Friday, December 23, 2011

Top 10 Covers of 2011 (Yes, Well...I Do What I Want)

This year was also fairly amazing, as far as cover songs go. I couldn't really help myself, so I decided to make a separate list. I love making lists. I'm very listy.

At first I wasn't going to order them, but what is the fun in that? Especially when there is obviously a pecking order here. The husband might disagree with some of my more generous rankings, but. Well. If they all had boobs, he might understand me better.

Number 10: Ezra Koenig, "Papa Hobo" by Paul Simon

Oh, well, yes. There is this. Despite his rather unfavorable opinion of Ezra, even the husband will agree that this is a pretty spectacular cover. Or maybe he just tells me that so that I'll stop talking about Ezra in breathy tones. Either way, it's worth your while to give it a listen if you haven't already. Another snuggly song, for sure.

Number 9: The Tallest Man on Earth, "Graceland" by Paul Simon

Now I can tell you for sure that the husband agrees with me on this one. We have come to really love The Tallest Man on Earth, and I cross my fingers quite often that maybe, just maybe, he'll be at Newport sometime, like, say, 2012ish? Also, two Paul Simon covers in a row? WHAT? I promise it's the last one. But lord, who doesn't love Paul Simon?

Number 8: Titus Andronicus, "Birdhouse In Your Soul" by They Might Be Giants

Titus Andronicus covers They Might Be Giants
This whole thing starts out with the voice of Charles Bukowski. So. It would behoove you to give it a listen, even if you've already heard it. It's a freaking punk rock band jamming to TMBG, and trying to make it sound as rough around the edges as the songs they're used to playing. A lot of people actually hated this cover, but I'm not a lot of people. 

Number 7: Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, "All I Really Want To Do" by Bob Dylan

I fell upon Lady Lamb this year, and I really do like her quite a bit. This lovely Dylan cover came out a couple of months ago, and so I downloaded it, and yes. It really is quite nice thanks.

Number 6: Foxy Shazam, "Drain You" by Nirvana

I felt pretty conflicted when I downloaded SPIN's "Newermind" this summer. It's an album of covers of Nirvana's Nevermind, in honor of the (shriek) 20th anniversary of its original release. The whole thing just seemed gross and sad and wrong. And it's SPIN. Does anyone even read that any more? But I listened to it anyway, and it was actually pretty good, and this was by far my favorite track, so. Include it, I did.

Number 5: Steel Train, "Call It Off" by Tegan & Sara

Are you sitting there thinking, "Uh...this recording is from 2010. WTF." Because you're right, they've been playing this song since last year. BUT. They recorded it in studio this year and put it on vinyl as part of their super-limited 7" club project, so. IT COUNTS. And it's glorious.

Number 4: Trampled By Turtles, "Where Is My Mind" by The Pixies

So I was gravely disappointed to miss their set at Newport this summer, maybe more so when I found out that they'd played this. But then my spirits were lifted when they decided to do a studio version, which is still up for grabs as a free download on their website. It's The Pixies. With banjos and fiddles. And lots of beards. ME GUSTA.

Number 3: They Might Be Giants, "Tubthumping" by Chumbawamba

They Might Be Giants covers Chumbawamba

I really can't tell you how many times I have watched this video. It has got to go down in history as the most beloved cover in A.V. Club history, and I'm very much afraid that a significant amount of traffic to this video was from me. Just me. Jamming the fuck out to this a million and one times. I mean I just watched it twice and I'm not even done writing this post. I regret nothing.

Number 2: Freelance Whales, "Girl U Want" by Devo

Can Devo make you cry? Is it even possible? Well. I'm here to tell you. On those rare occasions when I feel like being in a dark and quiet place, and I need to be a bit moody and sad, this is my favorite thing from 2011 to listen to. It's an utterly perfect cover in that it little resembles the original, and it brings with it a new atmosphere that you can't help but get sucked into until it's wrapped around you and you're breathing it in and everything is just right. It helps immensely that it's Judah Dadone singing it. I mean. #3 and holding.

Number 1: Ben Folds, "Get Sleazy" by Ke$ha

The first time I heard this, my mind exploded. The second time I heard this, approximately 3 seconds after I heard it the first time, the rubble of my mind spontaneously burst into flames. Just. HOW IS THIS MAN EVEN REAL. HOW IS HE REAL. HOW. I will never tire of listening to his voice, and I hope to always have the opportunity to see him perform live as many times as I can, because that never gets old either. EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS WINS. I've got nothing else to say.


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