Archive for September, 2009
Film School, My Bloody Valentine, Boo Radleys, Then, Oliver North Boy Choir & more
What prompts artists to cover the songs that inspired them? Is it the ultimate compliment or sacrilege? Should one stick true to the original or try to put their stamp on a classic.
I can’t answer these questions. But I do know that when it comes to covers, Duke Ellington has a point. There is good music (think Sid Vicious doing “My Way”) and bad music (any of the 20 listed here).
A covers audiocast had been in the works for a while, but the superb New Tales To Tell: A Tribute To Love And Rockets compilation sped things up a bit. It offers great versions of tunes by Love and Rockets, a favourite of ours here at ST2.
You might notice that many of the songs are by bands featured in the Audiocast17: Protogaze – Byrds, VU, Wipers, Wire, etc. I clearly like these bands, but want to hear from you: what classic covers have I missed?
1. Film School – American Dream
Dare I say this – but this version may even smoke (smote?) the Love and Rockets original.
2. Oliver North Boy Choir – Teenage Lust
Danish band managed to capture Jesus and Mary Chain‘s trademark sweet menace on this cover. BTW who remembers watching the Ollie North trials on TV?
3. Yo La Tengo – Little Honda
The Beach Boys’ California good times washed with a wave of haze. Dig the one-note guitar solo too. This track also win the “Best Shoegaze Driving Track” award.
4. The Brilliant Corners – The Good’s Gone (Slight Reprise)
Here’s a hypnotic pop-rocker off the Who Covers Who compilation, courtesy of the now defunct Sam The Record Man’s bargain bin. Don’t know much else by this band but I’m thinking I probably should.
5. Boo Radleys – Alone Again Or
6. Chikita Violenta – Eight Miles High
Like on the track above, this Mexican band just amplifies a classic track for a new audience. Apparently Crosby cites a Coltrane influence in this song, but I just don’t hear it.
7. Dandy Warhols – Hells Bells
Legendary AC/DC tune off Back in Black slowed down and spaced out.
8. British Sea Power – Tugboat
Excellent UK band ramps up the mystique and intensity of Galaxie 500 classic. Also – don’t sing this song at work, even under your breath. I’ve done it and people look at you funny.
9. Ambulance Ltd. – Ocean
Velvet Underground cover pulled from Ambulance Ltd.’s flawless debut album from a few years back. Why did I think this band was from Brooklyn? MySpace page says Eugene, OR.
10. My Bloody Valentine – Map Ref 41N 93W
I love Wire‘s original, but MBV take this to another place. Layers upon layers – listen to this loud late at night on headphones.
11. Mudhoney – Revolution
Pretty damn good version of the Spacemen 3 track by Seattle band. Like the added grit.
12. Vivian Girls – Telepathic Love
The Wipers original was great, but this version sounds like a #1 hit song on Venus.
13. Little Girls – Heinz
Like this detached cover of the post punk band Artery. These dudes are from California? Yikes.
14. Then – Fool
I like Damon Albarn of Blur but I think this song works as well without him – stands more on its own merits, y’know? Like the slight shoegaze treatment.
15. Anamanaguchi – So Bored
American band cover the fast-rising Wavves, who I just missed in San Francisco and then just missed in Toronto.
16. Vex – It Could Be Sunshine
Another Love and Rockets cover. Not my second fav track on the album, but thought it worked best in the mix. Don’t know much else about Vex – any other track recommendations?
A Place to Bury Strangers, No Age, Hopewell, Arc In Round, Apteka & more
The latest audiocast touches on the Stranger – the notion of the “other” and unfamiliar. From blistering opening track from A Place to Bury Strangers and on to Hopewell’s “Stranger”, distorted perception shapes a lot of great music.
1. A Place To Bury Strangers – In Your Heart
A blast of sinister 80s dark rock and roll to start us off. Great to hear new stuff this good. APTBS also wins the award for best MySpace music description: “Total Sonic Annihilation.” Coming out on next month’s Exploding Head album.
2. Deep Cut – Dead Man Walking
Spiralling glammy rock and roll from London band. What’s a deep cut, you ask? The tracks towards the end of the record that DJs don’t play.
3. Violens – Lightning Lightning
Like this one. Kind of like a noisier, more interesting Killers.
4. No Age – You’re A Target
No Age is starting to get much more interesting on this new track. Fresh, tight and smart.
5. Arc In Round – New Rocker Mastered
6. Mellotrons – Side By Side
This Brazilian band starts off with a Dinosaur Jr. vibe and then goes skyward with the “Yeah Yeah” extended chorus. And check out the classic rock ending. Yowzah!
7. Darlings – We’re Not Going
Lovely. Very cool slacker vocals and building riffs. “I’m not looking for repetition, I’m just looking for a good time.” Amen.
8. Hotels – Leilani
Seattle band takes us through this space poppy gem off Where Hearts Go Broke.
9. White Denim – Mirrored And Riverse
RCRD LBL artists deliver something completely different off Mirrored and Reversed. Slow cooking rock number with flourishes of psychedelia. Available as a free download.
10. Hopewell – Stranger
Rumbling bass out of Hawkwind builds to ultimate space rock-style freakout.
11. Apteka – Traitors
Apteka channels inner Iggy on this stomping garage psych number. Never before has “C’mon!” made this much sense.
Pensive bit of electronica remixed by the never-boring Yppah. Available on Exponential.
13. My Violaine Morning – Morning Angels
Straight outta West Java, Indonesia comes some shimmery 80s guitar pop.
14. A Brief Smile – For A While
You know those tracks that you listen to again and again, but can’t really place? This is one of them for me. The band has 3 EPs available for download on their website.
15. Swoon 23 – Cellophane
And the stranger leaves town. Awesome track that shows just how intense plastic wrap can be when sung properly: “I can’t remember my pain.”