Nov 032017
 

In October, I held the first release event for the Cover Me book at Paste Magazine’s New York studios, featuring performances by Eli Paperboy Reed, Emel Mathlouthi, and Anthony D’Amato (watch them all here!). And this week I held the second, at Phoenix Books in my old hometown of Burlington, Vermont. The concept was similar: rather than a dry book talk, I would combine some conversation with live covers of songs from the book.

Two of my favorite local bands, Swale and Madaila – both of which I’ve posted about here before – stepped up with some amazing performances. And luckily, like at Paste, we’ve got footage. (More amateur-quality footage, admittedly – iPhones at a bookstore rather than multi-cam at Paste’s recording studio – but the performances are every bit as stunning.)

Swale kicked things off with a tender trio take on “Unchained Melody,” the Righteous Brothers hit first recorded as the theme for the now-forgotten 1955 prison move Unchained. Bobby Hatfield left a pretty high bar for a vocalist to hit, but Swale’s Amanda Gustafson easily cleared it while Eric Olsen (guitar) and Tyler Bolles (bass) gave her a stripped-down acoustic backing. Continue reading »

Jul 292016
 
argonautwasp

It’s been a good year for dancey covers of classic rock hits. Hot Chip covered “Dancing in the Dark.” LCD Soundsystem covered Prince and Bowie. And now the Brooklyn-via-Burlington duo argonaut&wasp electo-up the Rolling Stones‘ “Beast of Burden.” After opening with a little “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”-style organ, the synths kick in, blending with funky Chic guitars to nod at the original just enough without being overly reverential. Continue reading »