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

“I Want You Back” was such a perfectly written song it would have been a hit no matter who did it first (Gladys Knight & the Pips were early candidates, as was Diana Ross), but the world lucked out by discovering it through the Jackson 5. Michael Jackson, still a couple years away from his teens, delivered a vocal Dave Marsh called “just beyond belief, nuanced and knowing but at the same time, young and innocent.” Backed by a musical track that combined the sounds of Motown and Sly & the Family Stone with a double dose of sunshine, Michael and his brothers were never going to miss the target, but who knew their arrow would embed itself so deeply in the bull’s-eye?
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Ramona Gonzalez, better known by her bedroom-pop moniker Nite Jewel, made many publications’ “Best of 2012″ lists with her latest album, One Second of Love. Here, the Los Angeles native puts her own gossamer spin on Michael Jackson‘s disco-infused classic “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing).” Continue reading »

Dec 212012

Adele dominated the cover song landscape in 2011, but Two-Aught-Twelve saw no similar galvanizing figure. Yes Lana Del Rey got covered a lot, but Leonard Cohen and Arcade Fire also seemed to garner an unexpected landslide of great covers (and speaking of landslides, so did Fleetwood Mac). “Call Me Maybe” was a huge hit that didn’t lead to much in the way of classic covers, and few seem to have even bothered attempting the Korean raps on “Gangnam Style.”

Which means that cover songs in 2012 were more diverse, ambitious, and left-field than ever before. A given YouTube search or Hype Machine browse would be as likely to turn up forgotten hits or underappreciated songwriters as it would the latest Top 40 smash. Find a sampling of all the diversity in Cover Me’s official Best Cover Songs of 2012 countdown. Start with #40-31 on the next page, and check back daily as we’ll be adding more til we hit #1.

This was the first year that the  free, three-day music festival Hardly Strictly Bluegrass was without it’s founder Warren Hellman. Warren passed late last year and left a San Francisco tradition that is being faithfully carried out by an army of music lovers, bigger and better than ever. This year’s festival in Golden Gate Park featured 6 stages,  a crowd of 600,000 and 88 acts with a variety of artists like Patti Smith, Elvis Costello, The Lumineers, Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, Conor Oberst, The Civil Wars, Son Volt, Ralph Stanley, Nick Lowe and many more. Check out a handful of the many covers from the weekend below! Continue reading »

One of the hottest bands in the bluegrass and jamband scene, Greensky Bluegrass never seem to stop touring. As evidenced by their three appearances at last week’s  Telluride Bluegrass Festival, the band is working hard in support of their latest release, Handguns. Continue reading »

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

It’s been a few weeks since we’ve checked in with the covers popping up on Bandcamp, but from the looks of it, the good material didn’t stop over the holiday break. So in lieu of the bedroom acoustic songs we often hear, we cherry-picked out some more thoughtful, complex productions from the surplus. Download ‘em all below. Continue reading »

When mysterious Toronto singer The Weeknd released his buzzy mixtape House of Balloons last March, we listened to “Wicked Games” hoping for another great Chris Isaak cover. As you likely know by now, it’s a different song entirely, and one that’s gotten a few covers itself. The tracklist of his new mixtape Echoes of Silence doesn’t seem to offer any such promise, but as you listen you quickly learn what “D.D.” stands for: Michael Jackson’s classic raunch-jam “Dirty Diana.” Continue reading »

Dallas native and current Yale University student Conner Youngblood names a diverse group of artists as his influences, from Kid Cudi and Gorillaz to Ray Lamontagne and Elliot Smith, incorporating a unique blend of electronic synths and traditional acoustic instruments into his original material. Balancing his academic pursuits as an American Studies major (just like your humble author) with a blossoming music career, Conner has posted a solid string of singles on his Soundcloud page, including a recent interpretation of Michael Jackson‘s iconic “Will You Be There.” Continue reading »

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