Mar 262013
 

Phoenix frontman Thomas Mars is a self-proclaimed fan of legendary rockers Dinosaur Jr. and has been since he saw them perform live back in 1991. It is a safe assumption to say then, that the singer was probably more than pleased when Dinosaur Jr. decided to cover “Entertainment” off their upcoming album Bankrupt! Continue reading »

Feb 072012
 

15-year-old vocal phenom Jasmine van den Bogaerde, who performs under the cutesy stage name Birdy, has been slowly releasing stunning cover videos for about a year now, starting with her take on Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love” and following up with “Shelter” by the xx and others on her YouTube channel. While her debut album came out in November in the UK (where Birdy lives), it won’t hit American shelves until May 20th. In anticipation of her impending North American invasion, Birdy just dropped a new video of her solo piano take on Phoenix’s 2009 hit “1901,” treating it as gently and beautifully as we’ve come to expect from this wunderkind of covers. Continue reading »

Sep 062011
 

Tokyo Police Club finished their “10 Songs, 10 Days, 10 Hours, 10 Years” series over the weekend with five more covers. We’ve already heard them tackle everyone from Moby to the Strokes and that diversity holds for the final set. They start with Phoenix, end with Miley Cyrus, and tackle LCD Soundsystem, M83, and Harlem Shakes in between. Continue reading »

May 262011
 

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

An excerpt from Bob Dylan’s Chronicles: Volume One (Simon & Schuster, 2004):

When I finally did arrive in California, my songs and my reputation had preceded me. I had records out on Columbia and I’d be playing at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium and meeting all the performers who had recorded my songs-artists like The Byrds, who’d recorded “Mr. Tambourine Man,” Sonny and Cher, who’d done “All I Really Want to Do,” The Turtles, who recorded “It Ain’t Me, Babe,” Glen Campbell, who had released “Don’t Think Twice,” and Johnny Rivers, who had recorded “Positively 4th Street.”

Of all the versions of my recorded songs, the Johnny Rivers one was my favorite. It was obvious that we were from the same side of town, had been read the same citations, came from the same musical family and were cut from the same cloth. When I listened to Johnny’s version of “Positively 4th Street,” I liked his version better than mine. I listened to it over and over again. Most of the cover versions of my songs seemed to take them out into left field somewhere, but Rivers’s version had the mandate down-the attitude and melodic sense to complete and surpass even the feeling that I had put into it. It shouldn’t have surprised me, though. He had done the same thing with “Maybellene” and “Memphis,” two Chuck Berry songs. When I heard Johnny sing my song, it was obvious that life had the same external grip on him as it did on me.

Yes, today’s installment boasts a special distinction: It contain Dylan’s favorite cover of his own work. Rivers’ “Positively 4th Street” is indeed spellbinding. We’d venture that if Bob heard some of these other covers, though, he might have to reconsider. The Ghosts of Electricity’s 11-minute “Standing in a Doorway” takes a live jam to the stratosphere. Guy Davis’ “Sweetheart Like You” is so beautiful it redeems all of Dylan’s output in the ’80s (well, almost). If nothing else, John Doe (of X)’s soaring “Pressing On” from the I’m Not There film would surely be a contender.

We’ve also got a few of those “left field” covers he apparently disdains. Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Subterranean Homesick Blues” roars even harder than he ever intended. World Wide Message Tribe’s “Precious Angel” takes the holy message to the club floor. Cheap Trick’s 10-minutes “Please Mrs. Henry” doesn’t sound much like it did with the Band in that Woodstock basement. Check out these and dozens more on the next few pages and see if you agree with Dylan that Rivers tops the lot.

P.S. After you’ve reached your verdict, you might also compare it to the 170 covers we’ve presented in previous installments, linked here:
Part 1: “Absolutely Sweet Marie” – “Everything Is Broken”
Part 2: “Father of Night” – “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues”
Part 3: “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” – “Oxford Town”
Part 4: “Peggy Day” – “Sweetheart Like You”
Part 5: “T.V Talkin’ Song” – “4th Time Around” [Coming Friday]

Continued on Page 2…

Apr 252011
 

There was a period of time, a couple of years ago, when you couldn’t turn on the TV without hearing Phoenix’s “Lisztomania” in a commercial or movie trailer. The ubiquity was understandable — the French foursome created a ridiculously catchy indie pop gem. Phoenix has slipped under the radar lately, but DJ/producer Edwin Van Cleef recently brought “Lisztomania” out of retirement for a Fear of Tigers podcast. Continue reading »