May 232011

Dylan Covers A-Z presents covers of every single Bob Dylan song. View the full series here.

Bob Dylan turns 70 tomorrow. We pondered long and hard how to celebrate. This seemed to us deserving of more than the usual They Say It’s Your Birthday collection, and we knew we could do better than another Best Dylan Covers list. We wanted to do something truly special.

So we’re celebrating Dylan’s birthday this week by doing something no one’s ever done before: compiling covers of every single Bob Dylan song. If he released it on a regular studio album, we’ve got it, for a grand total of 279 songs.* Our entire staff has dug deep to find the hidden gems alongside the classics. We’ve got your “Ballad of a Thin Man” and “Tangled Up in Blue,” sure, but we’ve also got your “Cat’s in the Well” and “Po’ Boy.” Heck – we’ve even got the Jesus stuff! Continue reading »

Dec 232010

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!

Some time ago, a rugged, righteous man made his presence known to the world. He had a great respect for certain past traditions, but also some funny ideas about how to move forward. And let’s not forget his wicked beard. He’s influenced western culture more than anyone would’ve first imagined, and people now worship him as an icon and maybe even a savior. His name is revered far and wide: Eddie Vedder.

Yes, the celebrated grunge/alt. rock trailblazer and Pearl Jam founder, born Edward Louis Severson III, turns 46 today, and we thought we’d celebrate with some pretty great covers that span his entire body of work. Continue reading »

Oct 272010

This past weekend Neil Young’s 24th annual Bridge School Benefit went down in Mountain View, California. The big story was of course Buffalo Springfield reuniting at last. Though some members looked a little the worse for wear, hearing “Mr. Soul” and “For What It’s Worth” performed by the original members (the ones still alive, at least) must have been a treat.

Pearl Jam performed both nights, as they have six times before. Counting his solo appearances, this marks Eddie Vedder’s ninth appearance at the Benefit. Though both nights saw Neil Young join the band for Le Noise track “Walk with Me,” Night 1 fans got a special treat: a cover of Patti Smith’s “Dancing Barefoot.” A relatively straightforward rendition turns into a full-band acoustic before Vedder lets loose his grumbly scream. Continue reading »

Oct 212010

It’s the classic story. Upstate farm boy gets antsy for the big city. He arrives in the Big Apple and meets a crazy blend of eccentrics. It’s pretty much Babe: Pig in the City. Starring a human.

Todd Michaelson, the farm boy in question, soon met an Indian dancer in Brooklyn (of course). After they got engaged in Mumbai, the two decided to form a band called My Pet Dragon. How romantic. They’ve been releasing singles and EPs ever since, with a full-length on the way next year. Their latest single, “Flow,” is a high-energy indie-pop tune that suggests a happier version of the Smiths. The b-side pulls it back (a little) for a lush run through Pearl Jam’s “Release.” Continue reading »

Jul 282010

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!

There are some voices that speak (or sing) for themselves. You know the ones. Voices where it doesn’t matter what they sing. Voices where it doesn’t really matter what instruments support them. Solomon Burke has such a voice. Jeff Buckley had it. Allison Crowe has it too.

Born in British Columbia, Crowe has amassed a loyal following in Canada and Europe. The songwriter’s songwriter pure tones sound like a bell, no show-off acrobatics necessary. The amazing thing isn’t just that she performs the best version of Leonard Cohen‘s oft-covered “Hallelujah” (sorry Jeff); the amazing thing is that she does so using the same solo piano style that everyone else does. There’s nothing particularly creative about it; her voice is just that good! So throw all those other “sensitive” covers. This one’s the keeper.

Her others are equally charming. The Beatles’ “In My Life” gets the uplifting piano too, while Cyndi Lauper‘s “Time after Time” mixes it up with – wait for it – a guitar! A full band joins in for Pearl Jam’s “Indifference” and the Rolling Stones’ “Shine a Light,” but as always Crowe’s voice is the star. Continue reading »