Though Bob Dylan moved away from his role as a ‘protest singer’ long ago — we saw Another Side by his fourth album — his name will forever be associated with social activism. The international human rights organization Amnesty International rose out of the same turbulent era as Dylan, forming in 1961, the year Dylan recorded his first album. Fitting, then, that in celebration of their 50th birthday, Amnesty would call on artists to contribute their Dylan covers to the massive four disc set Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International.
It was early 1986 when Pegi Young told her husband Neil Young that they would need to build a school to suit the special needs of their son, Ben. She then suggested that in order to pay for it, that Neil call his friend Bruce Springsteen and put together a concert to fund it. 25 years later, the Bridge School Benefit concert has become an annual tradition where superstars from all genres of music come to share the gift of music to support this amazing school. The Bridge shows are all acoustic and offer a unique setting where artists can experiment with their material and get the chance to sit in and play with friends and heroes alike.
Remember that Amnesty International Dylan tribute album we told you about a few months back? Well we now have have more information on it. It’s called Chimes of Freedom: Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International. In addition to Bad Religion and Rise Against, it also features covers by My Morning Jacket, Sting, Patti Smith, Dave Matthews Band, Adele, Lucinda Williams, Jack’s Mannequin, and…Ke$ha.
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.
Many people who know Tim Reynolds came to him via one man: Dave Matthews. The two toured together as an acoustic duo for years. He toured with Dave Matthews & Friends and finally became an official Dave Matthews Band member in 2008. Saying Reynolds would be nothing without Matthews gives him too little credit; prowess this impressive couldn’t go unheard forever. Without Dave though, Reynolds’ career trajectory would look very different.
Before you dismiss him as some leech riding Matthews’ coattails though, you need to hear his solo stuff. Whether you think Matthews is a modern prophet or self-important fratboy is irrelevant. Even the most ardent Dave-bashers can enjoy Reynolds’ guitar mastery. No mindless jamming here; when Reynolds sets out on an instrumental journey, he does so with purpose.
Another Bonnaroo has come and gone and all we have to remember it by are the videos. The advantage of a mandatory camping fest is that people don’t upload their unlistenable five-pixel cell phone videos until after the end, so most of the videos that hit YouTube this weekend were professionally filmed. Lots of covers performed. Here’s a roundup of some of the best. Julia Nune’s medley of songs she hates is a must-see.
At this fall’s Austin City Limits the Dave Matthews Band busted out a smoking cover of the Talking Heads’ “Burning Down the House.” Watch a video on YouTube.
Great cover — bet you wish there was some better quality footage of that. Well there’s not just better quality footage coming out, there’s high-definition 3D in-theaters-only footage coming out! Larger Than Life…In 3D hits theaters on Friday for a one-week engagement and features concert video like you’ve never seen. The Dave Matthews Band, Ben Harper and Relentless7 and Gogol Bordello get the 3D treatment and, as I wrote in my review, this ain’t your mama’s concert movie. Here’s a trailer (which is of course in 2D, so expect to be intrigued, but not awed).
In honor of the occasion, Cover Me is giving away some prize packs from the film. And we’re not talking a 10% off coupon a postcard. We’re talking posters, t-shirts and, of course, free tickets! All the info you need to win below.
Four (4) Grand Prizes:
1 3D Lanyard
and 2 free tickets for you and a friend!
To enter, put your email address in the comments. Four winners will be picked at random.
But before you enter, go here to make sure it’s playing near you. Though 350 locations is a lot, it’s not everywhere. At the above link you can also request the film come to your city, but there’s no guarantee.
Because this film opens Friday, this contest is only open for 24 hours! Remember, because this is 3D, once this movie leaves theaters it is gone for good (no DVD!). Enter now!
Some covers to whet your appetite:
Dave Matthews Band – All Along the Watchtower (live 6/26/09) (Bob Dylan)
Ben Harper & Relentless7 – Under Pressure (Queen)
The Hectics – Supertheory of Supereverything (Gogol Bordello)
Got something you’d like to give away? Email us at the address on the right!
Not surprisingly, Michael Jackson covers have been coming fast and furious these past few days. Whatever you thought of the man, you can’t deny the music. CoverLayDown’s got a good round-up of what’s already been done, so we’re going to try something a little different. Michael passed on Thursday afternoon. By concert time that evening, artists were already beginning to bust out Jackson songs in tribute, a trend that only intensified over the weekend. So here are some of those live covers, recordings of tributes performed since Jackson’s death. They’re in turns emotional, joyous, spontaneous, and apologetic. But all are heartfelt. I weeded out anything with poor or incomplete recordings (as well as those that just weren’t any good). This is what was left.
R.I.P. Michael Jackson
Mark Rose – P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)
Solo electric guitar is usually a shaky proposition, but not when you sing like this.
Duffy – Billie Jean
Duffy goes the extra mile at this Romanian festival, mixing “Billie Jean” in with her own “Mercy.”
David Garrett – Smooth Criminal
Classical music fans may appreciate that Garrett throws in a bit of Mozart’s “Turkish March” into the middle here. Apparently the two songs have the same harmonic progression.
Ne-Yo & Jamie Foxx – I’ll Be There (Jackson 5)
The BET Awards Sunday night turned into a de facto Jackson tribute, capped off by this duet following a tearful speech by Janet.
Amanda Palmer – Billie Jean
Dresden Doll Palmer says she threw this solo piano wail together in twenty minutes, performing it the night of his death. Impressive indeed, as this gothic lament should be a concert staple for years to come.
Timothy Molo – Thriller
You don’t come across a bass line this meaty every day.
AYO – I Want You Back (Jackson 5)
An impassioned spoken tribute leads us into those instantly recognizable riffs.
Rachel Bernard & Steven Keith – Man in the Mirror
A simple but effective duet by two unknowns tugs at the heartstrings.
The Roots & Erykah Badu – I Wanna Be Where You Are
The Roots & Erykah Badu – Billie Jean
Recorded during rehearsal breaks at the Roots new home at Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.
Martin Sexton – Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough
Only one of a series of impromptu Jackson cover from Sexton the night of his death, his falsetto means you can’t tell if he’s joking or not.
Christian Larke – Black or White
Nothing elaborate here, but sometimes a passionately strummed acoustic guitar is enough.
Third Eye Blind – I Want You Back (Jackson 5)
A noisy crowd can’t silence a jam like this.
Castledoor – Rock With You
You forget how catchy this song is until you hear it.
Robin Thicke – Human Nature
Another night-of-death cover, it’s just one a cappella chorus, but with that voice that’s all you need.
Dave Matthews Band – I’ll Be There (Jackson 5)
Dave keeps it short and sweet.
Stevie Wonder & John Legend – I Can’t Help It
Stevie Wonder & John Legend – We Are the World
Few people are more qualified to do this tunes than Stevie, a living legend in his own right who sang on the original “We Are the World,” even going so far as to coach Bob Dylan through his part.
James Eric – P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)
Alright, this last one isn’t actually live, but friend of the blog James Eric put it together over the weekend to honor the legend and it’s a hell of a tribute.