Friday, September 24, 2010

covered: installment 1

My name is Stephanie and I am a cover-holic. I am aware that many music lovers frown upon the cover song. I'm here to preach that cover songs can be a good thing... a benefit to not only the band performing the cover, but the original artist as well. I am not talking about cover bands... bands who only do covers. I am talking about original artists who pay tribute to a song and it's original artist by playing it and making it their own.

Here in the STL, there is an annual series of shows called An Undercover Weekend, in which some of the best local bands become a famous artist for one night only. I went last year and this year, and these shows are a ton of fun. They are also a great way to find out about local bands you might normally not see. I think I've seen at least half of the bands that performed last year again as themselves after their AUCW performances. LINKS: Review of night 3 of AUCW; My photos from nights 2 & 3, Photos of night 2 from I Went To A Show (IWTAS) Blog, IWTAS's night 3 photos, Free download of the first act on nt. 3 from IWTAS

I love love love when an artist takes a song that everyone knows, and makes it different in some way. It shows the versatility of music... a well-written song can be good even when it is played in an entirely different style. Doesn't that make sense? Maybe I should stop trying to make arguments and get to some of my favorite cover songs. Let the music do the preaching.

One of my favorite soundtracks is from the movie I am Sam. I am a huge Beatles fan, ever since my dad bought me Sgt. Pepper's when I was in 7th grade. All the songs on this soundtrack are Beatles's songs, covered by current artists. My favorite 2 from the CD are Ben Fold's version of Golden Slumbers and Eddie Vedder's (swooon) version of You've Got to Hide Your Love Away. Some like-minded youtuber put them both together... and there's a duck? Anyway.... (Original Golden Slumbers & Original You've Got to Hide Your Love Away.)

Wow. Talk about remaking a song with a different spin... This Gourds version of Snoop Dogg's Gin & Juice is one of my favorite tunes to blast and sing along to. A bluegrass take on some west coast rap. Amazing. (Original Gin & Juice)

Similarly, Dynamite Hack took Eazy-E's classic gangsta rap Boys in The Hood and made into an acoustic pop hit. Frat Boys and OG's can agree... this cover is fun. (Original Boys in The Hood)

Chris Cornell covering Micheal Jackson's ├╝ber-hit Billie Jean. I never thought of this song as a tear-jerker, but Cornell puts so much emotion into it that I well up a bit. Powerful. (original Billie Jean)

Okay, I lied about not talking about cover bands. Me First and the Gimme Gimmes is a cover band. However, they are interesting and unique because they take songs that are fit for adult-contemporary or oldie radio stations and transform them into punk songs. One of my favorites? The Muppets' Rainbow Connection. Me First's version is great for working out too. Try not to bop around to this. I dare you. (Original Rainbow Connection)

Reggae music is all about the covers. Regatta Mondata is an entire CD of various Raggae artists covering Police songs. And it is AWESOME. Sheila Hylton's take on The Bed's Too Big Without You is a fave. (Original Bed's Too Big Without You)

Yes, that's Tom Jones. Yes, he's kind of scary looking. But, if you don't wanna shake your booty to this version of Ram Jam's Black Betty, you might not have a soul. (Original Black Betty)

well that about COVERS it.... for now. I'm a cover junky. Expect more posts on the subject :)


  1. I wonder if I had this version of Gin and Juice from you. I have it on my iPod. Maybe from when you used to load your stuff to yousendit. Hmmmm. This is honestly the only version that I actually know how it goes! Oh Shannon's friend Jeremy Esteb played this when I went to hear him at Zona Rosa in KC. He's a really good local musician. Had so much fun at his show! He's a cutie too!

  2. Greatest cover in the history of the universe, by Obidiah Parker.

    Makes you realize what you thought was a good song, is really a great song.