Jul 232013
 

Cover Classics takes a closer look at all-cover albums of the past, their genesis, and their legacy.

One of the greatest American movies, Nashville uses the microcosm of Music City to capture the country’s zeitgeist like it had never been captured before. With an ensemble of twenty-four characters and a running time over two and a half hours, Nashville‘s scope is enormous, but necessary; five days in a post-Vietnam, post-Watergate, pre-Bicentennial nation makes for a lot of story. It also makes for a lot of songs; more than an hour of the movie consists of music, most of it written by the movie stars themselves. Nashvillagers didn’t take too kindly to the movie or the songs, but they both had and have a healthy cult following, especially among alt-country singers – one of whom decided to make something more from them.
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May 282013
 

Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.

Jane Wiedlin co-wrote “Our Lips Are Sealed” and brought it to her band, the Go-Go’s; their version was sunny and buoyant, a nascent form of girl power that served as their first single and heralded their classic debut album, Beauty and the Beat. Terry Hall co-wrote “Our Lips Are Sealed” and brought it to his band, the Fun Boy Three; their version was moody and dark, a top-ten dose of paranoia that served as their next to last single and heralded the end of their too-short career.
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Oct 192011
 

Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.

The closing track of Bob Dylan‘s (greatest?) album Blood on the Tracks, “Buckets of Rain” has little of the invective that colored other songs on the album; it’s a long way from the “idiot babe” in “Idiot Wind” to the “honey baby” found here. Dylan’s saddened, but he’s also very tender to the one he’s addressing. They’ve swept up the ashes of their relationship, and now they’re looking at each other with rueful smiles, permitting themselves to feel both the love they still have and the pain it still brings. It’s no fun, but they do what they must do, and they do it well. Continue reading »

Sep 082011
 

They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s special day with other people singing his or her songs. Let others do the work for a while. Happy birthday!

Active in various music scenes since 1994, Neko Case has built herself an impressively deep resume. That’s based primarily on her position as super-pop group The New Pornographers’ co-lead singer, as well as her solo alt-country/folk career. Meanwhile, her non-musical projects command almost as much attention, whether it’s her considerable charity work for organizations like 826 National or her guest spots on Adult Swim shows like Aqua Teen Hunger Force or the truly bizarre Cheyenne Cinnamon and the Fantabulous Unicorn of Sugar Town Candy Fudge. Continue reading »

Aug 112011
 

If you’re at a karaoke bar and you see a guy and a girl go up together, brace yourself. Odds are two to one they’re going to sing “Islands in the Stream,” the treacly 1983 duet by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. If anyone can bring some street cred to the song that inspired “Ghetto Superstar,” though, it’s My Morning Jacket. Continue reading »

Jun 242011
 

America seems to be pretty much over the whole vampire craze, but True Blood returns Sunday night anyway and we’re glad it does. Why? Because the soundtrack features a cover of the Zombies’ “She’s Not There” from Nick Cave and Neko Case! If this is the show that recently rejected Delta Spirit’s cover of the same song, we see why they did so.

KCRW just premiered the track and you can listen over there. It’s more Cave than Case, dark and foreboding, menace seen through a slightly more polished lens. The tension keeps it interesting, though there may be one too many keyboard solos here.

Listen to Nick Cave and Neko Case’s “She’s Not There” over at KCRW. Update: Listen to the official stream below.

Nick Cave and Neko Case – She’s Not There (The Zombies cover)