OK Computer turned 15 last month and to celebrate, German magazine Musik Express put together a tribute of the Radiohead classic. The tracklist mixes local and international, including Austra doing “Paranoid Android” and School of Seven Bells tackling “Subterranean Homesick Alien,” both of which have found their way to SoundCloud. Listen below.
Lead singer Katie Stelmanis of Austra tweeted that “Melbourne is like a Bizarro World Toronto” when they were down under for Triple J’s ‘Like A Version.’ When she used the term, she meant it to describe the eerie amount of similarities the two cities have. If we were to describe their recent cover of Robyn‘s “None of Dem” with the same term, we would mean it in the original geeky DC-Comics way.
When people look back in 2011 in music a decade from now, one name will come to mind: Adele. In our little world of cover songs, she dominated. Everyone covered Adele this year. It’s not just that we saw more covers of “Rolling in the Deep” than any other song; they beat out second place (probably “Pumped Up Kicks”) by like a factor of five! We generally try to look for larger cover trends in these annual wrap-ups, but it’s hard to remember anything else from this year except the year-long onslaught of Adele covers hitting our mailbox.
There’s only one “Rolling in the Deep” cover in this year’s list though. The rest are all over the place. Some of the artists listed built their covers with lush soundscapes, thick beats, and intricate string work. Others just took guitars or pianos and bowled us over with the emotion in their voices. There may not be much of an overarching “Year in Covers” narrative, but that means there’s a cover or two for everyone. From feel-good takes on rap songs to kill-yourself versions of pop songs, this year’s list features flips, flops, and genre switcheroos of all sorts. A good cover should be informed by the source material but stand on its own, and we’ll be unrolling the 50 finest examples of songs doing just that all week. Start with #50-41 on the next page and check back daily as we count down to the best cover of 2011.
They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s special day with other people singing his or her songs. Let others do the work for a while. Happy birthday!
Joni Mitchell turns 68 today and, in terms of influence, her star burns as bright as ever. As folk stages its umpteenth popular revival, a whole new generation of folkies, freak-folkies, neofolkies, and indie folkies have taken lessons from decades of her simple, heart-wrenching songs. Dozen of hip, Pitchfork-approved artists namecheck Mitchell in interviews and display an obvious debt in their songs. On Joni’s birthday, we pay tribute to her through some of their tributes.
July is becoming a big month for free anniversary full-album tributes. Last week SPIN gave us their tribute to Nirvana, and today Stereogum surprises us with Stroked, a collection of covers from the Strokes’ game-changing debut Is This It. Eleven indie icons and upstarts cover every song on the album, just as they did with Radiohead’s OK Computer.
Staten Island, New York children’s chorus PS22 Chorus has done it again. After covering artists like MGMT (when they, appropriately enough, covered the band’s hit “Kids”) and Phoenix (with their gorgeous, down tempo cover of “Lisztomania”), the fifth-graders continue amping up their indie cred with a cover of Toronto “It” band Austra‘s “Energy”.