MP3 Of The Week

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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 - 2006

December 31, 2006
Band Of Horses - "The End's Not Near"

On paper, the OC Volume 6 soundtrack sounded like a pretty good idea - indie bands covering other indie bands - but as it turned out, most of it ranged from uninspired to insiped. The one exception was Band Of Horses, who had one of the best debut records of 2006, tackling The New Year, a personal fave who will hopefully have a new record in '07 are always seasonal at this time of the year. Enjoy, and have a happy new year.

Originally by : The New Year

December 24, 2006
Yo La Tengo - "Rock N Roll Santa"

Yo La Tengo may be famous for their annual Hannakuh concerts at Maxwells in New Jersey, but they also love Christmas. Witness the Merry Christmas From Yo La Tengo EP they released in very limited numbers in 2002 which contained three holiday-themed covers, including this one from Chicago "outsider" musician Jan Terri. Because everyone needs a rock'n'roll Santa. And for more Christmas covers (well, mostly) check on today's post.

Originally by : Jan Terri

December 17, 2006
Pulp - "All Time High"

This year we got one of the best Bond films in many years with Casino Royale, but it was sadly accompanied by one of the worst theme songs ever, courtesy of Chris Cornell. By comparison, one of the lesser Bond films - 1983's Octopussy - had a pretty sweet theme song in Rita Coolidge's "All Time High". Pulp, whose Jarvis Cocker released his first solo album this Fall, covered this one for Shaken And Stirred, a Bond theme tribute project assembled by composer David Arnold in 1997.

Originally by : Rita Coolidge

December 10, 2006
The Lemonheads - "Live Forever"

If you were around during the big alt.rock boom of the 1990s, then you know that "live forever" was pretty much the last thing anyone expected Evan Dando of The Lemonheads to do - "live fast, die young and leave a beautiful corpse" seemed very much more in line with his philosophy. And yet ten years on, Dando is still standing with a new album and a show at Lee's Palace on Tuesday. Who'd have guessed? Oasis, another band that looked like they weren't long for this world at various points in the past decade, are also still kicking having just released their best-of Stop The Clocks last month. This track originally appeared on The Lemonheads' "It's All True" single, circa 1996's Car Button Cloth.

Originally by : Oasis

December 3, 2006
Slowdive - "Some Velvet Morning"

Lee Hazlewood casts a large shadow over American music as a singer, songwriter and producer. So it's a bittersweet occasion that his new album Cake Or Death, out on Tuesday, will almost certainly be his last as the 77-year old has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Slowdive's version of one of his most enduring songs, a duet with Nancy Sinatra was appended as a bonus track on the US version of Souvlaki and also on the double-disc reissue of said album last year.

Originally by : Lee Hazlewood & Nancy Sinatra

November 26, 2006
Sloan - "Over You"

Originally released on the short-lived Enclave label in the US, One Chord To Another was Sloan's third album - and to many their best. The American edition came with a special bonus disc entitled Live At A Sloan Party! that featured recordings of the band goofing around on originals and covers, though not actually at a party as the band would have you believe. Patrick Pentland explained the origins of the record from whence came this Roxy Music cover, sung by Jay. Sloan just released their eigth studio full-length in Never Hear The End Of It and are at the Kool Haus on the 30th.

Originally by : Roxy Music

November 19, 2006
Cat Power - "Wonderwall"

Cat Power recorded this cover of Oasis' most famous, if not greatest (I don't think so) song for John Peel in 2000. She replaces the Gallagher's snottiness for smokiness and the song is all the better for it. She plays The Phoenix on Wednesday night while Oasis release their "don't call it a best-of" best-of Stop The Clocks this Tuesday.

Originally by : Oasis

November 12, 2006
Voxtrot - "Love Vigilantes"

While their debut full-length isn't due out until next Spring, Austin popsters Voxtrot have kept a steady trickle of new music flowing to tantalize their fans - the Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives EP back in the Spring, the new Your Biggest Fan EP last week and back in May, they opened up their vaults (more like a safety deposit box, really) and offered up a handful of live tracks and covers to download from their website, including this New Order cover recorded live in Brooklyn circa last December.

