Aug 082019
 
david byrne cover songs

Talking Heads only ever recorded one cover, and when I talked to David Byrne about it for my book, he seemed to have mixed feelings on the subject. “There’s always a little bit of resistance to recording a cover like that because it’s kind of a crowd pleaser,” he told me. “I’d seen it happen before, where radio DJs who pick what they’re going to play will often pick a cover song… So then a band gets known for covering somebody else’s song as opposed to writing their own material. They have to go through a struggle for years to get identified with their own songs.”

Talking Heads recorded “Take Me to the River,” it became their biggest hit up to that point, and Byrne said: That’s it. No more covers. The band never followed it up with a second.

He’s relaxed the rules a bit more in his solo career, most recently covering Janelle Monae’s “Hell You Talmbout” on tour (he says he’s bringing the cover to Broadway, too). And clearly he’s been listening to covers. For his DB Radio show on his website, he just compiled a wonderfully eclectic mix of his favorite covers. The theme, he says, is artists doing the unexpected, from Sonic Youth covering The Carpenters to Miley Cyrus covering Nine Inch Nails. And when the song choice itself may not be surprising – Patti Smith covering the Rolling Stones, say – the arrangements are. Here’s what he wrote on his website: Continue reading »

Apr 302019
 
best cover songs of april
Beyoncé – Before I Let Go (Maze cover)

Last week, Beyoncé surprised-dropped her live album Homecoming. It accompanied the Netflix film of the same name, which immortalized her lionized 2018 Coachella performance. The biggest surprise of all was the bonus track: a cover of Maze’s 1981 “Before I Let Go.” The original song wasn’t a huge hit when it first came out, but has grown to be referred to sometimes as the “black national anthem.” Beyoncé brings it right up to the present with a big production including marching band, new rap verse, and a sample of New Orleans bounce artist DJ Jubilee. Continue reading »

Nov 102010
 

Every Wednesday, our resident Gleek Eric Garneau gives his take on last night’s Glee covers.


Before Glee begins its parade of guest stars and themed episodes that will lead us into the half-season break, it takes a breather to give us a pretty standard episode in “Never Been Kissed.” In a year full of novelty shows, an episode where nothing too out-of-the-ordinary happens almost feels like a stunt itself. Alas, no crazy casting pops up to distract from the major drama that populates this week’s installment. Instead, we focus on another round of boys vs. girls mash-ups (a callback to last year’s “Vitamin D” competition) as the Glee gang deals with a lot of sexual tension or, more accurately, tension that results from one character’s sexual orientation. Continue reading »

Oct 252010
 

Well, this is it, people. The end of the line. After four amazing New York City shows performing – deep breath – The Tennessee Fire, At Dawn, It Still Moves, and Z, the band reached their final album: Evil Urges. As always, they began the show by performing the thing in full. As the final omnichord notes of “Touch Me I’m Going To Scream Pt.2” echoed through the hall, the boys left the stage, only to return for an epic cover-frenzy encore almost as long as the main set.

The band began the post-album festivities with a cluster of new originals and old favorites. They then closed things out with four covers: “Oh! Sweet Nuthin” (the second Velvet Underground cover of the stand), “Hot Fun In The Summertime” (Sly & the Family Stone), “Carnival Time” (Al Johnson), and “Move On Up” (Curtis Mayfield) with a full horn section! Check out videos/MP3s of all four below. Continue reading »