Undercover 2012

2 Jun

My apologies for being MIA for the last two months. It certainly wasn’t due to a lack of musical ideas or inspirations. In fact, quite the opposite! I have so many topics that I want to share with you all; the Newport Folk Festival line-up and quick sell-out, the best sites for streaming music, some new favorite bands, as well as some amazing music by some of my friends’ husbands. Sadly, I could not seem to find enough time to get the ideas out of my head and onto the “paper”, so to speak.

So enough with the excuses…time to start writing.

I’ve been wanting to write about cover songs for quite some time. My last two posts (about the band Walk Off The Earth) were actually covers, but I did not take the time to write about the topic more generally. I’ve always found covers to be compelling as they almost instantly pull you in and grab your attention. There is no musical courting going on; no time necessary to become familiar with the music and lyrics and ultimately decide whether the relationship will be a long-term one. Cover songs typically offer their listeners instant gratification, unless of course the newer version is a lousy cover and instead just makes you pine for the original. But if done well, a good cover tune is like a old favorite t-shirt that you never had to wear in. It is just instantly awesome.

I recently stumbled across “A.V. Undercover” which is a music-video series that invites 25 bands to the A.V. Club Office to select from a pre-selected list of 25 songs. As songs are chosen, they are crossed off the list and the next band chooses from the remaining songs. The first video that I saw from this series was Punch Brothers’ cover of “Just What I Needed” by The Cars. I grew up listening to The Cars (Rick Ocasek lived down the road from us) and I have always loved their music. I really enjoyed Punch Brothers’ cover and was impressed with the use of so many string instruments. As a side note, Punch Brothers are playing at the Newport Folk Festival this summer. I won’t be there the day that they are are playing. But I’m thrilled that I am getting to go at all, as tickets sold out insanely fast this year. But that is a post for another day….

For now, sit back and enjoy Punch Brothers’ version of “Just What I Needed”:

If you want to check out other covers from the A.V. Undercover series, you can go here (be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page).

And if you are craving some more covers, you can listen to my latest playlist that I posted to 8tracks: http://8tracks.com/mixes/815519/player_v3_universal

You can also use any of these links to get directly to the 8tracks website: Undercover Covers from melissakagan on 8tracks.

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