In Memoriam pays tribute to those who have left this world, and the songs they left us to remember them by.
Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.
In 1970, with the Beatles broken up, Creedence Clearwater Revival was poised to take their place on the top of the musical world. But within the band, tension was coming to a head; John Fogerty had too tight a hold on the reins, as far as the others were concerned, and John’s brother Tom decided to leave the band and pursue a solo career. John’s response was to write “Have You Ever Seen the Rain,” a song that obliquely addressed Tom’s departure (“the rain coming down”) at the group’s commercial apex (“on a sunny day”). Of course, you didn’t have to know the back story to love the song, and CCR found themselves with another top ten hit and FM radio staple.
Last week, the Internet exploded when word began circulating that Radiohead would play a show at the Occupy Wall Street protests. That turned out to be a hoax, but last night all was redeemed when formerly-reclusive Neutral Milk Hotel songwriter Jeff Mangum popped up to play an acoustic show in support of the protesters. He opened with a thematically-appropriate cover of the Minutemen’s “Themselves.”
Last month, we mentioned a new tribute compilation of Los Angeles bands today covering their L.A. influences. Titled Beat LA, the punk-leaning album features city upstarts like No Age and Crystal Antlers digging deep into L.A.’s musical history to cover bands both obvious (The Doors, Minutemen) and less so (Thelonious Monster, 20/20). It’s out today and you can stream the whole thing below.
Last night a slew of alt-indie heroes descended on New York’s Bowery Ballroom to pay tribute to the bands featured in Michael Azerrad’s era-defining tome Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground 1981-1991. Ted Leo covered Minor Threat, Titus Andronicus did the Replacements, and, strangest of all, Dirty Projectors played Black Flag.