Oct 142020
 
lingua ignota kim cover

Is there a “Most Controversial Eminem Track” award? If there is, the winner might be “Kim”, the rapper’s second song about killing his then-wife. He has claimed it’s a prequel to “’97 Bonnie and Clyde,” his first song about killing his then-wife.

Lingua Ignota is the project of musician Kristin Hayter, which fuses classical, metal, industrial, noise and prog influences, among other things, into something fairly hard to pin down. Domestic violence is a major theme of Hayter’s music as she is a survivor of abusive relationships. Her new cover of “Kim” was originally intended to be part of an all-covers album highlighting misogyny in the music industry, but that project appears to be on hold, so she released it herself. Continue reading »

Sep 102020
 
the dresden dolls

I do enjoy when covers elevate a song out of it’s original environment and strengthens the power of the song itself. Indeed, this is what the Dresden Dolls (made up of Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione) have achieved with their cover of “I’m Going to Go Back There Someday,” originally from The Muppet Movie.

Currently residing in New Zealand, Palmer said in a tweet “this song’s about being homesick for something you don’t understand.” The cover doesn’t change much from the original – the slow ballad structure and sense of yearning is retained, but Palmer’s piano sounds more poignant and powerful considering the context in which it is now being sung. This is what good covers should do – take songs from one context, and make them perfectly describe another.

Separated by distance and by quarantine, the Dresden Dolls were meant to be collaborating for an album this year, but managed to record this cover and put it on Bandcamp to raise money for the Boston Resiliency Fund.

Listen to the track and purchase it over on Bandcamp.

 

Jul 232020
 
Eli Paperboy Reed

Though “Do It Again” was Steely Dan’s first hit, 48 years later it remains their second biggest, full of instantly-recognizable moments from the “Woodstock”-esque electric piano that undergirds the song, to lead singer Donald Fagen’s choppy delivery of “Back. Jack.” in the chorus. Most of us are more familiar with the radio edit, which shortens that intro and removes Fagen’s organ solo.

Eli Paperboy Reed is a New York-based soul singer who’s been active for about a decade and a half, receiving acclaim for his traditionalist approach. This cover of “Do It Again” was originally intended for use in Suits but was not used, so he has released it on Bandcamp instead. Inspired by fellow traveler Nick Waterhouse, Paperboy completely reinvents the song. Continue reading »

Jul 092020
 
sasami toxicity

“Toxicity,” the second single from the album of the same name, was System of a Down’s biggest hit to date, helping to briefly establish them as one of the most commercially successful metal bands of their era. Since then it’s become a bit of a metal classic – please don’t call it nu metal – and a favorite cover for YouTubers. The song perfectly captures the band’s legendary dynamics of accessible, melodic verses with manic, pummeling choruses. Continue reading »

Jun 092020
 
Joseph Shabason

Gymnopédie No.1 is the most famous of Erik Satie’s Gymnopédies and probably one of his most iconic compositions. A soft, lilting melody for piano, legend has it Satie introduced Paris to it by having a pianist play all three pieces during the reception prior to his scheduled performance. Whether or not the story is apocryphal, it’s characteristic of Satie’s satiric wit and innovative approach to composition. The Gymnopédies may not technically be part of his infamous “furniture music,” but they are are an important precursor. A piece like this shows why Satie is regularly regarded as the godfather of ambient.

Saxophonist and composer Joseph Shabason takes this legacy seriously. As part of Western Volume’s Composure: Classical Reworks for Modern Relief series, Shabason has updated the first Gymnopédie with an ambient jazz vibe. The piano is still there, but it takes a while for it to enter. Loops and samples provide the backdrop, but also the introduction. When the piano does enter, over a minute in, it is accompanied by Shabason’s saxophones taking part of the melody. Violinist Drew Jurecka guests, adding to the ambient background noise.
Continue reading »