Originally by : New Order

November 5, 2006
Robyn Hitchcock - "The Wind Cries Mary"

Quintiessential English eccentric Robyn Hitchcock made his name with groundbreaking psychedelic pop combo The Soft Boys but also a fruitful solo career, part of which was documented by Jonathan Demme in the 1998 concert film Storefront Hitchcock. This Jimi Hendrix cover comes from appeared on the soundtrack but not the film, and anyway this is a different version than appears on the CD. I've no idea where it comes from, but it sounds good. Check out this review of the film and check out Hitchcock and his new band the Venus 3 are at the Mod Club this Friday night.

Originally by : The Jimi Hendrix Experience

October 29, 2006
Ted Leo - "Dancing In The Dark"

New Jersey represent! One proud son of the Garden State pays tribute to another as Ted Leo covers The Boss in what sounds like an acoustic radio session. Though he's never played this one at any of the shows I've been to, it does crop up in his set list periodically. Maybe he'll whip it out on one of the two nights he'll be at Massey Hall this week opening for Death Cab.

Originally by : Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band

October 22, 2006
Bright Eyes - "The Biggest Lie"

It was three years ago yesterday, October 21, 2003, that Elliott Smith passed from this world, leaving it a slightly less beautiful place for his absence. It's a testament to the strength of his songwriting that even Conor Oberst's best/worst "singing through an oscillating fan" vibrato can't diminish the loveliness of this song. It appeared on Motion Sickness, the live Bright Eyes album released in late 2005. They will release Noise Floor, a collection of rarities, this Tuesday.

Originally by : Elliott Smith

October 15, 2006
Mojave 3 - "No Matter What You Do"

This is turnin' into some sorta' Mojave 3-lovin' week or somethin'. In celebration - yes, it's cause for celebrating - of their show at the Mod Club tomorrow night, here's a Love cover the band recorded for the film A Walk On The Moon way back in 1999. Bright, jangly, and ultra-compact, this was the peppiest thing the band had recorded to date but kept perfectly with the sun-drenched California vibe of their latest album at that point, 1998's Out Of Tune.

Originally by : Love

October 8, 2006
Portastatic - "Echoes Myron"

I've actually posted this one before, over two years ago, but a) it's good and b) it's perfectly timed for this week, so humour me. And how many of you were really here two years ago? Come on. Anyway, Portatstatic will release their second album of the year, Be Still Please on Tuesday and you can probably find it filed alongside the new Robert Pollard album Normal Happiness, which is also his second of the year and is also out on Tuesday. How crazy is that? Anyway, Portastatic contributed a cover of Guided By Voices' "Echos Myron" to the Blatant Doom Trip GBV tribute album waaay back in 1998.

See? Perfect pick for this week. AND I just saw Portastatic in Montreal Thursday night. Destiny, I tell ya.

Originally by : Guided By Voices

October 1, 2006
The Decemberists - "Bridges & Balloons"

The Decemberists, who will release their third album and major-label debut on Tuesday in The Crane Wife, spruced up the vinyl release of their last album Picaresque with a 6-song EP of bonus tracks that they dubbed Picarequities. Included on that extra side was this cover of Joanna Newsom's "Bridges & Balloons", whose distinctive songwriting is a rather natural choice for Colin Meloy to tackle. Newsom, who will release her second album Ys on November 14, will be at the Mod Club on Wednesday and the Decemberists are at the Kool Haus on November 6.

Originally by : Joanna Newsom

September 24, 2006
Billy Bragg - "Positively 4th Street"

Alternating Dylan month continues! I've no idea when this live recording of Billy Bragg covering one of Bob's more wonderfully nasty songs is from, nor who he's duetting with - any info is appreciated - but I likes it, I does. Billy's second box set of the year covering the second half of his discography - Volume 2 - is out on October 17 and he'll be playing selections from that era at the Danforth Music Hall tonight. Great envy to those who are able to go.

Thanks to Thomas for the tip that Billy is likely duetting with Eliza Carthy.

