Category: Elseblog

Other Voices, Other Rooms: 5 Folkblogs to Follow in 2012
(w/ folk covers of Queen, Elvis Costello, Strand of Oaks and more!)

January 4th, 2012 — 11:13 am

As I wrote just over a year ago in a 2-part feature on How To Be A Coverblogger [Pt. 1 / Pt. 2], keeping a coverblog requires a touch of obsession, an itch to live the writing life, and a willingness to keep a keen eye on a select handful of trusted sources.

But though we watch the other coverbloggers carefully throughout the year, we are folkies first and foremost here at Cover Lay Down. And – as we noted atop our year’s end mix – some of the best coverage comes under the coverblog radar, available only to labelwatchers with a penchant for exploration of new songs both for their own sake, and in hope of finding a buried take on someone else’s song in the mix, which can be used here to help promote and spread the word about artists and their work.

There’s a tiny handful of name-brand folkblogs out there – Songs: Illinois, most notably, features in the linklists of many of the biggest music blogs, and Craig’s recommendations, though increasingly sparse, remain solid; Direct Current is a bit more glossy (and much more comprehensive), but it tends to hit all the right high points for major releases in the mass market. And indiefolk and Americana, especially, find their way into the mix at many music blogs which focus on alternative and indie rock and pop, but are willing to cross genre lines to feature a new generation of folk-oriented bands and singer-songwriters, from all-girl music blog Wears The Trousers to NPR fave go-to girl Heather of I Am Fuel, You Are Friends.

But huge branches of the folk tree are less well represented, or even ignored, in these venues. Finding this work depends on an ability to track the folkworld as closely as we can. And the decidedly regional nature of most folk music, combined with a high radar threshold for work in this niche (as an example, note how classical, rock, country and pop radio stations pepper the dial, but folk music is generally limited to a single radio program or two in a given market), leaves us looking to smaller labels and folkbloggers to keep us up to date on new developments, acts, and albums.

We featured two new finds in this arena this past August, in fact. Publicity house and blog Hearth Music remains a favorite source of all things folk, roots, and Americana in the Pacific Northwest after major kudos in our original feature. And insightful, well-written Aussie blog Timber & Steel continues to impress with their ongoing exploration of the same range of sounds from the land downunder, where summer reigns even as the snow finally begins to fall here in the northern hemisphere; we’ve recovered their findings several times here on the blog, and are eagerly following their new features on a flood of summer festival finds as we speak.

Today, in a kick-off to the new year, we bring you a quick survey of a few other sources – specifically, five more select blogs which I have come to consider proven outlets for the best new folk music. Bookmark them all, and/or add them to your feedreader; check out their own sidebar linklists for further reading, too. And if you, too, have a favorite folkblog you’d like to recommend, drop a note in the comments, so all can share.

All things Irish blog 2 U I Bestow‘s native ground is rich with the folk tradition, and his celebration of it is notoriously comprehensive. As such, though host Peter Nagle goes rock, too, there’s plenty to love here, and I often find new coverage through the artists and albums he touts – for example, we noted a new covers album from Irish singer-songwriter Mundy, whose song from the Romeo + Juliet soundtrack gives 2 U I Bestow its name, back in our April 2011 Tribute and Cover Compilations week series, thanks to early notice from the blog.

Peter’s Top 20 Albums of 2011 included this amazing take on traditional tune Rain & Snow, introducing me to the work of the sister trio The Henry Girls; the back-and-forth between delicate harp-driven tradfolk verses and fiddle-led folkrock chorus speak to a strong grounding in the various traditions of modern folk and roots music, and their newest album, December Moon, proves it, offering a surprisingly diverse set that catches the heart and echoes in the ears. Like 2 U I Bestow, The Henry Girls take on all corners of the modern folk ouvure, from cheery uke-driven indiefolk ditties to etherial tradfolk instrumentals and sea shanties, from warm harmony-driven tracks to contemporary americana balladry, with aplomb and respect; the delightfully playful Watching The Detectives – Elvis Costello, done as gypsy poprock with a theatrical flourish – is an exceptional delight.

