Thursday, March 19, 2009

Music Learning

I recently did a mix swap on swap-bot that was called a "Covers Challenge." The idea was to link songs by original artists. Yeah, let me just show you an example.

1. "Barracuda" - Rasputina
2. "The Battle of Evermore" - Heart
3. "Gallows Pole" - Led Zeppelin

This is an official Covers Challenge Dead End. Lead Belly covered no one, because he was far too awesome. But I was confused about the links a little; could I link it through the original artist only? What if an artist popularized it, but didn't write it? Could I, then, link it through the song writer? For example, check out this flimsy linkage (but my longest link on the CD, thus, a triumph).

1. "Such Great Heights" - Iron & Wine
2. "All is Full of Love" - Death Cab for Cutie
3. "Like Someone in Love" - Bjork
4. "My Way" - Frank Sinatra
5. "Smells like Teen Spirit" - Paul Anka
6. "The Man who Sold the World" - Nirvana
7. "Cactus" - David Bowie
8. "Cecilia Ann" - The Pixies

The last being a Surftones cover. I could have taken the David Bowie one in several directions. In the end, I used the song "Cactus" because it's just such a cool cover. My last set of real links went like this:

1. "Dancing Barefoot" - The Feelies
2. "Hey Joe" - Patti Smith
3. "All Along the Watchtower" - Jimi Hendrix
4. "Ring of Fire" - Bob Dylan
5. "Bird on a Wire" - Johnny Cash

I know Johnny Cash did a number of fabulous covers, and I could have taken that link in a number of more productive directions, but I had my requisite 15 songs and wanted to include the Leonard Cohen cover because it's the saddest song I've ever heard in my life. I then threw in four bonus covers.

1. "Hallelujah" - Jeff Buckley (another Leonard Cohen cover)
2. "These Boots were Made for Walking" - Crispin Glover (Nancy Sinatra cover)
3. "Barbara Ann" - The Who (Beach Boys cover)
4. "Tammy" - Jens Lekman (Debbie Reynolds cover)

I wish I'd included the Johnny Cash cover by Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner, "I Walk the Line." It was hilarious. Oh well. It was fun to make though; I wrote out this crazy web of covers and was carrying it around for days obsessing about it. After I exhausted my own mental encyclopedia of music, I got help from Wikipedia, Covers Project, and Cover Lay Down. So what would you guys have linked up? Make some links of your own in the comments section - maybe there will be a Covers Challenge V!

Yours Very Truly,

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

I'm not going to think about it long enough to come up with a real chain of songs, but I love all Rasputina covers. They make everything so rockin'. And I want Crispin Glover to cover every song in the world, too, and to be my best friend.