MP3 Of The Week

2009 and onwards / 2008 / 2007 / 2006 / 2005 / 2004 / 2003 / 2002

Each week I'm posting a random or not-so-random cover song. Only the current week's track will be available but if you see a past one you'd like, contact me and we'll make arrangements.

If you are the copyright holder of the current track and wish it to be taken down please contact me to do so.

Past Selections - 2003

December 28, 2003
The Postal Service - "Suddenly Everything Has Changed"

I closed out last year with a cover BY Flaming Lips - this year, it's a cover OF the Flaming Lips, by the purveyors of my #1 album of the year, The Postal Service. Taken from the The District Sleeps Alone Tonight EP. Happy New Year, everyone.

Originally by : The Flaming Lips

December 21, 2003
Belle & Sebastian - "Santa Claus, Go Straight To The Ghetto"

There's naught more festive than Godfathers of Twee Belle & Sebastian covering this holiday chestnut from Godfather of Soul James Brown, is there? This was taken from a John Peel session earlier this month, and brought to you courtesy of the blogosphere's own Santa, Largehearted Boy.

Originally by : James Brown

December 14, 2003
Ryan Adams - "Last Nite"

Ryan Adams had claimed last year that he recorded a complete 4-track version of The Strokes' Is This It. This track is not from that apocryphal record. Instead, it's a live version of the first single from that record - and ironically, it rocks harder than anything RA or The Strokes have done recently. Sounds a little less Tom Petty than the original, too. Thanks to the still-in-hiding Miss Modernage for the mp3.

Originally by : The Strokes

November 30, 2003
Galaxie 500 - "Cheese & Onions"

Rutles Highway Revisited was a tribute album to everyone's favorite fictional band, The Rutles (Okay, SECOND favorite if you're a Spinal Tap devotee). One of the acts who contributed a track was Galaxie 500, who tackled "Cheese And Onions" from the Rutles' Yellow Submarine Sandwich album. They also included it on The Uncollected Galaxie 500 disc in the Galaxie 500 boxset.

Originally by : The Rutles

November 23, 2003
Calexico & The Boo Radleys - "Alone Again Or"

A double-shot this week - two very different takes on the first track from Love's legendary album, Forever Changes.

The first track is from a Calexico show in Denver on October 19 of this year - their version has a great swinging mariachi feel.

The second comes from much-beloved (by me, anyway) defunct shoegazing outfit The Boo Radleys and taken from their compilation of early singles and EPs, Learning To Walk. Not surprisingly, it's heavy on the fuzz pedals and Sice's vocals are kinda flat.

Originally by : Love

November 16, 2003
Bjork & PJ Harvey - "Satisfaction"

Bjork and PJ Harvey covered The Rolling Stones classic "Satisfaction" at the 1995 Brit Awards. This is one of those tracks that's been circulating first on bootlegs, and then over the internet for years.

Originally by : The Rolling Stones

November 9, 2003
Royal City - "Is This It"

Taken from the Rough Trade 25th anniversary comp, Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before, Guelph's very own Royal City transform The Strokes' anthem of detached boredom into something actually possessing of heart and soul. Remarkable.

From the Three Gut Records website.

Originally by : The Strokes

November 2, 2003
My Bloody Valentine - "Map Ref 41N 93W"

I think I promised this one a while back - one of only a very very few post-Loveless tracks My Bloody Valentine ever released - this one from Whore - Various Artists Play Wire in 1996. This article gives all the background you need on the track. The only other thing you need to know is that it absolutely rocks. Ah, what could have been...

Originally by : Wire

October 26, 2003
Elliott Smith - "Thirteen"

Elliott Smith's passing this week left myself and countless others immensely saddened. This week's selection is a tribute to his life and his work, and hopes that he's found some sort of peace. Big Star's wistful ode to youth, "Thirteen", was a frequent part of Elliott's live set, but this version appears to be a properly recorded demo. Also, click here for a live version of the same song.

RIP, Elliott Smith.

Originally by : Big Star

October 19, 2003
Ben Gibbard - "St Swithin\'s Day"

I mentioned how Death Cab closed out their Toronto show on Thursday with a cover of Billy Bragg's "St Swithin's Day" and how that made me happy - a couple weeks ago Largehearted Boy posted this mp3 of Ben Gibbard performing the song during a solo show in Seattle back in July 2002 and for those who didn't get it, I'll put it up again.

