Dom Thomas is perhaps best known for his other gig, as founder of acclaimed reissue label Finders Keepers. So no surprise that the songs he selected for his band Whyte Horses’ new covers album dig deep. With a shifting group of collaborators, he covers some real cratedigger picks by groups like Belgian music polymath Plastic Bertrand (“Ca̧ Plane Pour Moi”) and Long Island twin soft-rockers Alessi Brothers (“Seabird”).
The weather may still be a giant grey slushpile outside, but the Coachella lineup just dropped, and you know what that means: time to start thinking about summer music! As always, the annual extravaganza kicks off the fest season, taking advantage of the fact that SoCal can host outdoor shows a bit earlier in the year than can, say, Chicago (Lollapalooza). This year’s lineup features Cover Me favs like Robyn, Mumford & Sons, and the Swell Season. Kanye West headlines the final night – is it too much to ask to hope for a Telephoned collaboration? (answer: yes it is).
In the past, Coachella has inspired heaps of special covers from artists big and small. Below, we look back with five of our favorite Coachella covers.
The twenty-first century has devalued the “song of the summer” concept something fierce. With listeners increasingly fractured into obscure niches, no song unites the culture the way the Beach Boys or Four Seasons did back in the day. Even if you hated those songs, they were a part of your summer experience. After all, loathing counts as an experience.
Speaking of loathing…“California Gurls.” If there was a song that dominated summer 2010, that was it. It’s a simple formula. Katy Perry + singing about chicks = summer smash. That wasn’t the only summer ‘010 hit though. There were the indie summer jams, of which we’ve got a couple, as well as the hits blaring from car radios. Even if you consider yourself above the Top 40, odds are you’ve heard these one way or another: over the supermarket PA, at a minor-league ball game, or from the crappy iPod speakers serenading the couple next to you at the beach. So while these may or may not have defined your personal summer, they come to as close to universal as it gets these days. You can run, you can hide, but you can’t escape these songs.*
*Summer Song ’02 reference.
YouTube is filled with amateur cover “artists.” Most stink. On the ‘Tube extracts the exceptions.
We kick off a new Cover Me series today with Jordan Corey. A U.C. Santa Barbara sociology major, Corey posts cover videos to YouTube just like thousands of other wannabe viral stars. Only one difference: she’s really good. A big-voiced belter, Corey straddles the line between old-school soul and American Idol. Some serious pipes for a skinny white girl.
Accompanied by an old theater buddy on guitar, Corey’s releasing a series of stripped-down home recordings. Her wails and whispers take center stage as she belts tunes from the worlds of pop (Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars), classic rock (Fleetwood Mac, the Beatles), and new soul (Adele, Amy Winehouse). We’ve got three of the best below, including the premiere of her cover of La Roux’s “Bulletproof.” She describes her version as “a little more rustic, a little more raw.” Often on YouTube that translates into “off-key karaoke filmed with a cell phone.” Corey’s a refreshing exception.
You’ve already seen one Our Hit Parade video this week when we look at that cover of Lady Gaga’s “Alejandro,” but it’s time for some new ones. To catch you up to speed: Our Hit Parade is a monthly New York performance of the top ten songs in country, always funny, occasionally good. We’ve got some highlights below including a Pocahontas/Cher/Ke$ha medley and a spandex-rock Rihanna cover (with a little Stevie Nix thrown in). Watch more at YouTube.