Feb 022018
strombo show covers

As an avant-garde jazz-influenced album, David Bowie’s final record Blackstar would seem damn-near uncoverable (unless you’re an avante-garde jazz band). But the songs keep getting covered, and by some surprising artists. Sting covered “Lazarus.” Nine Inch Nails covered “I Can’t Give Everything Away.” Amanda Palmber and Anna Calvi covered the title track. (So did Car Seat Headrest and Hiatus Kaiyote’s Nai Palm, blending it with Radiohead, no less).

The latest comes from indie-rock vets Spoon, who tackled “I Can’t Give Anything Away” on The Strombo Show, a radio program that is quickly become Canada’s answer to other international cover-shows BBC Live Lounge and Triple J “Like a Version.” Britt Daniel’s understated vocals deliver the quiet melody and bigger chorus perfectly, but the secret star of this stripped-down version might be pianist Alex Fischel. Needless to say, it sounds quite different than Nine Inch Nails’ take on the tune.

And, while we’re at it, here’s a bunch of other Strombo Show covers from recent episodes too. Continue reading »

Dec 042014

They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s special day with other people singing his or her songs. Let others do the work for a while. Happy birthday!

The American Dream is to be self-made. To carve out an identity wholly one’s own and to succeed beyond one’s wildest imagination.

The life and times of Shawn Carter are a blueprint of the American Dream and bear striking resemblance to one of modern American fiction’s greatest protagonists, Jay Gatsby.

Both F. Scott Fitzgerald’s eponymous parvenu and the Brooklyn-born MC sprung from conceptions of themselves – impoverished Midwestern teenager James Gatz morphed into the infamous Jay Gatsby while Shawn Carter took on the nom de rappeur Jay-Z.

Both knew the excesses and trappings of extraordinary wealth as young men and both fell in love with golden girl goddesses with voices full of money.

One noteworthy difference between Gatsby and Jay-Z?

Gatsby was a man, a mere mortal, damned and doomed from the onset, whereas Jay-Z is also Jay-Hova, and gods are not as easily felled.
Continue reading »

Mar 142013

Ed Sheeran, a man who can seemingly turn any song (and we mean ANY song) into a sad sappy love fest, has taken a turn with his mood with touring mate Passenger. The two covered both Blackstreet‘s “No Diggity” and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s inescapable “Thrift Shop,” mashing them up in English acoustic goodness. Continue reading »

Jul 122012

If you have seen Magic Mike, it may be hard to separate Ginuwine’s anthem “Pony” from the image of Channing Tatum’s oiled up body in tandem with the screams of middle-aged women. The up-and-coming Ed Sheeran has done the impossible and covered the 90s classic acoustically. It may not be something Tatum would strip to, but it is definitely still very sexy. Continue reading »

Oct 042011

Cee Lo Green has made something of a reputation for himself this summer by peppering his performances with random, seemingly spontaneous karaoke covers that, by most accounts, drag down the show something awful. When he actually focuses on a cover, though, he can’t be beat (see: The Best Cover of 2010). That showed again on BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge a few days ago, when he rocked through Miles Kane’s British hit “Inhaler.” Continue reading »