Thursday, January 5, 2012

I Got You Covered

I love cover songs, sometimes even more than the original and not just because I am a contrarian. I've even shared some amazing covers on this blog. Part of what makes a cover song a treat is that it is not only comfortable because you already know the song, but if done well it adds some life to it. And isn't that all we want from life? Something we are comfortable with just some extra pizzaz?

As I type this up I am listening to the Bird and the Bee's album consisting exclusively of Hall and Oates covers. Below I have compiled a list of my favorite cover songs. I didn't include any Tori Amos or Cat Power or Nouvelle Vague because they have just have too many.

Them "It's All Over Now Baby Blue" (originally by Bob Dylan)

Remember in 1999 when everyone was starting to notice Angelina Jolie and she was doing crazy stuff like making out with her brother at the Oscars in a fountain? She was in this underrated movie Girl, Interrupted that has an amazing soundtrack of some '60s classics and a couple Wilco tracks (for some reason). My favorite track was Them's version of "It's All Over Now Baby Blue." It seemed so familiar to me because Beck totally sampled it for "Jackass."

I think that Bob Dylan's songs lend themselves to being covered because he wrote some great songs, but he sang them like a jangly-old lady suffering from chronic bronchitis. Van Morrison has the pipes to do this song justice.

James Blake "A Case Of You" (originally by Joni Mitchell)

I am going to share two embarrassing things now:
  1. I  haven't really listened to Joni Mitchell, so this is my first taste of this song. Hey, my parents were born in the 1960s. We weren't listening to old LPs in our house. We were listening to Stop Making Sense (in compact disc form) and the Counting Crows (who are responsible for the very worse Joni Mitchell cover of all time).
  2. I learned about this song from this dorky family show called Parenthood that is about how hard it is to raise children as upper-middle class white people living in Northern California. They played this song during a montage where everyone was crying and I've been listening to it pretty much daily since then.
It took me about a year to realize that Blake's most famous song  "Limit To Your Love" is actually a cover of Feist. I mostly didn't know this because I don't care about Feist. She is one of those interchangeable singer-songwriters with bangs.

If you want to hear another femmey dude covering a lady song, here is Bon Iver singing "I Can't Make You Me." 

Fiona Apple "Across the Universe" (originally by the Beatles)

This might be controversial to lameos who deify classic rockstars and believe that the 1960s were the most bitching time in history, but I prefer this version to the original. I think Fiona also did a better job with this creepy-ass Elvis Costello song. I love her and I think she should be more famous and respected than she is.

M. Ward "Let's Dance" (originally by David Bowie) 

M. Ward is the better half of She & Him, a band that is no stranger to cover songs. I am not one of those hipsters who pretend to dislike Zooey Deschanel because she is a hipster. I am sure that most of the people who hate on her hate on her because they are jealous of her life (because she gets paid $92K a month to be "adorkable" [okay, that word is just gross, but I doubt it was her idea]) and her hair (her hair is so goshdarnpretty). Anyway, I love this version because it is slow enough for you to realize how beautiful the lyrics are. You don't get that in Bowie's original because you are too busy shaking your butt.

Tatu "How Soon Is Now" (originally by the Smiths)

Here are three personal facts about me concerning this song:
  1. Once during 10th grade, I decide to stop liking my friend for the day because she referred to this song as, "the theme song from Charmed." 
  2. This is my second least favorite Smiths' song. My least favorite song by the Smiths is that one from Meat Is Murder with all those cow noises. 
  3. My sister and I used to drive around in her car and listen to Tatu and pretend like they are tiny mice singing. Try it. It makes listening that much more hilarious and adorable. Also, I am more impressed by singing mice than Russians who are paid to pretend to be underage lesbians.
David Byrne "I Want to Dance with Somebody" (originally by Whitney Houston) 

The day that Pandora alerted me to the existence of this song was one of the best days of my life and not just because my life has been largely uneventful.

1 comment:

KT said...

Van Morrison forever.