Dec 022016
 

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.

echodrone-profile

An article about the shoegazing band Echodrone begins, “Echodrone are one of those bands that I want to be horribly embarrassed to have not been aware of ‘til their fifth album and tenth year…” The writer goes on to add, “Although, apparently many of the band members are yet to even meet each other… So I’m inclined to be slightly less embarrassed… ” Indeed, the band may be based in San Francisco, where it started out as a two-man operation (Eugene Suh and Brandon Dudley), but the addition of its newest members (Mike Funk, Jim Hrabak, and Rachel Lopez) has made them a quintet that records its songs virtually, passing the music files from one set of hands to the next via Dropbox. They may not play together, but you sure hope they’ll stay together.
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Nov 042016
 

Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.

Doors

When the Doors went to number one with “Hello, I Love You,” many of their fans called them sellouts. Never mind they’d already gotten to number one with “Light My Fire” the year before; this time around, the thinking went, they were out to write a hit single and leave their darker stuff behind. More than half a century has passed since Jim Morrison wrote about that dusky jewel walking across the California beach sands, and while you can count the number of people who hum “Horse Latitudes” these days on the thumb of one hand, “Hello, I Love You” has maintained its status as a much-beloved classic of the sixties.
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May 112016
 
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Whatever Disintegration means to certain people, Home, Like Noplace Is There is my own keepsake for when I want to hide away from the world. Neither band, The Cure and The Hotelier respectively, sounds much alike, yet when I listen to either band and I close my eyes with my headphones on or drive on some Midwest highway I feel outside myself. Both paint colorful dreams of sound, one of swirling lullaby blue and lipstick red and the other calm, natural forest green. Both turn guitars into voices, one gentle and moody and the other loud and unabashed, celebrating the urgent, exaggerated emotions we always want life to encompass for all its joy and dread (shouldn’t life always sound so perverse and beautiful?). As it is with the best music, they both trick me into feeling alive, which is the most stunning thing. Continue reading »

Jan 222016
 

Full Albums features covers of every track off a classic album. Got an idea for a future pick? Leave a note in the comments!

cure disintegration

According to sixteenth-century wisdom, one can identify someone who is in love based on a disheveled physical appearance. Shakespeare’s As You Like It describes a true lover as having a sunken eye, neglected beard, ungartered hose, unbanded bonnet, unbuttoned sleeve, and untied shoe so that “everything about you [is] demonstrating a careless desolation.” To be in love – more specifically, to be in unrequited love – is to be in the midst of a personal disintegration.

On the one hand, this checklist is but one more example of how early modern thinking refused to differentiate between one’s self and one’s outward appearance. On the other, the basic idea that impossible love would lead a person to disregard social convention and personal hygiene is, in relative historical terms, a remarkably sensitive reading of the individual psyche. Speaking mostly for the ten years or so that the surly teenaged version of myself donned “the trappings and the suits of woe,” I’d suggest that, even 400 years later, the outward signs demarking the presence of desolate love remain mostly the same but with a single addition: a true lover – a true lover and therefore a miserable lover – listens to the Cure’s Disintegration, usually in a bedroom, often in the dark. Because so many true lovers of this variety are teenagers following demands of the album’s liner notes (THIS MUSIC HAS BEEN MIXED TO BE PLAYED LOUD SO TURN IT UP), such lovers are often listening with headphones. Such lovers are often alone.

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Sep 222014
 

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from The Cure, but Paul McCartney, in a manner of speaking, has brought them back together. An upcoming Sir Paul mega-tribute (42 tracks!) album includes The Cure’s version of “Hello, Goodbye.” Bob Dylan, Brian Wilson, Roger Daltrey, Smokey Robinson and many more have contributed to the record, which is set for a November 18, 2014, release. Continue reading »