Archive for the 'Cover' Category


Lou Reed’s “Dirty Boulevard” Reinterpreted…

Take a song and make it your own. Simply, put your twist on it; maybe that’s a restructure, a whole new vocal delivery, extending the composition, etc. Leave it up to Ontario’s Hawksley Workman to produce an exemplary model of what a cover can sound/look like. This time, Hawksley is putting his spin on the literary rocker Lou Reed’s “Dirty Boulevard” off the ‘New York’ LP.



!!!’s take on Nate Dogg’s Get Up…

3.5 minutes is simply not enough time to find your groove. Who said doubling that length is the perfect formula? The ideal length, after much experimentation, seems to be nine minutes and 49 seconds or, the duration of Chk Chk Chk‘s rendition on Nate Dogg’s ‘Get Up’. The original is a mid-tempo party jam, one that invokes a raise of your glass, a synchronized head nod with the beat, and a pimp-like strut. But if you’ve witnessed a !!! live show, they don’t grace your stage to do something mid-tempo –they’re there to make you move. Really, lose yourself. Perhaps, dance yrself clean.

The fire begins immediately care of a blues riff on the keys; Nic’s gruff Nate Dogg impersonation layered on top of the groove, shimmer, and ass movin’ beat. But at the halfway point is where everything is flipped. Vocal effects, head spinning production, double time tempo and enough space in the track to give your best Nic impersonation. It’s Friday, GET UP….


Hawksley’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart”…

Like I needed further confirmation. The much talked about Hawksley Workman, an Ontarian one man jam composing most all, continues to take me aback. Sometimes his sexed up glam meets fuzzy rock is where I feel he excels; but a stripped down ballad care of feathery keys and his moving, emotionally laced voice makes me weak at the knees. Yea, weak. Believe it.

My buckling knees asked him to stop. Hawksley continues to impress by showcasing his unique rendition of Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart”. A cover originally appearing on the “Anger As Beauty” single as a b-side. Embarrassing as it is, a cover new to me — though it was released a decade ago. I mean, I can’t be up on everything.

All covers should be reinterpreted. Hawksley flips the script and places his cabaret, meets hypnotic sensual groove all over it…

Hawksley Workman :: Love Will Tear Us Apart


It’s a cruel, cruel summer…

The following two things are well coveted around here:

1. Bananarama’s “Cruel Summer” — not only a pop, summer staple, but it was also expertly placed in the ultimate uplifter of the 80s: Karate Kid

2. Scott Lucas — the former Chicagoan of the year for his sometimes raucous cacophony and always professionally constructed rock songs with Local H.

The frontman of Local H plays lead in his solo efforts, Scott Lucas & the Married Men, a septet creating easy listening love songs. Lucas excels when composing numbers about previous relationships. For proof, revisit Local H’s 12 Angry Months. As a true rock and roll professional, Scott crafts his rendition of other people’s songs effortlessly. Flawlessly.

A song like “Cruel Summer” shouldn’t be touched; it’s perfect, its associations, the mood it creates, etc. are what make up a timeless number. On 6/25, SL&tMM release the Cruel Summer EP, one consisting of six songs, including their rework of Bananarama’s ode to hot streets. But leave it to Lucas to open me up to the idea of a summer staple reinterpreted…


I like the way you work it! No Diggity!

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Bring something fresh to your play on someone else’s song. Yea, if you’re a musician and you can play another act’s song, cool; the band bringing their own formula and mixture to a cover is creating a shift, one where ears perk up and this freshness garners attention.

The A.V. Club picks 25 songs a year for acts visiting their studio to cover. You’re the first act of the year, you have your pick of 25 cuts; step into the studio late, maybe you’re left with only a few select tracks that have yet to be covered. Cue JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound, the soulful punk outfit outta Chicago, an act bold enough to step to Blackstreet’s “No Diggity”. The quintet bring the funk, bringing a frenetic aura that permeates through their rendition of Blackstreet’s classic.

Sure, some songs shouldn’t be stepped to. But I like the way Chicago’s punky soulsters work it…

JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound :: No Diggity 


Divine Fit’s Hungry Heart…

Not necessary, but most live gigs would benefit from a cover thrown into a set. An opportunity to flex, a chance to reinterpret the original, take a minute idea one hears and run with it; or for some, strip away anything nonessential.

Courtesy of Triple J‘s down under national radio, Divine Fits further corroborate why they ended up on my 2012 list. This time around, they’re seated, and for the most part, unplugged. With Britt’s powerful, throaty delivery, the formidable quartet reinterpret Bruce Springstein’s Heavy Heart, a track originally heard on his 1980 record The River.

And their original in the studio:

Would That Not Be Nice


Schemin’ all the way…


It’s been six years since my last sElf fix, or having the chance to share the room with the studio magician Matt Mahaffey. No doubt this chance to be reunited is significant; take sElf out of the musical equation and shit just isn’t the same. Possibly even catastrophic, musically speaking. This Saturday is the reunion of the act that shifted everything for me. It’s the beats, the heavily textured, complex pop tapestries, the ingenious word play sElf has kicked out over the years that has lead us all to under 48 hours in Nashville. Short duration or not, like Matt never wasting a second to perfect pop, we’re about to embark on a trip where every second is lived. Hard. It’s just a suggestion, but we’re about to turn it up to 20

Matt’s rendition of They Might Be Giant’s ‘Ana Ng’ leaning heavy on the keys and the “sweet simplicity”…


Andre 3000’s All Together Now…

All anyone asks with a cover song is you take the original formula and do everything you can to reinvent it. Andre 3000, the quirky dapper half of Outkast, decided to attack The Beatle’s “All Together Now“, which graced your folks’ speakers back in ’69 courtesy of the Yellow Submarine soundtrack. The original is as hot as a Beatles track can sound; Andre’s cover simply funkdafies it, as only a man of his talent can. This might settle the argument of who is the stronger Outkast….

Andre 3000 :: All Together Now (Beatles cover)

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May 2021