Jul 262016

Suicide singer Alan Vega died last week at age 78, and since then a whole host of artists have paid tribute by covering his songs. As was the case with “Purple Rain” when Prince died, one song has become the go-to tribute song for the occasion: the uplifting “Dream Baby Dream.”

Bruce Springsteen, who has regularly covered the song solo on piano over the past decade, delivered a full-band version to open his Denmark show. Pearl Jam did the same at a festival show in Canada, while Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler who tweeted a very laptop-dj take on the tune. Continue reading »

Apr 222011

In the Spotlight showcases a cross-section of an artist’s cover work. View past installments, then post suggestions for future picks in the comments!

A few weeks ago, the music world and 20,000 lucky fans in Madison Square Garden said a bittersweet goodbye to LCD Soundsystem. James Murphy is probably better known for who has taken on his music than for covers he’s done, with everyone from Franz Ferdinand to the Muppets reimagining LCD songs. However, he’s recorded some excellent covers as well (including this week’s take on Franz’s “Live Alone” for Record Store Day). At first, it’s hard to imagine how covers could live up to LCD’s best original moments: the songs that capture the complexities of lost youth, fading love, or hipster culture with a few deft electronic tweaks. But Murphy successfully brings his signature sound to a surprising number of genres, draping sharp, lush electronics over a diverse assortment of other musicians’ work. Here’s a look at five of his best studio covers, along with a bonus live track. Continue reading »

Apr 042011

After three albums and decades’ worth of critical acclaim, LCD Soundsystem called it a career Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. Dubbed “The Long Goodbye,” the four-hour party found guests like Arcade Fire and Reggie Watts joining James Murphy and co. and, despite all the drama leading up to the event, it proved by all accounts to be a smash success.

The 29-song setlist allowed room for a few covers. Fittingly for their last show ever, the two performed were older chestnuts – no point debuting new material in your victory lap. Halfway through Set #3, the group reprised their cover of Alan Vega (of Suicide)’s “Bye Bye Bayou.” Then, for their second-to-last song, the group dug up “Jump Into the Fire,” a super-rarity Harry Nilsson cover originally the B-side to the “Daft Punk Is Playing at My House” vinyl single. Continue reading »