These days, it seems that every band or artist puts out tracks before new albums come out, and it’s easy to understand why – at $1.29 on iTunes, an individual song purchase costs more than it would in relation to the album, or, if you get the tracks by pre-ordering, you’re locked in for the whole shebang. Most, however, will release a track or two in anticipation. That, apparently, is not She & Him‘s style. In the last few weeks, the easy-listening power-duo of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward have already released four tracks (out of thirteen total) from their upcoming collection of standards, Classics, which comes out on December 2.
Metaphorest is the recording and performing moniker of Irish singer, songwriter and guitarist Sarah Daly. Daly has been self-releasing her music since as Metaphorest since 2009 on hitRECord, the company run by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The likes of Joanna Newsom, Jeff Buckley, and Björk inspire her music, along with someone closer to home: her second cousin Kate Bush. With Daly being so close to Bush both musically and genetically, it is no surprise her barebones guitar cover of “Babooshka” is spot-on delightful.
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.
Live Collection brings together every live cover we can find from an artist. And we find a lot.
It was almost 17 years ago now that frontman Jay Farrar split ways with his alt-country group Uncle Tupelo due to differences with bassist Jeff Tweedy, leaving Tweedy and the rest of the band in the dust. Since that time, Farrar’s career has skyrocketed, and Tweedy and the boys haven’t done anything.
Wait. I’m wrong. They formed a band called Wilco, which continues to prosper as one of the most important and influential bands in indie music.
To conclude that Wilco’s longevity is due to some sort of a constant and timeless sound would be dead wrong, however, as our latest Live Collection shows. The covers below, which include romps through the works of David Bowie, Sheryl Crow, the Ramones, and even a few half-hearted attempts at tracks by one of Farrar’s subsequent projects, Son Volt, show just how much Wilco has changed through the years. The Wilco who covers “Organ Blues” in 2000 sounds little like the one who does Tom Petty’s “Listen to Her Heart” in 1995. Sure, their 2002 cover of The Stooges’ “TV Eye” anticipates the pulsating pianos and dissonant guitars that would not truly define their albums until years later, but as a general rule, you can follow the arc of the band’s sound through the years pretty closely via the covers below.
Instead of putting up a bunch of songs about turkey, football and racial genocide, we’re celebrating Thanksgiving at Cover Me by giving thanks to you, our readers, but answering your requests. We’ve solicited them the past few weeks here and on our Twitter page and here are the results. Sadly, we could not track down every cover requested, but we got most. Don’t see yours here? Consider yourself having won Stump the Blogger!
The Popcorn Orchestra – Alice’s Restaurant (Arlo Guthrie)
The requesting gold medal goes to @Totz_the_Plaid for requesting one of the very few songs actually about Thanksgiving. Well, part of it is. When a song is 18 minutes long, it tends to be about a lot of things. If the cover is three minutes and instrumental though…it’s a bit different. [Buy]
Yo La Tengo – Somebody’s Baby (Jackson Browne)
Browne wrote this song for the soundtrack to Fast Times at Ridgemont High. That might have embarrassed him if it hadn’t led to his highest-charting single ever. [Buy]
Jamie Walters – Winona (Matthew Sweet)
Matthew Sweet has become quite the cover artist himself, recently releasing his second volume of Under the Covers with the Bangles’ Susanna Hoffs. Here’s a cover of one of his originals though, off his seminal Girlfriend album. He clarifies that the title was inspired by Winona Ryder, but the song is not about her. [Buy]
Radiohead – Ceremony (Joy Division)
The request here was just for a Joy Divison cover, but I modified it to be a cover of a song other than “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” We could fill a whole post of good covers of that one. And three more posts of crappy ones. [Buy]
Max Vernon – I Kissed a Girl (Katy Perry)
A modern song “in the style of the 80s” was the request here and I couldn’t decide between this and Timid Tiger’s “Womanizer.” If at first you can’t figure out why Vernon won out though, wait ‘til the drum machine, synths and Go-Gos-esq backing vocals kick in. [Buy]
The Dresden Dolls – Pierre (Maurice Sendak / Carole King)
Sendak’s been in the limelight all fall with the Where the Wild Things Are blockbuster. Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs soundtracked that one, but in 1975 Sendak co-wrote a musical with Carol King, Really Rosie, that included a version of this story. See for yourself. [Buy]
PYT – Summer of ’69 (Bryan Adams)
A request for some good old fashioned CanCon led to this one. For all you south of the border, CanCon is Canadian Content, the requirement that a certain percentage of songs played on the radio be of Canuck origin. Canadian radio seems to have a bit of an inferiority complex to me, but they shouldn’t. Sure Canada’s responsible for Alanis Morissette (don’t believe me? check out her Wikipedia photo), but I think Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and The Band make up for it. [Buy]
The King’s Singers – After the Gold Rush (Neil Young)
Speaking of which, the grouchy old man himself. As sung by a British men’s chorus, all oh whom’s voices seem to be way too high than is healthy. I do like the explanation Young purportedly gave Dolly Parton for the lyrics though: “Hell, I don’t know. It just depends on what I was taking at the time. I guess every verse has something different I’d taken.” [Buy]
Amy Millan – I Will Follow You Into the Dark (Death Cab for Cutie)
You can tell this is older Death Cab. Nowadays Ben Gibbard and the boys just follow the rest of the world into an embarrassing New Moon fandom. [Buy]
Everclear – Search and Destroy (The Stooges)
This one was only released as the B-side to the band’s recent “Everything to Everyone” single, but it should wider circulation if only to prove that the “Father of Mine” guys actually have a pair. Who knew? [Buy]