Jan 132012
 

This Week on Bandcamp rounds up our favorite covers to hit the site in the past seven days.

Our second Bandcamp set of the new year takes on two songs from the ‘60s, one from the ‘70s, and two from the last few years. We’ve got ambient electropop, twee ballads, and dub reggae. So, yeah, as all over the place as usual. Continue reading »

Nov 162010
 

Quickies rounds up new can’t-miss covers. Download ’em below.

• Any Nirvana cover that abandons electric guitar earns immediate brownie points. Any Nirvana cover that replaces it with violin, accordion, and musical saw gets a full-on gold star. Horse Feathers’ “Drain You” may be the best Nirvana cover to come out of 2010. Given that 274 “Smells Like Teen Spirit”s drop every week, that’s saying something. (via PopMatters)
MP3: Horse Feathers – Drain You (Nirvana cover) Continue reading »

Oct 182010
 

It’s an especially hot fall weekend in Chicago, and scads of punk bands have migrated to a few of the city’s top venues for weekend residencies. The reason? Riot Fest. Now in its sixth year, this midwest mainstay has assembled perhaps its biggest lineup yet. The weekend will see performances from keystones of the punk rock world like Bad Religion, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Jello Biafra, and dozens more. Among those taking the stage: Less Than Jake, whose performance coincides with the release of their latest album, a cover record of songs from the boob tube called TV/EP (read my review).

I sat down with band front-man and guitarist Chris Demakes on the afternoon of  Less Than Jake’s Riot Fest performance, at which they would debut several tracks off TV/EP. We took shelter in the ultra-swanky Red Bull Scenic Cruiser parked in front of the historic Congress Theater, which the band would later rock. Chris  took a few minutes post-sound check to talk with me about commercials, Grease, Cheap Trick, and standing tall on the wings of one’s dreams. Continue reading »

Sep 232010
 

The time for summer loving is behind us, but the time for Grease covers knows no season. We’ve already heard “You’re the One That I Want” covered in a weird goth-country guise. If the production on that one was a little too out there for you though, this should be more up your alley. It’s a stripped-down take by Angus & Julia Stone (though unless Angus is strumming that guitar, it’s really just Julia). Prepare to melt.

The track appeared on their Big Jet Plane EP earlier this year, but we’re just catching up to it now. The whisper-soft singing conjures up a very different Grease. In this version, Sandy Olsson arrives at Rydell High. She starts unpopular. She stays unpopular. She pines after Danny Zuko. He doesn’t know she exists. He marries the cheerleader. Sandy sings this alone in her room. Continue reading »

Second Chances

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Jan 252010
 

Whether you’re a pining romantic, fading dance pioneer or violent dictator (see below), everyone deserves a second chance at love. Listening to songs pleading for another try makes you want to know the addressee’s response. Some we know – Sandy and Danny reconciled their differences at the fair; America decided yes, it was ready to twist again – but the rest leave you wondering. Was Warren reconsidered? Did she give up on Solomon? The world may never know.


Steve Earle and Reckless Kelly – Reconsider Me (Warren Zevon)
When you live a life of alcoholism, drug abuse and divorce, lines like “I’ll never make you sad again ‘cause I swear that I’ve changed since then” take on a heartbreaking sincerity. He probably said them a good deal. [Buy]

Bob Dylan and George Harrison – Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance (Henry Thomas)
Dylan re-wrote much of this 1927 blues tune for inclusion on 1963’s The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. He revisited it in an impromptu 1970 Studio B jam session with Harrison, coming up with some new lyrics on the spot about “looking for a woman with some chicken knees.” [Buy]

Jenton – My Life Would Suck Without You (Kelly Clarkson)
A YouTube cover artist to watch. [Buy]

Joe Cocker – Don’t Give Up On Me (Solomon Burke)
The title track to Solomon Burke’s Grammy-winning 2002 comeback album, “Don’t Give Up On Me” keeps its soul power even when transferred to the notoriously mush-mouthed Cocker. [Buy]

Jamie McClure – Let’s Twist Again (Chubby Checker)
Chubby ruled the summer of 1960 with his dance craze “The Twist.” Apparently without any new ideas, he asked America to recreate the magic the following summer with “Let’s Twist Again.” The country was happy to oblige. [Buy]

Robins and the Highrollers – Change Your Mind (The Killers)
Hot Fuss had its share of hit singles with “Somebody Told Me,” “Mr. Brightside” and “All These Things That I’ve Done,” but this album cut (not even included on the British version) holds its own next to any of them. [Buy]

Noseriders – Could We Start Again Please (Jesus Christ Superstar)
If Robert Johnson, Conway Twitty, and Jake Shimabukuro got together for an instrumental jam sesh, they probably wouldn’t go anywhere near Andrew Lloyd Webber. But if they did… [Buy]

The Oakdales – I Want You Back (Jackson 5)
The genius of the Jackson 5 was how well an eleven-year old pipsqueak relayed the complexity of desire in a way people twice his age could relate to. [Free Download]

Violent Femmes – I Swear It (I Can Change) (South Park)
A homosexual appeal from a horny Saddam Hussein to an emotionally unstable Satan? Only on South Park. [Buy]

The Beautiful South – You’re the One That I Want (Grease)
What descriptors do justice to this duet? Goth-country? Brooding-romantic? How about: One of the best covers I’ve heard in a while. [Buy]