Oct 012019
 

Some covers are more equal than others. Good, Better, Best looks at three covers and decides who takes home the gold, the silver, and the bronze.

covers of funkytown

Lipps Inc. may be considered a one-hit wonder, but this big hit is pretty epic. It was even enough to get the band inducted into the (Minnesota) Music Hall of Fame. I just rewatched the original music video, and it is a lot to take in (a deep dive into the weird history of the video can be found here for the curious). The two dancers’ outfits would make great (albeit obscure) Halloween costumes, though.

The band’s musicians rotated frequently, but Cynthia Johnson’s vocals provided consistency. In 1976, before joining the band, she was crowned Miss Black Minnesota USA. After Lipps Inc. dismantled, she went on to a solo career, including being part of the award-winning gospel group Sounds of Blackness. She is also an accomplished saxophonist and host of a 2013 documentary of American cities called, what else, “Funkytown.” Johnson herself is clearly not a one-hit wonder.

Now let’s see how others reinterpret this dance party classic.

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Jan 282011
 

This Week on Bandcamp rounds up our favorite covers to hit the site in the past seven days.

If you’re a music fan and haven’t discovered Bandcamp, you don’t know what you’re missing. Famous musicians like Sufjan Stevens and Amanda Palmer have distributed new albums through the site, sure, but the true beauty lies in the untold number of unsigned artists putting up their work for the world to, hopefully, discover. The site allows artists to price their work as they see fit, which means one thing: free (and legal) music!

To celebrate that, today we launch a new series. Every week we’ll pore over the newest Bandcamp releases and find our five favorite covers. They’re all under-the-radar gems and they’re all free. This first week, we dug up great covers of Wild Cherry, Sharon Van Etten, David Bowie, MGMT, and Kings of Leon. Check ’em out below and let us know what you think in the comments! Continue reading »

Nov 102010
 

Live Collection brings together every live cover we can find from an artist. And we find a lot.

The recent release of Easy Wonderful has given Guster fans reason to fall in love with them all over again. As their album title insinuates, they have an agreeable sound that resonates with you and has aged well over the past (almost) 20 years. If the Beach Boys went to college in the 90’s, added some bongos, and stayed out of the sun, Guster is what they would sound like.

Featured on soundtracks like Life as a House and Wedding Crashers, their songs can pull at the heartstrings as you croon along with them. On the other hand, they are better known for their laid-back, wisecracking personalities that beam from the stage and infect their fans. During their years of touring, they have taken on many cover songs with both their sensitive and playful dispositions (but mostly the latter). Typically at the end of a show, Guster will rile up the crowd with a number from Madonna, Talking Heads, or whoever sings the “Cheers” theme song (Portnoy) and get everyone involved.  Most of the time, it’s just an excuse to get drummer Brian Rosenworcel out in front showing off his questionable vocals, calling in the crowd for backup.  It’s just like being at a karaoke bar. Continue reading »