Watch Weezer's Rivers Cuomo piano cover of Nirvana's "Heart-Shaped box"

Island in the Zoom is Weezer singer/guitarist Rivers Cuomo's online hangout during the COVID-19 lockdown. Above is his Saturday piano performance of Nirvana's "Heart-Shaped Box." Read the rest

Listen to Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong rock "Kids in America" by Kim Wilde

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.

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Listen to Brian Eno's beautiful cover of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire"

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.

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Great cover of The Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated" played on the dulcimer

I love how into it this guy is.

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A favorite 'Hotel California' cover

Alabama 3 has long been a favorite and is never long out of rotation. Read the rest

Daniel Johnston covers The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows"

Listen to the wonderful outsider musician Daniel Johnston, who died last week, cover The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows." The cover was included on the 2006 compilation "Do It Again: A Tribute to Pet Sounds."

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Watch the Smashing Pumpkins play James Taylor's "Fire and Rain"

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).

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Some favorite punk-ish covers of pop tunes

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'

MORE! Add more in the comments...

Photo by Robert Anasch on Unsplash

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Listen to Karen O and Danger Mouse cover Lou Reed's "Perfect Day"

On a recent episode of SiriusXMU Sessions, Karen O and Danger Mouse recorded this stark and lovely cover of Lou Reed's "Perfect Day" from 1972. The performance follows the release of their collaborative LP Lux Prima.   Read the rest

'Video Killed the Radio Star' by Walk off the Earth feat. Sarah Silverman

Sarah Silverman is pretty much perfect. Read the rest

Cockatiel sings "Another One Bites the Dust"

I'm surprised the record company hasn't filed a takedown notice and confiscated the bird for being an illegal recording of "Another One Bites the Dust."

Another one bites the dust

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Listen to the deeply weird rock covers on the mysterious "Woodstock Al" cassette

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:

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

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Listen to Jäh Division's dub covers of Joy Division

Back in 2005, I posted about Jäh Division, a Brooklyn dub consortium that covers Joy Division songs. They produced a very limited edition 12" titled "Dub Will Tear Us Apart" that they mostly sold at their live shows. Now, Jäh Division returns with a new LP that combines that original record along with five unreleased tracks. "Dub Will Tear Us Apart​.​.​.​Again" comes out January 25 in digital and vinyl formats. Listen to a selection of the tracks:

Dub Will Tear Us Apart...Again by Jäh Division

From their Bandcamp page:

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.

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A fantastically fun looper pedal cover of The Cure's "Close To Me"

I've been researching looper pedals for my 12-year-old guitarist son and happened upon this video of Mick Bishop using his Boss RC-300 Loop Station to create a very fun cover of "Close To Me," perhaps my favorite song by The Cure.

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Listen to William Shatner and Henry Rollins's duet of "Jingle Bells"

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:

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Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie cover The Beatles' "Helter Skelter"

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.

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Burning hot Portuguese cover of Sade's "Sweetest Taboo"

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.

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