It's a beautiful song, and I will take this opportunity to plug Billy's new compilation, Must I Paint You A Picture? : The Essential Billy Bragg, out now. The man's a brilliant songwriter - check it out.

Originally by : Billy Bragg

October 12, 2003
The Delgados - "California Uber Alles"

I wanted to do some more JD/NO covers, but current events forced my hand on this one. For their October 2002 John Peel Session, The Delgados did a few covers - one by ELO, one by The Symbols and one by The Dead Kennedys. You can hear the interview portion of the show here.

Hail, Arnold.

Originally by : The Dead Kennedys

October 5, 2003
Bedhead - "Disorder"

Consider it Joy Division cover week. I didn't even realize I had this one until I was listening to some Bedhead mp3s and thought, "hey - this sounds familiar". That's because it's the lead track off Unknown Pleasures, only thoroughly Bedhead-ized. This cover closes off Bedhead's creatively titled 4-songEP19:10 which, oddly enough, is a four-song EP that clocks in at nineteen minutes and ten seconds.

Originally by : Joy Division

September 28, 2003
Uncle Tupelo - "Blue Eyes"

1999's Return Of The Grievous Angel is the more high-profile Gram Parsons tribute album, but in 1993 Rhino released Conmemorativo, another tribute with a more countrified but still stellar lineup.

To this record Uncle Tupelo contributed a cover of "Blue Eyes", which dates back to Gram's first band, The International Submarine Band. The ISB released a single album, Safe At Home, before Parsons went on to make country-rock history with The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers.

Gram Parsons died 30 years ago last week, on September 19, 1973, at the age of 26.

Originally by : The International Submarine Band

September 21, 2003
Mojave 3 - "Queen Jane Approximately"

In celebration of the release of their new album Spoon And Rafter this Tuesday, I give you Mojave 3 doing Bob Dylan's "Queen Jane Approximately" for a radio session with Austin station KVRX in 1996 whilst promoting their sophomore album, Out Of Tune.

Originally by : Bob Dylan

September 14, 2003
Ride - "New Age"

By request for Gary - Ride's take on The Velvet Underground's "New Age", from Loaded. The Ride cover comes from the Firing Blanks rarities and unreleased material disc from the OX4 box set.

According to the liner notes, it was recorded in 1994 as a b-side for "How Does It Feel To Feel?" but was ditched in favour of "Walkabout". There is also a recording of Ride doing the Velvets' "European Son" somewhere, out there.

Originally by : The Velvet Underground

September 7, 2003
Mercury Rev - "Tugboat"

This week - Mercury Rev doing Galaxie 500's "Tugboat", an ode to the late Sterling Morrison of The Velvet Underground, who worked briefly as a tugboat captain after the demise of the VU.

Dean Wareham and Mercury Rev go way back - Wareham produced their early, excellent "Car Wash Hair" single after Dave Fridmann spent their advance money on a Bermuda vacation for his mother.

Originally by : Galaxie 500

August 31, 2003
Teenage Fanclub - "Tell Me What You See"

A couple weeks ago, I posted a track from Uncut's Why Don't We Do It In The Road? Beatles tribute compilation. Here's the other exclusive track from that comp, Teenage Fanclub doing "Tell Me What You See" from Help!. Though recorded recently, it has less of the polish of the last couple albums and more of the happy fuzz of Grand Prix. Good stuff.

Originally by : The Beatles

August 24, 2003
Son Volt - "Holocaust"

It's a beautiful summer day out, so naturally this calls for a truly mournful, heart-rending song. Big Star's original "Holocaust", from Third/Sister Lovers, is one of the most spooky and vicious pieces of pop music ever put to tape. Son Volt's version trades Alex Chilton's ghostly piano for some punishing Neil Young-ish guitar and ups the melancholy and resignation quota, though Jay Farrar could do that to a Denny's menu by reading it aloud. Taken from the promo-only Straightface EP.

