Sep 292022
holy motors superstar cover

Though best known in the version of by The Carpenters, “Superstar” is actually a Delaney & Bonnie song that was performed by Rita Coolidge (the uncredited co-author), Cher and Bette Midler before The Carpenters got their hands on it. But it’s The Carpenters’ version that everyone knows, and their pacing that is definitive. Continue reading »

Sep 212022
Bitter Branches

“50ft Queenie” is the first single from PJ Harvey‘s second album, the aggressive Rid of Me. The song is a raucous parody of male rock singer machismo, appropriating many cliches from loud male rock singers, with Harvey joking about the size of her, um, you know.  A Top 40 hit in the UK, it’s a relatively early example of alternative rock playing with gender stereotypes. Continue reading »

Sep 152022
ibibio sound machine heroes cover

We last encountered UK Afrobeat band Ibibio Sound Machine as part of the podcast I Only Listen to The Mountain Goats, which featured their cover of “Color in Your Cheeks.” Their new cover of “Heroes,” one of David Bowie’s most covered songs, goes in a very different direction than most of the many, many preceding versions. Continue reading »

Sep 122022
brutal youth dare to be stupid

When “Weird Al” Yankovic released his third album, Dare to Be Stupid, in the summer of 1985, few could have guessed he’d become an elder statesmen of music comedy musical comedy. The album’s title track is, like most of his original songs, not very well known. (Though it’s among the most well known of his originals, as it was featured in a movie soundtrack.) It’s a style parody of Devo, which the video makes extremely clear if you don’t get it from the music. Continue reading »

Sep 072022
Moses Sumney

Ghanaian-American singer Moses Sumney knows his way around a good (and obscure) cover. His covers have made it onto multiple of our Best of Month lists and his cover of Laurie Anderson’s “O Superman” onto our Best Covers of 2015 list. Sumney has a new concert film coming out called A Performance in V Acts. He’s chosen “Come to Me” for one of the pieces and it’s kind of incredible. Continue reading »

Jul 292022
Leo Moracchioli

If you were a child in Canada in the early 1980s, like I was, you watched Fraggle Rock. Now, it aired in other countries as well – the UK (TVS), the US (HBO) – but in Canada it was on, CBC, our national public broadcaster, for four years. There wasn’t much on TV in Canada in the 1980s and so it was a treat that we had these cuddly, wacky puppets on the one channel everybody got. And I was the prime demographic: I was barely a toddler when it premiered. I hadn’t thought much about the show, in recent years, but I do remember the theme song, though, which is catchy and really easy for children to sing along to. Continue reading »