Feb 142012
 

Quickies rounds up new can’t-miss covers. Download ‘em below.

The sister of the Yours Truly founder passed away recently, and L.A. indie pop artist Nite Jewel recorded this gorgeous cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Visions” in her memory. It’s just a keyboard and that voice, which is all you need.
MP3: Nite Jewel – Visions (Stevie Wonder cover) Continue reading »

Oct 212011
 

Under the Radar shines a light on lesser-known cover artists. If you’re not listening to these folks, you should. Catch up on past installments here.

As a rule, rappers don’t do covers. Sure, they might karaoke a beloved Biggie verse every now and again, but you almost never see them record a regular, honest-to-goodness cover. They honor their influences through sampling and remixing, which, given that they generally can’t sing, works better for most of them.

Enter Buck 65. The Tom Waits of hip-hop, this Canadian cult hero is anything but an ordinary rapper and he does covers on the regular. And not even covers of other rap songs, but covers of pop and folk that blend seamlessly into his albums. Though no one could question his encyclopedic knowledge of hip-hop history, Buck (aka Richard Terfry) draws from folk and blues regularly, giving his work a grit more Robert Johnson than Tupac. Below, we sample five choice reimaginings as a primer on how rappers can do covers right. Continue reading »

Sep 262011
 

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!

Bryan Ferry, it’s safe to say, loves covers. Between his solo career and his decades with Roxy Music, he’s covered everyone from The Beach Boys to Van Morrison, The Beatles to The Velvet Underground, Kris Kristofferson to Leadbelly to absurd amounts of Bob Dylan. It could even be argued that Talking Heads’ version of “Take Me To the River” is most directly a cover of Ferry’s take on the song. That’s another story for another time, though – now, it’s time to celebrate Ferry’s 66th with all the decade-spanning splendor the Internet has to offer. Whether Bill Murray’s legendary karaoke performance of Roxy Music’s “More Than This” from Lost in Translation qualifies as a cover or not, it certainly served as something of a guiding star by which this post could find its way. Continue reading »

Feb 242011
 

The opening words to the latest Sucker Punch trailer, punctuated like they’re spoken: I lost everyone I’ve ever loved. Then they locked me away. With nowhere to hide. From the pain. Just when you think all hope for this film is lost, though, Led Zeppelin’s “When the Levee Breaks” kicks in. Sure, they keep blathering about escaping from some asylum that apparently only holds gorgeous teens (and they want to escape why?), but at least music supervisor Tyler Bates seems set to deliver. Continue reading »

Oct 152010
 

“Song to the Siren” seems to be one of those songs where every cover is good. 2009 saw ex-Red Hot Chili Pepper guitarist John Frusciante build the Tim Buckley song to psychedelic grandeur. Then in June the Wailing Wall pulled it all back, using banjo and accordion to tell the Odysseus legend. Now Bryan Ferry comes along with his version. You might expect it to be layered and intricate (it is), but you probably wouldn’t expect David Gilmour and Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood to play guitar on it (they do).

Stereogum premiered the track yesterday. It also features Ferry’s Roxy Music cohorts Brian Eno, Andy Mackay, and Phil Mananera. Like much of Ferry/Roxy Music’s work, it’s densely produced without losing the emotional core. The track appears on Ferry’s Olympia, out October 26th. Check it out below. Continue reading »