May 152018
 
scary pockets

You probably haven’t heard of California funk duo Scary Pockets. We hadn’t either, until stumbling upon their amazing sax-jazz cover of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory highlight “Pure Imagination.” But we should have. Turns out their keyboard player, Jack Conte, was half of one of YouTube’s first viral covers groups: Pomplamoose. (Conte also founded popular crowdfunding platform Patreon – needless to say, Scary Pockets has a page).

That’s the resume, but what hooked me before I discovered any of that were their new cover videos. Like a ’70s funk version of Postmodern Jukebox, Conte and his guitarist partner Ryan Lerman bring in guest singers for vintage soul takes on pop hits across the genre map. Start where I did, with a smooth jazz take on “Pure Imagination” featuring saxophonist Sam Gendel. Continue reading »

Apr 302018
 
surfrajettes toxic

You’re probably not familiar with the Surfrajettes‘ oeuvre. An all-girl, go-go booted Surf Rock band from Toronto might not be on everyone’s musical radar. When I think Bikini Beach-era surf rock, I imagine Southern California, Santa Cruz, or maybe the banzai pipeline in Hawaii, but certainly not a Canadian city a thousand miles from any ocean, where the girls that make up Surfrajettes hail from.

Fresh off an ear-popping set at the Asbury Park Surf Music festival where they shared a bill with Dick Dale and Los Straight Jackets, this band seems to be intentionally flying just under the radar. No vocals, just psychedelic instrumental surf music played straight, fast, and furious. Continue reading »

Mar 282018
 

“Covering the Hits” looks at covers of a randomly-selected #1 hit from the past sixty years.

hold it against me covers

This fourth installment of “Covering the Hits” marks a first: the first time one of these was a hit during Cover Me’s lifetime. Britney Spears’ “Hold It Against Me” topped the charts in 2011, well within this blog’s ten-year history. In fact, we wrote a feature on the song when it first came out. This is hardly a cut we’re dusting off from the archives of music history. Continue reading »

Dec 042017
 
2017 cover songs

Our official list of the Best Cover Songs of 2017 comes next week. But first, we’re continuing the tradition we started last year by rounding up some of the songs it most killed us to cut in a grab-bag post. No ranking, no writing, just a bunch of knockout covers. Continue reading »

Nov 012017
 
slothrust covers

It’s been a minute since Slothrust was last featured at Cover Me: three and a half years to be exact. But the bluesy trio is back on our radar with a new EP of cover songs, spearheaded (pun intended) by their excellent version of Britney Spears’ “Baby One More Time”.

As we mentioned in our post on Slothrust’s version of Black Sabbath’s “Electric Funeral”, the influences and song stylings of the band run the gamut, and the tracklist of the forthcoming EP Show Me How You Want It To Be reflects that. From Sabbath to Spears, Marcy Playground to Al Green, there’s not much of a theme to the album. But if all the songs are as solid as “Baby One More Time”, the theme might just be “great covers”. Continue reading »

Mar 022017
 
DeathinRome

Last month, we posted our three favorite covers of Britney Spears’ “Toxic.” Maybe we should have waited – neofolk band Death in Rome have just released a very strange version that might give those a run for its money!

The first clue that Death in Rome’s “Toxic” might not be your standard Britney-covers fare came in the Facebook band’s intro: “During the work on it, the song became for us an anthem on nihilisim and the mighty Emil Cioran. Enjoy, dance, be happy, it’s all in vain anyway.” Which, to be fair, is basically the message of Britney’s song “‘Til the World Ends.” But as if that wasn’t odd enough, they included a deeply depressing quote from philosopher Cioran: “There is no other world. Nor even this one. What, then, is there? The inner smile provoked in us by the patent nonexistence of both.” And this has what to do with Britney exactly? Continue reading »