Nov 212022
dune rats cover

For a recent iteration of Triple J’s Like a version series, Aussie indie-rockers Dune Rats covered one of Australia’s all time best punk songs “Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again” by the Angels.

Joining them in covering this are a number of well known friends: vocalist Anna from Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers, singer-songwriter Ruby Fields, guitarist Jackson from Beddy Rays, vocalist Kelly from TOTTY, and to make it even more special, John and Rick Brewster, members of The Angels. Continue reading »

Nov 182022

That’s A Cover? explores cover songs that you may have thought were originals.

Fifty years ago today, on November 18, 1972, Neil Young fired Danny Whitten. The 29-year-old guitarist had already been dismissed from Crazy Horse due to his drug use. Young gave him another chance to join his touring band, the Stray Gators, as they went out to promote Harvest. When Whitten proved he couldn’t handle that either, Young gave him fifty dollars and a plane ticket back to Los Angeles. That night, he got a phone call: Whitten had died of a drug overdose.

A crushed Young, who had already written “The Needle and the Damage Done” about Whitten, went on to record Tonight’s the Night, a tribute to him and to roadie Bruce Berry. These are some of Young’s strongest works and have all the impact today that they had on first release. But there’s another artistic work related to Whitten that’s arguably greater and longer lasting. And it came from the pen of Danny Whitten himself.
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Nov 182022
speak low

Ryan Scott Graham is a vocalist and bassist for the pop-punk band State Champs. Speak Low is the title reserved for his creative solo projects, such as this cover of Taylor Swift’s new Midnights standout “Anti-Hero.”

In this cover, Graham makes “Anti-Hero” feel singer-songwritery with his acoustic guitar, but also manages to harken back to the original with the simple yet satisfying electronic drums that permeate through the background. The artist truly owned the self-critical and overly honest lyrics of “Anti-Hero”. My ears perked up immediately as the vocalist took small yet poignant melodic liberties even beyond completely changing the instrumentation of the tune. Continue reading »

Nov 172022
jtiv fat lady of limbourg cover

J.T. IV aka John Henry Timmis was a Chicago-based punk musician active in the 1980s. He released only a smattering of music during his lifetime (and an extremely long film) that was collected for a posthumous re-release in 2008. However, a recent discovery of a tape has produced a second album, to be released in January 2023. One track on this brand new release is his cover of Brian Eno’s “The Fat Lady of Limbourg.” Continue reading »

Nov 142022
niamh regan her eyes are a blue million miles cover

Captain Beefheart is a hard-to-cover musician. It’s obvious why: his voice is so distinct and, um, grating, and his sound is often aggressively weird and difficult. Even though he wrote and sang plenty of (reasonably) catchy melodies throughout his career, so many of them are mixed in with Magic Band’s avant-blues cacophony that people don’t hear them. Continue reading »

Nov 122022

Live ForeverBillie Joe Shaver was one tough dude. The mere fact that he made it to 81 years old is a tribute as much to his constitution as to anything else, because his life and times read as if he wasn’t one much for compromise. Hell, too tough even for the Highwaymen, turning down the opportunity to be a member of that iconic grouping of his peers. As a performer he may not have been as celebrated as Waylon, Willie & Johnny, being very much in the gravel ‘n’ grits school of rough and ready, but his songs have gone right across the board and back again. You just might surprise yourself by how many you recognize on Live Forever: A Tribute to Billie Joe Shaver.
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