Sunday, 20 March 2011

Covers for Sunday

Heartbreak Hotel by John Cale (originally by  Elvis Presley) Described as a Michelin starred chef working in a hamburger grill, this particular version is a live recording from 1981.

Whiskey In The Jar by Thin Lizzy (traditional Irish folk song) The first known recording of this I can find is Seamus Ennis in 1951, although the songs origins are obviously much before this. The song first became famous through the The Dubliners playing it, it has now been covered dozens of times.

Because The Night by 10,000 Maniacs (originally by the Patti Smith Group) This was recorded for MTV Unplugged and became 10,000 Maniacs' biggest hit in a few countries.

I Know It's Over by Jeff Buckley (originally by The Smiths) I'm not a huge fan of Jeff Buckley, of course I like him, but I've never felt about his music the way a lot of people do, never quite 'got' him, but this track, I get.

Chelsea Hotel #2 by Regina Spektor (originally by Leonard Cohen) Covers by John Cale and Jeff Buckley, the H word is the elephant in the room. Maybe another time. For now here's another Leonard Cohen song being covered.

Respect by Aretha Franklin (originally by Otis Redding) We'll end with one of the all time greats, it's hard to improve on Otis Redding but Aretha Franklin certainly does it here.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Making amends

Yesterday I claimed, lightheartedly, that Arcade Fire were the best thing to come out of Montreal since Jean Béliveau. Obviously none of my selections were meant to be taken too seriously but I did forget that Leonard Cohen is from Montreal. So here's some Leonard Cohen to make amends for the omission.

You Know Who I Am live at The Isle Of Wight in 1970

Chelsea Hotel [#1] live in Israel 1972

First We Take Manhattan from I'm Your Man.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

On Shuffle

You'll have noticed, I haven't had much time for blogging lately, and I haven't had much more inclination. So here's some music to tide you over, things I've been listening to as well as the new Radiohead REM and The Strokes albums. Enjoy.

Pepper by The Butthole Surfers, the best thing to come out of San Antonio since Pola Negri.

The Suburbs by Arcade Fire, the best thing to come out of Montreal since Jean Béliveau.

Terrible Love by The National, the best thing to come out of Brooklyn since Peggy Olsen.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

A little jazz

I know it seems I've been neglecting you this week, but that's only because one of my blogs was deleted after a DMCA complaint. It was the new song by The Strokes, You're So Right, if you're interested. There are plenty of blogs that still have the song, so hunt it down. It sounds like The Strokes crossed with Kid A era Radiohead, it's well worth the effort.

On to today's posting, here are two jazz tracks for you. They're very different, from different eras of jazz and I think they give a pretty good indication of some of the variety that exists in jazz and some of the ways jazz has changed.

Brewery Of Beggars by Esbjörn Svensson Trio. From the album Tuesday Wonderland, released in 2006. The musicians are:

Esbjörn Svensson - piano
Dan Berglund - contrabass
Magnus Öström - drums

Black Bottom Stomp by Jelly Roll Morton and His Red Hot Peppers. Released in 1925 this is a perfect example of early hot jazz. Morton is sometimes disregarded to a degree because he exaggerated his contributions to early jazz, more or less claiming to invent it. While that's almost certainly not true he was a pivotal figure in the development of jazz, and may well be the first true jazz arranger. Certainly he was an exceptional pianist and band leader. The musicians playing on this are:

Jelly Roll Morton - piano
Clarinet: Omer Simeon - clarinet
Trumpet: George Mitchell - trumpet
Trombone: Kid Ory - trombone
Johnny St. Cyr - banjo
John Lindsay - contrabass
Andrew Hilaire - drums

Monday, 28 February 2011

Covers for Sunday...a day late.

We're a day late with Covers for Sunday this week because some moron decided it would be a good idea if I went in to work at 4am today. Consequently I was in bed very early, so I didn't have time to do this yesterday. I'd complain, but the aforementioned moron was me, so I don't really have the right.

