Oct 292010

You’ve probably seen our birthday tributes to the likes of Tom Petty, Snoop Dogg, and Madonna. Well, today, they say it’s our birthday. We’re gonna have a good time. In fact, we’ve already begun celebrating. This morning we enjoyed a Schoolhouse Rock Song of the Day. We offered up a new vinyl giveaway. We even re-posted our very first post (covers of songs off John Wesley Harding). But this is the big one.

We contacted a bunch of artists we’ve worked with in the past – terrifically talented folk who have all played a role in Cover Me’s history. We asked them to record birthday-themed cover songs for a special three-year celebration album. Find the fruits of their labor below. Eleven brand-new covers of birthday songs both famous (“It’s My Party”) and obscure (“Birthday Boy”), all recorded just for the occasion. You can download high-quality MP3s individually below or the full set (plus a bonus track!) way down at the bottom. Each artist shared their thoughts on the song they chose, so be sure to read those.

One final note: Cover Me exists for you and because of you. Thanks for your support, your suggestions, your comments, your opinions, and your appreciation for the art of the cover.

The Big 0-3: Three Years of Cover Me

1. The Peptides – Next Sunday Darlin’ Is My Birthday (Hank
Williams cover)

The Peptides say: Not being particularly fond of birthdays in general, the challenge was to be inspired by the theme. So when I read the impossibly melancholic lyrics to this Stanley Brothers tune, I thought it might be cool to turn a country twang into a lament. Happy 3rd Anniversary to Cover Me for hosting the passion for reinterpretations. [More from this artist]

2. Garden on a Trampoline – Birthday Boy (Geraldine Fibbers cover)

G.O.A.T. says: I have been a huge fan since my friend Dan introduced me to the Geraldine Fibbers after he moved back to Austin. I think Lost Somewhere Between The Earth and My Home is criminally underrated, and lead vocalist Carla Bozulich has had a major influence on me over the years, especially when it comes to screaming or going vocally nuts. “Birthday Boy” is a hidden track on that record, but it deserves to be found. Concrete Blonde’s Bloodletting will always have a permanent place in my heart. I discovered them after hearing their cover of “Everybody Knows” by Leonard Cohen, when I saw the movie Pump Up The Volume in 1990. Both bands have amazing female lead vocalists that I greatly respect. DIY for life and Happy Birthday to one of my favorite music blogs on the planet! [More from this artist]

3. John Dissed – Happy Birthday (Concrete Blonde cover)

John says: I had never heard the song before, but when listening to the list of options for this compilation, it was my favorite. I didn’t want to cover a well-known song, and the melody caught my attention instantly. To me, lyrically, the song is a bittersweet expression of contentment and captures perfectly the experience of apartment living. Its simplicity is a fitting complement to the singer’s appreciation of a special day in the face of less-than-ideal circumstances. [More from this artist]

4. Jordan Galland – Birthday Cake (Cibo Matto cover)

Jordan says: “Birthday Cake” was the first song I had ever heard by Cibo Matto, in the fall of 1995 before I met Yuka and Miho (who would later play in my band Dopo Yume, which, with its Italian/Japanese combo-name, was definitely inspired by Cibo.) The original version of “Birthday Cake” changed my view of pop/alternative music. The mix of contrasting ideas was inspiring, and played with a certain kind of decadent attitude that reminded me of Iggy Pop and Lou Reed. I approached this cover not so much as a re-coloring of the song, but more like drawing from memory. I decided not to replicate the dissonant chords, heavy beat and explosive delivery, but write new chords that reflect how I felt about a song that had such a great influence on my own music, and how it feels as a memory of being fifteen and hearing it for the first time. Yuka, Miho and I spent a lot of time bonding over a shared appreciation for Serge Gainsbourg, so there’s a little of a “French pop” sensibility to my approach as well. [More from this artist]

