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!

Willie Nelson, 82 years old today, has always been an awkward cuss. Still relentlessly on the road and putting out record after record, somehow it would seem a cop-out to “let others do the work for a while,” as is the norm for these pieces (and besides, been there done that), so this is more a celebration of the myriad and varied covers he has performed over the decades. The germ for this idea came as the staff pow-wow took place around our best country covers of non-country songs Q&A, with Mr. Nelson featuring twice.

His career in music has lasted, so far, a staggering 59 years, his first recording being 1956’s “Lumberjack.” Since then, he has passed through many incarnations, from clean cut C&W performer, consummate Nashville standards songwriter, self-imposed banishment and his counter-intuitively hippie redneck years (copyright me), banding up with and as like-minded (the) Outlaws, before settling into iconic status as a national treasure, lauded by presidents and paupers alike. Somehow his skirmishes with the I.R.S. and his enduring support for marijuana has but strengthened his appeal, even within the staunchly conservative country demographic. And, of course, all of us longhairs just love him. Don’t we?
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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. Continue reading »

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. Continue reading »

Last year The Kills released their fourth studio album Blood Pressures, which features the recently released single “The Last Goodbye.” As a B-side to the single, the band has covered the iconic Velvet Underground hit “Pale Blue Eyes,” from the 1969 self-titled album The Velvet Underground. Continue reading »

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. Continue reading »

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. Continue reading »

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. Continue reading »

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. Continue reading »

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