Originally by : Bob Dylan

September 17, 2006
The Mountain Goats - "Sometimes I Still Feel The Bruise"

Breakups are the theme of the day on the new Mountain Goats album Get Lonely, and for my money there's none better versed (or as masochistic) as Bobby Wratten of Trembling Blue Stars (he formed the band with the girl he broke up with and about whom all the songs were about). So while it almost certainly wasn't meant to foreshadow his next move, John Darnielle's choice to cover TBS on the recent Australia-only (but reasonably buyable elsewhere) Babylon Springs EP proved to be a pretty prescient one. The Mountain Goats are at Lee's Palace on Tuesday.

Originally by : Trembling Blue Stars

September 10, 2006
Yo La Tengo - "It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry"

Queen, Dylan, Queen, Dylan… Yo La Tengo! Hoboken's finest will release their new record I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass will be in stores this Tuesday, and in tribute, here's a Dylan cover they did for the BBC session a while back (comes courtesy of Kwaya Na Kisser), turning one of Bob's more rolicking numbers into a slow, atmospheric meditation. Yo La Tengo are in town at the Phoenix October 2 and El Bob is at the ACC November 7.

Originally by : Bob Dylan

September 3, 2006
The Flaming Lips - "Bohemian Rhapsody"

Wayne Coyne does love a singalong. In this live recording of The Flaming Lips covering Queen at SxSW earlier this year, he spends as much time trying to get the audience to join him in the song as he does singing it. And judging from their show at Lollapalooza last month, he'll be doing the same here in Toronto when they headline day one of Virgin Music Festival next weekend. They recorded a studio version of the song for the Killer Queen tribute album and are perfectly suited to the task - I just like the live one better. Photo of the Lips at SxSW from here.

Originally by : Queen

August 27, 2006
M Ward, Conor Oberst & Jim James - "Girl From The North Country"

This week's selection is a no-brainer for one as obsessed with proper context as I. Taken from the Monsters Of Folk tour featuring Matt Ward, Conor Oberst and Jim James in 2004, this Dylan cover is like a perfect storm of relevance. M Ward's Post-War is out this week, as is Bob Dylan's Modern Times, My Morning Jacket release their double-live album Okonokos on September 26 and the Bright Eyes rarities compilation Noise Floor is out on October 24. Ward is also in town September 11 at the Mod Club and Dylan at the ACC on November 7. This track originally appeared on a Mojo magazine Dylan tribute compilation.

Originally by : Bob Dylan

August 20, 2006
Crooked Fingers - "Under Pressure"

Former Archer Of Loaf and Crooked Finger leader Eric Bachmann went solo this week with the release of To The Races. This Queen (featuring David Bowie) cover came from the Crooked Fingers covers EP Reservoir Songs. In lesser hands it could have been jokey or ironic, but in Bachmann's crooked fingers it's ragged but upright and dignified.

Bachmann plays the Horseshoe on September 16.

Originally by : Queen with David Bowie

August 13, 2006
Ride - "The Model"

Next Wednesday night at The Boat in Kensington Tranzac in The Annex, there will be held a Shoegaze Cover Show featuring performances from such Toronto luminaries as Fjord Rowboat and The Diableros. Yours truly will apparently be DJ-ing the night - seriously - and to get in shape, here's Ride, who will surely be covered more than once, covering Kraftwerk, who will surely not be covered at all. It originally appeared on the NME's 1992 Ruby Trax compilation.

Originally by : Kraftwerk

August 6, 2006
The Go! Team - "Bull In The Heather"

When Sonic Youth tapped The Go! Team to open up for them on their North American tour, they got so excited they went straight out and covered them. This track was posted on their MySpace page a little while back and is pretty faithful, considering the principals involved. More handclaps, though. And cheerleader singing. Sonic Youth and The Go! Team are at the Kool Haus in Toronto on Tuesday and played Lollapalooza in Chicago this weekend.

Originally by : Sonic Youth

July 30, 2006
Sonic Youth - "I Know There's An Answer"

When Sonic Youth record a cover, you can usually expect it to be at least a little off-kilter or unique - so it's rather surprising how straight and faithful their take on the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds classic is. It originally appeared on Smiles, Vibes And Harmony, a punk tribute to the Beach Boys and was also included on the deluxe reissue of Goo a couple years back. Sonic Youth released their new album Rather Ripped last month and have a show at the Kool Haus next Tuesday. I will be seeing them at Lollapalooza in Chicago this weekend.

