Jan 252017
 
leonard cohen tribute

Last night, Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg held an epic Leonard Cohen tribute show, bringing together Cohen’s peers and younger admirers for a 22-song blowout of tribute covers. From a killer instrumental opener of “Hallelujah” by Delicate Steve – a smart move, getting that out of the way up front with a left-field guitar version that doesn’t attempt to compete with Jeff Buckley – the sold-out crowd sang along to Cohen many profound lyrics, and a few of his profound ones too (Lenny Kaye of the Patti Smith Group led a rousing holler through Cohen’s dumbest song, “Don’t Go Home with Your Hard-On”).

Many of performers had personal Cohen stories to share. “I met Leonard Cohen at a BBC session in 1967 – but I can’t remember anything about it,” Richard Thompson quipped, while Josh Ritter told a yarn about chasing Cohen down an alley backstage only to run headfirst into a truck and miss his once chance. Richard’s son Teddy Thompson recalled Cohen once asking him what he was working on. When he replied that he was making a country album, Cohen said cryptically, “I went country myself, once…” Thompson then covered one of Cohen’s most country songs, “Ballad of the Absent Mare.” Continue reading »

Aug 102015
 
DeerTickNewport2015

Last year, Deer Tick played a triumphant main stage set at Newport Folk Festival. This year they didn’t have a proper fest show, but made up for it with four nights of sweaty afterparties at the town’s Blues Cafe. As has become a tradition, the shows featured a ton of guests, costumes, rarities, and covers. The last song of Friday night was a cover of the Grateful Dead‘s “Touch of Grey.” Continue reading »

Feb 262014
 

In the Spotlight showcases a cross-section of an artist’s cover work. View past installments, then post suggestions for future picks in the comments!

In the 1980s, there was one artist that Minneapolis became known for. And that was Prince.

But if you took the bus to the bad part of town, watching the blight and the snowy misery go by through fogged up windows, you would eventually spot a burned-out, abandoned, and graffiti-tagged little red Corvette: perched up on blocks, stuffed with liquor bottles in the back seat, and harboring a coffee can in the front filled to the brim with cigarette butts. If you opened the door, you would find a floor littered with cassettes. K-Tel. Kiss. Big Star. And if you ran the VIN number, you’d find the owner to be the Replacements.
Continue reading »

Jul 242012
 

Country rockers Deer Tick are no strangers to covers, performing at times as the Nirvana cover band Deervana. Recently they headed to the AV Club’s Undercover project to take on the only Harvey Danger song anyone knows, “Flagpole Sitta.” Lead singer John McCauley admits right away that he chose the song because he “fucking loved that song” when he was a kid. Most of America’s youth agreed when it hit the airwaves back in 1998; the catchiness of the simple tune is undeniable. Deer Tick’s faithful cover doesn’t reveal anything new about the hit, but it’s a fun listen nonetheless. Continue reading »

Sep 292011
 

Rhode Island’s favorite indie-hipster-country-folk rockers Deer Tick make quite an impression in a live setting, following in the long tradition of light beer-soaked guitar riffs, loud drumming and rough, attitude-heavy vocals. In a recent session for LaundroMatinee they paid tribute to their roots-rock forefathers, the legendary ZZ Top. Taking on the song “Cheap Sunglasses,” a fitting choice considering frontman John J. McCauley’s taste in eyewear, they let their ’70s influences run wild. Continue reading »