Feb 222019

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

When David Bowie moved to Berlin, he took an apartment over an auto parts store. Iggy Pop shared a room with him. There were no chairs – they had decided chairs were unnatural. One night they were sitting on the floor waiting for Starsky and Hutch to start on the Armed Forces Network. The show started with a call signal – beep beep beep, beep beep beep beep, beep beep beep. Bowie picked up a ukulele (“it might have been his son’s,” Pop later remembered) and wrote out the chord progression. “Call it ‘Lust for Life,'” he told Pop. “Write something up.”

Describing their songwriting process, Bowie said, “I often gave him a few anchor images that I wanted him to play off, and he would take them away and start free-associating.” Pop later realized that Bowie’s title came from the Kirk Douglas film about Vincent van Gogh. “In the two albums we made,”said Pop, referring to Lust for Life and The Idiot, “I think Bowie wanted to make the comment that I was an idiot à la Dostoyevsky and insane à la van Gogh. Like, ‘Here I am producing albums for this insane idiot — let’s see what happens!'”

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Sep 242010

Song of the Day posts one cool cover every morning. Catch up on past installments here.

Junior Wells is dead. So is Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Jimmy Reed. What if these legendary harmonica players were alive though? Would they still be making music? Would the world have caught up to them? And perhaps most importantly, would they be Daft Punk fans?

Probably not. If they were though, the pairing would have sounded like Son of Dave. The former Crash Test Dummy blues-stomps his way through “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” with harmonica and shaker by his side. The loop pedal offers the only sign it’s not 1947. That and the fact that it’s on YouTube. To call it “different” is like calling Charlie Musselwhite “pretty good.” Continue reading »