It is with a heavy heart that I am putting Cover Freak on hiatus. Circumstances simply prevent me from posting at this time. My hope and my plan is to start posting again some time in the near future. The blog will still be here, feel free to check in occasionally to see if I’ve started posting again.

Before I sign off I’d like to thank everybody who has visited Cover Freak over the years. I especially want to thank the folks who took the time to email or leave comments. Having conversations with new friends has been the best part of running this blog. I’m also grateful to all of the artists, record labels, and publicists who have provided me with so much wonderful music to share.

Take care, everybody. Hopefully we’ll meet again someday.

Combo Platter

I just couldn’t come up with a theme for this week, so here’s some random goodness.

Renee And Jeremy “Daydream Believer” (The Monkees)
I’ve always liked this song and I like this acoustic version. It’s got some nice close vocal harmonies. You can find out more about Renee and Jeremy by checking out their website.

Tom Jones and Chaka Kahn”We Can Work It Out” (The Beatles)
I’ve always loved Tom Jones too. But this duet sounds terribly under rehearsed. The musical arrangement is sloppy and the vocals just don’t fit together. It’s disappointing because a duet between these two could have been so much better.

Slim Whitman “Una Paloma Blanca” (George Baker Selection)
Those of us of a certain age remember the late night TV commercials for the Slim Whitman’s Greatest Hits record. There were just enough snippets of yodeling to make you think that this must be a pretty weird album. I never did buy the album off TV but I eventually downloaded it. And it’s every bit as weird as I thought it would be.

Joan Osborne “Axis: Bold As Love” (Jimi Hendrix)
Axis: Bold As Love was the first Jimi Hendrix album I bought. I’m probably the only person who can say that. This a nice downtempo cover by Joan Osborne, who sings the hell out of any song she wraps her vocal cords around.

Dishwalla “It’s Going To Take Some Time” (The Carpenters)
I have to admire Dishwalla for making a Carpenters song not sound mopey.

Fall Back

Thanks For Your Support: Thanks to everybody who contributed to the care and feeding of Cover Freak over the last week. You support is greatly appreciated. And if you haven’t contributed yet, that orange button at the top of the left column isn’t going anywhere. Feel free to click it and contribute to the cause.

Daylight Savings time ended today, giving us all an extra hour to sleep in. Unless you have children or animals who wake up at the same time regardless of what the clocks say.

Lulu Hughes “Time” (Pink Floyd)
When I was in high school I bought a copy of an almanac called the Daily Planet Almanac. It was kind of a hipster version of the Farmer’s Almanac. I think that they’ve long since stopped publishing. One of the coolest things in it was an extended discussion of time and the various ways it has been (and still is) measured. It blew my tiny little adolescent mind.

This may be the greatest Pink Floyd cover ever recorded. It’s absolutely fierce. Ms. Hughes just sings the hell out of it.

Telex “Rock Around The Clock” (Bill Haley)
Ever wonder what rock and roll would have sounded like if Bill Haley were a robot? Wonder no more.

Barry Phillips “Incense And Peppermints” (Strawberry Alarm Clock)
Whatever you do, don’t forget to turn the time back on your alarm clock. No sense in getting up any earlier than you need to tomorrow morning.

I generally try to stay away from instrumental covers of vocal songs, because I think a cover is more recognizable with the lyrics. It makes it easier to know what song is being covered and to appreciate how it’s been rearranged. But for some odd reason all of the interesting covers of this song are instrumental. I really like this version by a cello ensemble. It sounds much more ominous than the original.

Terry Holley “Jungle Love” (The Time)
Sure the Time were a completely prefabricated outlet for Prince to flex his funk muscles, but the records they put out were mighty fine. There are far too few covers of the Time, so once again we’ve gone instrumental.

Mister Atlas America USA “Tik Tok” (Ke$ha)
As I get older and more decrepit I’ve noticed that fewer and fewer clocks these days go tick tock. There’s really no reason for them to do so, but it seems that a part of our common heritage is slipping away. We have a clock from Ikea in our guest room that ticks and tocks quite loudly. So loudly in fact that our houseguests usually take it off the wall and put it in another room. Every day I love that clock a little bit more.

