Eric Lauritsen

Eric Lauritsen resides in New York City, where he has recently completed a stint with the indie record label Engine Room Recordings (noted for their Guilt By Association cover compilation albums) and currently teaches an LSAT review course. He is applying to law school and intends to spend his career as a music lawyer, a field through which he hopes he can reinvent the music business in the digital age. An indie rock enthusiast, the list of Eric's favorite bands usually begins with Spoon and goes on to include The National, Andrew Bird, Okkervil River, Frightened Rabbit, and several others that he sincerely hopes come out with lots of covers to fuel his writing.

Jan 192011

Download This scours the web’s dark corners for cool cover freebies. View past installments.

Some of you might have some familiarity with Wakey!Wakey! by now. If the band’s debut studio full-length Almost Everything I Wish I’d Said The Last Time I Saw You, released last February on Family Records, failed to catch your ear, perhaps frontman Mike Grubbs’ recurring spot as the piano-playing bartender on TV’s One Tree Hill did. And if neither of these ring a bell, maybe you’ve stumbled upon the band on their relentless touring efforts (Currently, they’re doing shows in England both as headliners and in support of James Blunt).

But whenever you have – or will – come across the building wave that is Wakey!Wakey!, you shouldn’t miss the collection of covers that a solo Grubbs released back in 2008 as part of Wakey!Wakey! Wednesdays. Featuring songs by The Decemberists, Weezer, Alicia Keys, and more, the ten tracks were released one at a time on consecutive Wednesdays (the original G.O.O.D. Fridays?), and are all available for free download or stream over at The Family Records’ site. Continue reading »

Dec 152010

Brooklyn six-piece Robbers on High Street have joined in on the Christmas festivities this year with their cover of The Sisterhood’s “The Rocking Disco Santa Claus.” True to its name, the original, though only released on a Christmas compilation album in 2003, sounds like it might as well have been lifted from the juke box of a disco roller skating rink in 1978. And apart from the fact that the Robbers are fronted by Ben Troken and the Sisterhood is led by a female vocalist, the only real difference between the two tracks is the addition of the Robbers’ signature brass section – which is to say, it sounds even more like it’s straight out of the disco era. Continue reading »

Dec 032010

We first caught up with Louisiana native Lelia Broussard back in September for her beautiful, slowed down cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark.” To be honest, it’s a bit surprising we didn’t find her sooner, considering her performance of her equally awesome cover of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” has garnered nearly two million YouTube views since it was uploaded in 2008. Broussard is talented, and these covers prove it. But when you add into the mix her new take on The White Stripes‘ “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground”, debuted yesterday at American Songwriter, “talented” no longer does her justice.

Musically, her version of “Dead Leaves” is a lot like the original. Sure, Jack White’s howling guitar is replaced by her single acoustic one, and sure, there are occasional embellishments added to the vocals, but she plays with the same rhythm and passion as The White Stripes did when they first released the track on White Blood Cells way back in 2002. The song is a perfect opportunity for her to showcase her vocal abilities – which are formidable – and in just two minutes and seven seconds of recording, she takes full advantage. Continue reading »

Nov 192010

Patti Smith, The Roots, and Pete Yorn are a few amongst the eclectic mix of artists slated to perform at a February 10 Neil Young tribute show at Carnegie Hall. The list also includes Living Colour, DeVotchKa, Shawn Colvin, Bettye LaVette, Aimee Mann, Keller Williams, Joan Osbourne, Cowboy Junkies, Mason Jennings, J Mascus, Larry Campbell and more.

The show, which will donate all net proceeds to various music and arts programs for disadvantaged youth, is the latest in a long list of tribute concerts produced by music industry entrepreneur Michael Dorf, perhaps best known to New Yorkers as the founder of the Knitting Factory and City Winery music venues. Other artists Dorf has honored in the series include Bob Dylan, The Who, Bruce Springsteen, R.E.M., and others. Tickets for the show, which range in price from $45 to $140, are available here, and you can check out the event’s official site here. Continue reading »

Nov 112010

Last month, Connecticut rockers The Philistines Jr. took self-deprecation to a new level when they released their latest full length If a Band Plays in the Woods…? As the title gloomily predicts, the album’s twelve experimental and electronic tracks haven’t exactly landed them widespread recognition, but the band has a few tricks up its sleeve to fix that.

See, you may never have heard The Philistines Jr. frontman Peter Katis, but a lot of your favorite artists probably have. Katis is actually one of indie rock’s foremost producers, having helmed albums by Interpol, The National, Sigur Rós, Frightened Rabbit, and many more. Leading up to the October 19th release of the latest album, he called on his friends in some of these bands to record songs for a remix/cover companion piece. The resulting album, entitled If a Lot of Bands Play in the Woods…?—titles seem to be a The Philistines Jr. specialty—is due out sometime this fall. Continue reading »

Nov 022010

Swedish trio Miike Snow began making serious waves across the American indie music scene with a couple knockout performances at this year’s South by Southwest. Their showing in Austin landed them atop many lists of the best acts in the festival, secured the band a comfortable level of indie fame, and firmly established them as promising up-and-comers. As such, the covers have started rolling in.

Most recently, the ladies of Japanese indie-pop quartet The Suzan took to covering Snow’s undeniably catchy single, “Animal.” The track was released as part of a compilation by Fool’s Gold Records on October 25th, the same day as the release of The Suzan’s newest album (produced by Bjorn Yttling of Peter Bjorn and John). Enjoy The Suzan’s “Animal” below. Continue reading »