I’ve cited Slowcoustic here plenty of times before, even featuring a guest post from it’s host two summers ago, and for excellent reason: Sandy’s tastes run towards fragile acoustic downtempo soundscapes, and his handle on the folkscene, especially the obscure Canadian and Midwestern branches of the new and delicate indiefolk stuff too broken and quiet to pop the hipster indieblog bubble, remains impeccable. And, like many on our list today, Sandy’s work goes beyond mere blogging: his fledgling label Yer Bird is a solid source of new music, a natural extension of the blog, and we’re expecting to have some exciting news about the label’s newest impending release in the next week or so to prove it.

What I like most about Slowcoustic is that it is a constant source of stuff I had no idea existed, and fall in love with instantly. In 2011 alone, Sandy has brought us Hezekiah Jones, Samantha Crain, Conrad Plymouth, new otherwise-unreleased work from 2010 find Caleb Coy, and, most recently, Lotte Kestner, who we then just had to celebrate in a full-fledged post at the end of the year. And his most listened to songs of 2011 list is a work of honest beauty, one that tipped me off to a heretofore unknown Neil Young cover from a live Jeffrey Foucault session in my neck of the woods (and which was also picked up over the summer by Common Folk Music, a two-party source of exuberance and taste which comes almost as highly recommended, and is equally solid for news of new folk music releases, if not as plentiful with the coverage or downloadable tracks).

Like many bloggers and blogwatchers, I discovered For Folk’s Sake through their incredible Christmas compilations; regular readers will find the name familiar, though they may not have realized it was a project solicited by a website, rather than a label or collaborative. But their sporadically-produced podcasts are a stellar outlet for capturing the mood of the new indiefolk scene that has come to typify the mainstage at Newport Folk Festival. And the UK-based blog itself is a solid source for the hipster side of folk and Americana music, with prominent placement of Mumford and Sons, Laura Marling, AA Bondy, Emmy The Great, and other names from that branch of the movement, and a willingness to include singer-songwriters more typically connected to the coffeehouse crowd, such as Devon Sproule and Anais Mitchell.

In short, without For Folk’s Sake, I’d never have found the haunting folk balladry of The Songs of Robert Wyatt and Antony & The Johnsons, a mixed-bag late-December split-bill tribute album from UK folksters The Unthanks (who DiVinyl guestblogged about, in their early incarnation as Rachel Unthank and the Winterset, way back in July of 2008), recorded live in a chapel in December of 2010, in a concert session that was named a Gig of the Year by tastemaking UK print publication The Independent. And I’d have to sift through much more elseblog chaff to get to the best of today’s indiefolk singer-songwriters and bands.

The Wheel’s Still In Spin takes it’s name from Dylan’s The Times They Are A-Changin’, but it isn’t truly a folkblog; it yaws broad and trends pithy, but its voracious weekly focus on recommended new releases is about as comprehensive as it gets, putting it in a “skim regularly” category. And though author Darin’s cross-genre tastes range all the way from Josh Ritter, Vandaveer, and Vetiver to Thievery Corporation, Kurt Vile, and the occasional punk act, he’s bluntly honest and unapologetic about what he likes and why, and I tend to agree with the majority of his vast and varied assessments.

Case in point: though many blogs mentioned the The Wooden Birds this year, and though Cover Me did take note of the Jackson Browne bonus track added to the mix in mid-December, The Wheel was the only one I follow regularly that remembered the band’s sparsely hypnotic, pop-ish yet acoustically-driven March 2010 release Two Matchsticks in their voluminous year’s end recaps and “best of” listings. Here; the songs speak for themselves.

Finally, a man who is a blogger by extension only: like many older folkwatchers and media mavens, Ron Olesko’s primary output remains print and radio; much of his online work on Twitter and at Ron Olesko’s Folk Music Notebook merely points to his columns in Sing Out Magazine, to guest spots for his own work, and to the weekly playlists of his long-standing folk radio show Traditions; these outlets, and his placement as chair of the selection committee for the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance yearly showcases, speak loudly to his prominence in the world of folk. But though sometimes sparse, Ron’s news from the folkworld is an invaluable addition to a folkwatcher’s habits.