Five, Six, Pick Up Sticks

The Yearly Grovel: I always say that everybody should have a hobby, and Cover Freak is one of mine. It’s not a real expensive hobby, it’s definitely cheaper than golf. But there are expenses involved. I need to pay to register the coverfreak.com domain name, I need to pay the web hosting company, and I need to pay for the music that I post (at least the stuff that hasn’t been sent to me by bands or their publicists). There’s an orange button at the top of the left column that you can use to make a donation via PayPal. Over the course of a year that poor lonely button almost never gets clicked and so each year at this time I ask my audience to donate to help keep the lights on at Cover Freak. I’d like for each person reading this to please use that PayPal button to donate $2 to the cause. Even in tough economic times it’s a pretty modest request, less than a milkshake or a pack of cigarettes. If everybody donated it would be a big deal to me. And whether you stop by for the music or the writing I hope that if you’re visiting with any regularity you’re getting $2 worth of enjoyment out of the blog. Thanks for your support.

The sixth year of Cover Freak has been the most challenging. I’ve already self-indulgently whined about the challenges I’ve faced keeping the blog going and I’ve been touched by the encouragement I’ve received from the Cover Freak faithful. Despite my whining I do enjoy what I’m doing here and I appreciate the folks who come by to check out Cover Freak. Having conversations with people from around the globe is a very cool thing to be able to do. I asked what songs people liked the most from the last year and this is what folks requested. Thanks to everybody who took the time to let me know what you’d like to hear again.

Taut French Joel “We Will Rock You” (Queen)
I’ve been a big Queen fan since A Night At The Opera came out when I was in grade school. But I never really warmed to the brain-dead stomp of this song. It’s also just so horribly overplayed at sporting events. That’s why this contemplative acoustic version is so wonderful. It mines emotions that I never imagined were within the song.

Charles Angle “Let It Snow” (Vaughn Monroe)
Two different people requested this, which makes me seriously concerned about my readers. I wonder if Mr. Angle was drunk when he recorded this. He botches the lyrics, stumbles over the words that he does sing, and at one point just abruptly stops singing altogether. Freakette keeps asking me why they didn’t just do another take, and I just have to tell her that I wonder that myself. Many thanks to my friend John for rescuing this from a thrift store and sharing it.

Barb Jungr “Things Have Changed (Bob Dylan)
This is a serious contender for my favorite Bob Dylan song, and I’m not entirely sure why. There’s just something about it to that speaks to me. This is a nice jazzy version featuring some great percussion and a woman who’s a much better singer than old Bob.

Mathias “Substitute” (The Who)
This is another song that was suggested by multiple people. And I can understand why since it’s such a snappy syncopated take on the British Invasion warhorse.

Dick Haymes “Me And Bobby McGee” (Kris Kristofferson)
During the last week of August this year I had a nasty case of stomach flu. I was still able to post but I didn’t have time to come up with a theme for the week. Interestingly enough three of the five songs from that post were requested for this week’s post. I’m glad that the post was so popular, but it does make me wonder if I’m better off not having a weekly theme. I’ll probably still keep doing it though, just to keep myself challenged if for no other reason.

Dan Zanes “Drunken Sailor” (Traditional)
Dan Zanes is one of those rare people who makes music for children that doesn’t make adults cringe. That’s because there’s a high level of musicianship and a great love of music in everything he does. This version of the song uses traditional acoustic instruments (including a singing saw) to wonderful effect.

Dave Alvin and the Guilty Women “Que Sera, Sera” (Doris Day)
Roots rock legend Dave Alvin and his band do a great job of breathing new life into this song from a more innocent era. The Guilty Women are an all-woman band that absolutely tears it up live, go hear them play if you ever get the chance.

General Store “Hold Me Now” (Thompson Twins)
Even in the 80s I just couldn’t muster much enthusiasm for the Thompson Twins. I much prefer this languid guitar version of their hit.

Shinehead “Billie Jean” (Michael Jackson)
I love the reggae, love the Michael Jackson vocal tics, love the Morricone whistling. Just a really fun cover.

Jon Langford and the One Day Band “Rocket Man” (Elton John)
I had a request for anything by Jon Langford, so here’s a song he recorded for an episode of This American Life. He put together a band for one day using classified ads.