May. 9th, 2009

random: (Saint Random of Chaos)
[personal profile] random
OK, this is fun - I've got two to toss in to the mix, both in various ways responses to earlier posts.

First off, my attitude towards PJ Harvey is pretty much the same as [personal profile] bliumchik's towards Jawbreaker - she's a clever and innovative songwriter, and I wish I didn't find most of her work so grating. So, I'll start with a cover of Down By The Water, by Lou Rhodes (of Lamb), and Sheila Chandra. It's ripped from the audio of a live BBC concert, and was one of the closing tracks of what was otherwise a fairly traditional folk music concert. I find it fascinating as both a musical and a vocal interpretation. Musically it's surprisingly faithful to the original, and yet the shift to almost entirely organic instruments gives it a very different feel. Vocally, Sheila Chandra's whispered and overtoned backups blow me away, but also Rhodes' version roots it really deeply in the tradition of British murder ballads, which is ultimately what the song is.

And for a second one, [personal profile] stormy's cover of Possession reminded me of Sarah McLachlan's version of XTC's Dear God, which is for me the one existent piece of music that has somehow drifted over from the alternate universe where McLachlan followed up on the edgier and angrier elements of Fumbling Towards Ecstasy and Solace, instead of moving towards the much poppier sound of her more recent albums.
bliumchik: (Default)
[personal profile] bliumchik
Possibly my favourite cover ever is Brand New's version of Accident Prone by Jawbreaker.

Jawbreaker can write like nobody's business, their lyrics always make me pout at the fact that I can't listen to their music, mainly because the singer's voice just grates on my nerves horribly. Thank god for cover songs!

Brand New have been one of my favourite bands since I was fourteen and they have a talent for melancholy that puts a disproportionate amount of their songs on my Tearjerker playlist. Naturally this talent applies well to Jawbreaker's punk-affiliated angsty metaphors, resulting in this slowed-down, gentle version of Accident Prone (which is... also on that playlist XD). I love singing this version as well, but I can never figure out the accompaniment because, obviously, all the tabs online are for the original, and every musician I meet that's familiar with Jawbreaker goes "Brand New who?" and so I end up singing it alone and out of tune, which also makes me pout.

Another cover that makes me tear up a little is, as per [personal profile] stormy's request, the Panic at the Disco cover of Tonight Tonight.

I love this song and this version manages to sound both better than the original and better than most of Panic's originals. I have a theory that Brendon Urie controls himself too tightly on their albums, whenever you hear him contribute to another artist's harmonies or cover something it feels like he really lets loose and shows us the full, amazing strength of his voice. He clearly has the range and musical instincts for Broadway, maybe a bit of jazz influence - if you let him go big and wide and resonant, that's where he really shines.

Also, Panic's drums are great on this song, Smith seems to have a fondness for the galloping slightly martial rhythms that you can see on several of their originals and it never fails to get your blood up.

Above are links to download pages, but a lot of wonderful covers can be found on youtube: see Amanda Palmer doing Time is Running Out, Uhmerica and Creep (Muse, Regina Spektor and Radiohead respectively), not to mention My Chemical Romance's cover of Bob Dylan's Desolation Row and Tripod's awesome (and nearly a capella) version of Paranoid Android.



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