Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong recorded this rocking cover of Kim Wilde's "Kids in America" (1981). It was a birthday gift to Armstrong's bandmate, bassist Mike Dirnt, who turned 48 yesterday. It's the latest in Armstrong's "No Fun Mondays" series of cover songs that also includes his duet, below, with Susanna Hoffs on "Manic Monday," penned by Prince and made famous in 1986 by Hoff's band The Bangles.
In 1990, Brian Eno and John Cale made a wonderful experimental pop/art rock record called Wrong Way Up, released by Warner Bros. Records. At the time, the label would send out 7" records to alt.rock/college radio stations to promote their new releases. The promo series, called Soil Samples, featured different artists on each side of the record performing songs that weren't included on their new albums.
Above is Brian Eno's contribution to Soil Samples #3, a sublime cover of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire," originally written by June Carter and Merle Kilgore.
Alabama 3 has long been a favorite and is never long out of rotation. Read the rest
The original Smashing Pumpkins (sans D'arcy Wretzky), on the road again for another US tour, are covering James Taylor's classic "Fire and Rain" from his 1970 masterpiece Sweet Baby James. It's a lovely, trippy cover and hearkens back to their 1994 take on another '70s rock classic -- Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide" (video below).
MxPx plays Aha's classic
The Downbeat 5 singing 'Dum Dum Ditty' is one of my favorites.
Me First and the Gimmie Gimmie's cover 'Wild World'
Riverboat Gamblers play 'Let's Go Crazy'
The Laundrettes sing 'Nobody but Me'
NoFX's 'Go Your Own Way'
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Photo by Robert Anasch on Unsplash
Sarah Silverman is pretty much perfect. Read the rest
This is "Woodstock Al #6," a strange and fascinating DIY cassette of covers by an unidentified artist. In 2000, a fellow named Jim Fletcher sent the cassette to legendary WFMU personality and music historian Irwin Chusid. From Mei Clover who posted the audio to YouTube for posterity:
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This is a tape filled with strange, distorded guitar noodling, barely audible vocals, out-of-rhythym drums, and songs just barely recognisable to what they're supposed to be. You've never heard something like this before. The identity of Woodstock Al is unknown, and the tapes Woodstock Al 1-5 are still lost. Because these tracks are just barely recognisable, here is the track list.
1. Communication Breakdown 2. Purple Haze 3. Sunshine Of Your Love 4. Light My Fire 5. Manic Depression 6. Hello, I Love You 7. Cocaine 8. One Way Out 9. Every Day I Have The Blues 10. I Don't Live Today 11. You Got Me Floatin' 12. Paranoid 13. Sweet Child 'O Mine
From their Bandcamp page:
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A supergroup born of Brooklyn’s early 21st century DIY scene, Jäh Division’s sole 2004 12-inch Dub Will Tear Us Apart earned them an instant infamy for their psychedelic dub interpretations of Joy Division classics. Featuring members of Home and Oneida and recorded in the literal shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge, Jäh Division grew from a joke between roommates Brad Truax and Barry London into a rolling improv collective that included members of Animal Collective and Oneida, among others.
Expanded with 5 extra songs--3 from the original session, 2 from a scrapped album--Dub Will Tear Us Apart… Again is the sound of Manchester beamed into Brooklyn by way of the Black Ark, all linked by some intercosmic hook-up in the depths of Barry London's Space Echo tape loop. Recorded by the core Jäh Division quartet, the original release--part of Social Registry’s 12-inch series-- featured London on vintage keyboards, Truax on bass, Home’s Chris Millstein on drums, and Oneida’s Kid Millions on Barry’s collection of synth percussion, including trash-salvaged electronic drum pads, run through dubby delays and effects and a Farfisa reverb tank.
William Shatner is unleashing a Christmas album next month. Titled "Shatner Claus," it features guest performances by Henry Rollins (Black Flag), Iggy Pop, Rick Wakeman (Yes), Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), and many more. Released by Cleopatra Records, "Shatner Claus" is just the latest in ol' Bill's lengthy recording career that includes "Ponder the Mystery" (2013), "Seeking Major Tom" (2011), "Has Been" (2004), "William Shatner Live" (1977), and, of course, "The Transformed Man" (1968).
Below, Shatner and Rollins "sing" Jingle Bells:
Kicking off their joint tour, Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie offer this growling cover of The Beatles' "Helter Skelter." Over at Billboard, Gil Kaufman writes:
A few months ago Zombie and Manson got together in Los Angeles to talk about the tour and hang out and Zombie suggested they should record something to celebrate the reunion. Because Zombie is not typically one to collaborate with other artists, he says the goal was to avoid just picking a song to jam on during the shows. "I said, 'let's really figure out something,'" he says. And the answer was so obvious he's surprised they hadn't thought of it years ago.
The pair settled on a cover of The Beatles' legendarily gloomy 1968 song "Helter Skelter," one of the group's grimiest-ever tracks and one that serial killer Charles Manson used to rev up his clan of murderous followers in an attempt to spark a race war. Of course the Zombie-fied track they came up with is even darker, slower and more punishing, perfectly meshing their signature doom-laden vocals and down-tuned guitars for a modern goth pop classic. "I think it's cool because we dirtied it up, slowed it down and made it even heavier and groovier, but still true to the song," he says.
In 1994, Brazilian singer Vânia Bastos released this scorching cover of Sade's "Sweetest Taboo" sung in Portuguese. Most recently, the track is included on the new compilation "Onda De Amor: Synthesized Brazilian Hits That Never Were (1984-94)" from Soundway records.