May 152018
 
scary pockets

You probably haven’t heard of California funk duo Scary Pockets. We hadn’t either, until stumbling upon their amazing sax-jazz cover of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory highlight “Pure Imagination.” But we should have. Turns out their keyboard player, Jack Conte, was half of one of YouTube’s first viral covers groups: Pomplamoose. (Conte also founded popular crowdfunding platform Patreon – needless to say, Scary Pockets has a page).

That’s the resume, but what hooked me before I discovered any of that were their new cover videos. Like a ’70s funk version of Postmodern Jukebox, Conte and his guitarist partner Ryan Lerman bring in guest singers for vintage soul takes on pop hits across the genre map. Start where I did, with a smooth jazz take on “Pure Imagination” featuring saxophonist Sam Gendel. Continue reading »

Jul 252012
 

We first rounded up a batch of “Call Me Maybe”s back in the spring, and – surprise surprise – there have been one or two more since (shoutout Obama). We’ve whittled down the best recent additions, the ones worth overcoming your aural exhaustion from summer’s leading earworm to give these a go. Continue reading »

May 112011
 

The delightful duo of Nataly Dawn and Jack Conte that consistently blows up the YouTubes as Pomplamoose has recorded a fun videosong cover of the Angry Birds theme song. I consistently like their songs, so I figured I’d take a crack at writing this post. I always like to get familiar with the song being covered, and thus begins the chain of events that led to me understanding this music video. Continue reading »

May 022011
 

For some reason, people seem obsessed with covering the Super Mario Bros. theme song. Since the inception of YouTube, countless versions of the abnormally catchy tune have popped up in various arrangements, including on guitar, 11-string bass, clarinet quartet, beatboxing flute (pretty impressive) and any other instrument you can name. Maybe people just like to revisit the wasted hours of their youth by wasting their adulthood as well! Continue reading »

Dec 012010
 

‘Tis the season for covers (more on that later today) and who better to ring in the first day of December than our old friends Pomplamoose? Their “VideoSongs” have collectively racked up millions of views on YouTube and earned them fans like Ben Folds. They’ve been promoting original material lately, but they return to covers with “Deck the Halls.” Continue reading »

Oct 132010
 

Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.

Michael Jackson’s sixth solo album Thriller exploded onto the music scene in 1983. A year later, he released “Beat It” as the album’s third single and won two Grammys. As of September 2010, “Beat it” has been downloaded over 1.6 million times. The music video is just as iconic as the song; there is no other instance where a knife fight between tough gang leaders could devolve into synchronized arm flaps/pelvic thrusts and still be taken seriously.

While Michael’s death last year sparked a flurry of YouTube tributes to the King of Pop, “Beat it” has generated a wide range of interpretations ever since its debut. Ranking #337 on Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” list, its popularity has inspired artists worldwide, from off-key amateurs to Fall Out Boy (ft. John Mayer, no less). Here are five of the best. Continue reading »