Jul 122013
 

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

Considering The Beatles’ impact on music, pop culture and beyond, surprisingly few filmmakers have taken on the challenge of telling the legendary band’s story on the big screen. Director Iain Softley stands apart as one of the few who wasn’t daunted; his very first film, Backbeat, tells the story of the Beatles’ raucous early years as a cover band, performing in the seedy red-light district of Hamburg, Germany. The film concentrates on the love triangle amongst John Lennon, then-bassist Stuart Sutcliffe, and German photographer Astrid Kirchherr.
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Jul 062011
 

Full Albums features covers of every track off a classic album. Got an idea for a future pick? Leave a note in the comments!

Imagine hitting your creative and artistic peak at the tender young age of 23 and then having your personal and professional life completely fall apart, with a descent into drug abuse and mental illness. Brian Wilson‘s life followed such a trajectory after the release of his masterpiece, the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds. Written with almost no contribution from the rest of the band, Wilson recorded the album’s instrumental tracks while the boys were on tour in Asia without him. Continue reading »

Apr 202011
 

Guided by Voices are a truly influential band in the indie music sphere. Their 20+ year run provided the sonic groundwork for the lo-fi, DIY aesthetic so prevalent in today’s indie music scene. So it comes as no surprise that so many artists would be willing to provide covers from all eras of Guided by Voices work for the tribute album, Sing For Your Meat. Ranging from veterans such as The Flaming LipsThurston Moore (of Sonic Youth fame), and Lou Barlow, to artists more recently making names for themselves like La Sera and Blitzen Trapper, the bands on this 23-track tribute pay loving homage to a band without whom they might not exist.

Things kick off with a slightly sped up, straight forward rock cover of “Scalding Creek” by Kelly Deal and Buffalo Killers. The vocals keep the simple two part harmony. When they take a break, the lead guitar comes wailing through for a simple, yet effective solo, until the song pulls back on the reigns a little and comes to an abrupt halt. Things keep moving along quite swiftly, since, keeping true to the spirit of Guided by Voices, most songs clock in around two minutes or so, and indie star power like Thurston Moore and Lou Barlow is nicely mixed in with lesser known artists like Western Civ. Continue reading »

Mar 072011
 

Few artists can claim to be as prolific as Guided By Voices’ Robert Pollard. Ignore the GBV catalogue and look at his solo output over the last five years alone – 12 full-length albums people! He built his status as a lo-fi icon with that seminal band, however, and must find living that legacy down as difficult as the solo Beatles did. Continue reading »

Jul 012010
 

The impossible has happened: Beck is getting weirder. Yes, it seemed impossible after he buddied up with Danger Mouse or performed marionette dinner-percussion concerts, but the trend is clear. Exhibit A: his Record Club.

For those unfamiliar, Beck began a Record Club in 2009 where he and a bunch of friends got together and covered a classic album beginning to end. The first choice was obvious: the Velvet Underground & Nico. The next album branched a little farther out: Songs of Leonard Cohen. Then came INXS’s Kick, which seemed significantly more left-field than the classic songwriter groove. But the new choice takes the cake. It’s Yanni. Yes, that Yanni.
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