- Ben Folds' a cappella covers project is full steam ahead. Ben's listened to over 200 a cappella covers of his own music and posted the shortlist here, which is a mix of solo and Ben Folds Five stuff. Looks like we'll likely be getting the first "official" cover of a Way to Normal track with a University of Georgia group tackling his collaboration with Regina Spektor, You Don't Know Me. Hopeful release date is this spring with proceeds going to Save the Music.
- Hear Ben chat with Stephen Merchant on BBC Radio 6 (find the link on the right side of the page and fast-forward to about 42 minutes in). Thanks to reader Ian for that tidbit!
- Andrew Bird's new album Noble Beast has an official release date of January 20. If you haven't already, pre-order the deluxe edition from Fat Possum records, which includes a bonus disc Useless Creatures (a collection of instrumental works), extra photos, a fold out poster, a 24-page illustrated lyric book, and exclusive album artwork by Diana Sudyka that differs from the standard edition. Awesome!
- Speaking of Mr. Bird.... Bobby Bare, Jr. and his pop Bobby Bare are producing a tribute album to Shel Silverstein(!!) for a mid-2009 release. Confirmed artists include: Emmylou Harris, Black Keys, George Jones & Ray Price, Allison Krauss, Band of Horses, Dr. Dog, Andrew Bird, Kris Kristofferson (backed by members of the Silver Jews), and My Morning Jacket. Definitely something to look out for in '09.
- Following the bluegrass-ification of their song Top Yourself as a b-side, The Raconteurs have taken it up a notch by enlisting Ricky Skaggs and country singer Ashley Monroe for a phenomenal country/bluegrass reworking of another Consolers track, Old Enough. A little bit of an Everly Brothers cover even sneaks its way in. Great stuff. This was released via digital outlets yesterday and you can watch the video here.
- Mark Ronson, who had the awesome cover album Version in 2007, is "reportedly" working with Elton John on his new album due in late 2009. That is, according to Fox News who are definitely my go-to guys for music news. Uh, right.
- CBC Radio 3 notes that Aussie fans of CanCon have much to look forward this winter. Stars, Tegan and Sara, Holy F*ck, Jill and Matthew Barber, Hawksley Workman, Final Fantasy, Hey Rosetta!, and A-Trak are all heading down under on tour. I also have to add to their list: Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Billy Talent, Crystal Castles, and Bedouin Soundclash.
OK, ok, I do have a couple covers for you... More covers fun from Russia! Check out these awesome covers of Misirlou and Super Mario Bros. I snagged them from this guy, who is presumably the artist (and my Russian is too poor to find out otherwise). Fantastic, I want more!
Misirlou [originally by Michalis Patrino]
Super Mario Bros. [originally by Koji Kondo]