September 29, 2010

I know that it is diametrically opposed to the typical ATG theme, but I can’t help but love the country classic “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show. Call me a douchey UVa kid or what have you, but when I was first introduced to the song by my study abroad friends Chris, Katie, and Emma in Florence, I couldn’t help but love it. Something about the harmonies teamed with the banjo did it for me. Given the circumstances, “Wagon Wheel” now brings me back to a nostalgic part of my life, and I feel as though the song was created to strike that same nostalgic chord with most listeners. But I digress…

Imagine my excitement when I discover that ATG favorite Mumford & Sons had recorded a cover of “Wagon Wheel” on BBC’s Radio 2 Sessions. Imagine my anger when I realize that it was released back in late March. BUT…Imagine my happiness when I finally listen.

MP3: Mumford & Sons – “Wagon Wheel (OCMS Cover)”



September 2, 2010

Love him or hate him, Wale is basically the only hope D.C. hip hop has to make a mark on the national scene. So yeah, his debut LP was a big disappointment. Yeah, he’s somewhat unwilling to accept some blame for his album’s failure (you’d understand if you follow his twitter). Most of his mixtapes, though, have always allowed Wale to display his true colors. Unquestionable talent oozes from every clever turn of phrase and imaginative verse. No recent track demonstrates this better than his freestyle over Gyptian’s “Hold Yuh.” From cheeky pop culture references to confident bravado, it gets me excited to see Wale remember how he built a cult following, and play to that. Yeah, Wale’s always been egotistical, but on “Hold Yuh,” he’s the good kind, the rapper kind, not the ‘it’s not my fault my album was a flop’ kind.

MP3: Wale – “Hold Yuh (Freestyle)”



August 22, 2010

“Idioteque” is hands down my favorite Radiohead song, and as cliched as you may call me for choosing it, you can’t deny the originality of the instrumentation and the absolutely haunting feel of both Thom Yorke’s vocals and the droning synths. I bring all of this up not to post some new Radiohead (which would cause serious site traffic, so maybe i should), but rather to introduce Amanda Palmer, a lovely young lady of The Dresden Dolls fame who has taken up the task of covering a bunch of Radiohead tracks on her magical ukelele. Her newest album, entitled Amanda Palmer Performs the Popular Hits of Radiohead on Her Magical Ukelele (original huh?), is alllmooosttt as unique as the songs in the first place, and she somehow finds a way to balance the creepiness of Radiohead with the musicianship of Zach Condon. Check out her reworking of “Idioteque” and pick up her EP for the staggeringly low price of 84 cents here.

MP3: Amanda Palmer – “Idioteque”


August 3, 2010

It should be a prerequisite that any bands touring with each other record covers of the others’ songs.  Having stumbled upon such tracks by Annuals and Manchester Orchestra that were released prior to a tour they did together two years ago, I think it’s only fair.  These re-do’s are more than your everyday remixes and stand as pieces of work on their own. Andy Hull and company lay down a stripped, minimalist version of their touring mates’ epic “Brother” while Annuals lather up the Orchestra’s “Where Have You Been” with some haunting electronics.  Good stuff I wish I had discovered earlier.  Hat tip to BWC.

MP3: Manchester Orchestra – “Brother” (Annuals Cover)
MP3: Annuals – “Where Have You Been” (Manchester Orchestra Cover)



July 28, 2010

Just another quick post today. Really, it’s just an excuse to post this fantastic remix of Ellie Goulding’s “Lights” courtesy of Messed Music, of which I can find nothing about. Anyway, tap your fingers frantically to this coked-out Drum’n’Bass re-imagining, and while you’re at it, listen to her and Erik Hassle’s cover of Robyn’s “Be Mine!,” which, essentially, could not be more different than the “Lights” remix.

MP3: Ellie Goulding – “Lights (Messed Remix)”
MP3: Ellie Goulding & Erik Hassle – “Be Mine! (Robyn Cover)”


I Don’t Care for Fancy Things

July 9, 2010

Before I head out for the weekend, I’ll leave you with this painfully cute cover of Animal Collective’s “My Girls” by Swedish-born Victoria Bergsman, who performs under the moniker Taken by Trees. Hand claps, xylophones, and what sounds like a ukelele? Yes please.

MP3: Taken by Trees – “My Boys (Animal Collective Cover)”

While you’re at it, check out Hatchmatik’s super fun remix of “My Girls” as well, though maybe not at the same time as the former cover. It’s fun to see how two groups can take one song two completely different ways.

