A little over a month ago, we got a sneak peak at the new “Just Tell Me That You Want Me,” an all-star compilation paying tribute to the iconic Fleetwood Mac. We heard renditions of classics such as “Future Games” reinterpreted by MGMT and “Silver Springs” by Lykke Li. The album was officially released in Starbucks across the country on the 14th. If you haven’t had the chance to stop by one of the dozens of Starbucks within the five mile radius of your house (or if you’re not a resident of the U.S.), you’ve lucked out, as the entire album is now available for streaming.
Classic country star Patsy Cline is having something of a revival recently thanks to an unlikely group of fans– British rock bands. Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner performed her “Strange” for Australia’s Triple J last month, and now The Kills are getting in on the action. At their 10th Anniversary gig in New York last week, the garage rock duo added a minimalist take on Cline’s “Crazy” to their set.
This Week on Bandcamp rounds up our favorite covers to hit the site in the past seven days.
After taking last week off for Thanksgiving, we’re back with a double helping of new Bandcamp covers! Download 10 new covers below for your post-gluttony workout mix.
On the back of their acclaimed quasi-comeback album Blood Pressures, the Kills have been touring hard. Their latest trek takes them through Australia, where they stopped in to Triple J to perform “Satellite” along with a new cover. They dug deep to perform “One Silver Dollar,” a song sung by Marilyn Monroe in the 1954 Western River of No Return.
There are some genres that are inherently difficult to cover – folk, blues, reggae, so on and so forth. It’s not necessarily that they’re technically any harder than any other genres; quite the opposite, really. These genres are part of a tradition that thrives on covers and predates the very concept of the cover, just like the standards that everyone sang fifty years ago in their attempts to be Frank Sinatra.
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!
Rock ‘n’ roll animal turned rock ‘n’ roll survivor, Lou Reed has always tread his own path, never following trends, only setting them. Lead singer and songwriter for one of the most influential bands of all time, The Velvet Underground, Reed’s music inspired both the glam and punk movements. Today, he enjoys the status of poet laureate of modern music.
One of the most idiosyncratic artists around, Beefheart’s two most obvious associations – Frank Zappa (friend and collaborator) and Tom Waits (follower) – have never actually covered his songs themselves. But plenty of others have, taking the strange originals and reworking them in every way imaginable.
The Black Keys – I’m Glad
A special mp3 release a few months back, the usually hard-rocking Black Keys bring the soul on this loungey cover that sounds like Sam Cooke singing through a distortion microphone.
Chris Spedding – Click Clack
The harmonica train whistles get old eventually, but otherwise it’s a cool slow-blues take on a pretty obscure Beefheart song. Though I guess they all are.
Yat-Kha – Her Eyes are a Blue Million Miles
Tuvan throat-singing combined with Western metal in this Siberian group. They released an album of…different…covers a few years ago, singing such songs as In a Gadda-Da-Vida and Ramblin’ Man in classic throat-singing style. And you thought Beefheart’s voice was unusual.
The White Stripes – Party of Special Things to Do
Released as a vinyl single with other Beefheart covers “Ashtray Heart” and “China Pig,” getting a hold of this is the holy grail for Stripes collectors. Luckily, the mp3’s are widely circulating of a song so well transformed it sounds like a Stripes original.
Sonic Youth – Electricity
Sonic Youth seem to be a go-to group for tribute albums, and they come through with one of the best tracks on the Beefheart tribute (yes, one exists) Fast ‘n’ Bulbous. Funky and off-beat like the Captain, but alternative and twisting like the Youth.
Eugene Chadbourne & Jimmy Carl Black- The Dust Blows Forward, The Dust Blows Back
Originally a free-jazz spoken word piece that doesn’t hit the two minute mark, these bluegrass gents give it a bouncy tune and stretch it out past 6:00. The most drastic reinvention of the bunch, it’s downright sing-along-able.
The Kills – Dropout Boogie
A live staple of the group, they actually released a little-known studio version years ago on the Black Rooster EP. Chunky and spastic, it builds to an explosion that never comes.
Last Fair Deal – Harry Irene
Channeling Frank Sinatra on this slow jazz take, these guys make a Captain Beefheart song sound far prettier than it has any right to be.
The Primevils – Crazy Little Thing
When the original is quirky and offbeat, a classic approach for a cover is simply, make it more accessible. In this track, also off Fast ‘n’ Bulbous, this country-rock group does this that in a fun and lively version a lot more pleasing on the ears.
Stack Waddy – Sure Nuff ‘n’ Yes I Do
A little 50’s rock’n’roll influence here, though the raspy vocals tie it in to the original.