|How we roll at Casa SuperMommy|
This week's theme is a free-for-all, so I'm going with one of my all time favorite themes... covers.
I freakin' LOVE a good cover. Hearing a song I know and adore reimagined and recreated. If it's a good cover, you take away something new about a song you've always loved.
What's more, a cover is a good way to introduce somebody to TWO artists you love. Win!
Here we go...
First up on the mix tape, Ani DiFranco covering Woody Guthrie.
I love Woody Guthrie. And I love Ani Difranco. And I love her delivery, which makes the content feel... modern. The themes of the depression are completely relatable these days, but it's easy to shrug off ballads with that scratchy, ancient vinyl sound. Not so Ani, rocking the guitar.
Sarah Jarosz, covering Radiohead.
I LOVE Radiohead. I really, really, really do. And I HATE pop country music. But I love roots country- bluegrass and folk, storytelling and music making stripped down. Play me a song by some would-be cowboy, crooning about beer and trucks, and I'll roll my eyes and cover my ears. Play me some slide guitar or banjo without the bells and whistles? I'm all yours.
Next up, Richard Cheese covering The Offspring.
I know, this seems totally out of place. The Offspring is practically a joke band, and Richard Cheese is EXPLICITLY a joke band. He does lounge covers of rock songs, and it's hilarious. Except for this song. This is amazing. Come Out And Play deals with real issues, and in a haunting way. But the original presentation hides the content. This slowing down, wailing... when Richard Cheese howls, "Tie your own rope," it gives me shivers. Spectacular.
Christina Aguilera, covering John Lennon.
It's a pet peeve of mine that the only things people think of related to John Lennon's solo career are "Imagine," and Yoko Ono. Have we completely forgotten that the man, as an individual, ROCKED? Seriously, I'm guilty of putting John Lennon solo tracks on nearly every mix I hand out. I barely restrained myself from putting "Grow Old With Me" on the last list. But this cover... Christina Aguilera has a VOICE. I've always lamented that she had way too much talent to sing the bulk of the songs she does. She has to rely on excessive runs to make up for the fact that, content wise, most of the songs suck. Science fact. But this? This is a masterpiece. And the performance is masterful. While John Lennon performed it as a primal scream, Christina belts this like a freaking siren. If you're feeling lazy and don't want to hear the whole song, skip ahead to 3:45. And then get chills for the next ten minutes just thinking about it.
Let's bring it back up with Cake, covering Diana Ross.
I have a soft spot for dance music. For vapid, mindless, booty shaking dance music. And there are a few dance songs out there that you can dance and sing to all day without shame. I Will Survive is one of them. And Cake rocks it. In their understated, Indie kind of way.
While we're keeping it upbeat, Stevie Nicks covering Etta James.
This song was part of a live benefit for the Thoreau Foundation. All amazing female artists, performing jazz and blues standards. Sheryl Crow singing Billie Holiday, Joni Mitchell doing Dinah Washington... but the best of all is Stevie singing this song. A.maze.ing.
Bringing it down again with Johnny Cash, covering Nine Inch Nails.
There are a few occasions where a cover completely eclipses the original. Jimi Hendrix's cover of All Along The Watchtower (yeah, that was a Bob Dylan song!). The Animal's cover of House of the Rising Sun (it's a Nina Simone song- ever wonder why a whore house would claim a poor boy's soul? No- poor girl. Makes more sense now, doesn't it?). This is another one of those masterful reimaginings.
Next up, Rasputina covering Led Zeppelin.
Rasputina is a rock trio of cellists. Yes, cellists. So what happens when you put what might be THE most iconic rock song of all time? Magic.
While we're talking magic, this is the Blue Man Group featuring Esthero, covering Jefferson Airplane.
Esthero? Is incredible. Take a listen, and then to look up her song "Nearly Civilized." She's amazing. And Grace Slick is a tough act to live up to. This performance is absolutely spectacular.
And let's finish up on a high note. Chris Cornell covering Michael Jackson.
For all the reason.