Sunday, May 6, 2007

DON'T CALL THIS A COMEBACK

Ok, this time I'm not even going to apologize. I'm just going to start posting again. I'll earn your trust back.

Actually, I will apologize for not responding to emails. That's fucked up on my part. I really do want to fill requests, but honestly, I get really, really bored writing about old White Stripes b-sides and whatnot.

On to today's post...

I've been thinking about covers a lot lately, probably stemming from reading that I Am Fuel post. I made a list in my head of recent indie covers that I've loved, and, I dunno, maybe you'd like to hear them...



I can only listen to Magnolia Electric Co. when I'm sad. That's why I was so surprised when I found out that the last track on their 2005 Hard to Love a Man EP was a cover of Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London." What a great cover; Molina & Co really make it work...

Magnolia Electric Co.- Werewolves of London




Last year Regina Spektor visited the BBC Radio studios and performed a few songs. Among them was my favorite rainy day song, Leonard Cohen's "Chelsea Hotel #2." Spektor's version of the song is beautiful.

I don't mean to suggest that I loved you the best...

Regina Spektor- Chelsea Hotel (Live)



Talking Heads covers... I really don't know how I feel about them in general. I've heard some baaad ones, but I've also heard some that I love...

In 2003 the Constantines released the Nighttime Anytime EP. It was their first release on Sub Pop, setting the stage for their prodigious sophomore LP, Shine A Light. The third track on the four-track EP was a cover of the Heads' "Thank You For Sending Me An Angel." This is how a Talking Heads cover should sound. Bry Webb mimics Byrne's voice a bit, but the sound is still unmistakably Constantines...

Constantines- Thank You For Sending Me An Angel



Another Talking Heads cover done right...

Last year Voxtrot played a quick set for Seattle radio station KEXP. Along with three tracks from their Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives EP (Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives, Rise Up In The Dirt, and Soft & Warm), the band played a version of the Heads' "Heaven." I was raised on Talking Heads, and as far back as I can remember, "Heaven" has been one of my favorite songs. Imagine my excitement, then, when I discovered that it was covered by my favorite new band.

Voxtrot- Heaven (Live on KEXP)




I guess I'll keep with the Voxtrot theme.

I've been sitting here thinking about how to present this next track for a few minutes now. I can't really paraphrase the story for you, so here it is, straight from Ramesh...

"About a week ago when we were driving back to Texas for the final two dates of our tour, Jared (keyboardist) received a message from Garrison of Indieinterviews.com, suggesting that Union City Blues would be a nice song for Voxtrot to cover. I mistakenly believed Shayla to be called Union City Blues, and thus promised to work up a cover to record at the venue. There was some confusion but after we sussed it out I borrowed an accoustic guitar from Bosque Brown and we headed to Garrison's Corrola to record it. Small space, but his microphone was quite hi-tech so I think the sound quality is actually okay. I had first heard this song on a free Optimo New Year compilation and have always been moved by the liquid quality of her voice on the recording."


So there you have it.

Ramesh Srivastava- Shayla




I think that's a good place to transition to Jose Gonzalez, yes? Of course I can't have a covers post and talk about Jose Gonzalez without mentioning his take on the Knife's "Heartbeats." When "Heartbeats" released as a single, the b-side was, well, a live version of the track (That seems like cheating to me, but whatever).

Jose Gonzalez- Heartbeats (Live)


That's not what I wanted to talk about, though. In 2005 Gonzalez released a pretty limited Australian Tour EP. The first track on the EP is a cover of Joy Division's infamous "Love Will Tear Us Apart." I know I probably don't need to give you the backstory, but Joy Division recorded this song pretty much right before Ian Curtis committed suicide. What a sad, sad song.

Jose Gonzalez- Love Will Tear Us Apart



In 2005 Calexico and Iron & Wine got together to record their In The Reins EP. As good as that EP was, I think my favorite part of their partnership was revealed at their live shows, where they frequently played a fantastic cover of the Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses." Something about that song has always just killed me; it's definitely one of my favorite Stones songs, and these guys do it justice. This recording is from October 22, 2005, at the Triple Door in Seattle.

Iron and Wine with Calexico- Wild Horses (Live)




You may remember a post I made a month or two ago about Beirut in which I included a Calexico cover of the Clash's "Guns of Brixton." I'll go ahead and post it again here. It's definitely the best cover of the song that I've ever heard.

Calexico- The Guns of Brixton


While I'm posting a couple Calexico tracks I might as well give you their take on the Minutemen's "Corona," eh? In 2004 Calexico released their Convict Pool EP. Among the six tracks on the EP is a cover of "Corona," complete with mariachi band. It's such a great song to begin with, and I love their take on it.

Calexico- Corona




I'll round out this post with the song that inspired it: Britt Daniel's take on Sam Cooke's immortal "Bring It On Home To Me." This track just came out on Bridging the Distance, a compilation of covers from Portland area bands. I would suggest that everyone go to the site and BUY IT... I mean, come on, it's only $10. I honestly wish I could post just about every track from the compilation.

Britt Daniel- Bring It On Home To Me


Alright, that's all for today.

Enjoy.

29 comments:

Marie said...

You know you're my hero, right?

Marly said...

amazing cover of chelsea hotel, the last 30 seconds gives me goosebumps.

schmod said...

great post.

calexio is one of the most surprisingly versatile bands I know of.

they have an absolutely top-notch cover of The Arcade Fire's 'Ocean of Noise'

their 'Guns of Brixton' cover is also arguably much much better than the original by The Clash. (They also perform it live during their KCRW session to promote Garden Ruin. A recording's online somewhere...)

Anonymous said...

ai hombre que si...Eso es muy bueno. ¡corona es mi amor! ;) Laura

Denton said...

Marly, you give me goosebumps.

Schmod, I have that Arcade Fire cover, and actually almost posted it. I decided two from Calexico was enough, though, and I like Wild Horses and Corona a bit more. I'm going to go look for the KCRW version of guns of brixton right now. Thanks for the heads up.

Laura, you're great. You need to get a blogger account though so you don't just show up as anonymous.

Anonymous said...

wow, great post. i downloaded your covers set a couple of weeks ago, but just got around to listening to it today. wonderful and rare selections. perfect amount of time (38 minutes-like an old LP). and the leonard cohen cover, wow, just blew me away.

anywho, just wanted to say thanks!

-tawdry :-)

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I have that Arcade Fire cover, and actually almost posted it. I decided two from Calexico was enough, though, and I like Wild Horses and Corona a bit more. I'm going to go look for the KCRW version of guns of brixton right now. Thanks for the heads up.

Laura, you're great. You need to get a blogger account though so you don't just show up as anonymous.

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