At first glance, The Black Keys‘ garage rock is an unlikely match for Australian rapper Phrase, but the Melbourne-based MC chose a track from the Keys’ breakout album Brothers for his session on Triple J‘s Like A Version. With the help of his band, Phrase maintains the Keys’ soulful groove on “Tighten Up” while infusing his own style with the addition of some rap verses.
Rave On Buddy Holly, arguably the most hyped cover album of the year, finally drops this week. Rampant previews hinted that the album would be something special, and the A-list lineup of artists doesn’t disappoint. Rave On is a solid, carefully curated collection of tracks from Buddy Holly‘s surprisingly extensive catalog, a worthy tribute to the rock pioneer.
Choosing standouts from such a varied and high-profile set of covers is a challenge. Some of the best moments come from contributors who chose to keep their covers low-key. Dan Auerbach’s vocals gracefully carry the Black Keys‘ quiet, percussion-based opener “Dearest,” while Fiona Apple and Jon Brion trip through a pitch-perfect duet in “Everyday.” My Morning Jacket offers the elegantly subdued “True Love Ways,” embellished with a lovely string section.
New Hampshire roots-rock trio Aunt Martha landed a coveted spot on the lineup of Bonnaroo next week and they’re celebrating in style: by covering songs by their Bonnaroo 2011 peers. Starting last month with Arcade Fire’s “Rebellion (Lies),” they’ve been posting a new cover recording to Vimeo every few days and it’s about time we rounded up some of the best of them.
And the winner for Most Anticipated Tribute Album of 2011 goes to…
Rave On Buddy Holly, coming June 28th to celebrate what would be Buddy Holly’s 75th birthday this fall. This tracklist defines the term “stacked.” From veterans like Paul McCartney and Patti Smith to newer breakouts like She & Him and Cee-Lo Green, every one of the 19 tracks looks to be another potential stunner. My Morning Jacket crooning “True Love Ways”? The Black Keys rocking “Dearest”? John Doe doing who-knows-what to “Peggy Sue Got Married”?
Though identical sisters The Watson Twins first broke through as backup for Jenny Lewis on Rabbit Fur Coat, they’ve stepped into the spotlight on their own with three albums of ethereal indie-folk. They follow up last year’s Talking to You, Talking to Me with the eclectic, literally-named EP Night Covers. The Kentucky-born duo revealed an intriguing range of artists in the tracklisting when they chatted with Cover Me last week. On Night Covers, they create a cohesive mini-album from diverse source material, staying true to the style established on their previous releases. The sisters told Cover Me that they “ha[d] a lot of fans asking for recordings of [live] covers” after playing the tracks on tour, which prompted them to take the pleasant, restrained, and occasionally quirky arrangements on Night Covers into the studio.
This March, we pit 64 Beatles covers against each other in what we call Moptop Madness.
Yesterday’s winner: Joe Cocker, “With a Little Help from My Friends” and José Feliciano, “A Day in the Life”
The Elite Eight. Sixty-four covers entered, but only eight remain. They are: The Black Keys, Jake Shimabukuro, Neil Young, Booker T. and the M.G.s, Johnny Cash, Elliott Smith, Joe Cocker, and José Feliciano. One of these will win it all. For the remainder of the contest, we’ll be eliminating one cover each day. These matches are big; they deserve to stand alone. Competition will be tough for every contest, so whichever team’s fans can get out the vote best may well prevail. First up: “She Said She Said” versus “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” Here we go!
Listen to both songs 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.