Frightened Rabbit is no stranger to the AV Club’s Undercover series. Back in 2010, the Scottish band covered the Lemonheads “Confetti” in a very Scottish manner. This year, they ALMOST covered Blackstreet’s “No Diggity,” but backed out and opted for Cheap Trick‘s classic “Surrender.”
Who is Mike Doughty? The ex-frontman of Soul Coughing? An acoustic singer/songwriter? An acclaimed poet and writer? The latest offering from Mr. Doughty, whoever he may be, is The Flip Is Another Honey, a smattering of cover tunes ranging from John Denver to Cheap Trick to Guys and Dolls. And, as you may expect, Doughty will break some rules.
Mike Doughty, who first found fame in the mid-90′s with his alt-rock outfit Soul Coughing and has been a solo act since 2000, announced last week that his next album will be comprised of nothing but covers. The Flip is Another Honey, due out November 6th, has a tracklist covering commonplace songs (“Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver, “Southern Girls” by Cheap Trick) and lesser-known tracks (“Boy + Angel” by Doveman, “Ta Douleur” by Camille, “Mistress” by Red House Painters).
Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.
When Cheap Trick were getting ready to record In Color, their second album, they had a backlog of great material to choose from. One song had just missed the cut on their first album (which was a shame, as it blistered), and now they were ready to bring it to the world. But producer Tom Werman wanted to emphasize Cheap Trick’s melodicism, and while In Color won a lot of well-deserved plaudits, their rerecording of that great gem twinkled more than it stomped, and it lost all its muscle in the process. Then they traveled halfway around the world to an arena in downtown Tokyo, where Robin Zander pointed at thousands of screaming Japanese girls and informed them, “I want… YOU… to want… ME.” The song blasted back across the ocean and into Billboard‘s top ten, and ever since then “I Want You To Want Me” has been a part of the world’s immortal soundtrack, a song that you’ve somehow always known.
SoCal singer-songwriter Gary Jules is undoubtedly best known for his cover of Tears for Fears’ “Mad World.” First recorded for the film Donnie Darko in 2003, the song has had an incredible run: it’s been included in TV shows like House, Smallville, and General Hospital, as well as TV commercials and a memorable version by American Idol contestant Adam Lambert.
Live Collection brings together every live cover we can find from an artist. And we find a lot.
Over the past decade, Portland quintet the Decemberists have gone from indie darlings to indie darlings with a number-one album. This year’s The King is Dead took the band to new levels of commercial success, shining some national attention on a band whose name was once known only to the chamber pop-obsessed and English majors. It may not be too unfounded to compare this band’s story to that of R.E.M.’s in the ‘80s; in fact, given the unabashed fandom they display on The King is Dead, that’s a comparison they’d probably happily invite.
The collection of covers crooned by the Decemberists mostly betrays their too-cool-for-school nature. They seem to have hit all the requisites that prove you listened to hip music in the ’80s – the Velvet Underground, the Smiths, Echo & the Bunnymen, etc. However, there’s a few genuine surprises here. Embarrassing reading of the Outfield‘s “Your Love” notwithstanding, there’s some real pleasure to be had in the band’s delight at ripping into Heart‘s “Crazy on You,” or in their surprisingly earnest rendition of Bad Company‘s “Feel Like Making Love.” Band leader Colin Meloy also turns in an intimate, slowed-down version of Cheap Trick‘s “Summer Girls” to great effect. Even the band’s usual bombast makes itself known in the 16-minute epic of Pink Floyd‘s “Echoes.”
On Friday night, Yo La Tengo hit the studios of WFMU 91.1 to lend their support to the station’s annual pledge drive. As they have every year for over a decade, the Hoboken trio spent three hours performing listener-requested cover songs. Listeners were encouraged to go obscure, requesting songs the band had never played before (though presumably there was some filter, since no Miley Cyrus deep cuts slipped through). Given that they already played 44 new covers just a couple months ago, that sometimes meant pretty obscure. We’ve got ‘em all below.