Dec 162011
 

When people look back in 2011 in music a decade from now, one name will come to mind: Adele. In our little world of cover songs, she dominated. Everyone covered Adele this year. It’s not just that we saw more covers of “Rolling in the Deep” than any other song; they beat out second place (probably “Pumped Up Kicks”) by like a factor of five! We generally try to look for larger cover trends in these annual wrap-ups, but it’s hard to remember anything else from this year except the year-long onslaught of Adele covers hitting our mailbox.

There’s only one “Rolling in the Deep” cover in this year’s list though. The rest are all over the place. Some of the artists listed built their covers with lush soundscapes, thick beats, and intricate string work. Others just took guitars or pianos and bowled us over with the emotion in their voices. There may not be much of an overarching “Year in Covers” narrative, but that means there’s a cover or two for everyone. From feel-good takes on rap songs to kill-yourself versions of pop songs, this year’s list features flips, flops, and genre switcheroos of all sorts. A good cover should be informed by the source material but stand on its own, and we’ll be unrolling the 50 finest examples of songs doing just that all week. Start with #50-41 on the next page and check back daily as we count down to the best cover of 2011.

Oct 202011
 

Indie rock pioneers Teenage Fanclub have influenced many bands making waves today. On the surface, at least, Diamond Rings wouldn’t be among them. The Canadian pop star produces tunes for the thoughtful club kid, blending neon and camp in buzzy hits like “It’s Not My Party.” However, before he was Diamond Rings, John O’Regan got his start in a post-punk band (The D’Ubervilles), so perhaps the connection isn’t as big of a stretch after all. Continue reading »

Mar 192011
 

This March, we pit 64 Beatles covers against each other in what we call Moptop Madness.

Yesterday’s winners: David Bowie, “Across the Universe” and Booker T. and the M.G.s, “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”

Round Two continues with two more fearsome battles. You all liked the Black Keys’ “She Said She Said” and Aretha Franklin’s “Eleanor Rigby,” but only one can win. Ditto for Al Green’s “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and Teenage Fanclub’s “The Ballad of John and Yoko.”

Listen to each pairing below, then vote for your favorite. For added sway, try to convince others to vote your way in the comments. Voting closes in 24 hours. Continue reading »

Mar 042011
 

This March, we pit 64 Beatles covers against each other in what we call Moptop Madness.

Yesterday’s winners: David Bowie, “Across the Universe” and Booker T. and the M.G.s, “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”

For our fifth and sixth matches, we present some heavy hitters. First, it’s a Revolver battle when Chris Eckman of the Walkabouts pits his “Yellow Submarine” against the Black Keys’ “She Said She Said.” Then, Brad Mehldau Trio jazz through “She’s Leaving Home” for over nine minutes while indie pioneers Teenage Fanclub keep it short and sweet on “The Ballad of John and Yoko.”

Listen to each pairing below, then vote for your favorite. For added sway, try to convince others to vote your way in the comments. Voting closes in 24 hours. Continue reading »