Originally by : The Beach Boys

July 23, 2006
Sufjan Stevens - "What Goes On"

One of the main complaints with last year's star-studded yet lacklustre This Bird Has Flown tribute to The Beatles' Rubber Soul is that the covers, by and large, were so faithful as to be pretty much unnecessary.

One notable exception is Sufjan Stevens' take on "What Goes On", which turns the country bounce of the original into a spinning, orchestral whirligig - in other words, standard Sufjan. Stevens' album of Illinois outtakes, The Avalanche, came out earlier this month.

Originally by : The Beatles

July 16, 2006
Slowdive - "Golden Hair"

Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett passed away late last week, and though his formal recorded output is relatively miniscule, his influence was and will remain huge. Not surprisingly, his shadow loomed large over the shoegazers of the early 90s, including Slowdive who recorded this cover of a Joyce poem set to music on Barrett's The Madcap Laughs, making it sound like it was recorded by Gregorian monks in a cathedral and appending an appropriately dreamy coda. A studio version originally appeared on their Holding Our Breath EP but this superior version comes from a 1991 Peel Session that wasn't unearthed until the Catch The Breeze best-of in 2004 which featured both versions of the song. They also both appeared on the bonus disc of the Just For A Day reissue in 2005.

Originally by : Syd Barrett

July 9, 2006
Golden Smog - "Shooting Star"

Another Fine Day, the first new Golden Smog album since 1998's Weird Tales, arrives in stores next week which makes this as good a time as any to look back at their very first release. Featuring a lineup of Minneapolis rockers playing under pseudonyms (what's your Golden Smog name?), On Golden Smog was a fun and loose EP of covers, including this one originally by British classic rockers Bad Company and sung by Soul Asylum's (and occasional Smogger) Dave Pirner. The new Soul Asylum record, The Silver Lining, is out this week.

Originally by : Bad Company

July 2, 2006
Wilco - "I Shall Be Released"

Wilco are back in town this Friday and you can bet I'm excited about it. The last time they played Massey Hall in October of 2004, Garth Hudson of The Band joined them onstage and lent his formidable keyboard skills to their second encore. No idea if he'll be in attendance again this time but if so, maybe they could trot out this number they performed at their New Year's Eve show in New York City in 2004. I think he knows the parts.

Originally by : The Band

June 25, 2006
Jose Gonzalez - "Teardrop"

Sweden's Jose Gonzalez is as well known for his unconventional covers as he is for his own mesmerizing material. This Massive Attack cover dispenses with everything you thought was essential - the creeping electronic ambience and Liz Fraser's ethereal voice - and yet even stripped down to voice and guitar, remains compelling. Gonzalez is in town tomorrow for a show at Trinity-St Paul's.

Originally by : Massive Attack

June 18, 2006
Luna - "Sweet Child O' Mine"

This Tuesday the Luna retrospective machine kicks into high gear as The Best Of Luna CD, Tell Me Do You Miss Me farewell tour documentary DVD and Lunafied online-only covers album are all released.

This Guns'N'Roses track appeared on The Days Of Our Nights as a bit of a throwaway but this particular performance comes from a radio session done for NPR's World Cafe. Click here to hear the interview bit that prefaced the performance. Thanks to Head Full Of Wishes for the track.

Originally by : Guns'N'Roses

June 11, 2006
Mojave 3 - "Girl From The North Country"

The new Mojave 3 album Puzzles Of You doesn't come out this week, but it did last week in the US and will be out next week in the UK and Canada (and elsewhere). It's far and away their peppiest record yet and as much of a departure as it is for the band, it's also one of their strongest albums yet and certainly one of the best releases by anyone this year. So what you won't find on Puzzles are tracks like this Dylan cover, which was a b-side for their "Return To Sender" single circa Excuses For Travelers and clocks in at more than 7 minutes of slow, mournful folkiness.

Originally by : Bob Dylan

June 4, 2006
Lambchop - "Beyond Belief"

As Elvis Costello finally surrenders to middle age with jazz albums and casino tours (his The River In Reverse album with Allen Toussaint is out on Tuesday and he plays Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls on July 7 and 8), it seems a good time to recall some of his angrier younger man works, courtesy of Lambchop.

