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 »

Jan 302010

Cover News is a weekly feature keeping you up to date on the goings-on in the world of cover tunes, tribute albums, etc. Plus, at the bottom we post the array of cover tunes we’ve been sent in the past week. Have you recorded a cool cover? Send an mp3 to the email address on the right and we’ll post it!

Peter Gabriel

This Week’s News

This just in: The Broken Chimneys covered Bruce Springsteen’s early “For You” for us. Vintage word-vomit romance from the Boss. [Cover Me]

I’ve spilled plenty of words on this blog discussing Peter Gabriel’s new covers album, not least because of the promise of a reciprocal covers-of-Peter album. Well the first hint at that is in, courtesy of Stephen Merritt (The Magnetic Fields) covering “Not One Of Us” from Gabriel’s 1980 self-titled disc. [Peter Gabriel]

Phoenix cover Bob Dylan’s epic “Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands” for French radio. So how is it only four minutes long? [Pitchfork]

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings join Michael Buble tonight on Saturday Night Live to tackle “Baby (You’ve Got What It Takes).” But you say he’s just a friend, but you say…sorry, wrong song. [Brooklyn Vegan]

Live covers #1: Of Montreal cover the Jackson 5 with Solange Knowles (Beyoncé’s sister). [Dylan, Etc.]

Live cover #2: Cold War Kids slow-burn through Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Long As I Can See the Light.” [Dylan, Etc.]

So many incredible new Neil Young covers last night by Wilco (“Broken Arrow”), Norah Jones (“Tell Me Why”), John Mellencamp (“Down By the River”), Red Hot Chili Peppers (“A Man Need a Maid”!) and more. PLEASE tell me someone recorded this. [SPIN]

The Silent League’s latest indie-orchestral wonder AutoTunes (tastefully) an ELO throwback. [Examiner]

This Week’s Submissions

The Broken Chimneys – For You (Bruce Springsteen) [more]

Fol Chen – In the Flesh (Pink Floyd) [more]

Fol Chen – The Beautiful Ones (Prince) [more]

Send your cover to the email address on the right for inclusion in next week’s Cover News!

Jan 282010

Cover Commissions is a monthly series in which a featured artist produces a special cover for this blog, chosen by blog readers via poll. Any artists interested in participating in a future installment, email me at the address on the right.

During his fall tour, Bruce Springsteen pulled the standard seat-filling trick of playing classic albums in their entirety. Most shows got usual suspects Born to Run, Born in the U.S.A. or Darkness on the Edge of Town, but for the tour’s final night in Buffalo, Springsteen threw a mean left hook, playing his debut Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. front-to-back for the first tiwme ever. As he said introducing the performance, “”This was the record that took everything from way below zero to…one.”

No, Greetings did not make much of a splash in its 1973 debut. The best legendary music critic Lester Bangs could muster in his tepid Rolling Stone review was, “He’s not the new John Prine.” At the same time, Robert Christgau snidely commented, “It takes real conviction to save ‘But did not heed my urgency’ with ‘Your life was one long emergency.’”

The urgency/emergency couplet comes from album highlight “For You,” either a romantic appeal or a suicide plea, depending on who you ask. It features Springsteen’s early hyper-literate lyrics, like all of “Desolation Row” compressed into four minutes.

And this brings us back to The Broken Chimneys, our Cover Commissions artist way back in August. The newest music creation from author/satirist/songwriter/ghost tour guide Adam Selzer, the Chimneys took on “For You” because of reader vote. After many months of arranging, recording, and overdubbing, the finished product is here. Here’s their description:

The Broken Chimneys spent some time in Milledgeville, GA, a town with about seven prisons, a mental hospital, miles of ghettos, and smokestacks reaching like the arms of God into a beautiful sky of soot and clay. Adam spent a whole summer listening to early Springsteen while he delivered pizza. He’d never heard those first two albums before that year, but fell in loves with the street poetry, the Dr. Seuss-style rhymes about masturbating teenagers and sages of the subway.

But his favorite was “For You.” The Broken Chimneys originally tried to do a punk version, reasoning that most punks have had the experience of loving someone whose “life was one long emergency,” but it never quite came together. So they did a chamber music-ish version, inspired by the piano arrangement on the first Springsteen tape Adam owned – the Bryn Mawr ’75 bootleg.

Download the bootleg that inspired the cover over this way, but not before you listen to the Chimneys’ haunting “For You,” recorded exclusively for Cover Me.

The Broken Chimneys – For You (Bruce Springsteen)

Pick up the Broken Chimneys’ latest album Satan’s Parents Basement, from iTunes, then check them out on the soundtrack for the new book I Kissed a Zombie and I Liked It. Plus, check back here next week for Brady Harris’ November Cover Commissions entry and February’s poll!

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 however, please include a link to this site. Cover Commissions is a monthly occurrence, and the more attention this draws the more exciting we can make future installments.

Aug 072009

Cover Commissions is a monthly series in which a featured artist produces a special cover for this blog. The song to be covered is usually chosen by blog readers via a poll or suggestions form. Any artists interested in participating in a future installment, please email me at the address on the right.

The Broken Chimneys is the brainchild of one Adam Selzer. Adam’s been making music for years in various incarnations (search his name on iTunes and watch your computer crash) but the Broken Chimneys moniker came out of his other career: a young adult author. The author of Pirates of the Retail Wasteland and I Put a Spell On You, his latest is I Kissed a Zombie and I Liked It. If Katy Perry doesn’t sue, maybe Jill Sobule will! He describes how that turned into a new musical project:

The Broken Chimneys were formed to record a “cover of an Adam Selzer song” for use on the “soundtrack” to the forthcoming novel I Kissed a Zombie and I Liked It. The results were so good that a whole album was recorded, featuring “rock” versions of some of Adam’s “greatest hits,” a couple of long-lost songs that were staples of the live set before the first album was out, and a couple of new songs.

What he neglects to mention are the non-Selzer covers the Chimneys have churned out. We’ve already seen four Dylan tunes (reposted below), and the version of “I Get a Kick out of You” below will make you beg for a full The Chimneys’ Tribute to Anything Goes album. Selzer even uncovers a lost Porter lyric: “I get no kick eating brains / One little taste and the rest goes to waste.” Now why wasn’t that in the original?

And that’s just the beginning! Selzer has offered to work up another Chimneys cover specifically for this blog, but he needs your help! Eight song choices are presented below, each with a link to a youtube video so you can easily listen to any tunes you don’t know. Which tune covers is up to you!

Listen to each, listen to the Chimneys’ other music (way more over at his site), then cast your vote in the poll on the right. Voting closes in one week and a brand-new cover of the winning song will debut here in a month or so.

For Your Consideration:
Joan Baez – Diamonds and Rust (7 votes)
John Lennon – Nobody Told Me (6 votes)
Richard Marx – Hazard (8 votes)
Neutral Milk Hotel – Two Headed Boy (11 votes)
Bruce Springsteen – For You (23 votes)
Tom Waits – Innocent When You Dream (14 votes)
War – Low Rider (17 votes)
Wilco – Laminated Cat (aka. Not for the Season) (8 votes)

Voting closes in one week, so hop to it on the right!