On Weird Cover Songs
Reader Bennett (he’s one of the good guys! Follow him on Twitter!) asked me this morning to recommend my choice for what should be his first Chrome album. I suggested: Half Machine Lip Moves, then Alien Soundtracks, then The Visitation. But then I got to think about the 2008 Cleopatra Records reissue of Retro Transmission, and the last three tracks on that record. They are, in order, covers of Brian Eno’s “Here Come The Warm Jets,” King Crimson’s “Moonchild,” and Pink Floyd’s “Pigs On The Wing.” The King Crimson cover especially is worthy of a listen, as it’s really, really good.
…I was looking for an MP3 version of “Moonchild” but I can’t find it right now. I guess you’ll have to wait until this Sunday’s mix tape to hear it. Sorry Bennett and other readers. Oh well. I’m sure there are other covers I can write about that are just as interesting. Right?
• Deafheaven – Punk Rock/Cody [Mogwai] – Here’s one you don’t frequently encounter: A black metal band covering a rock band! I’ve seen Mogwai a handful of times over the course of the past decade, and although at times it’s gotten pretty loud (Warsaw 2002, Irving Plaza 2003) it never sounded as brutal as this. In fact, it’s so heavy it makes the Pallbearer cover of “Gloomy Sunday” seem tame by comparison.
• Chelsea Wolfe – Black Spell Of Destruction [Burzum] – On the opposite end of the spectrum you have Chelsea Wolfe — who for all intents and purposes is a singer/songwriter — covering Burzum, a very dark and sometimes extreme black metal band. I’ve made you all well aware of my enormous crush on Ms. Wolfe plenty of times. This is just another testament to what makes her standout among her peers. She’s covering fucking Burzum! That’s just…that’s insanity. And it works! And it sounds awesome! Kudos for that.
• Killdozer – Disco Inferno [The Trammps] – Yeah, these guys are no strangers to covers. When I saw them in LA in 2008 their setlist included covers of “I Am I Said” (that was my favorite of the three they performed, by the way), “Run Through The Jungle” and “Cinnamon Girl.” So it’s not all too surprising that one of their interpretations would stick out in my mind as a weird cover. Of course, there’s a pretty big difference (in my mind, at least) between covering Neil Young or John Fogerty and then covering “Disco Inferno.” That’s just…that’s about as out-of-left-field as the Neil Diamond cover was. Then again, shit like this is exactly what makes Killdozer one of the greatest bands of my lifetime. You can listen to this one on YouTube.
• Me – Any of those ridiculous songs I recorded in college – I had this habit during my senior year of college. Mostly it was a prescription pill habit. Running parallel to that, though, was a habit of trying my hand at covering different songs that I liked at the time. This was in the pre-YouTube days of 2004 and 2005, when if you recorded yourself playing guitar and singing it was via ProTools or Digital Performer, and the files basically sat on your hard drive until such a time as they were required. Like when you brought a girl back to your place and you wanted to impress her. She’d say, “Oh, you play guitar!?” and then I’d respond/slur, “Yeah, wanna hear my cover of “Candy Says” by the Velvet Underground?” And then 10 minutes later she’d say (if she knew anything about music) “Wasn’t that song original only four minutes long?” and before I could tell her I was really high when I recorded it, I’d be asleep on the couch. Ah, college!
And, by the way, there’s no way in hell you’re ever going to hear any of those covers…but the best three were easily Papa M’s “Over Jordan,” Nina Nastasia’s “That’s All There Is,” and Oasis’ “Supersonic”. The latter cover was easily the best, as the original version is 4-minutes long and my cover was double that because I forgot the start of the “I know a girl called Elsa” verse, and rather than stop playing I just played slower and slower until I remembered it. Classic!
What’s your favorite weird cover song, blog reader!?
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