music club

Looking at my Spotify account, I know I’m right in what I’ve always said: my friends have *extremely* good taste in music, despite their protestations to the contrary. So, we’re going to experiment with a game I’ve played in other contexts. I’m going to pick a theme, and in the comments you should each contribute your own musical selection on the theme.

Impossible to lose, everyone that plays is a winner.

Theme #1: Cover songs successfully using a different musical idiom than the original.

Example: Grace Jones, “Use Me.” Here, Jones takes Bill Withers’s nearly perfect R&B ballad and arranges it Island riddim stylee.

Now you go.



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31 responses to “music club

  1. I’ve always been partial to The Brad Mehldau Trio’s treatment of Radiohead songs. “Everything in its Right Place” is a favorite.

  2. While I’m at it, Rage Against the Machine’s version of Bob Dylan’s certainly ups the ante on the original. By the time the song is over, it’s hard to imagine that anyone will be working on Maggie’s Farm, that is if it’s still standing.

  3. It’s something of a gimme, but still, Johnny Cash’s cover of “Hurt” is brilliant:

    Sad Kermit’s cover of Johnny Cash’s cover, on the other hand, is truly disturbing (though still somehow captivating):

  4. As I say in my post that goes up tomorrow, I despise this Spotify feature. It’s one thing for me to carefully craft a list of what I pretend to listen to and another for Spotify to provide me with my own private Soundscan revolution.

    Anyway, here are some choices, carefully crafted in as exercise of presentation of self that may or may not correspond to my backstage:

    Anything by Apocalyptica, but my favorite is “Harvester of Sorrow”

    “Guns of Navarone” by The Specials

    “Rawhide” by Dead Kennedys

    and of course, no such list is complete w/o the Alanis Morissette cover of “My Humps”

  5. On the Bill Withers tip, here is Soul Bossa Trio’s version of Ain’t No Sunshine. Categorize this one under lost in translation, but fun nonetheless.

  6. I always like Dionne Farris’ R&B version of Blackbird:

    And Cassandra Wilson’s version of The Weight makes me wanna go out on the porch and drink Dark & Stormy’s:

  7. I tried to find a recording of The Baboon Show’s cover of “There is a light that never goes out” (The Smith’s original is one of my all-time favorite songs!) but couldn’t. But that would be my first choice.

    I also really like Sonos’s a capella version of “Everything in its right place,” but that one’s already taken.

    So my third choice has to be Radiohead’s cover of “Rhinestone Cowboy.” It gets a little country-ish, but Thom’s voice is a great contrast to the lyrics. I love that Radiohead did this.

  8. Chris Weiss

    Ray Charles’ amazing cover of the country standard Bye Bye Love:

  9. Jenn Lena

    Pretty sure you do, but just in case: know The Gourds cover of Gin & Juice?

    • I never appreciated the layers of emotional nuance in that song until I heard the Gourds version. There’s a clip on YouTube of Snoop Dogg listening to that cover and enjoying it thoroughly in his own laconic fashion.

  10. Teenage Dirtbag by The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain:

    And Tubular Bells (Pt 1 Finale) by the Brooklyn Organ Synth Orchestra:

  11. Meg

    Good call on the Gourds, JL. Am not able to embed this one while breastfeeding and thumb typing, but Me First & the Gimmie Gimme’s cover of Carly Simon’s Nobody Does It Better.

  12. Paul-Brian

    I’m not sure if this counts as an entirely different genre:

    Or this:

    But they’re both amazing covers.

  13. dnuto

    Braydon, the new Dum Dum Girl’s cover of There is a Light… is really worth checking out.

    Hendrix’ “Watchtower” is maybe the best example of what you’re looking for, Eric. That guitar solo just builds and builds and turns Dylan’s version on its ear.

    I love the Gourds’ Gin and Juice so props to whoever posted that. Ben Folds doing “Bitches Ain’t S#*t is a fun three minutes, too.

      • dnuto – Yeah, I love that Dum Dum Girl’s cover. I almost put it up here, but I didn’t think the genre was sufficiently different from the original. My favorite cover of There is a Light is by The Lucksmiths. They have a nice boy-girl duet that makes the song even more touching and demented than the original. I LOVE it.

        I have now revealed myself to be a complete nerd, which is quite a feat in this context.

  14. The Ka’au Crater Boys reflect a local style of contemporary Hawaiian music that was and may still be a local radio staple. Here are a couple of recognizable covers. Their version of Black Water is a fave, but I couldn’t find it.

    Brown Eyed Girl

    Guava Jelly

  15. kimd

    Ooh. Coming out of the lurker closet for this one. Feist and the Constantines’ version of ‘Islands in the Stream’:

  16. While the video is a little disappointing, this is right up there amongst my favorite covers:

  17. Michael Bishop

    The Bad Plus is best known for their jazz interpretations of pop songs… there are too many choose from. One of the most popular is Everybody Wants to Rule the World:

  18. Paul-Brian

    This game brings out the metalhead in me. Kittie’s version of Run Like Hell is Pretty Awesome:

    Husker Du’s version of Love is All Around is a classic as well:

    Justin Townes Earle’s Can’t Hardly Wait is also pretty amazing:

    And finally a super-nerdy rendition of “Waiting Room” by Atom and his Package:

    I can do this all day.

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