Aug 162014

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!

Forgive me, Father for I have sinned.

It has been….a really long time since my last confession. My sins are multitudinous (lust, blasphemy, coveting my neighbor’s ass… but in my defense, it’s a really nice ass), but the most egregious of all is idolatry.

See, ever since I could sway to music, Madonna has been my idol. The long-established Queen of my Universe and a musician I just can’t quit despite her numerous attempts to break my heart (that horrible faux English accent, sleeping with Vanilla Ice, sleeping with Vanilla Ice and then documenting it in her Sex book…).

I didn’t grow up Catholic, so I couldn’t seek solace in the open arms of Holy Mother Church. Instead, I sought solace from a leonine-eyed beauty who often incited the ire of the Catholic Church.

Madonna taught me lessons that have carried me through adolescence and well into adulthood.
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Jan 062014

“I will now sing to you the 2013 song of the year,” Patti Smith said at her 67th birthday concert last week in NYC, then launched into a moving – not to mention unexpected – cover of Rihanna‘s “Stay.” Never one to cover a pop song ironically, Smith and pianist Tony Shanahan delivered the lyrics with poise and purpose, even when nerves caused her to forget a few of the words partway through. Continue reading »

Nov 272013

There are a number of ways that indie artists cover pop hits – most of them involve paring the song down and bringing in a piano or an acoustic guitar and resting on the laurels of simplicity and a powerful voice. What, then, is an artist to do with a song that’s already characterized by its sadness, by a slow and steady piano and an undefeatable voice, a song like Rihanna‘s “Stay”? Continue reading »

Oct 022013

Jared Leto is a hard dude to figure out. Some people still think of him as bad boy/dreamboat Jordan Catalano from My So Called Life, teens now know him as the lead singer of 30 Seconds to Mars, and others simply wonder what type of shampoo he uses for his luscious locks. In a surprise move on BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge, Catalano Leto performed a touching rendition of Rihanna‘s “Stay.” Continue reading »

Jun 142013

UK-based Strangers are no stranger (sorry) to emotional, heavy songs. After collaborating with producer Dimitri Tikovoi for their new single “Something New,” frontman David Maddox-Jones became a fan of Mikky Ekko, with whom Tikovoi has also been working. Ekko is the male counterpart of Rihanna‘s pleading ballad “Stay,” and with the Nashville-singer fresh on Maddox-Jones’ mind, Strangers decided to bring their own spin to the song. Continue reading »