Oct 212011
 

Under the Radar shines a light on lesser-known cover artists. If you’re not listening to these folks, you should. Catch up on past installments here.

As a rule, rappers don’t do covers. Sure, they might karaoke a beloved Biggie verse every now and again, but you almost never see them record a regular, honest-to-goodness cover. They honor their influences through sampling and remixing, which, given that they generally can’t sing, works better for most of them.

Enter Buck 65. The Tom Waits of hip-hop, this Canadian cult hero is anything but an ordinary rapper and he does covers on the regular. And not even covers of other rap songs, but covers of pop and folk that blend seamlessly into his albums. Though no one could question his encyclopedic knowledge of hip-hop history, Buck (aka Richard Terfry) draws from folk and blues regularly, giving his work a grit more Robert Johnson than Tupac. Below, we sample five choice reimaginings as a primer on how rappers can do covers right. Continue reading »

Jun 152011
 

Quickies rounds up new can’t-miss covers. Download ‘em below.

Unsubtle band name notwithstanding, L.A. duo Well Hung Heart show a surprising delicacy on their Huey Lewis and the News cover. Recorded for Syffal’s Pop Cultures Collide series, it reinvents the Back to the Future smash.
MP3: Well Hung Heart – The Power of Love (Huey Lewis and the News cover) Continue reading »

Oct 152010
 

In Johnny Cash’s American Recordings series, he covered Depeche Mode, Beck, and Nine Inch Nails. Sadly, he never quite made it to Krautrock. If he had though, it might have sounded like this. Well, vocally at least. If Rick Rubin produced it, there’d be more cello.

Seattle’s Brent Amaker and the Rodeo released a country-fried cover of Kraftwerk’s “Pocket Calculator” as a bonus track to their new Please Stand By. It bounces along like the Man in Black fronting Men Without Hats. You’re never quite sure whether they’re taking the piss here, but the fact is the synth-pop groove translates surprisingly well. (via My Old Kentucky Blog) Continue reading »