Mar 092016
 

Welcome to Cover Me Q&A, where we take your questions about cover songs and answer them to the best of our ability.

Here at Cover Me Q&A, we’ll be taking questions about cover songs and giving as many different answers as we can. This will give us a chance to hold forth on covers we might not otherwise get to talk about, to give Cover Me readers a chance to learn more about individual staffers’ tastes and writing styles, and to provide an opportunity for some back-and-forth, as we’ll be taking requests (learn how to do so at feature’s end).

Today’s question: What’s a favorite live cover song?
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Jul 302015
 

In Defense takes a second look at a much maligned cover artist or album and asks, “Was it really as bad as all that?”

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It is easy to understand how someone could find a pre-school appropriate cover of “Big Pimpin” musically lacking. By stripping all lyrical content from hip-hop and infusing a heavy dose of xylophone, artistic value becomes shaky. While this style of cover might fit well in a high school talent show, superficially they offer little more than a tight chuckle and warrant slightly more than a participatory prize.

So, why are these covers being defended?
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Jun 102015
 
RESIZE-PHIL-MANZANERA

Samples in hip hop are a main ingredient of many successful hits. “No Church In The Wild” is no exception. That beautiful looped guitar riff comes from the talented master, Phil Manzanera, of Roxy Music. Phil’s solo work, “K-Scope” from 1978, was sampled by Kanye West and Jay-Z in their 2011 song. 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.
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Jan 302013
 

Oh, Courtney Love. Girl. Some covers make sense. Some people don’t get into twitter fights when someone else covers their deceased husband’s song. Courtney Love does not abide by either of these rules. During a last minute concert at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, the Hole frontwoman pulled a fast one with a somehow fitting cover of Jay-Z‘s 2004 hit, “99 Problems.” Continue reading »

Jul 232012
 

Alt rockers Faith No More took on the amazingly successful Watch The Throne single “Niggas in Paris” at one of their recent live shows. While it might be challenging to turn a Jay-Z and Kanye West hit into a rock tune, especially at a live show, the audience seems to really enjoy how much fun lead singer Mike Patton seems to have giving the song a darker edge. Continue reading »