Nov 282014

Some covers are more equal than others. Good, Better, Best looks at three covers and decides who takes home the gold, the silver, and the bronze.

“This Must Be the Place (Naïve Melody),” which first appeared on their 1983 album Speaking in Tongues (as well as on their incredible 1984 live album / soundtrack Stop Making Sense), is one of the few songs in the Talking Heads catalogue that could be considered a “love song.” In interviews, the band’s singer/lyricist David Byrne says that he made a conscious choice to make it a “real love” song, but sought to avoid making it too corny or simplistic (the “naïve melody” parenthetical shows the kind of self-awareness that made Byrne such a strong and strange creative force). The result is a song that, while lacking any kind of narrative, is brimming with poignant single lines that makes up for an emotional experience.
Continue reading »

Nov 152011

Every year, city of Melbourne, Australia puts on the Melbourne International Arts Festival. The event combines local and international artists of all sorts in a two-week program of events, exhibitions, and concerts. A few weeks ago, the festival wound up with an all-star protest concert titled Notes from the Hard Road and Beyond. It featured Joss Stone, Mavis Staples, and local favorite Paul Dempsey covering songs of hope and struggle. The whole thing was recorded by national station STVDIO for broadcast next Friday, but you can watch clips now. Continue reading »

Jan 312011

Last year’s remake of the Karate Kid came and went pretty quickly. If that franchise cash-in failed though, another recent Kid throwback continues to inspire nostalgia. It’s Bat for Lashes’ song “Daniel.” Though she’s never officially confirmed that song concerns the beloved 1984 film, on the cover of the single she sports a tattoo of protagonist Daniel LaRusso. The lyrics stray a bit from the plot, true, but this could still soundtrack a solid training montage.

Something for Kate singer Paul Dempsey mused on the Karate Kid connection when he covered the song yesterday for Australia’s Triple J radio. “If this song is from the perspective of Mr. Miyagi, it’s really creepy,” Dempsey notes. His falsetto keeps things more positive, bouncing off the understated “Daniel” backing chorus for a fun cover that veers away from the original’s pop production without losing the instantly-catchy groove. Continue reading »