When Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister died, hard-rocking cover tributes poured in from the likes of Dave Grohl, Alice Cooper, and Slash. The covers tended to be a lot like Lemmy himself: loud, brash, unapologetic. Now, Brooklyn quartet Heaven’s Jail have paid tribute with a very different sort of cover. Spacey and haunting, their version of “Capricorn” ditches the huge riffs and slows things down – way down.
We’ve already posted a couple bigger-name covers from this past weekend’s Northside Festival: Kacey Musgraves and Conor Oberst covering “Hey Good Lookin'” and Frankie Cosmos and Ava Luna covering Liz Phair and Serge Gainsbourg, respectively. But, like SXSW and CMJ, this Brooklyn festival is all about discovering the up-and-comers, the next generation of Kaceys or Conors. So we picked the five best bands we saw who we’ve never posted about, with a killer cover from each. Hear great takes on Billy Idol, the Beatles, a Christmas classic, and more below.
In May 2014, Cover Me wrote about Courtney Barnett, The Up And Coming Quirky Australian Singer-Songwriter, covering The Lemonheads‘ “Being Around.” Two years later, Courtney Barnett, The Critically Acclaimed And Pretty Big But Still Quirky Australian Guitar-Slaying Major Festival-Destroying Singer-Songwriter, covered the Lemonheads again for a stripped down acoustic performance of the alt-rock band’s 1993 song “Paid To Smile” on “The Strombo Show” on Canada’s CBC Radio 2.
For a Northside Festival showcase over the weekend, the music book series 33 1/3 hosted a series of all-cover shows dedicated to three albums they’re written about. Deradoorian covered Black Sabbath’s Master of Reality, Ava Luna covered Serge Gainsbourg’s Histoire de Melody Nelson, and Frankie Cosmos covered Liz Phair’s Exile in Guyville. We have videos from all three below.
This past weekend was the Northside Festival, sort of Brooklyn’s answer to SXSW and CMJ. In addition to hundreds of baby bands, they had a few big-name headliners, including the pairing of Kacey Musgraves and Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes. They guested during each others sets: Musgraves sang her own “Back to the Map” during his, then he returned during hers for a duet cover of Hank Williams‘ classic “Hey Good Lookin’.”
In the Spotlight showcases a cross-section of an artist’s cover work. View past installments, then post suggestions for future picks in the comments!
Back in the late 1980s, as the alt-country/No Depression sound began to spread, a group of bands centered in the Minneapolis area often played in the same venues. Sometimes members of these bands would do cover shows for fun. Although even the members of the band remember the band’s fittingly murky origins differently, ultimately, some of these friends began to perform as “Golden Smog” (originally a Flintstones reference), mostly playing covers. The core membership coalesced as Gary Louris and Marc Perlman of the Jayhawks on bass, Dan Murphy and Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum, Kraig Johnson of Run Westy Run (and later the Jayhawks) and Chris Mars of the Replacements (although the drum chair in the band has a near Spinal Tap-level rotating door), often augmented by guest musicians and singers. It was like seeing an incredibly talented bar band.