Feb 172016

Underneath Mac DeMarco‘s silly grin and hipster getup is a genuine troubadour who has more to do with classic-sounding songwriters like Paul McCartney, Elton John, and more recently Tobias Jesso Jr. The best proof is last year’s “Another One,” in which DeMarco does a better ’70s John Lennon than John Lennon often did during his solo career. Continue reading »

Jan 112016
mac miller

Let me state, for the record, that I am a Billy Joel fanatic.  I have seen “The Piano Man” in concert more times than I have fingers to count.  I have purchased every song that he has ever recorded – including his stuff with The Echoes and The Hassles. Heck, I almost named my first daughter “Alexa”, because that’s Joel’s daughter’s name (my wife put a stop to that however).

Needless to say, I am very protective and picky when it comes to Joel covers.  So when I heard that some hip-hop artist from Pittsburgh – Mac Miller – covered my second favorite Joel song, “Vienna”, I immediately assumed I would hate it. And I was right.

But then I listened to it again.  And again.  And again. Continue reading »

May 092014

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!

As of today, Billy Joel is eligible for Social Security. So, now that his money woes are assuredly a thing of the past, let’s get to celebrating his 65th birthday in the accomplished style he really and truly deserves.
Continue reading »

Nov 092011

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

In “The First Time,” McKinley High prepares to open their production of West Side Story, but stars Rachel (Lea Michele) and Blaine (Darren Criss) find themselves full of indecision after musical director Artie (Kevin McHale) suggests they need sexual experience to properly portray their roles.

West Side Story‘s over, and I’m not sure how much there’s left to say about McKinley High’s (really professional-looking) production of the classic musical. I’m really surprised this plot sustained itself over five episodes (with its songs making it into three of the last four), but it seems that for now we’ve seen the last of the West Side. Is that a good thing? Continue reading »

Jun 212011

Download This scours the web’s dark corners for cool cover freebies. View past installments.

Billy Joel spent much of the ’80s looking to court music lovers with albums that sounded either retro (An Innocent Man) or ultra-pop (The Bridge, which features a collaboration with Cyndi Lauper). For one glorious record, though, Joel broke from his “piano man” mold. He got angry. He got punk. Continue reading »

Mar 252011

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!

Born in 1947, the man christened Reginald Kenneth Dwight has left a stunning mark on popular culture in the last four decades. Over 30 albums, two animated films, two Broadway plays and a host of crazy costumes later, Elton John‘s still standing. Unlike many musicians his age, John’s work output has not slowed, nor has his popularity. Just last year he released a Grammy-nominated album with American singer-songwriter Leon Russell, and he’ll soon embark on a worldwide greatest hits tour. John and his domestic partner David Furnish also recently welcomed a child into their household via surrogate. That lucky little tyke gets to count Lady Gaga as one of his godmothers. Continue reading »