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Sick Covers


kung
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Many will know my love of the sick cover and hatred for the original repertoire. It's part of my paradoxical worldview that slags bands for not being original and then reinforces derivative choices. I do think alot of bands are hung up on not playing covers though, as if it's a mark of laziness or lack of independance (nero!). Still I think there is something that a cover or tease can accomplish that an original composition never could. Like Coltrane playing My Favourite Things you're toying with a theme received from the mainstream dominant culture. Covers and teases accomplish something unique because of the weight of sentiment in really well crafted songs but also the context in which we've heard them often from an early age. Lately a number of tunes have struck me as particularly good covers for an instrumental band or otherwise:

I Wanna New Drug

The Boys Are Back In Town

Let It Be

Every Time You Go Away

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I still want to hear nero do "Block-Rockin' Beats"...

My favourite nero cover isn't "Peaches en Regalia" or even "Run Like Hell" (which I wish Dave would do the verses of, but that's another story), it's their version of "Freeway Jam" (though I wish they'd try "Led Boots", too). (Mind you, the "Tube" from nero's Eve 2002 was pretty sick, and I think I like their version of "Travellin' Matt" a bit more than Downtime's original [don't shoot; that's just my opinion]...)

Aloha,

Brad

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Nero did a sick cover of The Boys Are Back In Town this past New Years.

(Insert smiley face right here, Kung!)

Seriously though, I know exactly what you are saying. I think it is important bands choose to do covers, whether it gives them further insight into the 'voice' they are looking for, or even if it simply reinforces an audience's enjoyment. Over the years, its songs that I know that allow me to free myself in the moment. Well, not so much free myself, but they certainly prime me as soon as said cover starts.

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I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that hippie. I'm so with you there on finding your voice. I really give the bands a great deal of credit for finding their own repertoire, but there is no way a song you wrote is going to hit home like Let It Be (that song in particular came in mind in light of the recent fire tragedy and I still get choked thinking about it). Here Comes The Sun and a slew of others would have the same effect. We must be able to think of some others in the dropkick to the heart category.

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Guest Low Roller

How about The Darkness doing Street Spirit by Radiohead? Words failed me when I heard it.

Then there was this local band in Ottawa called Bertha Does Moosejaw that did an awesome cover of Super Mario Brothers way back in the day...

A British band called Elbow just released an acoustic cover of Teardrop by Massive Attack which is amazing...

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I'll throw a couple of coppers into the pot.....I think that learning and playing covers is a very valuable tool. Not only are you learning your instrument and insight into someone else's songwriting, but you're also tipping your hat to the influence. That's the way I see it. I still love the early nineties heavy stuff (Soundgarden and Stone Temple Pilots- I think I just read about a new radio format, "classic alternative", wtf?) because that was the first stuff I saw being played live when I started to go to bars. Paul MacAusland (ex front man singer for Haywire) had a heavy cover band called Lugnuts and, I swear, he used to sing the shit better than the original artists. Doc's Corner, every Wednesday, all summer. Drunken memories...

And to keep with the Beatles theme Kung, I have always wanted to see a band cover "Don't Let Me Down"....

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The secret to a good steak is to only flip it once, and you my man have flipped between bands that are 'original' and 'need to do covers' a few times. seems more daily whim than opinion.

Since you pointed out Nero i can think of a good handful without a text reference:

Run Like Hell, Peaches, Hockey Night, Fave Things, 3rd Stone, Carol of the Bells, Come Together...a healthy serving...

Just won't be happy till you hear those magic 12 letters from across the room eh?

M-E-T-H-O-D-O-F-L-O-V-E....

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I love the covers, guilty. But i do agree that they (the songs) need to be chosen wisely. First the song must fit the band ie-roses are free is done better by phish than by ween IMO. Ekoostik hookah does a mean version of Streetbeater (theme from Sanford and Son) and i LOVE it, soooo funky. but they also do a cover of And When I Die by Blood Sweat and Tears that every time i hear it, i like it less and less.

Nero, cover Cliffs of Dover or Surfing With the Alien!!!!!!!!!

