Friday, May 28, 2010

Hello Mary Lou!

Hey folks, I'm back. As usual, there's a backlog of hundreds of e-mails and thousands of RSS entries to wade through to catch up on the happenings in the past few weeks. A couple notable changes in the cover world:

  • Cover Me has moved off the blogspot to with a slick new interface. Update your bookmarks accordingly!
  • Covering the Mouse is also back in business with a little revamp of its own after a couple weeks of technical difficulties brought on by Blogger's discontinuing of FTP publishing
  • EDITED TO ADD: While I was gone, Leopold Stotch of Versions Galore was unceremoniously dumped by Blogger and has resurfaced at

Here's a trio of covers I love and don't really know why I've put it off for so long... three of the greatest all-time rock bands putting their own personal touches on 1961's Hello Mary Lou, originally performed by Ricky Nelson and written by Gene Pitney and Cayet Mangiaracina, whose songwriting credit has its own interesting story.

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Hello Mary Lou [originally performed by Ricky Nelson]
This is the first version of the song that I ever heard and fell in love with. Of course, as with many cover songs, it would be years before I realized it was not the original.

Queen - Hello Mary Lou [originally performed by Ricky Nelson]
From their Live at Wembley '86 album. In a 1998 interview with Guitarist magazine, Brian May listed James Burton's guitar solo in Hello Mary Lou as one of his top 10 guitar solos.

Led Zeppelin - Hello Mary Lou [originally performed by Ricky Nelson]
Non-Zeppelin fans may balk at a 23-minute live Whole Lotta Love, but in their scorching live shows the band would often use the song as a springboard for a set of R&B and blues covers. The phenomenal How the West Was Won live album, culled from two 1972 California gigs, featured perhaps my favourite rendition of Hello Mary Lou sandwiched between Elvis Presley's Let's Have a Party and St. Louis Jimmy Oden's Going Down Slow.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Off to Chicagoland!

Blog break. Revisiting Chicago for a few days, the T-Dot for a few more, then E-Town for a wedding. See y'all in a few weeks.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Tonight: Meaghan Smith live in Vancouver!

After work, I'll be hopping over to the Media Club a block away to catch Meaghan Smith. Up until a week ago I had only vaguely heard of the Halifax-based singer-songwriter, but I was googling something about Kid Koala (who's latest project The Slew with two former members of Wolfmother hits the Vancouver Jazz Festival in June) when I stumbled on this music video:

It sounds like a retro throwback a la Jill Barber, but with a modern flourish courtesy of Kid Koala and I love the tribute to 1920s/30s cartoons. I was further sold on Meaghan when I watched her wonderful animated biography and found out that she had actually gone to school for animation before becoming a singer and that her producer on her debut album The Cricket's Orchestra was none other than Les Cooper, who (surprise, surprise) produced Jill Barber's latest Chances. Fortunately when I checked her upcoming tour dates I was just in time finding out about the Vancouver show tonight. [Post-Show Edit: she played awesome covers of If I Only Had a Heart and Fly Me to the Moon, the latter on her omnichord!]

Meaghan Smith - Here Comes Your Man [originally by The Pixies]
Meaghan recorded this cover for the soundtrack to last year's (500) Days of Summer.

6 May 2010 Vancouver, BC
7 May 2010 Victoria, BC
12 May 2010 Canmore, AB
14 May 2010 Calgary, AB
15 May 2010 Edmonton, AB
27 Jun 2010 Montreal, QC
16 Jul 2010 Lilith Fair St. Louis, MO
17 Jul 2010 Lilith Fair Chicago, IL
18 Jul 2010 London, ON
23 Jul 2010 Montreal, QC
29 Aug 2010 Kensington, PEI

Official Site

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Star Wars Day 2010

Happy Star Wars Day! May the 4th be with you and all that. This is my fourth year in a row of posting Star Wars covers and the supply is dwindling. Well, actually there are endless covers, just few very good ones. Next year, I may have to pull a George Lucas and start recycling old posts, zing!

Voice Male - Twentieth Century Fox Fanfare [originally composed by Alfred Newman]
Originally composed by Alfred Newman in 1933, I think it's fair to say that the 20th Century Fox fanfare is strongly associated with the Star Wars series. I may be mistaken, but I think the extended version was specifically orchestrated for the films. Voice Male is an all-male a cappella group from the Netherlands Belgium... not to be confused with the all-male a cappella group from Utah of the same name.

Brooke Sofferman - Imperial March
A fine cover from jazz drummer Brooke Sofferman's album Fine Whines, which also contains a cover of Led Zeppelin's Kashmir.

The Alexandria Kleztet - Cantina Band
I've always wanted a klezmer Cantina Band cover and now thanks to The Alexandria Kleztet, my life is complete.

Sex Wing Starfighter - Yub Nub
Sex Wing Starfighter is a Star Wars-themed punk band with a free album on their bandcamp site. This cover of the Ewok celebration song is featured as a bonus track.

Monday, May 03, 2010

...and Farewell to Codeine Velvet Club

[EDIT: re-posted with link removed]

Well then, that didn't take long. The album just came out in Canada less than two weeks ago and it's already time to say goodbye to Codeine Velvet Club, not even a week since I found out about the end of The Fratellis. Reports from the UK have announced that Jon Lawler has ended the band to continue working on his solo career. According to the article, his cohort Lou Hickey was in shock after "reading about it online". Although not entirely true and there are some quotes apparently taken out of context, the result is the same: the upcoming 9 or so gigs will be their last. Mind you, the album's been out in the UK since November and they've been touring around there since at least last April, but it's still extremely disappointing that there'll be no follow-up album and no full North American tour (other than the few US dates in March). As I've mentioned before, they were my favourite new band in quite a while. Alas!

Maybe someday Codeine Velvet Club will be... resurrected?
Codeine Velvet Club - I am the Resurrection [originally by The Stone Roses]