The old-school rules here: both the elder statemen of the singer-songwriter world and newer acts which carry the folk revival forward yet hew closely to its traditions, such as Cover Lay Down favorites Red Molly and Joe Crookston, find their way to Olesko’s attention. But subscribing to his twitter feed is worth it: it brought me to his 12 Favorite Folk CDs of 2011, and though it, John McCutcheon’s Woody Guthrie tribute (which we originally dismissed as a bit too measured, but which has grown on us), Crookston’s newest album Darkling & The Bluebird Jubilee, and The Once, a post-millennial Newfoundland trio that trends towards the varied sounds of their native folk influences, whose gentle, earnest Queen cover is utterly perfect to ring in the new year, and whose previous work includes sweet originals, equally delightful takes on Leonard Cohen, Amelia Curran, and more obscure Canadian contemporaries, and upbeat tunes from Canadian and UK traditions.

5 comments » | Elseblog, Joe Crookston, John McCutcheon, John Statz, Rachel Unthank and the Winterset, The Henry Girls, The Once, The Wooden Birds

Tidbit Thursday: A Tribute to Hearth Music

August 25th, 2011 — 09:37 pm

Devon Léger, proprietor of Hearth Music, likes a particular kind of organic, neo-traditional folk and roots music, grounded deeply in the past yet sweet and honest enough for modern ears. He’s got great taste, too, and a knack for finding the good stuff. So the fact that the Seattle-based label which Devon runs with his family seems to have added me to their mailing list in recent months has made me happy, indeed.

It was Hearth that first made the introduction, via Nell Robinson’s most recent album, which we celebrated in July as a marvel of intimate storytelling peppered with the true grit voices of her family elders. From there, Devon and I got chatting; he recommended Lauren Sheehan’s brand new covers collection Rose City Ramble, which he’s “not promoting at all”, just because he thought I’d share his love for her wonderfully warm, gentle acoustic roots and blues covers, and pointed me to the Hearth Music blog, where he shares news of some pretty impressive roots artists that seem, too often, to be otherwise unsung. From there, I found the Listening Lounge, which features a holy host of retrofolk, bluegrass, and oldtimey artists, a treasure trove of discovery with files galore to sample and save.

Devon and co. have also impressed me to no end by picking up on other innovative musicians who I’ve raved about before, but had otherwise lost sight of. Today’s mail, for example, included the debut-as-a-duo album from tradfolk couple Pharis and Jason Romero, which finds the British Colombian folk reconstructionists and banjo-makers (previously touted here for their crystal-clear YouTube work) taking on a mixed set of traditionally sourced and original compositions to powerful effect, one that recalls the best of classic countryfolk guitar-led co-ed pairings from Johnny and June to Welch and Rawlings. The album is being paired with a new work by Romero producer Ivan Rosenberg and The Foggy Hogtown Boys, too, and it’s a great “vinyl-era” tradgrass romp.

And among other stellar artists performing in the Next Gen Folk Series which Hearth Music promotes out in Seattle, I find Nic Gareiss and Emma Beaton, a stunningly potent “transcendant traditional folk” duo who I actually did discover, before anyone, when I accidentally wandered into their first ever public performance together way back in the winter of 2009, and subsequently wrote that “if I ever had the time and guts to start producing musicians on my own, I’d start with Emma and Nic”.

And so I sing today in praise of the rarest of finds in the busy, increasingly fragmented world of music behind the scenes: a promotional agency that is perfectly genuine and personal; that presents exclusively hand-tooled, authentically crafted music in both live and recorded form; that sees the music they profit from as tied intimately to the music they love, and promotes it all, regardless of who it benefits; that sends physical media banded in brown paper, accompanied by playful yet tastefully classic postcard introductions to the artists, making the music they send a natural extension of the down-to-earth packaging experience, and vice versa.

