Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Super Tuesday: Cover Edition

By Justin Cates

Any time spent on YouTube invariably leads to unearthing some strange things. When you're into music, this is a good thing.

It's very easy to get lost on that website, so I'm not even really sure how I got to these but they're all cool.

The first cover is The Avett Brothers taking on a personal favorite of mine "In The Aeroplane Over The Sea" by Neutral Milk Hotel.

The brothers laid back style fits the mood of this tune pretty perfectly and the smoother, quieter vocals give it a slightly more somber quality than the original desperate wail of NMH frontman Jeff Mangum.

While there's no one playing a saw or trombone like the original cut, the instrumentation works quite well here.

The next cover comes from the 2010 Halloween show put on by Phish. Every Halloween, the group picks a band they've been influenced by and they do a "Musical Costume" show covering an album by said group.

For this particular concert they chose one of the best live albums of all time, Little Feat's Waiting For Columbus.

The whole show is worth checking out and it's all on YouTube. I've chosen to feature the cover of "Spanish Moon" because I think it's one of the best grooves you'll ever come across and Trey Anastasio alludes to it being one of their favorites too.

A few vocal flubs aside, this rendition is very faithful to the original right down to Trey's solo which is very reminiscent of the tasteful extended melodic lines originally played by Lowell George.

The last one is the biggest surprise here. Don't get mad. It's Miley Cyrus covering Dolly Parton's country standard "Jolene".

It's not shocking that she would cover it being from a country music family. It's slightly more unexpected that I like it and further surprising that's it's actually quite good.

To be fair, I don't think anything about this was recorded in her backyard as the video would suggest.

From the guitar tone to the fact that there's a clear breeze blowing the whole time that isn't noticable, there's a clear coat of studio sheen here.

None the less, the vocal doesn't really sound like it was significantly tampered with and Miley really kills it. I feel like perhaps I've been to hard on her regarding all the garbage pop music she churns out. Hopefully she can make some cool stuff down the line that shows off her natural ability.

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