Originally by : Big Star

August 17, 2003
Mogwai - "Honey"

I thought about doing something blackout-related this week, but that would require some digging through my collection and that smells an awful lot like work, so... no. Instead, I grabbed the first random cover I could find on my computer, and the lucky winner was Mogwai's contribution to the 1998 Tribute To Spacemen 3 album, "Honey". It reminds me that I still do not have Happy Songs For Happy People. I am a happy person, I deserve happy songs.

Originally by : Spacemen 3

August 10, 2003
The Flaming Lips - "After The Gold Rush"

Before their appearance on 90210 propelled them to superstardom, The Flaming Lips contributed this track to a Neil Young tribute album. The Bridge was meant as a benefit album for Neil's Bridge School for physically challenged children. Vintage acid-soaked Lips.

Originally by : Neil Young

August 3, 2003
Echo and The Bunnymen - "Ticket To Ride"

Scousers do Scousers. Cut exclusively for Uncut's Why Don't We Do It In The Road? compilation of Beatles covers, Echo & The Bunnymen take a swing at one of Liverpool's favorite sons' best tunes. The track opens with a brief, almost- comprehensible soundbite from Ian McCulloch.

Originally by : The Beatles

July 27, 2003
Pernice Brothers - "Talk Of The Town"

Talk about efficient - the Pernice Brothers covered The Pretenders' "Talk Of The Town" this past Tuesday at their show in Toronto, and here it is for your listening pleasure. Joe and the boys have been prepping this one in advance of opening for Chrissie Hynde's crew in Britain this August.

Originally by : The Pretenders

July 20, 2003
Fountains Of Wayne - "Better Days"

Not particularly rare, but a great great song. Fountains Of Wayne doing The Kinks' "Better Days", from the Ray Davies tribute album This Is Where I Belong (which is about as good as tribute albums get, IMO). One of those instances where a pop song really can make you feel better about everything. It took on a little extra resonance when they performed it on Conan O'Brien less than two weeks after September 11, 2001. The healing power of pop.

Originally by : The Kinks

July 13, 2003
The Posies - "I Am The Cosmos"

The Posies covered Big Star guitarist Chris Bell's "I Am The Cosmos" as the b-side to a 1992 7" featuring a cover of Big Star's "Feel". Bell left the band after their debut album, #1 Record, and would record an album's worth of material before being killed in a car accident. That album, I Am The Cosmos, is an essential companion piece to Third/Sister Lovers.

This track is also available on the Posies compilation, Dream All Day. I just wanted to say it came from the 7" cause it made me feel hipper.

Originally by : Chris Bell

July 6, 2003
Coffee Creek - "Roll Another Number"

In the waning days of Uncle Tupelo, the band played four gigs under the pseudonym of "Coffee Creek" for the purpose of just playing old country covers, one of which was this track off Neil Young's Tonight's The Night.

There's a writeup on Coffee Creek at the Postcard From Hell FAQ, in case you're curious. This track was taken from the Uncle Tupelo The Neil Young Connection bootleg.

Originally by : Neil Young & Crazy Horse

June 29, 2003
The 6ths - "Human"

Lloyd Cole assumed the role of 6ths vocalist for their contribution to the Human League tribute album Reproductions, released in 2000.

Thanks to Zach from Perlmunkee for providing me with this one.

Originally by : The Human League

June 22, 2003
Velocity Girl - "Your Silent Face"

As previously promised, this week's featured tune is born-again DC indie darlings Velocity Girl covering "Your Silent Face", originally by New Order. Taken from a 1994 7" on Merge, I thank 517 for providing me with the mp3.

Originally by : New Order

June 15, 2003
My Bloody Valentine - "We Have All The Time In The World"

You won't find much stranger bedfellows than archetypal shoegazers My Bloody Valentine and legendary jazzer Louis Armstrong, but here they are, happy together like chocolate and peanut butter. Released on the 1993 Northern Ireland benefit album, Peace Together, Kevin Shields' outfit produces a lush and lovely version of the classic Satchmo tune. This was one of the very last post-Loveless releases from MBV, the final one being a cover of Wire's "Map Ref 41N 93W", which I will post at a later date.

Originally by : Louis Armstrong

June 8, 2003
The Sunshine Fix - "A Day In The Life"

Two Beatles' covers in three weeks. What could it all mean?

