Jun 212013
 

In the Spotlight showcases a cross-section of an artist’s cover work. View past installments, then post suggestions for future picks in the comments!

Early this year 10,000 Maniacs released Music From The Motion Picture, their first new release in 14 years, garnering some of the best reviews of their career; their lead singer, Mary Ramsey, is celebrating her 20th anniversary with the band this year. You can be excused for not knowing this, as many think the band (who hereinafter we’ll call 10KM) began and ended with the membership of Natalie Merchant, the vocalist and primary lyricist during their most commercially successful period. Indeed, Merchant is one of the key figures of 10KM’s legacy, and easily the best known, but it takes strong will, talent, and no small genius to maintain that legacy, and all credit to Ramsey for doing so.
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Jan 172013
 

Although Canadian new wave band Metric have been kicking it since 1998, they only recently were featured on VH1’s You Oughta Know segment that features “up and coming” bands – or, you know, bands that are just starting to get a little more mainstream. In support of the band’s fifth full length album, Synthetica, the band released a true-to-form cover of Morrissey‘s “Why Don’t You Find Out For Yourself.” Continue reading »

Nov 012011
 

Judging from their press photos and bio (Facebook interests: lipstick, peppermint, Carnegie Hall), the Bandana Splits would seem to be taking the ‘50s-retro vibe mined by groups like Dum Dum Girls to its Happy Days extreme. That’s true to some extent, but the trio of Dawn Landes, Annie Nero, and Lauren Balthrop is up to more than rehashed nostalgia. Their debut album brims with pop smarts and cotton-candy harmonies that sound just as fresh in 2011 as they would have in 1961. Continue reading »

Sep 262011
 

They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s special day with other people singing his or her songs. Let others do the work for a while. Happy birthday!

Bryan Ferry, it’s safe to say, loves covers. Between his solo career and his decades with Roxy Music, he’s covered everyone from The Beach Boys to Van Morrison, The Beatles to The Velvet Underground, Kris Kristofferson to Leadbelly to absurd amounts of Bob Dylan. It could even be argued that Talking Heads’ version of “Take Me To the River” is most directly a cover of Ferry’s take on the song. That’s another story for another time, though – now, it’s time to celebrate Ferry’s 66th with all the decade-spanning splendor the Internet has to offer. Whether Bill Murray’s legendary karaoke performance of Roxy Music’s “More Than This” from Lost in Translation qualifies as a cover or not, it certainly served as something of a guiding star by which this post could find its way. Continue reading »

Jun 172011
 

On the surface, Morrissey and Lou Reed seem to have a lot in common. Two cantankerous ex-frontmen reticent to talk about their former bands. Both tour and release new music only sporadically, though Morrissey’s remains a bit less erratic. On his latest tour, Morrissey connects the two even further by covering Reed’s “Satellite of Love.” Continue reading »