It seems tough, when presented with a band named “Diarrhea Planet,” to focus initially on anything other than that name – that is, until they start to play. When that happens, the Nashville band becomes something that could exist without a name at all; it just is rock and roll. Bands – especially punk bands – bring all sorts of attitudes when they approach so-called classics, but Diarrhea Planet brings nothing but talent and enthusiasm to their take on Bruce Springsteen‘s “Born to Run.” Where other acts might imbue their arts with sarcasm or, alternately, overplayed sincerity, they bring music.
There are times when it’s difficult to remember who a cover is covering. It’s a strange testament to all the artists involved – both that the songwriter can elicit such strong feelings and evoke such strong atmospheres as to seem like someone else and that the covering artist can bring out something unique from the heart of the song.
It’s inevitable that the future of rock music is held in comparison to its pioneers, as is the case in any endeavor. With the Divine Fits‘ cover of Bruce Springsteen‘s “Hungry Heart,” we have the evidence that the incoming generations can hold their own as well as anyone. Though it’s a stripped down rendition, consisting only of acoustic guitars, vocals, some light percussion, and a synth, Britt Daniel’s vocals bring his signature brand of easygoing grittiness to the tune in a way that would make the Boss proud.
Adele dominated the cover song landscape in 2011, but Two-Aught-Twelve saw no similar galvanizing figure. Yes Lana Del Rey got covered a lot, but Leonard Cohen and Arcade Fire also seemed to garner an unexpected landslide of great covers (and speaking of landslides, so did Fleetwood Mac). “Call Me Maybe” was a huge hit that didn’t lead to much in the way of classic covers, and few seem to have even bothered attempting the Korean raps on “Gangnam Style.”
Which means that cover songs in 2012 were more diverse, ambitious, and left-field than ever before. A given YouTube search or Hype Machine browse would be as likely to turn up forgotten hits or underappreciated songwriters as it would the latest Top 40 smash. Find a sampling of all the diversity in Cover Me’s official Best Cover Songs of 2012 countdown. Start with #40-31 on the next page, and check back daily as we’ll be adding more til we hit #1.
Just two weeks into their Fall 2012 tour, Jersey indie punkers Screaming Females have had to cancel the rest of the dates. The word from their publicist:
“Since falling ill with mononucleosis in May, Marissa Paternoster has been experiencing severe chronic pains that have rendered it very difficult for Screaming Females to tour. To ensure that Marissa has adequate time to heal so that Screaming Females can continue, it brings us great sadness to announce that all scheduled dates after October 10th will be cancelled.”
Under the Radar shines a light on lesser-known cover artists. If you’re not listening to these folks, you should. Catch up on past installments here.
Camera Obscura have carved out a reputation as standard bearers of Scottish independent music, continuing the good work of the mighty Belle & Sebastian by flying the flag for Glaswegian culture since the late ‘90s. Renowned for their trademark tuneful indiepop, mixing lo-fi vocals and a dash of melancholy with retro flavours of ‘60s Motown and the occasional splash of country, it’s unsurprising that they are a goldmine for unexpectedly brilliant covers.
Quickies rounds up new can’t-miss covers. Download ‘em below.
• Norwegian folkie Ane Brun releases It All Starts with One this week and she’s giving away a bonus track for free: a solo guitar Arcade Fire cover that shows her lilting Scandinavian accent hitting full force.
MP3: Ane Brun – Neighbourhood #1 (Tunnels) (Arcade Fire cover)