Despite being busy preparing for the release of their fourth studio album, Dear Miss Lonely Hearts, in the next couple of weeks, Long Beach rockers Cold War Kids have made time to have a little fun with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds‘ “Opium Tea.”
Australian radio station Triple J has something we here at Cover Me love called “Like A Version.” The station wrangles some great artists to interpret whatever song they feel like covering. Sharon Van Etten recently stopped in, talked about how she is touring with Nick Cave later this year, and put out a heavy rendition of Cave’s “People Ain’t No Good.”
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!
Just over three decades since The Birthday Party helped spark off the doom & gloom sub-stream in ‘80s post-punk, Nick Cave now belongs in the great club of certified songwriters. Like several members of that club, Cave has his share of skeptics, and it’s not so easy to bring them into the fold. Nonbelievers in latter-day Nick Cave would benefit from checking out the Birthday Party, or Cave’s earlier albums with The Bad Seeds, to better appreciate one of the most prolific and consistent musicians to rise from the ashes of the punk era.
There was a time when Los Angeles could boast housing some great punk bands. During the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, people were inspired by punk rock acts in England, and as that phenomena spread, bands like X, The Weirdos, and The Flesh Eaters emerged on the Southern California scene. It would have been a vibrant time to play in a band, and perhaps the ideal time to take large risks in sound, like combining punk rock with blues and country, which is what Jeffrey Lee Pierce did with The Gun Club. An upcoming tribute album called The Journey is Long will be released in honor of the late frontman, and features the Nick Cave and Debbie Harry cover of “The Breaking Hands.”
Cover Classics takes a closer look at all-cover albums of the past, their genesis, and their legacy.
Over the years, tribute albums have been given a bad name. Nowadays they frequently consist of either inferior bands covering the works of superior bands in the hopes of getting noticed and having talent hopefully rub off on them, or of well-known bands dragooned into making product that’s sure to shift units, radio-friendly and otherwise. There’s also an excess of narcissism and/or irony on too many of these albums, where the inherent message isn’t “Look at this song” but “How funny/awesome is it that I’m doing this song, when it’s so obviously a song I should never do because I play in a different genre!”
Lissie’s new covers EP Covered Up with Flowers hit iTunes today (everywhere next week). It includes her buzzed-about covers of Kid Cudi, Lady Gaga, and Metallica along with two new tunes, covers of Joe South’s “Games People Play” and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ “The Ship Song” (recently covered by Amanda Palmer).
Quickies rounds up new can’t-miss covers. Download ‘em below.
• Doom-y electropop gal Chelsea Wolfe turns everything she touches to spooky. From her music, an affinity to Nick Cave could pretty much be assumed. She makes the connection explicit in this extra-dark cover of a Bad Seeds gem.
MP3: Chelsea Wolfe – I Let Love In (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds cover)
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!
The second of this week’s birthday twofer follows yesterday’s Leonard Cohen feature. There, we heard Nick Cave cover “Avalanche” with the Bad Seeds. Today, Mr. Cave takes a load off while others pay tribute to him. It’s his 54th birthday and, judging by the vital fury of his last few albums, we suspect he’s just getting started.