Feb 16, 2006

Under the Covers

It’s a special day on Stoplight Sleep. (Like there’s ever anything special about a n00b blog that almost no one reads . . .) I’m discussing a few of the best covers I’ve come across lately.

Saul Williams, in addition to being an accomplished poet, is perhaps one of the best MCs of all time. Like Kanye West and Common, his style often approaches spoken word more than what we might label as traditional rapping, but his vocal stylings are crisp and punchy. His lyrics are some of the most original, surprising, and through-provoking in hip-hop. You can listen to all of his self-titled album on his website.

Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley recently released her first “solo” album, which actually features a wide-variety of performers from the Saddle Creek scene and other venues. In late 2005, she and Swedish vocalist Robyn Carlsson performed a cover of William’s “List of Demands” on what I think is Sweden’s answer to MTV.

Watch the video on Google.

If you read any similar music blogs at all, you’ve heard of Sweden’s The Knife (Jeez, is Scandinavia going to be the next Canada?) You can just go right over to The Hype Machine and find any number of tracks from them as well as lots of conflicting opinions. People seem to love them (ahem . . . Pitchfork) or be totally unimpressed. (The Rawking Refuses to Stop poses an interesting theory about Pitchfork here.) My verdicts still out, but I’m really enjoying the track “Heartbeats.” I had heard Jose González’s version from Veneer but never realized it was a cover.

Jose González – Heartbeats.mp3

You can listen to Nouvelle Vague’s cover of “Love Will Tear Us Apart” here. I also love their cover of “Too Drunk to Fuck” by the Dead Kennedys.

No comments: