Dec 132011
 

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!

It’s hard to believe all that the now 22-year-old Taylor Swift has accomplished since the age of 16, when she released her very first single, “Tim McGraw” off her debut self-titled album. Fearless became the most honored country music album in history, and Swift the youngest musician ever to win a Grammy for album of the year. This past year, she was ranked #7 on Forbes Magazine‘s Celebrity 100 List. She even holds a title in the Guinness Book of World Records for 2012: “Fastest Selling Digital Album by a Female Artist” for her most recent release, Speak Now. Continue reading »

Jun 232011
 

Sarasota, Florida band Boyce Avenue is a YouTube cover sensation. One quick look at their channel will show cover videos that have garnered almost 17 million views. Since we last wrote about them in November (when they covered Britney Spears’ “Circus”), they’ve released cover songs of Katy Perry, Black Eyed Peas, Taylor Swift, and Kings of Leon, to name just a few. Now, they’ve released yet another song in a string of pop acoustic covers: British soft-rock favorites Coldplay‘s new track “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall”. Continue reading »

Nov 232010
 

Seeing the name Britney Spears appear anywhere in relation to cover songs should strike fear into your heart. The infamous pop music icon has a storied history of disastrous covers, made all the more notorious by the popularity and elitist appeal of the classics she has mangled. Any listing of all-time worst cover songs is all but certain to include either her 2000 mauling of “I Can’t Get No (Satisfaction)” (which even this Spears apologist admits is truly dreadful) or the 2002 reincarnation of “I Love Rock N Roll” that got one bewildered journalist noting that “Joan Jett would be rolling in her grave if she were dead.”

Fortunately, it appears that the pop superstar may have grown wise to the ire her cover songs inspire and withdrew from a game she clearly hadn’t the skills to play. Meanwhile, Britney effect has continued to pervade the world of cover songs on the flip side of the coin: not as one who covers but rather as one who is covered – arguably a weightier assessment of artistic importance than a knack for musical reinterpretation of another’s work. Some of the covers out there of Britney Spears tunes are excellent – and even most of the rest turn out more interesting than your average remake. Continue reading »

Dec 022008
 

I’ve got a confession: I think Justin Timberlake has talent. Lots of it. That isn’t to say I actually listen to him very much, but he seems to be able to make popular culture work for him, rather than just being swept along like so many other hitmakers. The guy’s got charisma to spare, and with the inevitable Dick in a Box spin-off season coming up soon, why not celebrate his many hits?

Shawn Lee’s Ping-Pong Orchestra – Rock Your Body
Bossa nova horn disco reggae lounge funk…it’s an interesting mix, and mostly instrumental. [Buy]

David Porteous – My Love
He’s got six covers up for free on his site, and they’re all great! [Buy]

Maximo Park – Like I Love You
Bouncy and fun, this comes from the great Radio 1 compilation, celebrating the BBC show’s 40th anniversary with forty covers, one song from each year. Well worth snagging. [Buy]

Glen Hansard – Cry Me a River
A radio broadcast with an obnoxious host, this one takes a while to really get going, but once that violin comes in to join the Once singer’s voices it’s smooth sailing. [Buy]
Update: Version without the host added. Thanks Ayla!

Boyce Avenue – Lovestoned
These guys are masters of the pop cover, having dozens of great acoustic ones ready for download. Some nice rhythmic plucking pushes along powerful vocals that, just like JT, aren’t afraid of a little falsetto. [Buy]

Kaki King – I Think She Knows
Originally an interlude of “Lovestoned,” King extracts it and makes it its own song on the just-released Guilt By Association Vol. 2 comp. [Buy]

James Eric – Sexyback
Some more sensitive acoustic guy. It just seems to work with Justin songs; not sure why. [Buy]

Tobias Froberg – What Goes Around Comes Around
Is that accordion in a JT cover? I think I’m in love. [Buy]

Umphrey’s McGee – Dick in a Box
The jam masters rocked this one out for eight minutes in Portland ’07. It’s smooth, jazzy, and sexy as it wants to be. [Buy]

