Apr 122013

Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.

There’s a feel to the Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind?” that can be hard to pinpoint. There’s the Caribbean element to it, the literal storytelling of swimming in the ocean with sea creatures, but there’s no island feel to go with the lyrics; there’s the tricks, the spinning, the looming possibility of one’s empty head collapsing, and yet none of the nauseous dread that these images evoke. Instead, fittingly, the feel is one of distance – everything is there, all those lyrics and thoughts laid out, and yet they’re not what the song is about. It’s about a theme, a feeling, an environment, a difficult-to-pinpoint quality that brings the listener in. It’s a song that’s easy to cover and yet incredibly difficult to cover well, a song where a good cover is measured in its ability to capture something intangible.

Some artists, however, manage to capture it (or something close to it), and leave us not just enjoying a song but wondering the very question posed in the title. Continue reading »

Mar 242011

YouTube is filled with amateur cover “artists.” Most stink. On the ‘Tube extracts the exceptions.

Classical music cover songs have a bad reputation. Relegated to elevator music and background noise while watching the local weather forecast, no one is really paying attention. However, classically trained French pianist Maxence Cyrin wants to change all that.

Cyrin grew up studying classical music in eastern France, but after moving to Paris at the age of 25, he was introduced to the sounds of American legends such as Elvis Presley and The Beach Boys. Cyrin soon realized that he could take his love for popular and classical music and fuse the two to form a hybrid. The result is surprisingly beautiful and highly listenable. Continue reading »