In a world where so much spam fills the blogger’s inbox each day, such genuine thoughtfulness and prescience should not go unrewarded. So here’s some coverage from a few great artists recently touted, promoted, and/or hosted by this tiny yet growing promotion house. Check ‘em out, and then head over to Hearth Music to buy, book tickets, sample, and blogfollow.

  • Raina Rose w/ Rebecca Loebe: Mama You Been On My Mind (orig. Bob Dylan)

Cover Lay Down: on the neverending search for all the greatness in the universe. Sharing the best coverfolk we find in it with you since 2007.

1 comment » | Elseblog, Tradfolk

Tidbit Thursday: Jeff Pianki covers Loggins and Messina
plus Disney, Dr. Seuss, Vampire Weekend, and A-Ha covers here & elseblog

February 18th, 2010 — 10:31 am

Credit where credit is due today to other bloggers for turning me on to the following cover artists and songs.

First, major kudos to Chad of the newly-resurrected, totally refurbished Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands for finding and promoting Jeff Pianki, a young upstart who knows how to play and how to play the social media rising star game. The Michigan-based artist, who posts his own new covers at both YouTube and Tumblr, refers fans to his homegrown collections for mp3s, but I suspect he won’t mind if we host his newest, an utterly amazing bedroom folk cover of Loggins and Messina classic Danny’s Song which, truly, blows every last hint of sappiness out of the original, replacing it with a tenderly broken lo-fi indie greatness.

Pianki seems poised for greatness, too: though he’s not released an official album yet, or even a single studio track, according to his Facebook page, the artist will be opening for Gregory and the Hawk, aka Meredith Godreau, when she comes through his area in May. Makes me wish I lived in Michigan, too.

Elseblog, thanks to Kurtis of the now fully-revived Disney covers blog Covering the Mouse, who asked me throw in a guest post, and posted my contribution yesterday. I chose a particularly international cover for the occasion, in keeping with the multi-national chaos currently overwhelming Kurtis’ Olympic-hosting home province, but to be honest, I found it elseblog myself: at Spanish coverblog Torre De Canciones, who continues to impress with otherwise-undiscovered coversongs that quite often suit our penchant for the gentle and acoustic here at Cover Lay Down.

To prove my point, here’s the pseudonymous Spanish sensation Anni B Sweet with a dreamy, delicate popfolk uke-and-guitar cover of A-Ha classic Take On Me, posted by her blogging countrywoman just this week. Add Torre De Canciones to your feedreader, head over to Covering The Mouse to check out and stream French gypsy-punk band Famille Grendy’s acoustic cover of Chim Chim Cher-ee, and in general, give daily thanks to the Internet for being just plain awesome.

Oh, and speaking of awesome music elseblog: we’re featuring Canadian artists over at collaborative blog Star Maker Machine this week in honor of the Olympics; near as I can tell, my first contribution marks the first time Moxy Fruvous’ amazing nerd rap version of Dr. Seuss kiddie classic Green Eggs and Ham has been on the web since Cover Lay Down moved on from its old host in 2008.

Head over to Star Maker Machine to catch the tune, and to pick up more great musical content from “Canada: America’s Hat”.

1,009 comments » | Elseblog

Elseblog @ Mainstream Isn’t So Bad…Is It?
On “public” as the opposite of “mainstream”

February 2nd, 2009 — 12:34 pm

I’m guest hosting today over at the ever-diverse Mainstream Isn’t So Bad…Is It?, where host Sean has taken a break from his usual depth and diversity to invite a new blogger in every day for a week. In my own case, I’m using the request to sit in as an opportunity to consider the straw man dichotomy which so many genres have used to set themselves against the conceit of “mainstream”, and in doing so, claim a particular form of authenticity. Here’s the transitional nut:

…Indie is a relatively new term, which still speaks more to commercial production and label dynamics than anything, but I think the very way in which indie, like grunge and punk before it, is on the cusp of being co-opted by “mainstream” culture speaks to the limitation of defining oneself in opposition to that crass mass culture.

Instead, I’d propose that in the real and rapidly fading world of mass media markets, the “opposite” of mainstream is not underground or indie, but is and has always been “public”…

I’ve shared a few favorite indiefolk covers of songs from the public domain over at MISB, from Sam Amidon, The Avett Brothers, and Colin Meloy; there’s not a whit of copyright on these songs, so despite our past history with Blogger, I felt pretty confident posting them in a blogger-run space. Before you head over to snag ‘em, here’s a few roots-and-americana folk covers of relatively popular public domain tunes from the american folk tradition which have been stuck in my head for a while.

1,019 comments » | Elseblog

Jewish You A Merry Christmas:
Elseblog @ Breakthrough Radio

December 12th, 2008 — 06:04 am

My week at Breakthrough Radio ends with today’s entry, and as promised, I’d like to take this opportunity to offer a little thanks and good cheer for the season. What follows is a repost, originally shared last year on Cover Lay Down under the title The Twelve Jews of Christmas: Folk Covers of Holiday Classics by Jewish Songwriters; though for obvious reasons its interest is seasonal, it remains one of my most popular posts ever, and I’m happy to share it here today. Enjoy!

Today we celebrate the holiday coversongs of Jewish-American songwriters, most notably the prolific Johnny Marks, who is best known for penning a holy host of non-canonical Christmas songs, and lesser known for being the head of ASCAP from 1957 to 1961.

Familiar carols written by Marks include Holly Jolly Christmas, which most of us imagine in the voice of Burl Ives, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which is based on the story by Marks’ brother-in-law, and I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day, which Marks adapted from a Longfellow poem. He also wrote Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree; I was hoping to share some folkcovers of that song, too, but for some reason, I can’t find any.* Wonder why?
*[UPDATE 12/15: Rose Polenzani and Rose Cousins to the rescue!!]

In fact, a significant percentage of “traditional” Christmas tunes turn out to have been written or co-written by “verifiably Jewish artists”. Here’s a few more, mostly from the country and alt-pop ends of the folk spectrum, though the list runs the gamut from urban folk to indiefolk:

No purchase links today, kids: many of these songs are in the public domain, and even those that aren’t are hard to avoid this time of year. (Plus, how the heck do you link to a songwriter?) Just keep on buying your Christmas music from artists and labels directly, and we’ll call it square, okay?

2,379 comments » | Elseblog, Holiday Coverfolk

Pop Top Covers:
Elseblog @ Breakthrough Radio

December 11th, 2008 — 06:35 am

We’re guestblogging the week away over at Breakthrough Radio. Here’s today’s entry.

It’s that time of year for lists – both those hand-written wishlists which serve as a guide for family present-buying, and those which consider the year past, and tally the score of receivership and long-lasting joy. For the former, my youngest daughter would like Santa to know that she would like a dolly; if you see him, please pass the word along. In the case of the latter, rather than let my own personal and highly-subjective preferences get lost in the huge and growing compendium that is the blogger’s top whatever lists of 2008, I’m keeping it low-key and local, letting my readers speak for me.

Using download stats and blogcomments as a raw measure of popularity, here’s a few readers’ favorite covers posted on Cover Lay Down in the past few months; in the interest of keeping the list short and pithy, I’ve stuck to an all male-voiced set, because those are the ones I can best hear myself sing along to. You’ll hear a few more of my favorite indie releases from the year past sometime on Breakthrough Radio today.

Grant Lee Phillips: So. Central Rain (orig. REM)

Jeffrey Foucault: Lodi (orig. Creedence Clearwater Revival)

Todd Snyder w/ Patty Griffin: Fortunate Son (orig. Creedence Clearwater Revival)

Denison Witmer: I Can’t Make You Love Me (orig. Bonnie Raitt)

Don’t forget to head on over to Cover Lay Down for more coverfolk every Wednesday and Sunday!

1,211 comments » | Elseblog

Starmakers and the Blogging World:
Elseblog @ Breakthrough Radio

December 10th, 2008 — 06:16 am

We’re spending the week over at Breakthrough Radio, where the DJs pick the playlists, and the guestblogging runs Mondays through Fridays, one week at a time. Here’s today’s entry.  (Warning: originals ahead!)

In addition to blogging coverfolk at Cover Lay Down, I’m also an admin and regular blogger at Star Maker Machine, a collaborative blog which uses a weekly theme to evoke a diverse set of musical submissions from a group of about a dozen bloggers with very diverse tastes. For example, this week, our theme is Winter Wonderland, which means we’re posting songs with the word snow in the title; though I’m submitting this post in advance, I have no idea what the pack has come up with, but given the general trend over there, I can predict with reasonable certainty that this week’s early entries have consisted of mostly older, well-cared-for songs from across the genre spectrum.

Since its inception less than a year ago, readership at Star Maker Machine has grown to surpass the readership of any one of our contributing blogs, proving just as well as the Technorati Top Blogs list does that group blogs bring in the viewers much better than any one of us can on our own – a phenomenon due as much to the diversity which a multiplicity of bloggers can bring to the table as it is to the sheer number of posts which only a group, or perhaps an unemployed, independently wealthy gadabout blogger with a high output rate, can bring about.

Like the blogs of many Star Maker Machine contributors, SMM trends towards older songs; as such, the blog and its denizens represent an anomalous type of blogger, who more usually justifies his/her bloggity existence as fannish promotion of the current scene. These more recent piano ballads which use the idea of snow as both metaphor and setting – Over The Rhine’s lush Snow Angel, and neo-trad folkie Kristen Andreassen’s lovely, hushed Like The Snow — wouldn’t be as good a fit there, and since they’re not covers, I can’t share them over at Cover Lay Down. But they’re eminently worth including here today.

Over the Rhine: Snow Angel

Kristen Andreassen: Like The Snow

947 comments » | Elseblog

Blog Globally, Folk Locally:
Elseblog @ Breakthrough Radio

December 9th, 2008 — 10:07 am

We’re spending the week over at Breakthrough Radio, where the DJs pick the playlists, and the guestblogging runs Mondays through Fridays.  Here’s today’s entry.

Though I suspect most regular readers of Cover Lay Down think of the place as a coverblog first and foremost, at heart, I’m really a folk blogger, eschewing admittedly weird and wonderful interpretations in favor of performances and recordings which focus on story and acoustic authenticity as much as song. Celebrating songs for their stripped-down nature allows me to stay focused on my goal as a blogger: to use the familiar as a draw, in the hopes that readers will walk away fans of the artists I love, most of whom cluster around a very loose definition of folk.

Promoting folk music is a necessary service because folk doesn’t promote itself well; it’s more suited to small venues, and its unamplified forms don’t carry as well through an electrified culture as they once did. Too, though the internet allows for the transmission of music, most musicians still prefer to rehearse and evolve sound in person; for this reason and others, folk music is still fundamentally a local phenomenon.

Thankfully, the wonder of blogging allows us to keep track of a multiplicity of local arenas, each with its own musical scene. I depend, as a folk fan, on the good work of other such blogs, so I know who to listen for on Internet radio, and who to see when they come through my town. And just as I use coversong as a vehicle for getting people to hear new artists that they might not otherwise give a fair shake, I keep Cover Lay Down in part as a vehicle for promotion of local artists who may not otherwise get heard.

In my case, local means just about dead smack in the middle of New England – just a tad closer to Boston than NYC. But rural as that sounds, in terms of music scenery, the Pioneer Valley where I live is a rich place. Nearby Northampton, which houses the multiple venues that comprise the Iron Horse group, is a regular stop on the tours of a vast variety of bands from the full genre spectrum; the local Green River Fest each summer features a veritable who’s who of national roots, blues, and folk artists, and indie folklabel Signature Sounds is but one of the great labels pushing artists both local and national to greater prominence and recognition.

Here’s some great recent coversongs from a pair of local musicians who I’ve seen live around town, both of whom have made good off that selfsame local label: a quiet, lovely Tom Petty cover from twangy singer-songwriter Mark Erelli, and a great Dylan cover from altfolk sparseplayers Rani Arbo and Daisy Mayhem.

Mark Erelli w/ Jeffrey Foucault: Alright For Now (orig. Tom Petty)

Rani Arbo and Daisy Mayhem: Farewell Angelina (orig. Bob Dylan)

1,037 comments » | Elseblog

On the Radio:
Elseblog @ Breakthrough Radio

December 8th, 2008 — 11:12 am

We’re simulcasting this week here and over at Breakthrough Radio, where the DJs pick the playlists, and the guestblogging runs Mondays through Fridays, one week at a time. Here’s Monday’s entry.

Howdy, folks. My name is Boyhowdy, host and sole proprietor of folk cover blog Cover Lay Down, and I’ll be your blogger for this week here at Breakthrough Radio.

Over a decade ago, before I was a music blogger, I had a regular late-night radio show at the boarding school where I lived and worked. My audience was primarily a captive one: the broadcast range was small and, other than our own student population, consisted mostly of New England hills and a few sparsely populated towns. The playlist was broad, and mostly geared towards my own tastes, and if anyone didn’t like it, it wasn’t like they had any other choices in the area.

Since then, of course, the music media spectrum has shifted significantly, and so has my employment — the inner-city public high school where I teach these days isn’t open at night, and even if it were, it has no radio station for me to commandeer. But then, it hardly needs one. Technology evolution and industry changes have brought about new media possibilities which tend towards a global reach rather than a local one; I suspect few folks still listen to that old prep school radio station over the airwaves, now that it and every other radio station in the universe is online, but I also suspect that significantly fewer people listen to that tiny school station at all, given that our primary listenership was once comprised of folks who had little choice of what to listen to at all.

The joys of joining Breakthrough Radio this week go beyond the wonderful confluence of blog and radio station 2.0, of course. But there’s something to be said for the continued collaborative coexistence that is blogging and radio, and it’s worth saying it out loud: stations like Breakthrough Radio, with its internet presence and “DJ’s choice” format, are “where it’s at” in radio these days. I’m honored to be asked to share, and I’m glad to be here to kick off our week-long partnership here with two on-topic songs from folkpop earth goddess Dar Williams: her 1997 radio-ready paean to local radio, and her brand new cover of a song originally from the rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, released on this year’s Promised Land.

Dar Williams: Are You Out There

Dar Williams: Midnight Radio (orig. Hedwig and the Angry Inch)

For a few more folkcovers about radio, and a whole mess more besides, head on over to Cover Lay Down.

908 comments » | Elseblog

Elseblog: Vote Cover Lay Down @ Stereogum
(Plus Mark Kozelek covers here and there)

November 20th, 2008 — 06:32 pm

Two posts in one day is off the charts for us here at Cover Lay Down, but since Heather is already recruiting, and you can only vote once, I thought I’d put in my pitch for voting for Cover Lay Down for Best Music Blog in this year’s Gummy Awards over at the uberpopular mp3 blog Stereogum.

Ordinarily, I’d never presume we were popular enough to worry about recruiting votes. But Fong wrote to let me know that Cover Lay Down comes up first on the autofill options for blogs beginning with the letter C; the autofill is generated when “several people” have already voted for a particular blog, so someone out there obviously thought I was worthy of mention.

Honestly, it’s an honor just to be on the autofill. Thanks to those who have voted for me already; may the best blog win. Oh, and vote here. One lucky voter will even win the top 50 CDs of 2008, as chosen by voters like you.

While you’re over at Stereogum, sign up for the Gum Drop, and you’ll net this week’s free mp3, an *exclusive* solo acoustic cover of Husker Du’s Celebrated Summer, as performed by Mark Kozelek of Sun Kil Moon and the Red House Painters. Tell ‘em Cover Lay Down sent you, and maybe I’ll even make the blogroll.

For bonus points before you go, here’s one of my favorite Kozelek covers, from his acoustic AC/DC covers album, plus Denison Witmer’s lovely take on the Red House Painters, previously posted here as part of our partnership with Denison in the weeks before he released his newest album. If you like the Kozolek, let me know; maybe one day we’ll do a full set.

1,263 comments » | Elseblog

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