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A Change Is Gonna Come by Otis Redding (originally by Sam Cooke) One of the very best covers ever, I've featured the Sam Cooke original and Ben Sollee's and Arcade Fire's covers of this song. Otis Redding's and Sam Cooke's versions of this are both superb, I find it impossible to choose which is better. I think this is the best soul song ever, it's certainly my favourite. I once used this song and the Robert Frost poem, Mending Wall, as the basis for a piece of work in an English literature class 15 years ago. I loved the song then, I still love it now.

Reckoner by Gnarls Barkley (originally by Radiohead). Gnarls Barkley covering Radiohead live, it's as good as you'd imagine it to be.

Dreams the band in Heaven (originally by The Cranberries). One of last weeks most popular bands with their cover of Goodbye Horses the Florida duo are back with a Cranberries cover.

When Doves Cry by Brett Anderson (originally by Prince). Yes, the same Brett Anderson who is Suede's lead singer.

Such Great Heights by Fort deClare (originally by The Postal Service). I know this song has been covered lots and lots of times, but this version has a kazoo. You owe it to yourself to listen to it.

Fortunate Son by Todd Snider feat. Patty Griffin (originally by Creedence Clearwater Revival). To finish us of this lovely folky cover of CRR.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Live - Idioteque

Idioteque (mp3) by Radiohead, live in 2003.

One of my favourite Radiohead songs, in fact one of my favourite songs regardless of artist and this is an excellent live version.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

A bit of hip hop.

Periodically I realise that I don't actually post much hip hop here and resolve to do something about. Then I'll post a little bit, get distracted and repeat the cycle a few months later. So, here's some hip hop and hopefully I won't forget, but I'm not counting on it.

Plenty of my friends, even those interested in music say they don't like hip hop. It seems though that what they actually mean is, they don't like the sort of hip hop they hear on the radio. Neither do I. Sure there are some exceptions, but for every genre except classical, I don't like what is played on mainstream radio stations. So here's some hip hop that you won't hear on mainstream radio.

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Masters Of The Universe by Binary Star. It took me a long time to find this album, when I finally managed to find it I ended up paying more for it than any other album before or since. It was money well spent.

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Deathbed Doctrine by Jedi Mind Tricks. Maybe the most famous non-famous hip hop act JMT have a new album, Violence Begets Violence, due out sometime this year.

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Dream Seasons by Blackalicious. There have been no Blackalicious albums since 2005 but they are also working on an album due out this year.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Live - Books From Boxes

The second single from the second album, Our Earthly Pleasures. If you don't already own that album you should do, and you can pick up Paul Smith's solo album Margins at the same time.

Books From Boxes (mp3) by Maximo Park, live on The Culture Show

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Covers for Sunday

Nothing Compares 2 U by The Last Royals (originally by Prince). More cover goodness from The Last Royals after their version of EMF's Unbelievable of a fortnight ago.

Unravel by Radiohead (originally by Björk). This is performed by Thom Yorke during a Radiohead webcast and is his favourite song.

Goodbye Horses by The Band In Heaven (originally by Q Lazzarus). This is the song Buffalo Bill is playing and signing along with in Silence Of The Lambs. This is a very nice shoegazing cover, a bit like a dreampop but harder. And very good.

Courting Blues by Lisa Hannigan (originally by Bert Jansch). Lisa Hannigan was Damien Rice's backing vocalist for a while, her excellent cover of Personal Jesus was featured here before. This sounds like a mix of drone music and folk music, obviously it's very good.

My Funny Valentine by Hawk (originally by Mitzi Green) Hawk is the frontman of The Plastic Pals, who I've featured before here and have a new album due soon. Mitzi Green played Billie Smith in Babes On Arms in 1937 and so was, as far as I can tell, the original vocalist for My Funny Valentine.

Fuck You by Anjulie (originally by Cee-Lo). By a female vocalist so some of the vocals are re-written. My favourite being "I guess I'm like Dora, she's a Malibu Barbie".