Their cover of the lead track from Imperial Bedroom appeared on two comps, New Sounds Of The Old West Vol 2 and Beyond Nashville: The Twisted Heart Of Country Music, before finally appearing on the band's own The Decline Of The Country & Western Civilization (1993-99) comp earlier this year. Their new album, Damaged, is out August 22.

Originally by : Elvis Costello & The Attractions

May 28, 2006
Ted Leo - "The Ballad Of El Goodo"

The Big Star tribute album Big Star Small World, which had been presumed dead and buried, actually came out last week - long after I'd already posted a good number of tracks from it as past MP3s of the week...

But wonder of wonders I still have a Big Star cover NOT from the album - this one by Ted Leo was done for a WFMU radio session - or something - earlier this year. Read about it here. And Ted should have a new album out before year's end. Hopefully.

Originally by : Big Star

May 21, 2006
R.E.M. - "Academy Fight Song"

How influential are American punk rock legends Mission Of Burma? So much so that hugely influential bands like R.E.M. hold them up as influences. They will release their second post-resurrection album The Obliterati this Tuesday and will follow that up with a show at the Horseshoe on July 26. R.E.M. recorded a cover of MoB's first single, "Academy Fight Song", for a 1989 fan club-only flexidisc but this is a live version taken from some era unknown to me. And MoB fans take note - I'll have a pretty sweet contest running later this week.

Thanks to Annie for the info that the track is from an April 1989 Miami show that was radio broadcast (more info here). I guess that makes my pic of shorn Stipey chronologically incorrect.

Originally by : Mission Of Burma

May 14, 2006
Ivy - "Streets Of Your Town"

Grant McLennan, co-founder of the seminal Australian pop band The Go-Betweens passed away suddenly and tragically last week. In tribute, here's New York City's Ivy covering one of the Go-Betweens' finest songs, "Streets Of Your Town" from 1988's 16 Lovers Lane, their last album for 12 years. This cover appeared on Ivy's Guestroom covers album. Rest easy, Mr McLennan.

Originally by : The Go-Betweens

May 7, 2006
Grandaddy - "Here"

One dearly-departed NoCal band is covered by another this week. Modesto's Grandaddy, who will release their swan song Just Like the Fambly Cat this Tuesday paid tribute to Stockton's Pavement at Bonnaroo, 2004. It's a fitting song selection, as well, as the opening line of "I was dressed for success but success it never came" could be a fitting epitaph for both bands.

Originally by : Pavement

April 30, 2006
Calexico - "Love Will Tear Us Apart"

Perhaps people suprised and confused by the pop-friendly, vocal-heavy turn Calexico took on their latest record Garden Ruin should have seen it coming when the desert-rock artisans tried their hand at the Joy Division classic with… interesting results. Often a feature of their live shows, the band recorded this studio version for Starbucks' Sweetheart 2005 compilation. Though the original would seem an odd choice for the Starbucks crowd, Calexico soften the edges trading in the tension and anxiety of the original for a softly romantic feel. Aww. Garden Ruin came out earlier this month and the band is at the Phoenix on July 6.

Originally by : Joy Division

April 23, 2006
Drive-By Truckers - "Like A Rolling Stone"

Last Tuesday brought A Blessing And A Curse, the latest album from the Drive-By Truckers, at least in America - it's apparently delayed till late May up here. But that's neither here nor there. Early pressings of the album sold through indie retailers will come with a limited edition EP which will include this Dylan cover, originally done for one of Uncut's magazine cover CDs. All the Truckers take turns singing lead on each verse, including bassist Shonna Tucker contributing her first DBT vocal.

Originally by : Bob Dylan

April 16, 2006
Built To Spill - "Someday"

This title of this week's selection could have been Built To Spill's stock answer to the question of "when's the new album coming out?" for the last few years, but finally, it's here. You In Reverse, their first studio album since 2001's Ancient Melodies Of The Future, came out last Tuesday and is a fine effort indeed. The band they covered in this September 2003 recording from Irving Plaza in NYC, The Strokes, also released an album this year but by most accounts it's not nearly as good as their 2001 effort on which "Someday" originally appeared... The Strokes play the Ricoh Coliseum on May 6, Built To Spill are at the Town Ballroom in Buffalo on September 30. Yeah, that's as close as they'll get.

