Fresh off of their spirited collaboration earlier this year on Secretly Canadian’s underrated Saint Bartlett, the dream team of Richard Swift and Damien Jurado are clearly keeping busy and having tons of fun along the way with Other People’s Songs. A deliciously eccentric covers record offered entirely for free via a freshly minted tumblr page, in their own words, “these recordings came about spontaneously, and we wanted to share them in the same manner.” Emitting the same warm, dust-kicking camaraderie found on their initial jaunt, Other People’s Songs is a collection of love letters to pop’s past containing the same quirky, offbeat vitality found in the best of either of these guys’ work. Featuring a whimsical array of songs from artists as disparate and far-ranging as Bill Fray, Yes, John Denver, Chubby Checker and Kraftwerk, these two clearly have not only a vast, encyclopedic knowledge of the music they love, but a firm grasp on what makes it great and how to convey that through singular, entertaining reinterpretations. This one is not to be missed. Dig it.
Latest Blog Posts
POPMATTERS SPONSOR—Platinum and gold-disc Tennessee rockers Paramore blast summer crowds with their alt rock, emo, pop punk sound on their headline Honda Civic Tour throughout the U.S. this summer. Before you go, enter the Honda Civic Tour Drive Away with Paramore Sweepstakes.
Click on the tile below to download the MP3…
These days, beer drinkers in the Washington, DC area—as well as in so many other American cities—can be guaranteed that the cascades in their pints of Guinness will not be settled before three or four new “microbrew” bars spring fully-formed from the city sidewalks. The trend is getting pretty expensive, and pretty tired. The trend is, also, not without its fair share of irony.
Witness BrewDog’s music-themed line of beers, some of which have migrated to Washington in recent months.
Here’s BrewDog’s Punk IPA.
And here’s BrewDog’s Hardcore IPA.
And here is the band Minor Threat performing their famous song “Straight Edge”, a track that found the architects of (DC) hardcore denying the imperative to mix alcohol with rock and roll:
Whether or not the latter should inspire us to protest the former is up for all of you to decide in the handy comments section below. No matter where we all come down in that debate, can’t we all agree that this whole End of History thing is a truly ghastly idea?
If you came of age in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s then you know that the woman who first sang over hip-hop beats was not Mary J. Blige. She was Michel’le, a Dr. Dre protege who had a major hit with “Something in My Heart” from her self-titled 1990 debut and then spent the bulk of the ‘0s singing hooks for Death Row Records artists. She released a criminally underrated second album, Hung Jury, in 1998, which came well after most Death Row artists abandoned the label and the label’s dominance had waned.
Well Michel’le is back. And this trailer for her forthcoming video, “Freedom to Love” (wait, there are trailers for music videos now?), is a fascinating move. The trailer fails to do the song much justice, but does make one startlingly aware of just how beautiful Michel’le still is. The song has been available on iTunes since May and it’s good, but the video trailer mixes down Michel’le’s voice. It’s a shame.
Still, Michel’le is a lost treasure and it is nice to see her come back for another round. She more than deserves it.
In recent years, Rolling Stone has found itself in quite a dilemma. Throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s, they were part of the voice of America’s counterculture, making a mark on music history with their infamous articles, interviews, and photography of the greatest artists of our time. However, the Rolling Stone of today is some sort of mismatched hybrid between Entertainment Weekly, Maxim, and Newsweek. For example, its most recent issue featured in-depth interviews with both Chuck Berry and the WikiLeaks hacker, but the cover glamorized a short, splashy interview with the nude, fake-blood splattered cast of HBO’s True Blood.
Still, despite their love of putting naked people on the cover, the magazine still tries to continue their musical credibility with special editions devoted to things that they were already supposed to writing about. Last month saw the release of the updated “500 Greatest Songs” list, in which for twice the price of a regular issue, you essentially got a great book about the past 60 years of popular music in a fancy magazine format. Unfortunately, that was somewhat spoiled by their publicity-seeking approach of presenting those articles and photography in a holier-than-thou list ranking the songs in order of their greatness. Many people out there shook their heads in disbelief at the notion of Rihanna’s “Umbrella” and M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” being deemed greater than Elvis Presley’s “Love Me Tender” or the Beatles’ “Penny Lane”.
Now, perhaps in an effort to make up for that misstep or in order to become the talk of the town again, Rolling Stone has put out a special issue entitled “The 100 Greatest Beatles Songs”. “A Day in The Life” is deemed the greatest Beatles song, even though “Hey Jude”, “Yesterday”, “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, “Let It Be”, and “In My Life” all ranked higher than it on the 500 list.
Here are their picks for the top 10 greatest Beatles songs, though, and I’ll accept any excuse, no matter how inconsequential, to listen to and talk about the Beatles.