The Replacements released one of their most successful albums in 1984 and called it Let It Be. It didn’t seem to matter that The Beatles already took the name, but that’s the type of attitude the Replacements were known for – to be daring and kind of dumb. Let It Be was their fourth album, and by this point the band decided to expand their sound from punk. While they didn’t abandon their roots altogether — Let It Be is far from polished, and has tracks like “Gary’s Got a Boner,” and “Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out,” — there are songs that showed an incredibly insightful side to Paul Westerberg’s writing, which is where “Answering Machine” lies.
As the frontman for alt-rock heroes Dashboard Confessional, Chris Carrabba has been capturing ladies’ hearts with his angsty, swoon-worthy voice since 2000. Now it seems that the Connecticut-born singer is ready for something new. This winter he’s embarking on an acoustic tour, but this time around he’ll be flying solo – just a man and his trusty guitar. And Covered in the Flood, Carrabba’s first solo album featuring nothing but covers, will be available at his shows. He generously gave the public a little taste of what’s coming by sharing five of the ten tracks.
Quickies rounds up new can’t-miss covers. Download ‘em below.
• NYCTaper delivers yet again on this soundboard recording from Deer Tick’s recent show in Wantaugh, NY. The show benefited the Tommy Brull Foundation for disabled children, so if you enjoyed the tune, donate here.
MP3: Deer Tick – Waitress in the Sky (The Replacements cover)
Last night a slew of alt-indie heroes descended on New York’s Bowery Ballroom to pay tribute to the bands featured in Michael Azerrad’s era-defining tome Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground 1981-1991. Ted Leo covered Minor Threat, Titus Andronicus did the Replacements, and, strangest of all, Dirty Projectors played Black Flag.
For the last two years, Bill Janovitz, guitarist and vocalist from Buffalo Tom, has posted a cover a week (almost) on his blog “Part Time Man of Rock.” Last week he celebrated 100 covers with his version of Aztec Camera’s “The Bugle Sounds Again.” Where the original sounds like mid-‘80s British indie pop, Janovitz’s version could easily pass as an outtake from Bruce Springsteen’s Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.
Earlier today NPR posted a live set by Yellow Ostrich. They noted that though little-known, these guys are going places. Darn tootin’. Well, really, this one guy is. Alex Schaaf provides most of the direction for Yellow Ostrich, and we’re pretty sure he’s the only one playing on these covers. Sure doesn’t sound like it though.
Last year Schaaf unleashed a torrent of intimate indie-minded covers, reworking blog favorites like “Zebra” (Beach House), “King of Spain” (The Tallest Man on Earth), “’81” (Joanna Newsom), and a ton more. He’s since tacked a few more onto the list, most recently releasing a warped mostly-a cappella take on Sharon Van Etten’s “Love More.” Each tune offers moments of pure pleasure. Check out the joyful tambourine on “Androgynous” or the “ooh ah ah”s that replace “Fake Empire”’s beloved horn breakdown.
Live Collection brings together every live cover we can find from an artist. And we find a lot.
It was almost 17 years ago now that frontman Jay Farrar split ways with his alt-country group Uncle Tupelo due to differences with bassist Jeff Tweedy, leaving Tweedy and the rest of the band in the dust. Since that time, Farrar’s career has skyrocketed, and Tweedy and the boys haven’t done anything.
Wait. I’m wrong. They formed a band called Wilco, which continues to prosper as one of the most important and influential bands in indie music.
To conclude that Wilco’s longevity is due to some sort of a constant and timeless sound would be dead wrong, however, as our latest Live Collection shows. The covers below, which include romps through the works of David Bowie, Sheryl Crow, the Ramones, and even a few half-hearted attempts at tracks by one of Farrar’s subsequent projects, Son Volt, show just how much Wilco has changed through the years. The Wilco who covers “Organ Blues” in 2000 sounds little like the one who does Tom Petty’s “Listen to Her Heart” in 1995. Sure, their 2002 cover of The Stooges’ “TV Eye” anticipates the pulsating pianos and dissonant guitars that would not truly define their albums until years later, but as a general rule, you can follow the arc of the band’s sound through the years pretty closely via the covers below.