Originally by : The Strokes

April 9, 2006
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs - "Hyper-Ballad"

I'm not especially a fan of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but this cover of probably my favourite Bjork song, recorded acoustically a couple years ago for an XFM radio session, I have no unkind words for. The band released their new album Show Your Bones a couple of weeks ago and are in town for a sold-out show at the Kool Haus on April 10th.

Originally by : Bjork

April 2, 2006
The Flaming Lips - "Life On Mars?"

It's Flaming Lips week! Their new album, At War With The Mystics, comes out on Tuesday and they'yre celebrating with a super-intimate (for them) and sold-out show at the Phoenix that evening. Their long-awaited/dreaded Christmas On Mars film is also supposed to finally come out this Summer.

This David Bowie cover has been kicking around for a while - this version originally appeared on a 1993 7" flexidisc, but I got it from Music For Kids Who Can't Read Good. I also have a less distorted radio session version, but it gets cut off at the end. Anyone have a better copy?

Originally by : David Bowie

March 26, 2006
The Concretes - "Miss You"

Sweden's largest pop collective The Concretes recorded this frankly creepy cover of the Rolling Stones classic tune as a b-side for the "Say Something New" single. It also appeared on the odds-and-sods compilation Layyourbattleaxedown. Their new album, In Colour, comes out next week and they kick off their North American tour at the Horseshoe in Toronto on May 4.

Originally by : The Rolling Stones

March 19, 2006
Arcade Fire - "Maps"

2006 should see the sophomore efforts from two of indie's most celebrated (and scrutinized) bands. New York City's Yeah Yeah Yeahs will release their second album Show Your Bones next Tuesday and Montreal's Arcade Fire should have the follow-up to Funeral ready before the year is out. This cover of the former by the latter was taken from their appearance on the BBC's Live Lounge show last September. It starts a little slow but manages to reach great heights in just three minutes. Excellent.

Originally by : The Yeah Yeah Yeahs

March 12, 2006
Six By Seven - "Pull The Wires From The Wall"

Nottingham's Six By Seven release what will hopefully be the first of many posthumous releases next week with Club Sandwich At The Peveril Hotel. It's a collection of tracks that were actually recorded for a post-Six By Seven project, but Chris Olley decided to release them under the 6x7 moniker. The band they're covering, Scotland's Delgados, also split up last Summer, and have also gotten into the attic-cleaning mode, recently announcing that they'll be putting out a double-disc compilation of their BBC Peel Session recordings later this Spring. This track originally appeared on the limited edition Fierce Panda compilation Cheffing And Blinding.

Originally by : The Delgados

March 5, 2006
The Wedding Present - "Where Everybody Knows Your Name"

I've been sitting on this one a while - I'd originally planned to do a post with a bunch of covers of TV theme songs, but that hasn't happened in three years now and there's no real reason to expect it ever will… So here's this one - originally the b-side of the "Montreal" 7", this cover of the Cheers theme song seems like an odd pick but The Wedding Present have always had a real flair for a) picking offbeat covers and b) making them work. This is no exception - it makes you wonder what Cheers would have been like if it hosted an indie dance night. The Wedding Present play Lee's Palace this Friday, and if you've never seen Cheers, get the hell off my site.

Originally by : Gary Portnoy & Judy Hart Agnello

February 26, 2006
Neko Case - "Buckets Of Rain"

Neko Case releases her new album Fox Confessor Brings The Flood next Tuesday and advance reaction seems to indicate that it may be her best record yet. She gives this Bob Dylan cover a jaunty, bouncier feel, but at the cost of some of the resignation and melancholy of the original. It was recorded in San Francisco in July of 2004 when she was on tour with frequent collaborators Calexico.

