Jun 072013
 

Cover Classics takes a closer look at all-cover albums of the past, their genesis, and their legacy.

In 2008, Melissa Rich Mulcahy died, leaving behind two-year-old twin girls and her husband Mark. That would be Mark Mulcahy, leader of the ’80s college radio favorites Miracle Legion and Polaris (Adventures of Pete & Pete – ’nuff said) and a solo artist who was suddenly not just a widower, but one who was unable to record or tour because he needed to be there for the kids. What he didn’t know was that plans had been set in motion to put together a tribute album whose proceeds would assist him in his hour of need – plans which evolved into what Big Takeover called “a sort of indie-rock equivalent to the final scene of It’s a Wonderful Life.”
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Oct 072011
 

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!

After a whirlwind New York visit last week to promote Radiohead’s The King of Limbs, Thom Yorke has returned to England. No word on when we’ll hear from him next, but the wait might not be too long. Bassist Colin Greenwood told NME a few days ago, “We’re getting together this week to talk about our plans for the rest of the year. We’re having a brilliant time, so obviously we want to keep it going.” Continue reading »

Sep 302011
 

On Wednesday night, Radiohead took the stage for the first of two small New York shows. The set was King of Limbs-heavy, but that didn’t mean they didn’t have a surprise or two up their sleeve. Perhaps the biggest was a quickie cover of R.E.M.’s “The One I Love” as intro to “Everything In Its Right Place.” We still don’t have video, but a nice audio recording has finally surfaced. Continue reading »

Aug 262011
 

This Week on Bandcamp rounds up our favorite covers to hit the site in the past seven days.

Some weeks we have to dig deep to find five great new covers on Bandcamp. Other weeks…man oh man. Without even trying this week we found ourselves with 20+ songs, any one of which might have made the set on another occasion. We narrowed it down to 10 – five main tunes, and five bonus tracks. Think of it as an extra-sturdy dose of covers to get you through the hurricane. Continue reading »

Aug 122011
 

For the last few years, the folks at Cokemachineglow have marked the end of the year with a Fantasy Covers Podcast. In the latest edition, they give the Podcast a twist by making it a contest– they encouraged artists to submit covers that “re-contextualize” a track with an unexpected new genre. As they predicted, the results are both strange, creative, and occasionally hit-or-miss, but the overall result is a set of imaginative covers with some terrific standouts. Unfortunately the Podcast format means that the 13 covers are only available in one massive file, but it’s one worth downloading. Continue reading »

May 252011
 

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!

Mark Linkous was a genius. A sensitive, fragile, damaged genius who created haunting, lo-fi musical tapestries as Sparklehorse. Linkous, a Virginia Gentleman whose pop band, Dancing Hoods, was chewed up and spit out by the corporate machine in the 1980s, reinvented himself in the ‘90s. There would be four full Sparklehorse releases, and an EP, as well as a couple collaborations: one with Christian Fennesz, and last year’s Dark Night of the Soul with Danger Mouse and David Lynch. Depression, drug overdoses and legal issues would lead to an uneven timeline of Sparklehorse releases over a 15 year period. Sparklehorse is an acquired taste…a complex bottle of blended malt Scotch that has been aging in a cask for decades; its harsh bite and smoky, burning finish a barrier to the three-chord Lite Beer crowd. Linkous’s vocals have a lot to do with Sparklehorse’s sometimes inaccessibility. He doesn’t so much sing as release his breath into the path of a song – the way that one spirit might summon another in your dream. Or nightmare. Continue reading »