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Hey, I think BNB did a version of "I Want A New Drug" last summer when they were doing that all covers thing at Silver Dollar. I know it was a Huey tune, and I know Basher was there so perhaps he can confirm. It was pretty sick if I remember, but obviously I'm a little hazy on the deets! ::

And Kung, I usually see where you're coming from with this stuff, and I agree totally with your other picks, but an instrumental cover of "Let It Be"?!? Can you say "Muzak"? Where's my rollingeye smilie when I need it? Now if you've got a really good vocalist, yeh perhaps you could tackle that and have some fun with the arrangement.

There are so many way better potential Beatles instrumentals IMHO. nero did a nice version of "Come Together" at CTMF May last year. Something a bit more messed up like "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" or perhaps something like "Fool On The Hill" would work.

Peace,

Mr. M.

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Guest Low Roller
ok...wait..where did you hear the Darkness cover radiohead?

The Darkness performed their version of Street Spirit at a recent BBC gig. The original link is down unfortunately. If you can find it online get it, it is totally worth the listen.

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Now I've got the Method of Modern Love rocking through my head thanks buddy. Apparently 'ersh learned Maneater on the cruise ship so maybe we'll hear a little jam of that or I wanna new drug. Agreed that Let It Be might not be the best choice but if done harmonically or in a suite with something else it could work. Those choices are probably better in terms of being more obscure but also songs that hit you over the head with familiarity have a distinct impact. I also second the Satriani call but I'm all about Flying In a Blue Dream! These are all good ones but I get the sense there are some real doozies still out there. What about those songs that just make the hair on your arms stand up. Maybe Stella Blue if it hadn't been done a few times already, To Lay Me Down? Comes A Time? Black Peter? A theme or phrase from any of those would get people thinking about the ever ticking clock.

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curious kung, what band(s) could even come close to pulling off any of the following:

"Maybe Stella Blue if it hadn't been done a few times already, To Lay Me Down? Comes A Time? Black Peter?"

Including the local dead cover bands, i can't think of a band that could pull off Stella, Lay Me Down, Comes A Time, or Black Peter properly.

Kinda like The Other Ones playing Stella instrumental, with no lyrics. Even they know it couldn't be done properly. I can't see an average bar band pulling it off....

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The one thing I miss about playing with a female singer is the versatility it gave us in terms of covers (i.e. it doesn't take much to get outside my vocal range).

It also gave a unique take some classic-rock-ish stuff like Immigrant Song, Long Train Running (Doobies), Tears of a Clown (ok not exactly rock), etc. We did a smokin' version of Edie Brickell's What I Am too.

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I have the Darkness doing Street Spirit on my work computer right now, if anyone can handle a 3MB email I can send it to them......

I love covers. I love going to see bands I am not familiar with, and although I am there to hear their music, it also gives a window of insight into how a band plays, what they play, and what their influences are when they bust out a cover. Prime example #1, my first Galactic show. It was good, I just don't "get" Houseman, not really sure about the whole thing and then "Sweet Leaf". Perfect in every way. Same goes for moe. when I got into them back in 96. I was here and there. Good songs, and some stinkers. I saw a couple of good shows and a couple of bad ones, and then they played San Berdino. Again perfect in vibe, sound, attack, everything. One that I just can't get over, is the Counting Crows (I know, I know but they are better than SCI) doing their own "rain King" and Adam almost always goes into the lyrics from Springsteens "Thunder Road" but on one version they actually take the song and run with it after the "I've got this guitar and I'm learning how to make it talk" line....

My favorite recorded cover is probably a tie: Blind Melon doing the Velvet Undergrounds "Candy Says". Unbelieveably down home country mellow buzz. Of course, The Rheostatics doing "Everybody Knows this is Nowhere". And the only other that comes close is Sublime doing Toots' "5446 was my Number"

As for entire cover albums, Phish of course has mastered this- but another of note is Jiggle the Handle doing "Graceland" from the 2001 Berkfest.

As for covers that need to be busted out, my number one has been taken care of by the Cheese I think (Eminence Front- Who). That was just for you kung. But there are a long list of others that would be killer, I just can't think of them right now.

Sean

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No you're right it would take a nuanced player. I'm sure Lauzon could handle any of those but you're right they'd be much better off in the hands of a premier stylist like Kevin Breit. It's hard to imagine Filipowitsch for instance making the hairs stand up on your arms. Not to overly slag the guy it's just while he's an expressive player I don't know that his playing is informed by that deep wellspring of experience any of those would take, even Gillies might be a stretch for some of those (especially instrumental). Would be glad to be proved wrong though.

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