May 132014
 

With the possible exception of Martin Scorsese, no movie director has been more closely identified with his soundtracks than Wes Anderson. He has consistently selected songs by well-known artists that, through no fault of their own, have become three-quarters forgotten over the years, and reintroduced them to the world as the classics they had always been. If someone calls a song a prime candidate for the next Wes Anderson soundtrack (Guilty!), an instant and accurate picture is created. The soundtracks show a cohesion that’s rare in these days of we-want-a-hit soundtracks, where the earmarked smash doesn’t play until the final credits have started rolling, and they have become high points in the experience of watching Anderson’s movies. Now the American Laundromat Records label has collected covers of some of those high points on I Saved Latin! A Tribute to Wes Anderson, resulting in the best tribute album of the year.
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Dec 072011
 

The phrase “cover music video” is something of a misnomer. The fact that these songs were originally performed by other artists has, in all cases but one, nothing to do with the video. We might more accurately call this list “Best Music Videos for Songs That Just So Happen to Be Covers.” Still, the cover angle gives us a chance to look at some brilliant music videos that mostly flew somewhat under the radar. Continue reading »

Nov 172011
 

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!

A happy 73rd birthday to Gordon Lightfoot, Canadian troubadour extraordinaire. From the age of five, when he made his performing debut in Sunday School with “I’m a Little Teapot,” he has spent his lifetime bringing music to the world, and the world has responded in kind with covers by the hundreds, from Elvis Presley on down. His songs are not generally happy songs  – “Talk about your party tunes!” Dave Barry once commented about “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” – but they speak well to the human condition with a truly universal voice, and they led none other than Bob Dylan to say, “Gordon Lightfoot, every time I hear a song of his, it’s like I wish it would last forever.” Continue reading »

May 262011
 

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

The Wooden Birds’ new single Two Matchsticks contains a couple bonus covers. They take two very disparate sources – Hall & Oates and Kenny Rogers – to an indie-folk-pop middle ground. Download “Maneater” below, then get “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town” here.
MP3: The Wooden Birds – Maneater (Hall & Oates cover) Continue reading »

May 112011
 

Call it “Black Swan Syndrome” or “Nutcracker Fatigue,” but ballet has never been more disturbing. What is it about images of grace and serenity that couple so well with images of unbridled violence? Whatever it is, it works.

The latest creepy-dancer visuals come from L.A. quartet Princeton. For the video for their cover of the Walker Brothers’ “The Electrician” (a dark enough song as is), they blend beautiful images of a ballerina dancing alone with a slow-motion police chase and beating. We’d say you’ll never see ballet the same way again, except, after Black Swan, you may see ballet this way already. Continue reading »

Mar 222011
 

Yesterday we began our SXSW wrapup by introducing you to Ezra Furman and the Harpoons, Sondre Lerche, PS I Love You, Still Corners, and Candy Golde. Today we round things off with five more finds. These artists blew us away in Austin and, though they’ve never appeared on the site before, we’re sure they will again. Continue reading »