Though Saturday Night Live made some great jokes a few weeks ago about what it’d be like if Elton John played the Royal Wedding, the truth is that Prince William of Wales and Miss Catherine Middleton plan to keep things pretty traditional when it comes to their ceremony’s music. That didn’t stop George Michael, though, from employing his pop sensibilities to help celebrate the day.
After a long hibernation, one of our favorite cover series returns today! It’s A.V. Undercover. Longtime readers might remember that this weekly series compiles a list of 25 songs, then invites artists in to check them off one by one. This season’s list looks incredible. We can’t wait to see who covers the White Stripes’ “Fell in Love with a Girl,” Kanye West’s “Runaway,” and Chumbawamba’s “Tubthumping.”
First up, though, is indie folk favorites Iron and Wine. For their tune, they chose George Michael’s 1988 cheesefest “One More Try.” “You can say it’s a goofy ‘80s tune and so that makes it ironic,” Sam Beam told the A.V. Club, “but there are a lot of songs from the ‘80s that are great tunes that are masked by production. And George Michael had an incredible beard.”
This past weekend held the final two nights of My Morning Jacket’s epic five-night NYC stand. As we’ve already seen after Night 1 (The Tennessee Night), Night 2 (At Dawn), and Night 3 (It Still Moves), the band performed one of their albums in full every night. Refusing to repeat any songs, they encored not with other album tracks, but with rare and unreleased b-sides and covers.
Their shortest disc, Friday night’s Z saw the most epic encore. Eight songs, five of them covers, one of those over ten minutes long. The quintet roared through recent tunes like Shel Silverstein’s “Lullabys, Legends, and Lies” (download the studio recording here) and classic covers like the Who’s “A Quick One While He’s Away.” View the full set list below and watch videos/download MP3s of the ten-minute version of George Michael‘s “Careless Whisper” and “Lullabys.” Other songs added as video surfaces.
Check back this afternoon for Night 5: Evil Urges.
The cover-blogging-internet-music-webosphere is exploding. Or imploding. Or just ploding generally. Basically… a lot of new covers have cropped up in the past 24 hours.
The Bon Iver-featuring Gayngs take a leisurely stroll through the recently-incarcerated George Michael’s “One More Try” with help from Har Mar Superstar. The Morning Benders trot a bit faster through a Ram classic for a new mixtape. Japandroids throw a PJ Harvey cover on the b-side of their new seven inch. Phospherescent hits the heavens with a faithful “Across the Universe.” Example unleashes his inner teenie-bopper with the 274th cover of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream.”
The music world lost a legend last week when Bo Diddley passed. Creater of the famous Diddley beat and player of the almost-as-famous square cigar-box guitar, he never got the respect of his peers Little Richard and Chuck Berry, but his music lives on. And if The Raconteurs did it on Conan, we can here, paying tribute to both the man and his beat.
The Animals – The Story of Bo Diddley (Bo Diddley)
One of those covers that does way more than the original, Eric Burdon and co. tell the story of Bo Diddley, the story of them meeting Bo Diddley (“That sure is the biggest load of rubbish I ever heard in my life”) and the story of the Britiish Invasion. Pretty good for under six minutes.
Quicksilver Messenger Service – Mona (Bo Diddley)
This cover was just ranked as the 88th best guitar song ever by Rolling Stone, so I guess it’s worth a listen. And yeah, that spacey guitar screams psychedelic from miles away.
Eric Clapton – Before You Accuse Me (Bo Diddley)
Eric does Bo does the blues. From his Unplugged set, it flies under the radar next to “Layla” and “Tears in Heaven”, but it’s a hell of a blues cover, channeling Skip James, Leadbelly, and Robert Johnson in those acoustic riffs.
Shadows of Knight – Oh Yeah (Bo Diddley)
Off the acclaimed Nuggets box set, these one-hit wonders make Diddley sound like The Kinks.
Warren Zevon – Bo Diddley’s a Gunslinger/Bo Diddley (Bo Diddley)
Bo really put himself in the songs – a good half of them seem to be named after him. Zevon’s clearly not too bad at the gun-slinging himself though, doing a killer live pairing that rocks hard and fast.
The Boy Least Likely To – Faith (George Michael)
No actual Diddley beat in this version, but isn’t drastic reinvention what the best covers do?
White Williams – I Want Candy (The Strangeloves)
The hit Bow Wow Wow version in the 80’s was a cover of this, and the hit Bananarama version was a cover of that. This ambient-electro one probably won’t reach the top 40, but it’s interesting hearing the Diddley beat through a drum machine.
Bob Dylan – Not Fade Away (Buddy Holly)
The quintessential song stealing the beat, it’s been covered by just about everyone, including Bob himself. Here’s a live take from ’99, featuring Larry Campbell and Charlie Sexton on backing vocals.
Bob Walkenhorst – She’s the One (Bruce Springsteen)
The beat is a little more subtle without Max Weinberg’s drum crashes, but it’s there in this pretty solo acoustic take.
Howe Gelb w/ Scout Niblett – I Want Candy / I Know What Boys Want / Who Do You Love / Not Fade Away (The Strangeloves / The Waitresses / Bo Diddley / Buddy Holly)
It’s a regular Diddley-beat marathon!