5. Kristy Brannon – It’s My Party (Leslie Gore cover)

Kristy says: I chose “It’s My Party” because when I was little my mom would always sing that when friends were being selfish and over-dramatic (little girls are like that often…) to lighten the mood. I tried to be very professional and do a recording of voice and guitar separately, but I was having some problems with a clicking sound in the background. Eventually out of frustration I just sang and played at the same time and that is the version I used. I think I can still hear some clicking, but I like it best because the vocals could be much more animated with the mic farther away. [More from this artist]

6. Samm Bennett – Keep Your Hands Off Of It (Birthday Cake) (Jerry
Lee Lewis cover)

Samm says: When Cover Me requested that I contribute a song for the compilation, I decided on a Jerry Lee Lewis tune I’d never heard before, but that showed up on a list of birthday-related songs. After covering the 1957 Elvis hit “All Shook Up”, I had acquired a certain taste for covering early rock’n’roll, so ol’ Jerry Lee seemed a natural. Upon actually hearing the tune, though, I realized that it was embarrassingly stupid! But was I gonna let that stop me? Hell naw! So friends, you’re all urged to leave your notions of good taste at the door, and come on in for a listen! [More from this artist]

7. Jordan Corey – Birthday (Destiny’s Child cover)

Jordan says: I chose the song “Birthday” by Destiny’s Child because back in the day Destiny’s Child was about all I listened to. I thought it was an appropriate ode to my childhood. This song is a little more intimate and doesn’t call for a big production, so I sang this a cappella – just my voice and some snapping.  The song is great and I think its perfect for a Cover Me birthday celebration! [More from this artist]

8. Broken Chimneys – The River (Bruce Springsteen cover)

Broken Chimneys says: I know an awful lot of songs, but not very many songs about birthdays. Most of the ones I do know are about the irony of being miserable on your birthday, so I have a feeling this may be the saddest compilation album of all time. Even Springsteen couldn’t put this on a record without “Sherry Darling” to keep things light! [More from this artist]

9. Christina Cone and the Best Intentions – All the Best Returns
(The Majorleans cover)

Christina says: This little tune is typically not so little as the Majorleans beautifully bang it out rock and roll style. As a fan who’s bopped around many a time to their version, I decided to simplify and subtract, paint a smaller picture, trusting that the foundation of the song would come through. Hopefully it’s been done justice. And here this thing is, a little birthday cover song. [More from this artist]

10. edibleRed – Birthday Sex (Jeremih cover)

edibleRed says: I chose “Birthday Sex” for the following reasons: I always thought it was a ballsy concept for a song title, even in the rap world. I liked the fact that it was naughty yet romantic at the same time. In my book, everyone is entitled to Birthday Sex. Happy Birthday, Cover Me!!! May you have Birthday Sex for many years to come! [More from this artist]

The Big 0-3: Three Years of Cover Me

1. The Peptides – Next Sunday Darlin’ Is My Birthday (Hank Williams)
2. Garden on a Trampoline – Birthday Boy (Geraldine Fibbers)
3. John Dissed – Happy Birthday (Concrete Blonde)
4. Jordan Galland – Birthday Cake (Cibo Matto)
5. Kristy Brannon – It’s My Party (Leslie Gore)
6. Samm Bennett – Keep Your Hands Off of It (Jerry Lee Lewis)
7. Jordan Corey – Birthday (Destiny’s Child)
8. Broken Chimneys – The River (Bruce Springsteen)
9. Christina Cone and the Best Intentions – All the Best Returns (The Majorleans)
10. edibleRed – Birthday Sex (Jeremih)
11. Bonus: Garden on a Trampoline – Happy Birthday (Concrete Blonde)

Cover Me is now on Patreon! If you love cover songs, we hope you will consider supporting us there with a small monthly subscription. There are a bunch of exclusive perks only for patrons: playlists, newsletters, downloads, discussions, polls - hell, tell us what song you would like to hear covered and we will make it happen. Learn more at Patreon.

  6 Responses to “PRESENTING… The Big 0-3: Three Years of Cover Me”

Comments (1) Pingbacks (5)
  1. All that and no cover of “Birthday” by the Beatles? That’s kind of a shame… (I’m a bit of a Beatles fanatic, by the way.)

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