MP3: Animal Collective – “My Girls (Hatchmatik Remix)”


The More You Change the Less You Feel

June 23, 2010

Passion Pit, you’ve done it again. You’ve contributed another amazing cover, this time for Levi’s Pioneer Sessions project, which “finds the clothier selecting hot artists to cover classic tracks that influenced their music.” No description necessary, just LISTEN TO MORE PASSION PIT. WOOOOOOO!!!!!!

MP3: Passion Pit – “Tonight, Tonight (Smashing Pumpkins Cover)”


After All That We’ve Been Through

November 12, 2009


Here is the thing. I am normally a big fan of covers. I really enjoy hearing well-known familiar lyrics in a different light. But ever so often a song comes along and I think to myself, “Not this one. Please don’t mess with this one.”

And with that being said, Solange Knowles please get your hands off Amber Coffman’s vocals immediately.


Look. Naturally “Stillness is the Move” has these great R&B overtones so I understand why an R&B artist would want to jack this and try to make it their own. But to turn a song that is so inherently special and unique and wonderful into something that is so standard and typical and just “maybe okay”? Solange Knowles WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS?

Coffman’s glorious range is the driving force here and let’s face it; Knowles’ voice simply is no match. Essentially, this cover is stripping the song of all its beauty.

And I do have to offer a sincere apology to Solange because I know that she is probably trying to pay reverence to a form of music that she enjoys. I’m not ignoring this fact and I’m super psyched to see artists attempting to cross genres.


I mean, seriously. (Just not this song. Leave this song alone.)  [Ed. Note: The XXplosive sample in the Solange version is, however, totally fucking awesome.]

MP3: Solange Knowles – Stillness is the Move
MP3: Dirty Projectors – Stillness is the Move


Nostalgia, Italy, and Florence & the Machine

July 8, 2009


Leave it little adorable Londoner Florence Welch to remind me that the best five months of my life are over. Every once in a while, I catch a snapshot of Florence (Italy, that is) in a magazine or website article and reminisce about the eye-opening experiences I had. Welch, a.k.a. Florence & the Machine, recently covered Beirut’s “Postcards from Italy”, which was a mainstay on every playlist I made in Europe. The cover sees Florence in a quieter mood, a far cry from her usually quirky and manic stylings (see: Regina Spektor on synths).

“Postcards from Italy” may go down as one of the most nostalgia-inducing songs of all time; not just because of my special connection to it, but because of the mood of the track as a whole. Zach Condon is a genius songwriter and Florence most definitely does him justice. Also check Beirut performing the song live on the Black Sessions below.

MP3: Florence & the Machine – “Postcards from Italy (Beirut Cover)”
MP3: Beirut – “Postcards from Italy (Black Sessions)”

For those of you looking for more from the little lady, head on over to Neon Gold and check out a remix of her song “Rabbit Heart”, which I definitely recommend.


Who Doesn’t Love Ironic Covers?

March 2, 2009


Just got back from a weekend in Bologna, which is absolutely amazing. Italy has been a blast, but it has contributed to the decrease in new material here. You’ll be hearing more from Ryan and Claire in the future, and who knows what Adrian is doing. Also, be sure to check the posts we’re making over at mtvU (Zack and Adrian). Now onto the meaty part of the post.

You may remember the old punk cover of Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice” or the painfully ironic Ben Folds cover of “Bitches Ain’t Shit” (honestly though, Ben Folds himself is just painfully ironic). Those two covers laid the groundwork for future acoustic artists to find it totally acceptable to cover their hip hop contemporaries. Some are good (see: Obadiah Parker’s “Hey Ya”) and some are just plain worthless (see: The Fray’s “Heartless”). Whatever your opinion may be on the topic, it is hard to deny the value of these songs, for artistic quality, pure entertainment, or just sheer laughability. It reminds me of going to Bar Mitzvahs and finding 30 nerdy 7th grade white boys with their hands in the air rapping along to 50 Cent or Snoop. As embarrassing and painfully awkward as those times were, hearing acoustic artists muster up the courage to re-interpret these songs allows me to reminisce about those experiences. Plus, putting on a cover of “Ride Wit’ Me” always gets the ladies going. Enough said.

Check out Obadiah Parker’s flawless reinterpration of Outkast’s “Hey Ya” and I Call Shotgun’s grimey acoustic cover of Nelly’s aforementioned “Ride Wit’ Me”. Embrace your inner goofy white guy. You know you want to.

MP3: Obadiah Parker – “Hey Ya (Outkast Cover)”
MP3: I Call Shotgun – “Ride Wit’ Me (Nelly Cover)”

PS: Shout-out to DCtoBC for the Nelly cover. Not only did the guys go to school five minutes from me in DC, they are consistently up on their hip-hop.