MC Don't
September 24, 2020

Why aren't there rap cover songs?

Rockers cover rock songs, jazz musicians play other jazz musicians, whereas in hip-hop it's really hard to find a rapper covering other rapper's song. Music YouTuber Adam Neely tries to explain why.

The music of the late Johnny Cash - including songs 'Ring of Fire' and 'Walk the Line', will be reimagined by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for a new 12-track album that is set to arrive in November, Uncut reports. The album sees Cash’s original vocals being complimented by the orchestra. Johnny Cash’s son, John Carter Cash, says his father was a fan of the RPO: "I was around ten years old and he and I went to see three films from the James Bond saga at a festival in New York. When the theme for Goldfinger began, he leaned over to me. 'That’s the finest orchestra in the world, son', he said. ‘That’s the Royal Philharmonic’".

Sonic Youth have added 'The Whitey Album' from side project Ciccone Youth, which featured contributions from Mike Watt and J Mascis, to their Bandcamp. Ciccone Youth explored their fascination with pop culture -- and Madonna in particular -- while toying around with samplers and drum machines. The unreleased album includes a cover of Madonna's 'Into the Groove', as well as a cover of Robert Palmer's 'Addicted to Love'.

Pine Barons released a catchy indie rock 'Sputter'; RZA and Ghostface Killah are in classic Wu-Tang mood with 'Fighting for Equality'; some big careers started off with covers - new hardcore strength Gulch might be on that same path with 'Sin in my Heart'; Open Mike Eagle went groovy-jazzy in 'Bucciarati'; Thou and Emma Ruth Rundle released melodic doom goth 'Ancestral Recall'; Mina Tindle, Kate Stables, Emma Broughton, Melissa Laveaux re-sang Nina Simone's '22nd Century'; Carcass are back with a metal banger 'The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue', their first new song in 7 years.

A group of kids from the O’Keefe Music Foundation have released a Christian metal cover of System of a Down’s 'Chop Suey!'. The music is the same, but the lyrics are new and faith-based, like "That day on the mountain side/helpless and crucified/Arms, wide, you took up your cross and died". Singer Taylor Campbell was 8 years old when this was recorded, while a quartet of teenage musicians back her up.

Land of the rising drum
August 19, 2020

Awesome: 10-year-old girl drummer plays Rush's 'YYZ'

10-year-old Japanese drum prodigy Yoyoka released a drum-cover of Rush classic 'YYZ'. Born in 2009, Yoyoka started playing drums at the age of two, appeared live at the age of four and formed a family band at the age of two. Her first CD was released at the age of six, and she not only plays drums but has written songs, sung and played piano. She has previously covered Rage Against the Machine, Led Zeppelin and Nirvana (Yoyoka's YouTube channel).

Certainly sounds different from what it looks like
August 18, 2020

This is awesome: A bunch of teenagers play Fugazi

Well, this is a surprise - a group of ordinary-looking students of the Cleveland, Ohio School of Rock aka "The Jazz Band Rejects", performed 'Waiting Room' by Fugazi in front of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. No disrespect, but this just might be the most passionate performance of the song in years!

Contemporary classical ensemble s t a r g a z e released video album accompaniment to 'Instruments', an abstract orchestral reimagining of Fugazi's 1993 album 'In on the Kill Taker'. The good-spirited video works as a pandemic lockdown diary, with all the musicians involved filming themselves over the last few months, with footage from all over the world.

56 years ago Chris Cornell was born, and in his memory, Cornell's widow Vicky Cornell and the Chris Cornell Estate have shared a previously unreleased cover of Guns N’ Roses’ 'Patience' that Chris Cornell recorded in Los Angeles in March 2016.

Jack Colwell

Emma Ruth Rundle leads a mighty pack - Mastodon’s Bill Kelliher, YOB’s Aaron Rieseberg, and Old Man Gloom’s Santos Montano - covering Kate Bush's 'Running Up That Hill', a strange, serious-funny song; Jack Colwell's 'Conversion Therapy' is a dramatic pop song with a strong message; 'Lovers Fool' is a smooth jazzy rap from Osquello self-produced debut album; Bent Arcana is a supergroup featuring members of Oh Sees, TV on the Radio and others - their first single 'The Gate' goes into prog, kraut-rock, experimental ambient music; Travis were a late Brit-pop band, they still do what they did, but hey, 'A Ghost' is a good song.

