Jul 132017
 
gavin castleton

We’ve written about Rhode Island songwriter/producer Gavin Castleton a few times over the years, spotlighting his airy and enjoyable covers of Peter Gabriel, Frank Ocean, and the Twin Peaks theme. But that didn’t prepare us for his newest, a hard-hitting and powerfully charged of Billie Holiday’s harrowing song about lynching, “Strange Fruit.”

One reason for our surprise is that Castleton recruited another Cover Me favorite to sing: Rescue of funk-rock band Bad Rabbits (hear them covering Smashing Pumpkins and Michael Jackson). Rescue delivers one of the most powerful vocals we’ve heard this year, lurching from aggressive pummel to wavering falsetto. And it blends perfectly with Castleton’s thudding electronic production, spare and unrelenting in a way that won’t let you turn away. Continue reading »

May 312013
 

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!

Greg Dulli is back on top of his game. He’s sobered up, lost a lot of weight, and, after years of will-they-or-won’t-they speculation, his primary band the Afghan Whigs toured the better part of last year after a baker’s dozen years of absence. Dulli has never sat still for long, alternately fronting The Twilight Singers, The Gutter Twins, and going out solo from time to time. Through it all, he has focused his obsession with other people’s tunes, particularly black music across several genres, into a funnel cloud of cock rock fury, soulful loneliness, and unrequited lust.

Continue reading »

Jun 082011
 

Many were shocked earlier this year when jazz ingenue Esperanza Spalding beat out Justin Bieber for the “Best New Artist” Grammy. Responses ranged from “Who?” to Beliebers (ugh) hijacking her Wikipedia entry in anger. This writer, having seen Spalding open for Dave Brubeck at the Winnipeg Jazz Festival some four or five years ago, mostly wondered how she qualified as a new artist, but that’s another matter. Now Spalding shows exactly why she won on a new compilation. Continue reading »

May 182011
 

Every Wednesday, our resident Gleek Eric Garneau gives his take on last night’s Glee covers.

In “Funeral,” the glee club prepares for their pending trip to Nationals, but are hit surprisingly hard by the death of club nemesis Sue Sylvester’s sister.

I imagine some viewers out there feel cheated by the identity of the person who dies in “Funeral.” I thought for sure the smart money was on Kurt’s dad Burt (Mike O’Malley). On last week’s post commenter Jason supposed it’d be Karofsky, closeted football player and Kurt’s one-time enemy, whose death would’ve provided a surprising end to his arc but didn’t seem impossible. Yet “Funeral” took from us Sue (Jane Lynch) Sylvester’s sister Jean, an almost non-character who appeared a few times throughout the course of the show to remind viewers that Sue indeed had a heart. Continue reading »