Originally by : Bob Dylan

February 19, 2006
Billy Bragg - "Seven And Seven Is"

Billy Bragg will release his Volume 1 7-disc (or is it 9?) box set this week, compiling his first four albums and loads of bonus materials. Despite the title, this is really his second box set - the first being the comparatively dinky Must I Paint You A Picture? set, which came out just a few years ago. Technically it was just a two-disc best-of collection but any fan worth their salt sought out the limited-edition three-disc set for the rarities disc, from which this raucous Love cover was taken. He may be a folksinger, but the man can rock out too. The Barking Bard is in town for a solo show at the Opera House in three weeks. You should really be there.

Originally by : Love

February 12, 2006
Isobel Campbell - "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)"

It's been almost four years since Isobel Campbell left Belle & Sebastian, but she's been putting out solo records since 1999, first as The Gentle Waves and then under her own name. Her early stuff was fey and twee and all sorts of other adjectives that imply whispery folk songs, but in the last few years she's begun to dabble in some new sounds with a decidedly darker, country-ish bent, seeming using Nancy Sinatra as a role model, even going so far as to find her own Lee Hazlewood-like foil in Mark Langean, with whom she made her new album Ballad Of The Broken Seas, which came out last week. This cover of Sinatra's Sonny Bono-penned tune was used to great effect in the Kill Bill films and appeared on her 2004 EP Time Is Just The Same. She's in town for a show at Revival next month.

Originally by : Nancy Sinatra

February 5, 2006
Belle & Sebastian - "Here Comes The Sun"

Belle & Sebastian have performed many far more interesting covers than this one, but unfortunately I don't have decent audio versions of many of them. So, in celebration of the release of The Life Pursuit on Tuesday, I'll post this one, which is really a throwback to their pop-pop days of yore, and not the soul combo they've evolved into. And it's The Beatles. Come on. But if you've got more interesting B&S covers of good audio quality, please share.

Originally by : The Beatles

January 29, 2006
Low - "Transmission"

I understand a lot of long-time fans were really turned off by Low's decision to rock out (relatively speaking) on their last album, The Great Destroyer. I thought it was one of their very best, personally, but can understand why their fans might prefer the clasically slow and, well, slow sounds of their older material. Like this Joy Division cover that was the title track of a 1996 EP (it also appeared on the Means To An End JD tribute album a few years later. The new rocktastic Low are at Lee's Palace on Tuesday.

Originally by : Joy Division

January 22, 2006
Rilo Kiley - "Rock'N'Roll Suicide"

It's Rilo Kiley week, even though the band itself isn't doing much of anything right now. Instead, this Tuesday sees the release of Jenny Lewis's album with The Watson Twins, Rabbit Fur Coat, as well as the sophomore effort from Blake Sennett's The Elected, Sun Sun Sun. The cover of choice is taken from their January 21, 2004 show in New York City and is timely as the Thin White Duke turned 59 two weeks ago.

Originally by : David Bowie

January 15, 2006
Cat Power - "We Dance"

Cat Power releases her long-awaited new album The Greatest next Tuesday. Though a fine songwriter in her own right, Ms Marshall has always had a knack for uniquely reinterpreting others' songs - she did record an entire album of covers, after all. This particular one of her one-time labelmates Pavement appeared on a compilation of live tracks from Portland radio station KBOO's "Drinking From Puddles" show, and you can get it here.

Originally by : Pavement

January 8, 2006
Final Fantasy - "This Modern Love"

This week, we've got one of 2005's rookies of the year covering another. Final Fantasy have created a masterful, live violin-and-drums version of Bloc Party's "This Modern Love" that maintains all the tension and intensity of the original. I like how the audience starts out laughing, thinking it's some sort of ironic dig, but by the end are totally into it. There's a video of this performance floating out there in the internet ether, as well. Worth looking for. Final Fantasy headlines the launch party for this year's Over The Top Fest this Wednesday at the Great Hall on Queen St W.

Originally by : Bloc Party

January 1, 2006
The Strokes - "Clampdown"

Happy New Year! I don't much like The Strokes, but oddly I usually do like their covers. For some reason, they always sound far more energetic when doing other folks' material. Here, they tackle the Clash classic live and they don't botch it up... too much. The Strokes' new album First Impressions Of Earth is out this week, and it was the third anniversary of Joe Strummer's untimely passing just a week and a half ago.

Originally by : The Clash