Metric - “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright (Bob Dylan cover)”

Today, Something for the Ladies kicks off Covers Week. It’s pretty self-explanatory; we’ll be posting some of our personal favourite covers. To start, I’ve chosen Metric’s cover of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” because (1) Metric is one of my all-time favourite bands, and I’ve been looking for an excuse to post more of them despite the lack of new material (2) I think it illustrates what I believe a good cover is which is not a copycat of the original but a musician’s interpretation of the original artist and (3) damn, I love this track.

August 21, 2011

Ben Folds – “Bitches Ain’t Shit (Dr. Dre cover)”

Considering the fact that we’ve maintained a constant love affair with the music of Mr. Folds since day one, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that for me the proposition of “Covers Week” instantly brought to mind this song: a thoroughly Folds-ified version of Dr. Dre’s “Bitches Ain’t Shit.” I felt like such a gangster back when I jammed to this song in ninth grade on the way home from yet another shitty debate tournament. Actually scratch that: I was a gangster.

August 21, 2011

Freelance Whales - “Girl U Want (Devo cover)”

Freelance Whales takes this classic, upbeat track by Devo and makes it their own, transforming it into something a little more dreamy. Their version is for slow dancing, for making mixtapes, and for lying awake late at night staring at your ceiling.

This track was suggested by my good pal Zach who has better taste than me and is frequently embarrassed by my company in public. Jazz Week was fun with our readers submitting their favourite jazz tunes, so submit your favourite covers!

August 22, 2011

Feist - “Secret Heart (Ron Sexsmith cover)”

Most people don’t know this, but the ninth track of Feist’s critically acclaimed second album is actually a cover of Toronto based singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith. This track is sixteen years years old now, and this cover is seven; both are still as lovely as ever. Expect to hear more from Feist as her latest album Metals is due on October 4th, and this blog is full of Broken Social Scene enthusiasts.

August 22, 2011

They Might Be Giants - “Why Does the Sun Shine? (Tom Glazer cover)”

Being a physics major, I’m more than a little nerdy, so I dig it when bands prove that they’re a little nerdy, too. They Might Be Giants shattered all illusions about being too cool for school by releasing a series of children’s education CDs. “Why Does the Sun Shine?” was actually covered and released by the band back in 1993, but they re-recorded it for Here Comes Science in 2009 as well as another track “Why Does the Sun Really Shine?” to correct the mistakes on Tom Glazer’s 1959 original. I remember my eighth grade science teacher showing this song to us to prove that science can be cool. Listening to it brings me back to the days when The OC was still on TV and blink-182 was rad.

Covers Week continues until Saturday night. Get those submissions in.

August 23, 2011

Boyce Avenue & Kina Grannis - “Fast Car (Tracy Chapman cover)”

So when we decided to do Covers Week, I intended to stay away from YouTube covers because there’s a lot of people using it as an outlet to gain exposure these days and most of the time, the covers are not very good. This cover by Boyce Avenue and Kina Grannis arrived in our submissions box by way of my good friend Katie, and I have to say that it’s actually a pretty faithful take on the original track. Tracy Chapman performed this song alone, and this song in particular is instrumental to the female singer-songwriter movement. Boyce Avenue and Kina Grannis turn this into a really beautiful duet, and if you downloaded our Valentine’s Day 69 Love Songs mix, you’d know that I’m a sucker for a good duet.

This track was submitted by Katie, a girl I’ve known since I was eleven. She likes Tina Fey and has more creative bones in her hands than I have in my entire body. Get those submissions for Covers Week in!

August 23, 2011

Wye Oak - “Strangers (The Kinks cover)”

The A.V. Club is a Chicago-based entertainment publication that is run by the same folks that do The Onion. It’s quickly become one of my favourite reads because of their great season walkthroughs with some of my favourite TV sitcom showrunners, excellent interviews with bands travelling through Chicago, and just generally witty and interesting pop culture commentary. They started doing a series called A.V. Undercover last summer where bands pick from a list of reader-selected songs to play, and it’s produced some really phenomenal and interesting covers. Wye Oak is the only band to have been featured both years after performing this truly amazing cover of The Kinks classic “Strangers” with Shearwater’s Jonathan Meiburg.

August 24, 2011

Bon Iver - “I Can’t Make You Love Me / Nick of Time (Bonnie Raitt cover)”

Let Justin Vernon’s voice guide your breaking heart to sleep.

Thanks again to Zach for yet another great cover. We’ve been getting some great submissions; keep ‘em coming!

August 24, 2011

Owen Pallett
Peach, Plum, Pear (Joanna Newsom cover)

It’s always a special treat to see a beloved musician perform a mirthful rendition of someone else’s work. Owen Pallett goes a bit “off-book” in this cover — he reveals that he’s a taste-maker or trendsetter of sorts — and it makes him even more immaculate in my humble eyes.

August 25, 2011

Xiu Xiu - “Only Girl (In the World) (Rihanna cover)”

I love it when hip bands reveal that secretly they really like pop music, too. That being said, frontman Jamie Stewart is a really weird and twisted guy, as is the rest of Xiu Xiu, really, so their take on Rihanna’s originally normal, bouncy, happy pop tune can’t really be described by any of those adjectives. To say it’s different is a huge understatement, but the band does a really stunning job, adding strings and lines from The Ting Tings and Detroit Grand Pubah songs to play with the notion of gender. Give it a listen; you’ll probably either love it or hate it.

August 25, 2011