This year Petty Fest made the leap to a bi-coastal event. On November 14 & 15 at the El Rey in Los Angeles, the Tom Petty tribute brought the stars out in force to benefit Hurricane Sandy victims. Special guests included Johnny Depp, Sarah Silverman, Har Mar Superstar, Albert Hammond Jr. of The Strokes, Peter Ericsson Stakee of Alberta Cross, bassist from Kings of Leon, Ke$ha, Eagles of Death Metal, Karen Elson, Nicole Atkins, Patrick Carney from The Black Keys, Cory Chisel, Butch Walker, the lead singer from Guster, the drummer from Guns-n-Roses and more. All proceeds went to the victims of the storm via Sweet Relief Musicians Fund which provides financial assistance to all types of career musicians who are struggling to make ends meet while facing illness, disability, or age-related problems.
In the past few weeks, we’ve seen something of a renaissance in Leonard Cohen covers. The trend continues today, with three new installments in Columbia Records’ Old Ideas With New Friends series.
A.C. Newman and friends perform quite a neat trick with “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye.” They don’t change the song that much, although Newman brings a broader vocal range than Cohen; rather, they create a track that makes Cohen’s sound like the rendering, even when listening to the two in close comparison. They create something that sounds like an ages-old folk tune (which it is, in a sense, Cohen being perhaps the greatest bard of the twentieth century); they create a track that sounds like they took the pulpy orange juice of the original and, somehow, brought all of their collective talents to it to present to us a whole, unperforated, ripe orange, peel and all.