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 »

Mar 292011
 

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

Yesterday’s winners: Johnny Cash, “In My Life” and Elliott Smith, “Because”

Today we bring you the final matchups of the Sweet 16. First, the J.C.s face off when Jonathan Coulton’s new favorite “I Will” meets Joe Cocker’s legendary “With a Little Help from My Friends.” Then, it’s soft-versus-loud in the battle between José Feliciano’s “A Day in the Life” and Sonic Youth’s “Within You Without You.”

Listen to each pairing 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 »

Mar 252011
 

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

Yesterday’s winners: Jonathan Coulton, “I Will” and Sonic Youth, “Within You Without You”

Today we stage our final Round Two matchups! And they look to be doozys. First, it’s an all-out shout-off as Ike and Tina Turner’s “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window” goes up against Joe Cocker’s “With a Little Help from My Friends.” Then, things get a wee bit quieter with José Feliciano’s “A Day in the Life” battling Sukilove’s “Love You To.”

Listen to each pairing 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 »

Mar 172011
 

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

Yesterday’s winners: Ike and Tina Turner, “She Came In Through the Bathroom Window” and Sukilove, “Love You To”

For our final matches of Round One, we have not one but two stylistically-appropriate pairings. First, it’s rock and roll at its finest when Joe Cocker’s “With a Little Help from My Friends” goes tooth and nail with Gary U.S. Bonds’ “It’s Only Love.” Then, things get a touch more delicate as two acoustic masters face off: José Feliciano on “A Day in the Life” and Laurence Juber on “Strawberry Fields Forever.”

Listen to each pairing 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 »

Second Chances

 Posted by at 3:00 pm  No Responses »
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]