10-year old Nandi Bushell has offered her support of Black Lives Matter with her cover of 'Guerrilla Radio' by the Rage Against the Machine. Bushell played the drums, bass, and guitar for the 1-minute activist performance. A description of the performance on her YouTube channel and social media pages reads, “Solidarity in the Fight to End Racism! #fightracism #blacklivesmatter #enoughisenough".

JPEGMAFIA

Heavy metal talk show Two Minutes To Late Night's latest cover is a funny little thing - it has members of Sleigh Bells, Poison the Well, Cloak and High On Fire covering Guns N' Roses' 'Rocket Queen'; experimental rapper JPEGMAFIA has released a new, energetic and direct song 'Cute Pie'; art rockers The Velvet Teen have released a big and atmospheric song 'Mean Mind'; Nicolas Jaar released yet another new song - 'All One', a latino psychedelic club smoothie; Bright Eyes' new song 'One and Done' is heavily orchestrated, melancholic, almost Mediterranean-sounding; 'Cannibals' by Paddy Hanna is theatrical and haunting;

Khruangbin

'So You Won’t Forget' is a new Khruangbin song from their forthcoming album 'Mordechai', slightly less world music, slightly more funk, a summer breeze song; Compton rapper Problem's 'Janet Freestyle' is a tribute to his friend Nipsey Hussle, it samples Janet Jackson, and features jazz musician/Kendrick Lamar collaborator Terrace Martin; Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante and Suicidal Tendencies bassist Ra Diaz covered Billie Eilish's 'Bad Guy' - that would have happened had her brother been a metalhead; metalcore outfit Misery Signals play tense and dense on 'The Tempest'; American Trappist go psych-rocky on 'Losing My Grip'; Slowthai is back with yet another new song, 'BB (BodyBag)', he's still pretty much angry; Apollo Brown & Che’ Noir feature Black Thought on soul-heavy 'Hustle Don’t Give'; dark-pop newcomer Daine sounds like a polished Billie Eilish on her debut single 'Picking Flowers'.

Jimmy Fallon has gathered a dozen artists for the latest edition of his "classroom instruments" segment for an elaborate virtual performance of Bowie/Queen song 'Under Pressure'. Tonight Show host, Panic at the Disco's Brendon Urie and The Roots covered the ‘80s classic with (mostly) home “home instruments" - Questlove played the butter knife/wine glass, bottle, jar and bowl, Black Thought worked the frosting spatula and toaster, and Dave Guy was on frisbee - and the song turned out GRRREAT!!! Watch below.

The "brave" people of Welch NHS have made an "extraordinary" rendition of 'Bridge Over Troubled Water', song's author Paul Simon has said. Medics, construction workers and council staff were filmed for the performance at the temporary coronavirus field hospital built in the north Wales resort of Llandudno.

What's in a name
May 09, 2020

Funny: A bunch of seals sing - Seal

Video editors Real Big Boys have created a funny short video masterpiece that sees a bunch of seals as they belt out the melody of Seal's song 'Kiss From a Rose'. The seals are singing somewhat in key. Seal joins them in the end.

Guitarist and singer The Tallest Man on Earth played some beautiful covers in his weekly livestream yesterday - The National‘s 'Pink Rabbits' performed on synthesizer, The Strokes‘ 'Someday', John Lennon‘s 'Jealous Guy', Daniel Johnston‘s 'Walking the Cow', Lucinda Williams‘ 'Greenville', Tom Waits‘ Take It With Me', traditional folk song 'The Moonshiner', and a couple of others. Watch below (80 minutes).

Nick Cave, Joan Jett, Devendra Banhart, Lucinda Williams, Father John Misty, Peaches, Beth Orton, King Khan, U2 (ft. Elton John), David Johansen, John Cameron Mitchell, Emily Haines, Perry Farrell, Marc Almond, Todd Rundgren, Kesha, Sean Lennon + Charlotte Kemph Muhl, Julian Lennon + Victoria Williams - more famous musicians than on some live aid are gathered 'round on Marc Bolan/T. Rex tribute album 'AngelHeaded Hipster: The Songs of Marc Bolan and T.Rex'. It was curated by the late Hal Willner and it comes out September 4. The first song out from it is Nick Cave's rendition of T. Rex classic 'Cosmic Dancer'. The tribute album features 26 covers of songs Bolan released between 1968 and 1977, both with T. Rex and back when they were more of a folk rock band called Tyrannosaurus Rex.

