Oct 292010

You’ve probably seen our birthday tributes to the likes of Tom Petty, Snoop Dogg, and Madonna. Well, today, they say it’s our birthday. We’re gonna have a good time. In fact, we’ve already begun celebrating. This morning we enjoyed a Schoolhouse Rock Song of the Day. We offered up a new vinyl giveaway. We even re-posted our very first post (covers of songs off John Wesley Harding). But this is the big one.

We contacted a bunch of artists we’ve worked with in the past – terrifically talented folk who have all played a role in Cover Me’s history. We asked them to record birthday-themed cover songs for a special three-year celebration album. Find the fruits of their labor below. Eleven brand-new covers of birthday songs both famous (“It’s My Party”) and obscure (“Birthday Boy”), all recorded just for the occasion. You can download high-quality MP3s individually below or the full set (plus a bonus track!) way down at the bottom. Each artist shared their thoughts on the song they chose, so be sure to read those. Continue reading »

Feb 252010

Cover Commissions is a monthly series in which a featured artist covers a reader-selected song for this blog. Any artists interested in participating, email me at the address on the right.

These days Weezer is an unfunny joke, but it seems the classics don’t go out of style. In January’s poll for what song you wanted Kristy Brannon to cover, “Say It Ain’t So” won by the biggest landslide in Commissions history. I think that’s what the pols would call a mandate.

Unfortunately, frontman Rivers Cuomo probably won’t stop making YouTube-meme videos or party jams with Lil Wayne anytime soon. Fans must content themselves with Blue Album and Pinkerton, albums that have provided consolation in one form or another to disillusioned and isolated teenagers (ie. all of them) since time immemorial (ie. 1994).

Brannon strips bare the daddy issues of “Say It Ain’t So” with an acoustic cover that sounds so natural you forget that the original was actually pretty loud. She describes the recording process:

I learned to play guitar doing Weezer covers so I’m really glad I got to do this song! Weezer has to be one of my favorite bands, [but] I wasn’t that familiar with this particular song until I started using Pandora radio and it came up a million times. Eventually it was so stuck in my head that I had to learn it to play it myself.

I recorded the guitar track first and put on headphones to sing so I wonder what my roommate thought hearing me sing a song with no music over and over again in my room. I tried to sing it really quietly but it sounded so creepy and way too high pitched so I eventually just turned the mic around. It sounds like I’m far away but I kind of like that sound.

A far away recording seems thematically appropriate for a song with lyrics like “This way is a waterslide away from me that takes you further every day.” Whatever that means.

Kristy Brannon – Say It Ain’t So (Weezer)

Check out Kristy’s website and MySpace for more info, then go download her new EP The Untold Story for free at BandCamp.

This mp3 may be freely shared with the artist’s blessing. Post it on your blog, send it to your friends, tweet it to the world. When you share this though, please include a link to this site. Cover Commissions is a monthly occurrence. Check back for future installments.

Jan 222010

Cover Commissions is a monthly series in which a featured artist produces a special cover for this blog. Our readers choose the song from a list of suggestions provided by the artist. Any artists interested in participating in a future installment, please email Cover Me at the address on the right.

Our 2010 Cover Commissions season kicks off with an up-and-coming songwriter straight out of the heartland. Bloomington, Indiana that is, home to John Mellencamp, David Lee Roth…and Kristy Brannon.

Not that Kristy sounds much like the local rock stars. Her quiet confessions come instead from the female songwriting tradition of Norah Jones or Sara Bareilles, proving once again that with smart lyrics and a pretty voice it doesn’t take more than an acoustic guitar to make a point. She describes herself as an “indie folk female version of Bright Eyes” and she’s not far off.

You can check out more info on Kristy from her website or MySpace page. Personally, I recommend hitting the website, if only to check out her blog which features endearingly meandering thoughts on everything from Space Ghost to dreams about marriage proposals from aliens. There you can also download Kristy’s latest EP, The Untold Story, for free after checking out the sample below.

Kristy Brannon – Mea Culpa

Kristy makes her cover debut here on Commissions, selecting ten songs that range from pop-punk rockers to alt-country crooners. Which one will she cover? It’s up to you!

The choices are listed below, each linked to a YouTube video. Listen to the songs, listen to Brannon’s original material, then pick which song she should cover in the poll on the right.

Voting closes in one week, so get deciding! Vote in the poll on the right.