Nov 042008
 

—Note: This is a repost. In their recent wave of attacks on music bloggers, the RIAA finally found me, prompting blogger to delete the original post with no notification of any kind. Maybe the industry was pissed that I talked shit about it in the original post. This attack on the music blogging community seems to me a situation of that cliched shirt, “The beatings will continue until morale improves.” Anyway, here is the text of the removed post, but the links are gone. That includes the buy links, incidentally – look what happened RIAA, now no one will buy any of these albums at all. I will be making a new Full Album cover post later tonight but if these take-downs become a recurring pattern, I cannot say what my future as a music blogger will be.—

Halloween is this Friday, and it’s certainly a scary time for us bloggers. In the past couple weeks everyone has been getting posts pulled, cease-and-desist letters, and file hosting privileges revoked out of the blue. Who knows what instituted the crack-down, but I’ll take vampires over the RIAA any day. Here at Cover Me we’re gonna press on, celebrating the fun side of being scared with some Halloween covers.

Marilyn Manson – This Is Halloween (Nightmare Before Christmas)
Tim Burton’s holiday classic wouldn’t be complete without Danny Elfman’s spooky soundtrack, pop songs about bleeding eyes and deadly poxes. Some songs are just so perfectly chosen to cover, and this would be one of them, Manson relishing the change to parody himself as he exhorts you to scream. Off of the recently-released Nightmare Revisited covers collection. [Buy]

Lou Rawls – Season of the Witch (Donovan)
Because nothing says Halloween like a lot of organ. And nothing says “Alright, I’ve had enough of the damn organ” like a sax blaring through at halfway point. [Buy]

Denison Witmer – Is There a Ghost? (Band of Horses)
To promote his upcoming release Carry the Weight, Witmer has been releasing a series of covers on his MySpace page of everyone from Bonnie Raitt to Red House Painters. Needless to say, the blogosphere has been eating up (free music, woohoo!), but his nuanced and forceful acoustic takes warrant the hype. [Buy]

The Mighty Echoes – Monster Mash (Bobby “Boris” Pickett)
No cover of this could possibly live up to the original, with Pickett’s eerie Boris Karloff-channeling vocal performance, but this a capella doo wop take is fun. [Buy]

Boyce Avenue – Disturbia (Rihanna)
“Really, Ray, the third week in a row with a Disturbia cover?” That’s right. They just never get old, and the video is an S&M Halloween classic. [Buy]

Barenaked Ladies – Grim Grinning Ghosts (Buddy Baker)
Baker wrote the music for dozens of obscure Disney movies, and this one he came up with as the theme for the Haunted Mansion ride at Disney world. It’s used in a billion different ways, meticulously cataloged at the tune’s wikipedia page, but none can be better than this super-jolly BNL take. [Buy]

Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – Whistling Past the Graveyard (Tom Waits)
With his well-known “I Put a Spell On You” and classic album covers like this one, Screamin’ Jay could have a whole Halloween post by himself. And maybe he will next year. Until then, here’s one of his many classic Tom Waits covers, a big funk number with a growl and swagger. [Buy]

Petra Hayden – Thriller (Michael Jackson)
I posted Ben Gibbard’s cover of this in my full album cover post here, which I personally prefer, but this one has gotten a lot of blog hype. It’s a little too close to the original for my taste, but demand was high, so have at it. [Buy]

Alkaline Trio – Over at the Frankenstein Place (Rocky Horror Picture Show)
No Halloween is complete without some Rocky Horror excitement, and if your Halloween plans include Brad and Janet this year, check out this site to truly be prepared. And then go buy the full disc of covers, The Rocky Horror Punk Rock Show, that includes this fuzzed-out gem of one of the musical’s more obscure tunes. [Buy]

Michael Derning & Mia Arends – Vampire (Michael Smith)
It’s difficult to research someone with the name Michael Smith. I’m guessing this songwriter is not the ex-singer of the Dave Clark Five, but he’s probably not the Limp Bizkit guitarist either. I like this song though, so if anyone has any insight as to its origins, let me know! [Buy]

Hexnut – What’s He Building? (Tom Waits)
Two Tom Waits songs for a Halloween theme strikes me as entirely appropriate, and no song is more apropos to the occasion than this. I use the term “song” loosely of course, as this spooky spoken-word narrative sounds straight out of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I don’t know what he’s building, and I don’t intend to find out. [Buy]