The A.V. Club’s “Undercover” series produces too many great gems to keep track of. We’ve shared recent highlights like Grouplove’s bloody Andrew W.K. and Deer Tick’s rowdy Harvey Danger, but the series may be too much of a good thing and it’s hard to keep up. If you’ve fallen behind on these too, we’ve rounded up some of the recent highlights that we never got around to posting. A robed 24-person Neil Young, a mariachi Decemberists, and a pink-mohawked Violent Femmes await…
You all submit so many great covers it’s hard to keep up. When we fall behind, we gather the best and brightest in a Submission Roundup.
Thanksgiving may be over, but today we want to thank all the artists who submit their music. You guys send too many covers to keep up with, so we like to round up some of our favorites before the tunes fall by the wayside. Download all the great November covers we didn’t get a chance to post about earlier!
Do you have something to submit? Send it along here!
Live Collection brings together every live cover we can find from an artist. And we find a lot.
The recent release of Easy Wonderful has given Guster fans reason to fall in love with them all over again. As their album title insinuates, they have an agreeable sound that resonates with you and has aged well over the past (almost) 20 years. If the Beach Boys went to college in the 90′s, added some bongos, and stayed out of the sun, Guster is what they would sound like.
Featured on soundtracks like Life as a House and Wedding Crashers, their songs can pull at the heartstrings as you croon along with them. On the other hand, they are better known for their laid-back, wisecracking personalities that beam from the stage and infect their fans. During their years of touring, they have taken on many cover songs with both their sensitive and playful dispositions (but mostly the latter). Typically at the end of a show, Guster will rile up the crowd with a number from Madonna, Talking Heads, or whoever sings the “Cheers” theme song (Portnoy) and get everyone involved. Most of the time, it’s just an excuse to get drummer Brian Rosenworcel out in front showing off his questionable vocals, calling in the crowd for backup. It’s just like being at a karaoke bar.
Song of the Day posts one cool cover every morning. Catch up on past installments here.
We’ve been hearing a lot from Cee-Lo Green of late. First he covers Band of Horses, then lots of people cover “F*** You.” While we anxiously await more, let’s remember when he first hit the big time. The singing half of Gnarls Barkley alongside producer Danger Mouse, his outrageous outfits and even more outrageous voice propelled “Crazy” to…well, you remember.
On the other hand, you may or may not remember “Gone Daddy Gone,” the single they released after “Crazy.” Even if you do, you may not have realized it was a cover. For most bands, recording a soul cover of alt-weird-folk trio Violent Femmes would be weird enough. Not Gnarls. They added a video that turns the band into rock and roll lice looking for some pubic hair to call their own. It’s like A Bug’s Life. A really, really warped Bug’s Life.
Under the Radar shines a light on lesser-known cover artists. If you’re not listening to these folks, you should. Catch up on past installments here.
Bands are a dime a dozen in the Big Apple, but edibleRed has a special claim to fame: they’ve been on the fantastic TV show Cash Cab! Can Lady Gaga say that?
Now their Cash Cab appearance (which you can watch here) isn’t strictly relevant to their music, but it does tell you this crew has a knack for being on camera. This fact is confirmed in music videos for three covers. The radio-ready rocker “Hey Ya” goes from domestic bliss to plate-smashing in a matter of minutes, “Straight Up” journeys into a seedy burlesque basement for some dark dance-grind with DJ Peter Shalvoy, and the churning “Blister in the Sun” shows just how far a few MacBook effects can go.
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!
Whether you’re a pining romantic, fading dance pioneer or violent dictator (see below), everyone deserves a second chance at love. Listening to songs pleading for another try makes you want to know the addressee’s response. Some we know – Sandy and Danny reconciled their differences at the fair; America decided yes, it was ready to twist again – but the rest leave you wondering. Was Warren reconsidered? Did she give up on Solomon? The world may never know.
Steve Earle and Reckless Kelly – Reconsider Me (Warren Zevon)
When you live a life of alcoholism, drug abuse and divorce, lines like “I’ll never make you sad again ‘cause I swear that I’ve changed since then” take on a heartbreaking sincerity. He probably said them a good deal. [Buy]
Bob Dylan and George Harrison – Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance (Henry Thomas)
Dylan re-wrote much of this 1927 blues tune for inclusion on 1963’s The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. He revisited it in an impromptu 1970 Studio B jam session with Harrison, coming up with some new lyrics on the spot about “looking for a woman with some chicken knees.” [Buy]
Joe Cocker – Don’t Give Up On Me (Solomon Burke)
The title track to Solomon Burke’s Grammy-winning 2002 comeback album, “Don’t Give Up On Me” keeps its soul power even when transferred to the notoriously mush-mouthed Cocker. [Buy]
Jamie McClure – Let’s Twist Again (Chubby Checker)
Chubby ruled the summer of 1960 with his dance craze “The Twist.” Apparently without any new ideas, he asked America to recreate the magic the following summer with “Let’s Twist Again.” The country was happy to oblige. [Buy]
Robins and the Highrollers – Change Your Mind (The Killers)
Hot Fuss had its share of hit singles with “Somebody Told Me,” “Mr. Brightside” and “All These Things That I’ve Done,” but this album cut (not even included on the British version) holds its own next to any of them. [Buy]
Noseriders – Could We Start Again Please (Jesus Christ Superstar)
If Robert Johnson, Conway Twitty, and Jake Shimabukuro got together for an instrumental jam sesh, they probably wouldn’t go anywhere near Andrew Lloyd Webber. But if they did… [Buy]
The Oakdales – I Want You Back (Jackson 5)
The genius of the Jackson 5 was how well an eleven-year old pipsqueak relayed the complexity of desire in a way people twice his age could relate to. [Free Download]