Jun 152018
 
best cover songs 1978

Welcome to the third installment in our Best Cover Songs of Yesteryear countdown, where we act like we were compiling our usual year-end list from a year before we – or the internet – existed. Compared to the first two, this one has significantly less grunge than 1996 and less post-punk than 1987. It’s hard to have post-punk, after all, before you have punk, a new genre starting to hit its peak in 1978. And don’t forget the other big late-’70s sound: disco. Both genres were relatively new, and super divisive among music fans. Lucky for us, both genres were also big on covers.

Disco, in particular, generated some hilariously ill-advised cover songs. We won’t list them all here – this is the Best 1978 covers, not the Most 1978 covers. If you want a taste (and think carefully about whether you really do), this bonkers take on a Yardbirds classic serves as a perfect example of what a good portion of the year’s cover songs looked and sounded like: Continue reading »

Apr 172012
 

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!

The Buzzcocks were unique among British punk bands of the late seventies; not only were they more melodic (at a breakneck pace, granted) than most of their peers, they were prone to lead with their hearts. Pete Shelley, lead vocalist and chief songwriter, was the reason why; while other groups traded furor and phlegm gems with their audiences, Shelley yelped about love and lust, found and lost, in a way that girls and boys could both relate to, and he did it in perfect three-minute bursts. Shelley turns 57 today and is still going strong; we’re honoring him with these five covers from the first phase of the Buzzcocks’ career. Continue reading »

Aug 182011
 

Manchester trio The Whip took a long break between the 2008 release of their debut album, X Marks Destination, and follow-up record Wired Together, which drops on September 19. But that doesn’t mean they haven’t kept busy. Last year they recorded a series of covers for JD Set, including a take on Buzzcocks’ “You Say You Don’t Love Me” that found them collaborating with The Charlatans’ Tim Burgess and Mike Joyce of The Smiths. Continue reading »

Jan 072011
 

You know the story. The Jews needed eight days of oil to purify the Temple in Jerusalem. There was only enough oil for one day. Miraculously, though, that small amount lasted for all eight nights. And on every one of those nights Yo La Tengo played a concert.

Well, maybe they passed on that first Hanukkah, but it seems they’ve played eight crazy nights of shows every year since. Twenty-ten was no exception. As chronicled at BrooklynVegan, the nights of December 1-8 each saw a unique Yo La Tengo show go down at Maxwell’s in New Jersey. Every evening featured surprise openers and comedians, including heavy hitters like the National and Jeff Tweedy. Continue reading »

Jun 182010
 

Song of the Day posts one cool cover every morning. Catch up on past installments here.

If you’ve been sleeping on the Noisettes, wake up. This British trio puts so much soul in their swagger you don’t know where to file them with the Clash or the M.G.’s. Zimbabwean frontwoman Shingai Shoniwa can switch between swing and roar at the drop of a drum hit or, more likely, syncopated hand clap.

To celebrate their 50th anniversary last year, Dr. Martens commissioned some covers (much like Levi’s is doing now). They’re releasing the ten songs at an embarrassingly slow rate, but some good stuff is on the docket: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club covering the Pogues in August and the Raveonettes covering the Stone Roses in September.
Continue reading »