The Sunshine Fix is thebilldoss half of Elephant 6 co-impressarios Olivia Tremor Control. As evidenced by their debut record, the Sunshine Fix were the pop half of OTC, and don't sound out of place at all taking a swing at one of the Beatles' greatest compositions. No idea where this track comes from, besides their official website.

Originally by : The Beatles

June 1, 2003
Bettie Serveert - "Get Me Away From Here I'm Dying"

A simple and spare reading of the Belle & Sebastian by Bettie Serveert, the best Dutch band since Golden Earring. I have no idea where it's from or where I got it - it's just Carol van Dijk with an acoustic guitar, but it's nice nonetheless.

Originally by : Belle & Sebastian

May 25, 2003
The Replacements - "Nowhere Man"

The Replacements did some great covers in their day. The date and location of this live version of The Beatles' "Nowhere Man" is unknown, but it appears on the Everybody Loves An Ego-Maniac bootleg. The sound quality is remarkable for an audience recording. Paul Westerberg took on this song again in 2001 for the I Am Sam soundtrack. The Mats' version is better.

Originally by : The Beatles

May 18, 2003
The Dismemberment Plan - "Close To Me"

From faithful tributes to whacked out overhauls, we bring you them all! The official track for this long weekend (and shortened work week) is The Dismemberment Plan hack apart The Cure's "Close To Me" and reassemble it in almost unrecognizable form. From the Give Me The Cure tribute album, released in 1996 and now out of print.

Originally by : The Cure

May 11, 2003
Elf Power - "Feel A Whole Lot Better"

Another quick one cause I'm tired. Elf Power tackling one of my favorite Byrds tunes. Taken from their split 7" with Great Lakes for the Kindercore 7" singles club.

Originally by : The Byrds

May 4, 2003
Luna - "Thank You For Sending Me An Angel"

This week's is short, cause I'm tired. Luna does Talking Heads. The original is from More Songs About Buildings And Food. The cover is from the Luna EP. Enjoy.

Originally by : Talking Heads

April 27, 2003
Fountains Of Wayne - "Baby, One More Time"

While no longer as timely as it was when it first came out, FOW's semi- legendary Britney Spears cover is still a bloody good reading of a well-written pop song. I am still looking for Richard Thompson's cover of "Oops I Did It Again". Full story on the FOW version here.

Originally by : Britney Spears

April 20, 2003
Teenage Fanclub - "Here Comes Your Man"

I damn well forgot about putting a new track up this week, so with no forethought I am dipping into my reserve of nice covers. Teenage Fanclub covered the Pixies' Doolittle classic "Here Comes Your Man" as a b-side for the Howdy! single, "I Need Direction".

Originally by : Pixies

April 13, 2003
Rilo Kiley - "After Hours"

This comes from a super-rare 7" that came with copies of Devil In The Woods magazine - only 666 copies were pressed, and they went to subscribers. Copies fetch ridiculous prices on eBay, mostly because of the a-side - an unreleased Bright Eyes song. Those kids do love Conor. This track, however, is from their labelmates Rilo Kiley - a fun cover of the Velvets' "After Hours".

Originally by : The Velvet Underground

April 6, 2003
The Cure - "Love Will Tear Us Apart"

This week, The Cure covering their mope-rock forebears Joy Division's most famous song. It was recorded for Australian radio station Triple J, the full story on how this track came to be can be found here. A pretty faitful interpretation.

Originally by : Joy Division

March 30, 2003
Pavement - "The Killing Moon"

This was one of my favorite Pavement tracks even before I went on this current Pavement jag. This is their cover of Echo & The Bunnymen's classic "The Killing Moon", done for a BBC radio session. It's surprisingly straight and sombre, with some terrific guitar work. Taken from either the What's Up Matador? compilation (where I took it) or Pavement's own Major Leagues EP.

Originally by : Echo & The Bunnymen

March 23, 2003
The Mountain Goats - "The Sign"

517 gave me this cover of the Ace Of Base mega-hit by lo-fi indie darlings The Mountain Goats. Short and sweet, it's too cute for words. Taken from their Bitter Melon Farm CD.

