I’ve always been a sucker for good cover songs. It might be that it’s a great way to learn about writing songs since it forces you to think about structure and how the nuances of a song sometimes really hold it together. They’re also just fun.
Download ‘Not the Same’ (83.9MB m4a bookmarked format)
- Power To The People - The Minus 5 (original by John Lennon) - A beefy, bouncy feedback-laden cover featuring R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck.
- Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head - Ben Folds Five (original by Burt Bacharach) - Still as catchy as you remember — just wait for the fuzz bass and the crazy ending!
- Cortez The Killer - Matthew Sweet (original by Neil Young and Crazy Horse) - A resonably obscure live cover which I’ve had kicking around for years and that I still prefer over the original.
- I Want a New Drug - Apostle of Hustle (original by Huey Lewis and the News) - Probably the most oddball pick of the lot. A weird, groovy ride. The bridge solo guitar lick is worth the price of admission alone.
- Sister I’m a Poet - Colin Meloy (original by Morrissey) - Acoustic studio version from a rare 5 song EP released as part of a solo tour by the Decemberists frontman.
- Gouge Away - Hayden (original by The Pixies) - A very raw, growly 1996 B-side.
- Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis - Neko Case (original by Tom Waits) - I think the first time I heard this was in an extra curricular philosophy class I took in high school. The teacher had a thing for existentialism and Tom Waits.
- Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want - She & Him (original by The Smiths) - A Smiths tunes plus indie darlings Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward is a combination that can’t go wrong.
- A Forest - Josh Rouse (original by The Cure) - A very odd song but a good one nonetheless. There’s at least one recording of my old band covering this floating around the internet too.
- Bad Time To Be Poor - The Weakerthans (original by The Rheostatics) - Let’s just call this my attempt at squeezing in a double shot of Canadian rock.
- One More Dollar - Glen Phillips (original by Gillian Welch) - A stripped down solo acoustic cover of a little folk tune by Gillian Welch and her partner David Rawlings.
- For What Reason - Emm Gryner (original by Death Cab for Cutie) - I forget when I clued in to what song this was but there’s something gripping about the sparseness of hearing it with a female voice and played entirely on piano.
- History Never Repeats - Eddie Vedder (original by Split Enz) - Lucky number 13. I suppose this is really only half a cover since both Neil and Tim Finn who wrote the song sing on it along with Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam. It’s from a Pearl Jam fan club single in case you were wondering.
Bonus points if you can identify all the songs in medley of track 14 (unlisted — it’s a surprise).
Left on the cutting room floor were covers of David Bowie, Dolly Parton, Vic Chesnutt, The Beach Boys, The Flaming Lips, Rush, The Beatles, The Band, Richard Thompson and more — which perhaps suggests a Part Deux?