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!

Next month, singer/songwriter and musician extraordinaire Ben Folds releases his newest album, The Best Imitation of Myself: A Retrospective – a fitting title considering all he has to look back on in his 45 years of life so far. Even before Ben Folds Five — perhaps Folds’ most notable band project — released their self-titled album back in 1995, Folds had played everything from the bass to the drums to, of course, the piano in several different bands. But it wasn’t until Ben Folds Five was created that he really struck it big. With the help of bassist Robert Sledge and drummer Darren Jessee, Folds created some of his greatest hits and was eventually able to launch his very successful solo career. Continue reading »

They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s big day with cover tributes to his or her songs. Let others do the work for a while. Happy birthday!

Prolific indie musician Ben Gibbard celebrates his 35th birthday on August 11. He’ll be spending the big day in Georgia, touring in support of Death Cab for Cutie’s latest release Codes and Keys; here at Cover Me we’re saluting him with five covers of his work by other artists. In light of his extensive catalogue with both Death Cab and electronic side project The Postal Service, there were a lot of options, but we’ve narrowed it down to a few of the best. Continue reading »

Aug 022011

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!


A real argument can be made that, in a couple decades’ time, Ben Folds will be seen as one of the key singer-songwriters of our generation (that is, if he’s not yet claimed that position). His flawless blending of painful honesty and quirky humor speak to legions of fans in a way that few artists can manage, and the sheer breadth of his various projects and collaborations (recording an album with author Nick Hornby, a permanent judge spot on NBC’s The Sing-Off, the impressive 8-in-8 experiment with Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer and Damian Kulash) ensure that we won’t be getting bored of him anytime soon. Continue reading »

Throughout his career, Ben Folds has exhibited both compassion for people in distress and an acerbic sense of humor. Generally those two don’t manifest themselves simultaneously, but on his latest track he somehow pulls from both reserves. Folds covered “Sleazy,” one of Ke$ha’s most obnoxious songs (which is saying something) for a very not obnoxious cause: earthquake relief in Japan. Continue reading »

This March, we pit 64 Beatles covers against each other in what we call Moptop Madness.

Yesterday’s winners: Joe Cocker, “With a Little Help from My Friends” and José Feliciano, “A Day in the Life”

Well, here we are. Yesterday’s contests marked the end of Round One. From now on, the only contestants left are the ones you voted for. 32 covers gone, 32 left. But only one can win. To kick us off, John Tams meets David Bowie, then Booker T. and the M.G.s meets Ben Folds. Let’s do this.

Listen to each pairing below, then vote for your favorite. For added sway, try to convince others to vote your way in the comments. Voting closes in 24 hours. Continue reading »

This March, we pit 64 Beatles covers against each other in what we call Moptop Madness.

Yesterday we introduced you to Moptop Madness and today we give you the first of our daily matches! We’ll be posting two a day throughout Round 1. First, British folk singer John Tams sings “Girl” and 1968 space act Lord Sitar performs “Blue Jay Way.” Then, piano man Ben Folds sings “Golden Slumbers” while guitar god Jeff Beck performs “She’s a Woman.”

Listen to each pairing below, then vote for your favorite. For added sway, try to convince others to vote your way in the comments. Voting closes in 24 hours. Continue reading »

Nov 102010

Live Collection brings together every live cover we can find from an artist. And we find a lot.

The recent release of Easy Wonderful has given Guster fans reason to fall in love with them all over again. As their album title insinuates, they have an agreeable sound that resonates with you and has aged well over the past (almost) 20 years. If the Beach Boys went to college in the 90's, added some bongos, and stayed out of the sun, Guster is what they would sound like.

Featured on soundtracks like Life as a House and Wedding Crashers, their songs can pull at the heartstrings as you croon along with them. On the other hand, they are better known for their laid-back, wisecracking personalities that beam from the stage and infect their fans. During their years of touring, they have taken on many cover songs with both their sensitive and playful dispositions (but mostly the latter). Typically at the end of a show, Guster will rile up the crowd with a number from Madonna, Talking Heads, or whoever sings the “Cheers” theme song (Portnoy) and get everyone involved.  Most of the time, it's just an excuse to get drummer Brian Rosenworcel out in front showing off his questionable vocals, calling in the crowd for backup.  It's just like being at a karaoke bar. Continue reading »

Full Albums features covers of every track off a classic album. Got an idea for a future pick? Leave a note in the comments!

Elliott Smith’s 1997 release, Either/Or, strikes the perfect balance between the stripped-down acoustic recordings of his early career and the more fleshed-out arrangements that he would later explore. It doesn’t hurt that the album contains some of his most memorable melodies as well.

With its near-whispered vocals and dark lyrics, Elliott Smith’s music has always had a personal, headphone-music quality to it—you don’t see many summer barbecue mixes blaring tracks like “2:45 AM.” As a result, the best covers of his songs tend not to stray far from the singer-recording-in-his-bedroom model, but we’ve also included some of the more adventurous interpretations of his work. Continue reading »

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