Feb 222011
 

Jesse Malin may be relatively unknown outside of the Tri-State area, but dude has some famous friends. Bruce Springsteen guested on his 2007 album Glitter in the Gutter and this past weekend another longtime friend joined him for concert at New York’s City Winery: Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong. Continue reading »

Radio Radio

 Posted by at 12:00 pm  1 Response »
Sep 292009
 

One of my friends recently moved to Chicago and complained to me about the lack of good radio stations. This puzzled me, as it seemed to imply that there were good stations anywhere anymore. If there are, I don’t know ‘em, which leads me to ask this question:


Jesse Malin – Do You Remember Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio? (The Ramones)
Joey and the gang predicted the demise of radio by a good twenty years. Ironically, Malin seems to be making a pitch for mid-tempo “alternative” stations with this one. [Buy]

Town Bike – Radio Nowhere (Bruce Springsteen)
Last Friday I had the privilege of attending a taping of Elvis Costello’s Spectacle show featuring Springsteen (my review). They chatted and played for four straight hours, wrapping things up with a radio medley. It started with this… [Buy]

Dustin Kensrue – Radio Radio (Elvis Costello)
…and finished with this, Bruce taking Costello’s part from the classic Saturday Night Live debacle. Hard to find interesting covers of this, but here’s Thrice’s lead singer breaking it down acoustically at an Apple in-store performance. Fun fact: Whenever his equipment broke down on his last tour, “Weird Al” Yankovic went into a cover (not parody). Watch. [Buy]

Ted Leo – The Spirit of Radio (Rush)
Indie-punk Leo seems like an odd person to cover prog giants Rush, but his guitar chops are up to stuff. A good thing, ‘cause that’s all there is. [Buy]

Josh Millard – Radio Cure (Wilco)
After the bizarre faux-jazz version we heard from the Bad Plus a few months back, here’s a more straight-forward acoustic take. If you like this stripped-back approach, check out James Eric and Erin Vogel covering the whole Yankee Hotel Foxtrot album last month. [Buy]

Matthew Show – Mohammed’s Radio (Warren Zevon)
Zevon is blessed with two excellent tribute albums. Enjoy Every Sandwich features an A-list group of musicians and peers, but the lesser-known Hurry Home Early features some true gems. This is one. [Buy]

Amanda Palmer – On the Radio (Regina Spektor)
Now I love Amanda Palmer, but this one seems almost TOO easy. Spektor and Palmer share the same eastern-European oddball appeal like cabaret-pop twins separated at birth. When I saw Spektor do this one live, she was too drunk to do it justice. Palmer gets it right. [Buy]

Masters of Reality – Devil’s Radio (George Harrison)
The radio intro here includes everything you might hear, from music to war, new cars to pop stars. Harrison included this on his 1987 comeback album Cloud Nine that itself featured a hit cover, of Got My Mind Set on You (great video too). [Buy]

Bruce Lash – Mexican Radio (Wall of Voodoo)
Is this jazz or folk? Sincere or ironic? All I know it’s off Lash’s second Prozak for Lovers all-covers album, which is worth getting your hands on. [Buy]

The Wrong Trousers – Video Killed the Radio Star (The Buggles)
Fun fact: This was the first music video ever played on MTV. Maybe it was the last too; the age of the music video came in with a boom and went out with a whimper. Prepare for the upcoming sequel: “MTV’s Relentless Obsession with Crappy Reality Television Killed the Video Star.” [Buy]

Hearts

 Posted by at 3:18 am  No Responses »
May 272009
 

Sorry I have been M.I.A. for the past few weeks. I have actually been in the hospital, since apparently 22 is the new 78. Lots of backlogged posting to get caught up on, so keep an eye here over the next week for some stuff, including the long-awaited debut of derpferdheisshorst’s “Ziggy Stardust” cover.

In honor of my days as the youngest person in the cardiac ward, this week’s theme is hearts. The medical accuracy of some of these songs may be suspect, but the sentiment rarely is.

Amilia K. Spicer – Only Love Can Break Your Heart (Neil Young)
Hey Neil, fun medical fact: plenty of things besides love can break your heart. Myocarditis, for instance. A quick wikipedia search leads me to recomment the following title change: “Only Coronary Heart Disease, Cardiomyopathy, Cardiovascular Disease, Ischaemic Heart Disease, Heart Failure, and Hypertensive, Inflammatory, and Valvular Heart Diseases Can Break Your Heart.” Someone tell Ms. Spicer. [Buy]

The Fray – Heartless (Kanye West)
I’m one of the few defenders Kanye’s recent album has. Sure, the autotune gets annoying eventually, but tracks like this and “Love Lockdown” are classic pop singles. Check out his recent video with Rihanna for more gayfish action. [Buy]

Jesse Malin – Hungry Heart (Bruce Springsteen)
Like many of Bruce’s hits, the deceptive pop hooks of this one covered up the darker lyrics (another example: “Dancing In the Dark”). Fellow Jersey boy Malin’s slower fuzz-acoustic takes no such pains to disguise the sadness. [Buy]

Don Henley – Searching For a Heart (Warren Zevon)
I realize most of you don’t want to hear about my medical history, but given that the theme of this post is entirely self-indulgent to begin with, allow me to point out that at one point that least week the doctors were literally searching for a heart to replace my own. Luckily it didn’t come to that, but that changes the whole song’s meaning for me. [Buy]

Tom Waits – Young at Heart (Frank Sinatra)
With music by Johnny Richards and lyrics by Carolyn Leigh, this pop standard is most often associate with Ol’ Blue Eyes. Tom’s deadbeat dog take blends country with gutter, an interesting interpretation from a guy’s who’s always professed to be old at heart. [Buy]

Guy Davis – Sweetheart Like You (Bob Dylan)
A Nod to Bob has to be one of my favorite cover compilations ever, not least because of this accordion-led blues gem of one of Dylan’s lesser-known pieces of misogyny. [Buy]

Novemthree – Un-Break My Heart (Toni Braxton)
The ‘80s always gets flak for being a terrible decade for popular music, but those songs were at least fun! In my book the ‘90s beats it for general awfulness (in other news, Third Eye Blind has a new album). Whether you agree or not, indulge in a little nostalgia with the free Roaring Nineties covers compilation over at CCLCT. [Buy]

We Versus the Shark – Dummy Discards a Heart (Deerhoof)
Spastic and punky, the flailing horns propel this blaring quickie through the root. Murmurmur has loads of rocking covers from these guys, including looks at Radiohead and Ben Folds Five. [Buy]

Lydia Lunch and Nels Cline – Heartattack and Vine (Tom Waits)
Slow grunge-blues backed by pounding drums and pre-Wilco Cline letting loose squalls of guitar shriek whenever he gets the opportunity. [Buy]

Blues Magoos – Heartbreak Hotel (Elvis Presley)
Barelling barroom piano slams throughout this wail of a tune, wringing more emotion out of these simple lyrics than even the King himself. [Buy]