Triple J, an Australian radio station, has a covers show called “Like a Version,” which is a spectacular name for anything covers related. The Shins recently appeared on the show where they covered “Andrew in Drag” from the Magnetic Fields’ Love at the Bottom of the Sea.
This week, in case you didn’t know, is Pink Floyd Week. At least, it is on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. In honor of the band’s extensive new reissue series (a six-disc Dark Side of the Moon dropped yesterday), Fallon is turning over much of his program to the legendary Brits. That includes nightly covers, beginning last night with the Shins performing “Breathe.”
The free cover EPs are dropping fast! Yesterday the Postelles released theirs and now there’s another set for your listening enjoyment. Indie pop-punk band The Coastals just released their Under the Covers EP, covering favorites like Elliott Smith (whom The Civil Wars covered this past week), Modern English, and The Beatles. Under the Covers, while not the most experimental set, offers pleasant takes on familiar favorites like Modern English’s ‘I Melt With You’, The Shins’ “Know Your Onion”,’ The Buzzcocks “Ever Falling in Love” and The Beatles “Help!”
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!
There’s no denying that it takes a versatile artist to write songs about love in ways that are both consistently inventive and precise. It takes an artist like Stephin Merritt to create songs that not only are beautiful individual pieces, but also paint a broader picture of hope and despair, murder and joy, beauty and hideousness. Merritt somehow manages to create a comprehensive picture of love with his songs, all while bringing his distinctive indie-pop sensibility to it. This book of love is never boring. He turns forty-five today.
We last checked in with the Levi’s Pioneer Sessions a few weeks ago, but it’s kept on rolling along since. We’ve heard She & Him go ‘30s, the Swell Season go disco, Nas go rap royalty, and the Dirty Projectors go Dylan. Well it’s about time to update that list. Four new artists, four new covers. Video and audio for each below.
Jason Mraz offers the most recent submission. He brings a full gospel choir to “Spirit in the Sky,” chosen apparently for its ability to make a friend dance. As good a reason as any I suppose. Before then Columbian electro-pop band brought some south-of-the-border rhythms in a bilingual cover of “Pump Up the Jam,” which fans of a certain will remember from Space Jam. The Shins go all moody-pop on Squeeze’s “Goodbye Girl” while Colbie Caillat belts out Blondie’s “Maria.”