Nina Simone was a bold and original artist. She drew on jazz, gospel and popular music influences, developing a distinctive style and singing voice. Beginning in the late 1950s, Simone released a series of successful albums, but stayed indifferent to the music industry. Her songs were often political, addressing civil rights and feminist issues.
A little less than a year ago, we over here at Cover Me couldn’t help but gush over Catherine A.D.’s delicate, weep-inducing take on Bon Iver‘s “The Wolves (Act I and II).” Since then, Cover Me has stalked her page and covered five of her covers. Needless to say we’re fans and couldn’t be more excited for her next covers release. Between finishing up at university and her debut full length album that’s due out this winter, Catherine A.D. found some time to put together all of her reworkings and covers for her album Reprise.
Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.
Nina Simone brought the haves and have-nots together in 1968 when she released a medley of two songs from the musical Hair on her album ‘Nuff Said!. “Ain’t Got No” and “I Got Life” weren’t paired up in the original stage show, but Simone makes the combination natural, necessary, and irresistible, celebrating the self over the superfluous.
This Week on Bandcamp rounds up our favorite covers to hit the site in the past seven days.
Today’s set brings us piano pomp for Empire of the Sun, bar band crunch for Nina Simone, psychedelic pop for the Smiths, spoken-word ambiance for David Bowie, and smooth soul for Sade. Download ‘em all below.
Red Band (also known as The Puppet Folk Revival) is indisputably the best Israeli puppet cover band on the Internet. To be fair, there isn’t much dispute over Israeli puppet cover bands. If there was any substantial amount of arguing going on, though, it’s likely that Red Band would win.
Certain records labels come to represent a sound as fully as the bands they represent. Sub Pop, Epitaph, Matador – all names that conjure up a particular aesthetic for those familiar with their roster. Anova Music may not boast the fame or history of the big labels, but with its small lineup it too represents a specific sound: Israeli indie. Genre-wise, it’s all over the board – from the EatLiz hard rockers to jazz singer Ruth Dolores Weiss – but the small community stays strong.
On a selfish note, we like Anova because of all the covers they send us. Whether generated by label policy or coincidental artist initiative, the songs always deliver. In September we posted Electra’s cover of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” and we recently named Weiss’ Leonard Cohen cover one of the best of 2010.
Song of the Day posts one cool cover every morning. Catch up on past installments here.
If you’ve ever ridden public transit, you know the scene. Homeless man drinks from paper bag. Child bounds about with no obvious parental supervision. Man stealthily reads paper over his seatmate’s shoulder. Mediterranean rock band busts out violin, harpsichord, and trumpet. Woman begins belly dancing. Homeless man strips. Just another day in a commuter’s life.
Okay, maybe a few things are different. But when your busmates are Dolapdere Big Gang, what do you expect? For the video to their raucous version of Nina Simone‘s “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood,” the Turkish octet hopped aboard an Istanbul bus and let ‘er rip. You don’t know whether to mosh or go all whirling dervish to this East-West fusion. As long as you’re moving, it doesn’t matter.