Aug 032018
 

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!

A band that’s been in business for more than two decades can be expected to change their sound a few times. With Of Montreal, though, it’s about more than sounding different. It’s about seeing the world a whole new way. Kevin Barnes founded the band, and over the years has led a score of other musicians. Together, they’ve explored worlds of folk and psychedelia, theatrical and celestial, amusement and misery. They’ve done so with such purpose that it’s become a part of what draws their fans. Continue reading »

Apr 062018
 

Ethan Gold Bedroom ClosetWhen Ethan Gold began recording cover songs in his bedroom closet, they were more than his tributes to artists that mattered to him – they were therapy. Gold had sustained a head injury in a warehouse accident that left him unable to speak, let alone do the complex sound engineering his work required. He had also just been forced to leave the condemned residence that inspired his previous album, Songs from a Toxic Apartment. So these covers, one-take performances filmed for YouTube, were Gold’s road to recovery. Now they’ve been compiled and released as a digital-only album, Live Undead Bedroom Closet Covers, and it’s a pleasure to see that his recovery is complete.
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Nov 252014
 

If you are lucky enough to be in Chicago during the brutal winter season, know that there is one thing that is sure to cheer you up: The David Bowie Is retrospective currently on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Hardcore Ziggy Stardust fans and celebrities alike have been flocking to the retrospective to get take a glimpse at some of the most intimate moments of David Bowie‘s career. Recently, of Montreal‘s lead singer Kevin Barnes took to the stage at the MCA to celebrate Bowie as well. Continue reading »

Dec 192013
 

I’m not sure there were more great cover songs this year than any other. But there were more good ones.

What I mean by that is, the average quality of the covers we come across in the time we’ve been around has risen, rather dramatically. Whether they’re iTunes homepage singles or some guy emailing us his Bandcamp, more cover songs in 2013 avoid the old pitfalls than ever before. They don’t sound like they were recorded in a cereal box, substitute ear-bleeding volume for actual creativity, or – the worst cover sin of all – try to carbon-copying the original. With the ease of production and distribution available now, artists seemed to record covers only when they felt they had something to add, and do a halfway decent job committing those ideas to 1s and 0s. Continue reading »

Jul 182011
 

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!

Artist, activist and new media pioneer Maya Arulpragasam, better known to the world as M.I.A., turns 36 today. A Briton of Tamil descent, she started as a visual artist, attending London’s Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. While there, she met Elastica’s Justine Frischmann and designed the cover art for their final single. Urged on by Frischmann and Peaches, whom she met while filming a video document of Elastica’s last tour, she began recording music in her bedroom. Continue reading »

Jun 132011
 

Georgia-based psychedelics Of Montreal have earned a reputation for their highly original sound and somewhat unusual behavior, so somehow it seems perfectly natural that a recent concert in Atlanta would include a geographically-appropriate cover of The Charlie Daniels Band‘s “Devil Went Down to Georgia” that includes mock pro wrestling matches between spandex covered and masked people, plenty of crowd surfing and the band’s playful, bordering on bizarre personality. Apparently the band has been on a patriotic kick, hence the star-spangled wrestler’s victory in the extra-fake wrestling part of the video. Continue reading »