Feb 292016
 

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

awineh-backto_18

Last night, to the surprise of no one, that Academy Award for Best Documentary went to the Amy Winehouse movie Amy. The movie, as is typical for these things, is more about the personality than the music; producers seem to think public breakdowns make for better visuals than the nitty gritty of work in the studio (a premise with which we strongly disagree). But still, if it gets some young Adele fan who wasn’t around for Adele’s predecessor to give Back to Black a listen, another exhaustive look at Winehouse’s demons was perhaps worth it.

We, however, are all about the music, which we celebrate today with the latest in our series of Full Album cover sets. Though as is always the case the big hits have way more covers than the deep cuts, it’s a testament to how deep the album’s bench is that every song has been given at least one cover worthy of Amy’s talent. Continue reading »

Jul 232014
 

In Memoriam pays tribute to those who have left this world, and the songs they left us to remember them by.

The 27 Club is one of the most enduring legends of rock and roll apocrypha, and although the member list is distinguished, no one’s really clawing to get in. It refers to the peculiarly high number of prominent musicians who died at the age of 27 – blues legend Robert Johnson, Jim Morrison, Big Star’s Chris Bell, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stones founding member Brian Jones, and Kurt Cobain, amongst (too) many others.

In 2011, the club expanded its membership yet again with blue-eyed soul ingénue, Amy Winehouse.
Continue reading »

Dec 092011
 

When we think back to this year, we might remember 2011 as the year that the whole concept of the “cover album” became more fluid, and not always for the better. Thanks to the increased prominence of sites like Bandcamp and Soundcloud, a cover album could be conceived, recorded, and shared in the space of a weekend. This didn’t necessarily lead to better cover albums, but it certainly led to more of them. They came in all formats – digital, CD, vinyl, and even cassette-only – and from all directions – labels, blogs, and even some magazines.

Which, we like to think, makes this list that much more helpful. In a year where the biggest single-artist cover album we got came from William Shatner, it proved a particular challenge to dig through the many obscure artists and assorted tributes and extract the gems. Gems there certainly were though, be they from newcomers making an impression with their favorite songs or old-timers honoring groups that influenced them decades ago. It may have taken a bit more work to find them, but the end result is as strong a selection as we’ve seen.

Continue to page 2 to read the list…

Mar 012011
 

It’s mento, people, not Mentos. A Jamaican musical genre that predated ska and reggae, mento has not received the same attention that its more popular offsprings have, but The Jolly Boys have been performing this acoustic-based music for the last six decades. A while back we heard them cover Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab.” Now they return with something a little more vintage.

Check out the video below for the latest in mento: The Jolly Boys covering The Doors‘ classic “Riders on the Storm.” The song lends itself to the easy beat they lay down, but there’s something strange about a band with ‘Jolly’ in their name playing island music but singing about a twisted, dangerous drifter. Continue reading »

Oct 182010
 

Song of the Day posts one cool cover every morning. Catch up on past installments here.

For most of the world, “Jamaican music” means one thing: reggae. Now, this isn’t totally off base. But reggae didn’t come about until the late 1960s. Surely something came before. Of course it did. That something (or one of those somethings) was “mento.”

You could be forgiven for confusing the two. Both emphasize the backbeats, lazily meandering along. Mento, though, comes from African folk traditions and features a more acoustic sound. Mentomusic.com offers loads of insights, including a fascinating piece on mento’s influence on Bob Marley. Whether you’ve heard of the genre or not, you almost certainly know one example: “Day-O (The Banana Boat),” a mento song sold as calypso because Americans didn’t know the difference. Continue reading »