Many sane people hate The Cardigans’ sappy pop ballad “Lovefool”, and they’re probably right to do so. But I like it. And apparently The Morning Benders do to. If that hurts our indie street cred, so be it. Here’s the band with an acoustic take on the “classic”:
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Last week we got to hear Bruce Springsteen pay homage to one of his heroes. This week he’s the object of another homage, this time from Justin Townes Earle. Earle stopped by The AV Club as part of their Undercover series, and he chose to cover Springsteen’s classic “Atlantic City”. Nebraska is my favorite Springsteen album, and “Atlantic City” is my favorite song on the album, and I think that version of the song perfectly captures the bleak scenario laid out in its lyrics. So it takes a lot for me to really like a cover of it. But Earle knocks it out of the park. Check it out:
Have you heard about Beck’s Record Club? It’s a really cool idea. He gets a group of friends together and they cover a whole album. In one day. They’ve done this a few times already, covering albums by Leonard Cohen, Skip Spence, and The Velvet Underground. This time they’re taking on INXS’ album Kick. Here’s Mr Hanson, joined by St. Vincent and Angus Andrews from Liars, doing a slowed-down version of “New Sensation”:
The Onion’s AV Club is doing something kind of cool: they’ve made a list of songs they like, and want to see covered. They’re inviting bands in to cover the songs, and once the song has been covered it’s off the list. So the later a band comes in, the fewer the songs they have to choose from. One of the first bands in was Fruit Bats, and they chose Hall & Oates’ “One on One“:
I’m back from the longest break I’ve taken from this site in over three years, and I bring a gift of reconciliation. It’s a cover that is SO much better than the original that it even comparing it is like saying the Mona Lisa is more artistic than a pile of dog shit. To make up for my three-day absence I give you the incomparable Pomlamoose covering Lady GaGa’s “Telephone”:
And, because I love you, and I genuinely feel bad about leaving you alone for a few days, here’s Pomplamoose’s even better cover of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies”:
Most people, yours truly included, think Bob Dylan is one of the great songwriters of the 20th century. People are far more split on Dylan the performer. When you get someone with the incomparable voice of Nina Simone to sing a Dylan song, odds are most folks will appreciate it. So here you go. Here’s Ms. Simone performing “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues”
Y’all probably know by now how much I like covers played on unusual instruments. Typically it’s ukuleles or banjos, but this week it’s a cello. And it’s played expertly by Ben Solle. He’s joined by a somewhat creepy quartet of dancers. Just try to ignore them and focus on Ben playing Fiona Apple’s “Extraordinary Machine”:
If this wasn’t such a great cover I wouldn’t be posting it here. Why’s that? Because I’ve spent the better part of an hour trying to track down any info about the artist. Her name is Hawa, and from what I can gather she’s a soul singer from Lyon, France. She released this cover of Justice’s “D.A.N.C.E” on Favorite Recordings. It was produced by Patchwork. That’s all I’ve got.
No matter though, the cover itself kicks ass. It’s a soulful, jazzy spin on the original. In fact, despite the fact that I like the original a lot, I think this is my favorite version. Check it out and let me know what you think:
Remember Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings? They popped up in Sunday Music Spotlight a couple of years ago and made old-school soul cool again. Here they are again, bringing their unique spin to a song made famous by Kenny Rogers, before he was the rotisserie chicken guy:
“Just Dropped In to See What Condition My Condition Was In”
Kenny sang this as a part of The First Edition, before his solo career took off, but they weren’t the first to record it. Jerry Lee Lewis actually recorded it a year before The First Edition, but he wasn’t happy with it, so it never got released. It’s probably most famous for its use in this iconic scene from the massively overrated The Big Lebowski (NSFW):
photo via Rosa’s Photo Corner
It seems like forever since we’ve had a cover of Britney Spears’ “Toxic” on here. Let’s fix that. This one is a little different than the previous ones though; it’s an instrumental. And a semi-avant-garde jazz one at that. Here’s Yaron Herman desconstructing “Toxic” and building it back as something completely different: