live lounge

Here is Alicia Keys’s cover of The Fray’s How to Save a Life.



Recently, I was driving around with my mother and heard the wackiest song. It was a Live Lounge cover with a man singing something about “got sick on my trainers” and “hands like a crustacean.” We listened to it twice on the Shuffle, so I had no idea what we were hearing.

After we parked and wandered along through the tiny park, I decided to do a google search on my low-tech phone. Nothing. Twenty minutes later, mom thought she remembered a couple of more lyrics “fingertips are holding on to cracks in my [foundation].” It was close enough to get me to Kate Nash’s Foundations.
The song we heard and fell in love with was Newton Faulkner’s Live Lounge cover of “Foundations.” In my humble opinion, it’s far superior to the original.

If anyone knows where I can find Jamie T’s Bedouin Soundclash cover, please leave a comment below. Thanks.

If you know me or have ever read this site, you know I collect cover songs — preferably covers of crappy British pop songs by crappy British artists. I am passionate about my collection, as anyone who has ever sat next to me at a Genius Bar knows (when I lost almost my entire collection last fall in the great Mac Book Pro motherboard failure of 2006 and then had to rebuild it. Three times.)

Many of my favorite covers in my collection come from BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge, hosted by Jo Whiley. Bands come in, sing a couple of songs acoustically and then sing a cover or two. The covers are amazing: Charlotte Church covering Mario’s “Let Me Love You,” Corinne Bailey Rae covering Editor’s “Munich,” Jamie Cullum covering Pharrell’s “Frontin’,” Lemar covering The Darkness’s “I Believe in a Thing Called Love,” Maximo Park covering Proclaimers “500 Miles.” Obviously, I could go on and on.

Unofficial Live Lounge has scores of tracks from 2004 until now including the new Alicia Keys cover of How to Save a Life. It also has two songs that I thought I’d lost forever: Willie Mason’s cover of Grandmaster Flash’s The Message and Franz Ferdinand’s cover of Pulp’s Mis-Shapes.

Culture Bully has 13 live songs from an Amy Winehouse show in February.

Good Weather for Airstrikes has a review of the Annuals/Kaiser Chiefs show in NY. I am a huge fan of Annuals (Complete or Completing is still a favorite) and I also really enjoy Kaiser Chiefs, so it’s an interesting read. Plus, mp3s.

Good Weather for Airstrikes also has an mp3 from Bloc Party’s appearance on BBC Radio ‘s Live Lounge: a cover of Nelly Furtado’s Say it Right. Plus, more mp3s from my favorite source of wacky covers.

BBC’s Collective, which is not technically a blog, has an interview with Mark Ronson about his new covers project.

30 frames confirms why all music videos look the same.

The Music Slut covers Spinner’s coverage of The Cinematics covering Jeff Buckley at SX, under the headline “Jeff Buckley’s Mother ‘Teary Eyed’ After Cinematics Cover.” An impressive example of great pr at work.

I Guess I’m Floating reviews Andrew Bird’s Armchair Apocrypha.

BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge has been long my source for excellent covers. Every artist who comes on performs one original and one, often wacky, genre-busting cover.

But, the Live Lounge also has great live in-studio performances by bands I love.

Here are a few favorites:

Basement Jaxx, Romeo (live).

It’s lovely. The singing, the arrangement. I am just adore this song. This version often floats into my head during quiet moments, unbidden, but not unwelcome.

A originally turned me on to Basement Jaxx years ago. How he found them I will never know . . . even he’s no longer certain, though he thinks it was a dj at the B-Side (RIP).

Mp3: Basement Jaxx, Romeo (live).

Buy: Basement Jaxx, Romeo EP.

Keane, Somewhere Only We Know.

Another song I love by a band I love. People generally don’t think much about Keane. They haven’t fallen into Snow Patrol/Fray territory, not popular enough here for a backlash, I assume. Or maybe the backlash is on and my no radio listening self just doesn’t know (or care).

Mp3: Keane, Somewhere Only We Know.

Buy: Keane, Hopes and Fears.

In honor of all the Arcade Fire buzz in anticipation of the release of Neon Bible on March 6th, I present two files I have had in my cover collection for years.

The first is Arcade Fire’s live cover of Talking Heads, Naive Melody performed on CBC Radio 3 in 2004.

The second is a live cover of Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Maps live in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge from 2005.

They are both entertaining. You can hear them below.

Tonight, Arcade Fire performed on SNL. I missed it (because it’s SNL), but you can download the performance of Intervention and Keep the Car Running on The Smudge of Ashen Fluff.

Arcade Fire, Maps (Yeah Yeah Yeah cover).

Arcade Fire, Naive Melody (Talking Heads cover).

Pre-order Neon Bible now.

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