Apr 012011

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

This week’s Bandcamp spotlight takes a somewhat unusual focus: covers of imaginary artists. Three of the featured songs come from unusual origins, to say the least. One is a song by a cartoon band, one is a song performed by a creepy character in a whacko movie, and one is the text of an online comic strip put to music. Yeah, some strange stuff. Bookending this bizarre trifecta, the other two featured covers spotlight two new free tribute EPs.

For the first time, though, we’re actually bringing you ten Bandcamp covers. Focusing our main selection on the oddball left a lot of terrific, more traditional covers by the wayside. In a week with an unusually large number of quality releases, we just didn’t have the heart to leave them behind, so find bonus covers of Huey Lewis and the News, the Fauves, Bing Crosby, Johnny Cash, and the Ronettes below the main set.

Peter Parcek saw Bob Dylan and the Band (then known as the Hawks) on their 1966 run, one of the most legendary tours in rock and roll history. That gives this bluesman all the cred he needs to deliver a dynamite Dylan EP. In addition to three period cuts, though (“Leopard Skin Pill-Box Hat,” “She Belongs to Me,” “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry”), he turns to a much more recent nugget for this ripping cover: Dylan’s 2009 gem “Beyond Here Lies Nothing.”

The lyrics for this song come from an existential-as-shit entry in the popular xkcd online comic. The prose monologue doesn’t rhyme and contains no obvious meter, but Ronj still gives it a reverent tune in this acoustic meditation. Read long with the original strip.

With guest appearances galore, GorillazPlastic Beach appeared near the top of many year-end lists in December. Third single “On Melancholy Hill” proved that even a cartoon band could deliver real emotion, and this dreamy cover brings out the, well, melancholy more than ever.

Where my David Lynch fans at? If the title “In Heaven” doesn’t clue you in, the subtitle here will: girl in the radiator. Yes, this synth wash brings that creepy Eraserhead girl to life. Divorced from its place in the film, “In Heaven” reveals itself as a sadly beautiful composition.

The Welcome do everything right on this three-song EP, from the title (first reaction: who is Robert Kelly?) to having the gall to cover both “Ignition” and “Remix to Ignition.” We selected the less-often-covered third track though: a thumping rock “I’m a Flirt.”


Check out previous installments here.

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  3 Responses to “This Week on Bandcamp: Peter Parcek, Ronj, Illuminium, Jordan B. Miller, The Welcome”

Comments (3)
  1. I wouldn’t necessarily count the xkcd as a COVER, technically speaking, but that’s still freakin’ awesome that it exists and I have to thank you to high heaven for letting us know about it…

  2. Hi there!

    Glad you liked my xkcd cover! “Dreams” is my favorite xkcd strip ever.

    Thanks Noah for your heartwarming comment :) . Your remark about “cover” is funny because I wondered exactly the same when naming the tune: “hmmmmm… ‘cover’? ‘remix’? ‘inspired by’?” Meh, screw it, I sticked with ‘cover’, the only thing that matters is the song, and the fact that the awesome CC license that goes with xkcd strips lets me do so.

    Long live xkcd! Long live to you! Go adventure! Cheers,

  3. While, “In Heaven” was on the Eraserhead soundtrack, it’s actually not a David Lynch song. The song was written by Peter Ivers, and it’s his voice that you hear singing the song in the movie, with the “Lady in the Radiator” actress lip-syncing to Ivers’ recording. It’s also worth noting that The Pixies released a studio version of the song, and regularly played the song as a part of their live sets. Apparently the song was also covered by Bauhaus and Devo, but I haven’t heard either of those versions of the song.

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