Feb 162017
 

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

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Seuras Og is 59 and ought to know better. Tipped toward journalism by his careers teacher, he instead opted for a career in Family Medicine. He lives in Lichfield, England. His Gaelic mother would be proud to see his nom de plume, a direct translation. Less proud that he is still talking about pop music in his 60th year. This is his 3rd year of writing his essays for Cover Me. He particularly enjoys drafting whole album covers like Legend or Hunky Dory.
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Nov 282015
 

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!

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The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 saw New Orleans receiving 15 inches of rain in 18 hours, with parts of it under four feet of water. Forty-seven years later, Randy Newman released “Louisiana 1927,” a lament about the devastation the disaster caused and the government’s callous response. Thirty-one years after that, Hurricane Katrina struck, and the song took on a new life. It takes a remarkable writer to compose a song about the long-ago past that can be relevant in the far-ahead future, and that’s just what Randy Newman is.

As he celebrates his 72nd birthday today, Newman can look back on a career of critically praised albums, memorable film scores, a couple of fluke hits, twenty Oscar nominations and two wins. He’s the absolute master of the unreliable narrator, which allows him to explore the uncomfortable side of humanity with dark humor. Journalist Paul Zollo writes, “There is no other songwriter who has shown us bigotry, ignorance, and human weakness as convincingly as Randy Newman.” People who only know him as the guy who writes for Pixar movies and gets mocked by Family Guy need to take a closer look; fortunately, many cover artists have been all too happy to take that closer look for us.
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Apr 052011
 

This March, we pit 64 Beatles covers against each other in what we call Moptop Madness.

Yesterday’s winner: Booker T. and the M.G.s, “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”

Well, here we are. On March 1st we presented you with 64 Beatles covers and asked you to vote for the best. In daily matches, 62 have been eliminated in battles that were often quite fierce. After the dust settled, only two songs remain: Joe Cocker’s “With a Little Help from My Friends” and Booker T. and the M.G.s’ “I Want You (She’s So Heavy).” Now it’s time for you to determine the final winner.

We considered making the championship match longer, but that’s not how it works in sports and that’s not how it will work here. We know from the comments that folks have passionate opinions about these two songs, so you have exactly 24 hours to rally your troops. Tomorrow we’ll announce the Best Beatles Cover Ever, as chosen by Cover Me readers.

Listen to both songs below, then vote for your favorite. For added sway, try to convince others to vote your way in the comments. Voting closes in 24 hours. Continue reading »

Apr 032011
 

This March, we pit 64 Beatles covers against each other in what we call Moptop Madness.

Yesterday’s winner: Elliott Smith, “Because”

So it begins. The Final Four. The Semi-Finals. Sixty matches down, three to go. Hard to believe that one of today’s contestants, both of which have dominated their respective brackets, will leave us at day’s end. At first glance, the two couldn’t be more different. Jake Shimabukuro had an unlikely YouTube hit with his solo ukulele cover of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” while Joe Cocker blew open eardrums – and had an unlikely YouTube hit himself – with “With a Little Help from My Friends.” However, both reinvented oft-covered songs, taking them to places barely hinted at in the songs’ original forms.

Listen to both songs below, then vote for your favorite. For added sway, try to convince others to vote your way in the comments. Voting closes in 24 hours. Continue reading »

Apr 012011
 

This March, we pit 64 Beatles covers against each other in what we call Moptop Madness.

Yesterday’s winner: Booker T. and the M.G.s, “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”

Two classic covers today from old-timers. Difference is, one was recorded when the artist was an old-timer (Johnny Cash’s “In My Life”) and the other comes from the artist’s 1960s heyday (Joe Cocker’s “With a Little Help from My Friends”). But which will make it to the Final Four? You decide.

Listen to both songs below, then vote for your favorite. For added sway, try to convince others to vote your way in the comments. Voting closes in 24 hours. Continue reading »