Jul 172021
 

Rock music has always idolized and iconicized those seen to be casualties. If you sing and/or play, premature death and/or mental illness always seems to add to the luster of flickering creative flames. Conversely, good health and a productive work ethic is sometimes demonized, until old age brings about a respectability to earlier derided middle-aged output. Roky Erickson fell firmly into the former category, a wide-eyed and vibrant presence in the 1960s, knocked down by the all too familiar cocktail of which came first, drugs or mental instability. The answer, as always, and as with Syd Barrett, Peter Green and Brian Wilson: probably a bit of both.
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Jun 302021
 
best cover songs of june
Adia Victoria – On and On (Erykah Badu cover)

Adia Victoria recorded this powerful Badu cover for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. She said of the time she discovered the song, “I was looking for something that was bigger and deeper and felt more warm than the idea of a Christian God. And I dove into my imagination. And the first time I heard ‘on and on’ it felt like Erykah Badu was waiting for me to be her there.” Continue reading »

Jun 292021
 
Margo Price Two Headed Dog

The songs of psychedelic rock pioneer Roky Erickson are impenetrable and obtuse: dark, heady tone poems that feel like nervous breakdowns. So it’s both a joy and wonder that Erickson’s weird work continues to be celebrated by a new generation of musicians seeking to mirror Erickson’s no-holds-barred examination of the psyche. Such is the case with Nashville singer-songwriter Margo Price’s rough and wild cover of Erickson’s “Two-Headed Dog (Red Temple Prayer).”. Continue reading »

Aug 312020
 
best cover songs august 2020
Alex Kapranos & Clara Luciani – Summer Wine (Lee Hazlewood & Nancy Sinatra cover)

Clara Luciani is Nancy Sinatra and Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos is Lee Hazlewood on this charming cover. Kapranos wrote, “When the lockdown started, we decided to record [‘Summer Wine’] — more for ourselves than anything else. We wanted to create the atmosphere of an imaginary world away from the confinement we were experiencing. Not that we were unhappy, but the imagination is the greatest medium for escape and adventure… After the lockdown eased off, we got together to film the video with our friends Adrien, Leo, Fiona and Hugo. I love the ideas they had, which suit the mood of the song and reflect our… well, our love of karaoke!” Continue reading »

Jul 312020
 

Check out the best covers of past months here.

best cover songs july 2020
The Band Of Heathens ft. Margo Price – Joy (Lucinda Williams cover)

Promoting her new album That’s How Rumors Get Started, Margo Price has been on a great covers kick. She recently tackled a political country classic at the Grand Ole Opry, Bob Dylan on CBS, and John Lennon from her house. Now she’s teamed up with Band of Heathens to cover a Lucinda Williams classic. To quote Lucinda on Instagram, “Get to Slidell, girl!!” Continue reading »

Jul 152020
 
margo price opry

Like Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On”, Henson Cargill’s 1968 debut single “Skip A Rope” remains an incredibly relevant and sadly prescient song. Laid back yet forceful, it offers a blunt message regarding the roots of racism and violence within a gently galloping, almost nursery rhyme-ish tune – the sonic epitome of sour and sweet. The song describes how kids absorb the values they’re exposed to; a directive to parents and adults to be aware at how terrible notions are taught through observation and exposure. It asks them to listen then look in the mirror and take responsibility. It’s a country pop song yes, but it’s brimming with some hard truths. Continue reading »