Elvis Presley hadn’t had a #1 hit in the US in 7 years when he topped the charts with “Suspicious Minds.” Though his comeback was already in full swing thanks to a TV special and “In the Ghetto,” “Suspicious Minds” was really the affirmation that he was back. Of course, Elvis Presley didn’t write “Suspicious Minds” nor did he record the original version. Songwriter Mark James recorded the original the year before. but the song died because nobody knew him and his label didn’t have the money to promote it. James’ version is remarkably similar to Elvis’, but it’s the Elvis version that everyone has heard, and the one every cover references.
It’s a fantastic time to be a Van Morrison fan. Between Aug. 3 and Sept. 15, Ireland’s Hot Press Magazine is posting 75 new covers of Morrison’s songs by Irish artists. The YouTube event is in celebration of the Belfast native’s 75th birthday today. Most people will recognize a couple of big-name artists mixed in with many up-and-coming Irish musicians participating in the event.
Hand Habits is Meg Duffy, a guitarist known for their work with The War on Drugs, Weyes Blood and others. Angel Olsen is a singer-songwriter from Missouri. Many have noted their music similarities, and they joined forces on a new cover of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers‘ “Walls (Circus).”
“Walls (Circus),” from Petty’s soundtrack to She’s the One, was a much bigger hit in Canada, which is why it feels like one of his biggest songs to us up here. A second, more subdued but faster version of the song (subtitled “No. 3”) was released on the album as well, but it’s significantly less familiar.
Like 3-D movies, 360-degree YouTube videos briefly seemed like a revolution before quickly fading. But on their new cover of Tommy James and the Shondells’ timely “I Think We’re Alone Now,” Houston quartet Swimwear Department put the format to good use.
If you don’t realize it’s a 360-degree video, you just watch frontman Matt Graham going stir-crazy in his kitchen. He’s entertaining enough that you could just stick there. But zoom around, via the left-right arrows up top, and you’ll find more cartoon houses with more band members. Each, true to the title, more or less alone (give or take a baby).
Intronaut are an American progressive metal band who’ve been putting out albums for about 14 years. They are known for a sound that incorporates, among other things, stoner metal, jazz and math rock. They might be one of the last bands you’d think of to cover a band as rootsy as CCR.
As everyone from Rolling Stone to their hometown Philadelphia Inquirer have noted, Low Cut Connie’s Adam Weiner has been putting some of the best – strike that, the best – live streams of our quarantined era. In twice-weekly shows he calls “Tough Cookies,” Weiner, sometimes accompanied by guitarist Will Donnelly, strips down to his skivvies and plays a high-energy set with a whole lot of crowd participation – doubly impressive without an actual crowd. He also invites friends ranging from Dion to Big Freedia to join him (when’s he going to get his most famous fan in on the action?) If you haven’t watched one, you should; it’s at a whole different energy level than any other artist’s stream.