L.A. funk/punk rockers, Red Hot Chili Peppers were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this past Saturday. On the heels of their upcoming 30th anniversary the band had the honor of hitting the stage last and did so in style. They were joined by Slash, Faces (and Rolling Stones) guitarist Ron Wood, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong and the Godfather of Funk, George Clinton.
Record Store Day is one of those special days that only rolls around once a year. It’s like a holiday, but the kind of holiday that’s only really there for the people who actually care about it – and isn’t that the best kind of holiday? It’s like Free Comic Book Day for a different kind of nerd.
In our latest Record Store Day post we’ve got Green Day releasing a cover of Hüsker Dü’s “Don’t Want to Know If You Are Lonely.” Pressed for the special day, the cover was released on a split 7” with the original. The cover originally saw the light of day on the bonus disc of Green Day’s 2009 box-set collection (from which you can download it on iTunes), but it’s nice to see it in vinyl alongside the ’80s classic. Listen to the tune below.
This Week on Bandcamp rounds up our favorite covers to hit the site in the past seven days.
For no apparent reason that we can figure out, Bandcamp exploded with covers this week. Eyeballing the selection, there seem to be almost three times as many new covers posted as in weeks past. Or maybe artists are just catching on that tagging your track “cover” makes it easy for us to find. Take note!
As a result, our five favorites this week are among our five favorites of this entire series. Granted, it’s only three weeks old. This week, in fact, we had so many contenders we tacked on three bonus covers at the end. Download all eight below.
I’m sitting here watching the Democratic National Convention, which is something else. Hundreds of political bigwigs, dressed in stern suits, acting like cheerleaders with the banners, cheering, waving at the camera, etc. I almost expected Howard Dean to streak. So as this damn election continues to never end, here are some political songs. Trying playing them over the campaign commercials; it make might make them more enjoyable.
Kodiak – Political World (Bob Dylan)
An underrated gem from Dylan’s underrated Oh Mercy, it touches on every sense of the word political. “We live in a political world / In cities of lonesome fear / Little by little you turn in the middle / But you’re never sure why you’re here.”
Sam Bush – Mr. President (Have Pity on the Working Man) (Randy Newman)
This song hits the theme of this election dead on: which candidate will have the most pity on the working man.
Cold War Kids – Electioneering (Radiohead)
I didn’t get a chance to throw this in last week’s Radiohead post, but doesn’t this sound familiar: “I will stop, I will stop at nothing / Say the right things when electioneering / I trust I can rely on your vote.”
Pickin’ On Series – American Idiot (Green Day)
I’m normally first in line to criticize series like this, which tend to just take the chords to a song and play them on a different instrument (banjo, accordion, distortion guitar, whatever). For this song at least, these anonymous session musicians sound like they tried for more than a paycheck, with a harmonies, solos, etc. And, unusual for the genre, it’s not instrumental – a big plus.
Deluxx Folk Implosion – I’m Just a Bill (Schoolhouse Rock)
Everything you forgot from eighth grade history is here in this song. I grew up on Schoolhouse Rock, and the fact that a full disc of covers exists (Schoolhouse Rock! Rocks) makes me very happy indeed.
Donavon Frankenreiter – Fortunate Son (Creedence Clearwater Revival)
A furious anti-Vietnam diatribe, the sentiments apply today as much as they did in 1969 now that a fortunate son’s in charge. Frankenreiter does away with John Fogerty’s blazing guitar line for some sensitive-guitar chiming acoustic.
Ann Vriend – Rockin’ in the Free World (Neil Young)
Kudos to Cover Lay Down for turning me onto this one, a song so often covered the same way, as easily jammable as “Watchtower”. With an ominous string section though, Vriend’s take is almost gothic folk, emphasizing the struggle you have to get through to keep on rocking.
Billy Bragg & Wilco – Stetson Kennedy (Woody Guthrie)
Greatest song ever about voting for a third-party candidate. Though I can’t think of any others.
Joan Baez – Christmas in Washington (Steve Earle)
Joan Baez, doing a political song? Shocking indeed. Calling out both Republicans and
Democrats is direct even for her though. This is a more recent offering than her flower child 60’s days, from her 2003 release Dark Chords on a Big Guitar.
Barenaked Ladies – Fight the Power (Public Enemy)
BNL seems about as likely to fight the power as a wet noodle, but that just adds to the novelty fun of this. I can’t imagine Chuck and Flav would approve though.