Originally by : Ace Of Base

March 16, 2003
Ian Brown - "Billie Jean"

A bit of a silly one this week - former Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown started doing Jacko covers live around 1999, and the fan response was so emphatic that he did up a proper studio version of "Billie Jean" and "Thriller" for release on a limited edition 12". I haven't heard the former, but here's the latter for your consideration. It's surprisingly funky and non-ironic, thank goodness. If someone does have the "Thriller" track, and would be kind enough to share...

Originally by : Michael Jackson

March 9, 2003
Wilco - "Burned"

This week, in keeping with my ongoing Wilco fixation - I present their cover of Neil Young's "Burned". Okay, technically it's a Buffalo Springfield track, but who's keeping score? From the soundtrack to I Shot Andy Warhol, which actually features some top-notch music. In fact, I think I'm going to find it and buy it. Check it out here.

Originally by : Buffalo Springfield

March 2, 2003
The Shins - "We Will Become Silhouettes"

I usually don't post anything quite so current, but this week I'm making an exception because a) I love The Shins, b) I love this Postal Service disc more and more with each listen. This track is taken from the Such Great Heights EP, which in addition to two Postal Service songs, included two covers of Postal Service tunes by other SubPop artists. Iron & Wine did the other cover of the title track. If you like this track, go buy the Postal Service album. And buy the Shins album. And buy me a pizza.

Originally by : The Postal Service

February 23, 2003
Lush - "All This Useless Beauty"

Picking up where last week's track left off - submitted for your approval, dearly departed shoegazers Lush doing an officially sanctioned cover of Elvis Costello's lovely "All This Useless Beauty". How officially sanctioned? It appeared as a b-side on EC's You Bowed Down single. Hence the pic of smirky Declan, and not Miki and Emma.

Originally by : Elvis Costello & The Attractions

February 16, 2003
Elvis Costello & The Brodsky Quartet - "God Only Knows"

Guaranteed not to be as popular as last week's track (almost 100 downloads!) but nonetheless, one I like a lot. From Elvis Costello's eclectic mid-90s period, this is a live recording with the Brodsky Quartet from the Town Hall in New York in March 1993 of the Beach Boys classic, "God Only Knows". I do love a string section. Taken from a Warner/Reprise compilation available only from the dearly departed Option magazine.

Originally by : The Beach Boys

February 9, 2003
The Flaming Lips - "Can't Get You Out Of My Head"

From the promo-only Yoshimi Wins! EP, it's The Lips doing a live cover of Kylie Minogue, turning lightweight fluf into something considerably darker and even a little sinister... maybe it's just the timpani rolls. I am a sucker for timpani rolls. Could you just imagine if they'd done a video for this? Wow.

Originally by : Kylie Minogue

February 2, 2003
Superchunk - "Girl U Want"

NOT a Smiths cover. Celebrate the shortest month of the year with the shortest song I've posted. Taken from Freedom Of Choice, a collection of 80s New Wave songs covered by indie rock luminaries circa 1992, here we have Superchunk doing a hyper enough take on Devo's "Girl U Want".

Originally by : Devo

January 26, 2003
Low - "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me"

Another Smiths cover, but this one is not romping any any way, shape or form. Duluth's favorite Mormons, Low, take one of the Moz's most forlorn tunes and really make it mournful. No mean feat.

Originally by : The Smiths

January 19, 2003
Supergrass - "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others"

My covers kick continues. And will probably continue to do so for the next while... I've got some cool ones I'd like to put up. Maybe I'll even ask youse guys which ones you want.

This week - Supergrass doing a romping version of The Smiths' "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others". From The Sun Hits The Sky single.

Originally by : The Smiths

January 12, 2003
The Pernice Brothers - "Love My Way"

Joe Pernice does love his early 80s British mope rock - file this cover of The Psychedelic Furs' "Love My Way" beside his readings of New Order's "Leave Me Alone" and the Chameleons' "Up The Down Escalator" (which if anyone has on mp3, I would dearly love a copy!) Taken from the Clear Spot EP.

Originally by : The Psychedelic Furs

January 5, 2003
Spoon - "Decora"

Happy New Year - just found this little gem. From their Anything You Want 7", Spoon leaving their mark on the leadoff track from Yo La Tengo's Elect-O-Pura. They strip away the psychadelic haze and replace it with swagger and ineffable cool.

Originally by : Yo La Tengo