The Bobs are an a cappella group that pride themselves on their originality – and when you’re writing songs with titles like “Mopping, Mopping, Mopping,” “Andy Always Dreamed of Wrestling,” and “Please Let Me Be Your Third World Country,” there’s clearly a lot of originality to be proud of. There’s just as much originality in their renditions of songs they didn’t write, and they’ve been entertaining audiences across the US and Europe with them for almost a third of a century with nothing but voices and self-percussion.
In the Spotlight showcases a cross-section of an artist’s cover work. View past installments, then post suggestions for future picks in the comments!
Eclipsed by Elvis Costello in the late 1970s and relegated to the cut-out bins by the late 1980s, Graham Parker probably ranks as one of the most overlooked and unappreciated singer-songwriters of his era. It’s impossible to review Parker’s career without repeatedly stumbling over the same adjectives: passionate, bitter and sarcastic are common; or the same clichés: “angry young man”, “Mercury poisoning”, or even “own worst enemy.” Apparently radio only had room for one quirky, bespectacled, British pub rocker (Costello) and Parker probably was correct in his summation regarding his label, “their promotion’s so lame, they could never take it to the real ball game.” There were seemingly many factors conspiring to keep Graham Parker stuck in his cult status.
Cover News is a weekly feature keeping you up to date on the goings-on in the world of cover tunes, tribute albums, etc. Plus, at the bottom we post the array of cover tunes we’ve been sent in the past week. Have you recorded a cool cover? Send an mp3 to the address on the right! And as always, follow Cover Me on Twitter for the latest news.
This Week’s News
Another Commissions cover this week: California songwriter Brady Harris putting a ‘30s folk spin on Blondie’s “Heart of Glass.” [Cover Me]
The cover blog family just got one more member: Cover By Numbers. Welcome! [Cover By Numbers]
Will I stream a new Preservation Hall Jazz Band covers record, featuring guest appearances from Andrew Bird, Merle Haggard, Dr. John and Tom Waits? Why yes, I will! [Preservation Hall Jazz Band]
The message of “Everybody Hurts” is “Hey friend, sometimes life sucks for all of us.” Does that really make it an appropriate song to cover for Haitian relief? [YouTube]
“I Put a Spell on You” may be a better choice, simply because there’s zero “message.” And with the Pogues’ Shane MacGowan behind the wheel (with Nick Cave and Johnny Depp), it’s sure to get rowdy. [Pitchfork]
A football fight song redone. It’s no “Super Bowl Shuffle,” but really what is? Go Saints! [Team Glory Bound]
Attention Austria: Deerhoof and Xiu Xiu will be covering Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures in full at a Krems festival. Make the most of it. [Click Music]
Us folks stateside will just have to console ourselves with the Flaming Lips playing a 2am Dark Side of the Moon at Bonnaroo. And this is after two hours of their own material! [Spinner]
Peter Gabriel’s soft piano run through Bon Iver’s gorgeous “Flume” takes some getting used to. Once you wrap your mind around a harmony-free rendition though, it’s something special. [Stereogum]
While I like the idea of Roberta Flack doing a Beatles cover album, does the world really need another soul-tinged “Let It Be”? [Spinner]
Coming February 20: two-disc New Order tribute album dedicated to Factory Records bossman Tony Wilson. [New Order Tribute]
Also coming soon: A 21-song tribute to punk pioneers the Swingin’ Utters. Get a taste with Dropkick Murphys’ “Strongman.” [Alternative Press]
This Week’s Submissions
Send your cover to the email address on the right for inclusion in next week’s Cover News!