"I hadn’t felt this much love for a new band in 20 years. That was both sad and disturbing. I’m not sure who it says what about, but regardless, I was head over heels in love with Big Thief" - ex-Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer said about his now-favorite band. This week he shared a cover of Big Thief’s 'Not', and in the video he is jamming out on an acoustic guitar, on both of his knees, and you can't even see his head while he sings. That's love and passion!

"They’re one of the most important, influential, revolutionary hip hop groups of all time. They’re cross generational, and definitely get a big response when you say their name" a former nutritionist Lisa Roth told Variety about her 100th release - lullaby renditions of Wu-Tang Clan (out today). So far they've released lullaby covers of, obviously, 99 acts - Radiohead, Metallica, Elton John, Tool, The Beatles, AC/DC, Elvis Presley... - and the artists loved those - "Steven Tyler wrote liner notes to Aerosmith’s lullabies. Joe Elliot contributed liner notes to Def Leppard’s lullabies. Elton John has been nice to us, mentioning us in the press many times. Kirk Hammett from Metallica likes us. I’ve yet to hear anything angry or nasty", Roth says.

Lyricist Dana Jay Bein and vocalist Adrian Grimes remade Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody' as 'Coronavirus Rhapsody' in light of the ongoing Covid-10 pandemic. Cheeky lyrics include nods to hand sanitizing and self-quarantining. Grimes describes the parody as an attempt to harness "some humor to see us through the COVID-19 crisis".

The Tallest Man On Earth has been uploading solo acoustic videos to Instagram from isolation, including Bob Dylan‘s 'Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again' and Wilco‘s 'Jesus, etc'. He rearranged both songs to fit his usual complex fingerpicking style, but the vocals stay faithful to the originals. Ben Gibbard played his last daily live stream show yesterday after a two-week run. It was all covers, as usual - Neil Young, The Cure, Simon & Garfunkel, Spiritualized & more. Watch it - here. Starting this Thursday he'll be doing a weekly show.

We're off to penny whistle world
March 21, 2020

Funny and cool: Kate Nash plays 'Enter Sandman' on a whistle

Singer and actress Kate Nash has shared a video of herself covering the Metallica classic 'Enter Sandman' on Twitter, while she self-isolates due to the coronavirus pandemic. She didn't play the whole song, but the minute-and-something that she did is just really funny and cool at the same time.

Imagine there's no virus
March 19, 2020

Nice try: Movie stars sing John Lennon's 'Imagine'

Gal Gadot

Actress Gal Gadot took to Instagram on the sixth day of her self-imposed quarantine, for a star-studded sing-along to John Lennon's 'Imagine'. Gadot enlisted fellow superheroes Natalie Portman (Thor) and Mark Ruffalo (Hulk), as well as Will Ferrell, Amy Adams, Kristen Wiig, Sia and Cara Delevingne and others to sing a line from Lennon's classic. Gadot said she had chosen the song for its "powerful and pure" message of unity during the coronavirus pandemic.

"A lot of the songs of the Beatles felt to me very complete, because they had a voice, they had lyrics, and it was fine that the songs were two, three, four minutes. But as an instrumental, without the voice and the lyrics and the fact that it was me making the record, I felt like I had to give it something else, and not do a cover of the song, but my own interpretations" - jazz fusion guitarist Al Di Meola told All Music about his approach in Beatles' covers album 'Across the Universe'. 'Norwegian Wood' is a good example of it - a 2-minute pop song is remade into a 6-minute epic - listen below.

Cowboys from OMF
March 07, 2020

Cute: A 9-year-old sings Pantera - watch

The kids from the O'Keefe Music Foundation covered the tough Pantera song 'Walk', with 9-year-old Colt Sheddin singing Phil Anselmo's parts. The rest of the band are children also - guitarist Aidan Fisher is 16, bass player Jonas Miller is 15, and drummer Justin Laroche is 15 - but only when counting in years...

Kids will guide you home
March 06, 2020

Sweet: Acapop! KIDS remake Coldplay

The song that Chris Martin calls the most important he wrote in his career, has been remade by the Acapop! KIDS, an American acapella group famous for their covers of famous songs. Coldplay song in the new arrangement sustained its suspense and grandeur, although it's being sung by teenagers. There are 11 of them now.

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