As a part of the DoReMeToo campaign, which involved female artists covering traditionally sexist songs, Kiwi musician Reb Fountain and Dresden Doll frontwoman Amanda Palmer contributed an outstanding and thought provoking mashup. The combination of Robin Thicke’s controversial hit “Blurred Lines” with Nirvana’s grunge anti-ballad “Rape Me” is a stroke of genius.
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.
Instead of putting up a bunch of songs about turkey, football and racial genocide, we’re celebrating Thanksgiving at Cover Me by giving thanks to you, our readers, but answering your requests. We’ve solicited them the past few weeks here and on our Twitter page and here are the results. Sadly, we could not track down every cover requested, but we got most. Don’t see yours here? Consider yourself having won Stump the Blogger!
The Popcorn Orchestra – Alice’s Restaurant (Arlo Guthrie)
The requesting gold medal goes to @Totz_the_Plaid for requesting one of the very few songs actually about Thanksgiving. Well, part of it is. When a song is 18 minutes long, it tends to be about a lot of things. If the cover is three minutes and instrumental though…it’s a bit different. [Buy]
Yo La Tengo – Somebody’s Baby (Jackson Browne)
Browne wrote this song for the soundtrack to Fast Times at Ridgemont High. That might have embarrassed him if it hadn’t led to his highest-charting single ever. [Buy]
Jamie Walters – Winona (Matthew Sweet)
Matthew Sweet has become quite the cover artist himself, recently releasing his second volume of Under the Covers with the Bangles’ Susanna Hoffs. Here’s a cover of one of his originals though, off his seminal Girlfriend album. He clarifies that the title was inspired by Winona Ryder, but the song is not about her. [Buy]
Radiohead – Ceremony (Joy Division)
The request here was just for a Joy Divison cover, but I modified it to be a cover of a song other than “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” We could fill a whole post of good covers of that one. And three more posts of crappy ones. [Buy]
Max Vernon – I Kissed a Girl (Katy Perry)
A modern song “in the style of the 80s” was the request here and I couldn’t decide between this and Timid Tiger’s “Womanizer.” If at first you can’t figure out why Vernon won out though, wait ‘til the drum machine, synths and Go-Gos-esq backing vocals kick in. [Buy]
The Dresden Dolls – Pierre (Maurice Sendak / Carole King)
Sendak’s been in the limelight all fall with the Where the Wild Things Are blockbuster. Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs soundtracked that one, but in 1975 Sendak co-wrote a musical with Carol King, Really Rosie, that included a version of this story. See for yourself. [Buy]
PYT – Summer of ’69 (Bryan Adams)
A request for some good old fashioned CanCon led to this one. For all you south of the border, CanCon is Canadian Content, the requirement that a certain percentage of songs played on the radio be of Canuck origin. Canadian radio seems to have a bit of an inferiority complex to me, but they shouldn’t. Sure Canada’s responsible for Alanis Morissette (don’t believe me? check out her Wikipedia photo), but I think Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and The Band make up for it. [Buy]
The King’s Singers – After the Gold Rush (Neil Young)
Speaking of which, the grouchy old man himself. As sung by a British men’s chorus, all oh whom’s voices seem to be way too high than is healthy. I do like the explanation Young purportedly gave Dolly Parton for the lyrics though: “Hell, I don’t know. It just depends on what I was taking at the time. I guess every verse has something different I’d taken.” [Buy]
Amy Millan – I Will Follow You Into the Dark (Death Cab for Cutie)
You can tell this is older Death Cab. Nowadays Ben Gibbard and the boys just follow the rest of the world into an embarrassing New Moon fandom. [Buy]
Everclear – Search and Destroy (The Stooges)
This one was only released as the B-side to the band’s recent “Everything to Everyone” single, but it should wider circulation if only to prove that the “Father of Mine” guys actually have a pair. Who knew? [Buy]