonies and a stunning violin bridge, it’s safe to say this country-fried “Wrecking Ball” has my approval.
Arcade Fire got local during their Philadelphia tour stop, covering “Motown Philly” by hometown heroes Boyz II Men. The indie giants kept the track true to its funky R&B roots. From the look of the video the band had a grand old time with this tune, because who doesn’t love a little new jack swing? And if your dream is seeing Win Butler sing Boyz II Men in a giant fake head, then this video is absolutely for you.
Often, it is somebody else’s interpretation of a Tom Waits song that reveals the lyrical and melodic side of his artistry. Waits has written many beautiful songs, but you have to peel back the layers of everything else that makes him interesting to find that inner core. Tom Waits’ recording of “Dirt in the Ground,” from Bone Machine, is slow, funereal march with somber horns in the background. The mood is clear, but the lyrics take close listening to decipher.
In honor of Johnny Cash‘s new posthumous release, “Out Among The Stars,” French filmmakers La Blogothéque put together a beautifully shot tribute to the late artist. Featuring Brandon Flowers of the Killers, Dawes, Father John Misty, and Local Natives, this short film captures the unifying and completely human spirit of Cash’s songs in a desert landscape.
Seemingly overnight, Lawrence, Kansas based Kawehi has turned into an Internet sensation with her killer, live-looped cover of Nirvana‘s “Heart Shaped Box.” The Hawaiian musician only uses three tools to cover the grunge classic: her voice, a step sequencer, and a MIDI keyboard and it is nothing short of amazing. EDM haters, beware. This modern take on the angsty track just might change your tune. Kawehi has received praise from music critics and even received a tweet of approval from Courtney Love.