Stark’s cover of “Death Letter” begins at a whisper. The video is black and white with scratches like an old newsreel, matching the historic treatment of this old Son House blues song, just vocals and resonator guitar with a slide. At one minute in, with a couple of drum beats for punctuation, the rest of the band kicks in, and the video changes to color. It’s an effective approach, mixing the old and the new, acknowledging your roots, and then going somewhere else.
If you are lucky enough to be in Chicago during the brutal winter season, know that there is one thing that is sure to cheer you up: The David Bowie Is retrospective currently on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Hardcore Ziggy Stardust fans and celebrities alike have been flocking to the retrospective to get take a glimpse at some of the most intimate moments of David Bowie‘s career. Recently, of Montreal‘s lead singer Kevin Barnes took to the stage at the MCA to celebrate Bowie as well.
Cover Me is in no way stranger to the plethora of Lana Del Rey covers that have spawned throughout the years - indeed, the American singer-songwriter hasn’t failed in attracting several artists to take on her songs, ranging from the likes of performers such as Miley Cyrus and John Mayer to bands such as Bombay Bicycle Club and Kasabian.
If you have taken the time to listen to CHVRCHES album The Bones of What You Believe or the band’s contribution to the upcoming Hunger Games soundtrack, you know that the Scottish band excels in the realm of synth pop. For VH1′s You Oughta Know concert, front woman Lauren Mayberry teamed up with Bleachers to cover the timeless Fleetwood Mac single, “Go Your Own Way,” proving that at the very core, pop is her strength.
Sons of Anarchy is a show that has always been subtly marked by its music. The soundtrack is always there, an active presence, to the extent that it’s become a trope of the show in how subdued music is so often juxtaposed against montages of deviance and brutality. (That presence was most poignantly felt in the most recent episode, which was devoid of soundtrack altogether.) Lucky for us, even when its effect within the show can be inconsistent, the music is reliably beautiful and is predominated by covers.
On his new 7″ single “Would You Fight For My Love?”, Jack White covers an obscure artist called Hello=Fire. In the ‘Seven Degrees of Jack White’ game though, they’re only a few steps away. Hello=Fire is a project from White’s bandmate in the Raconteurs and the Dead Weather, Dean Fertita. They released one album in 2009, and the closing song “Parallel” was co-written with another Raconteurs bandmate: Brendan Benson.
If you’ve been keeping tabs on the always quirky rockers The Flaming Lips, you’ll discover a not-so-hidden trend: they like covering the Beatles. Last month they released their track-for-track cover of the classic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (titled With a Little Help from My Fwends), but a quick search of Cover Me will bring up 5 other Beatles/John Lennon songs they’ve covered, going all the way back to 2010. You can’t really argue with the formula, though, because it seems to be working.
Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.
“Eleanor Rigby,” the second track on the Beatles’ Revolver album, may be the most atypical Beatles single. No Beatle played a note on it; instead, they were backed by a small string ensemble. Released as a single, it was the flip side of “Yellow Submarine,” and could not have been more diametrically opposed to that children’s song. It was a song not of love, but of loneliness and death, one that ran counter to their Fab-Four-moptop image. To quote Alan W. Pollack, a musicologist who gave close readings of all the Beatles’ songs, “As one of the most ‘serious’ pieces of the entire Beatles’ canon, this song straight-facedly vaporized several commonly supposed limitations of what the two-minute AM-radio pop/rock musical genre might be capable of including within its purview and power of expression. Pigeon-hole terms, such as Crossover, Fusion, or Hybrid, somehow don’t seem to do it justice.”