Thursday, May 12, 2005

Under cover of the night

Travis singing "Wichita Lineman." Pete Townsend doing the English Beat's "Save it fer Later." Bomb the Bass taking on "I Say A Little Prayer for You." And so on, and so on, and so on...

If you have not yet experienced the addictive charms of Coverville, get your ass over to the site, pronto. Brian Ibbott's half-hour podcast of sometimes silly, sometimes sublime cover versions of songs is too much fun to miss. God only knows how this man finds the time to assemble and record brand-new shows on such a regular basis--it's all I can do to type out 50 words here every three weeks or so. Hell, I'm even too lazy to try and track down who did that amazing version of "A Day in the Life" as it would have sounded if Buddy Holly had recorded it in his signature style--it was on episode, oh, I don't know--I have a backlog of about 25 episodes waiting for me at any given moment. (Note: if you're not into the podcasting lifestyle yet, you can just go to the website and download individual shows, each of which has an accompanying playlist online.)

The premise and execution remind me of various late-night CBC radio programs of years past ("Brave New Waves," anyone?), but mixed in with the staggering range of music he covers (oops, wrong word), there's this ultra-casual home-grown quality that I really enjoy, as when Brian has to ask his 8-year-old son to be quiet while daddy is recording. (Moments earlier, he's just played Cake's version of a Muppets song in honor of the kid's birthday.)

The theme shows are especially cool: 3 versions of the same song in a row, 6 covers of songs about Las Vegas, a night of Irish bands doing non-Irish songs (plus the Cardigans covering Thin Lizzy), "double double cover covers" (ie, covers of two songs at once, like Soft Cell doing their "Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go" medley), etc. Looks like Mr. Ibbott has done 84 shows as of mid-May, and I'm incredibly tempted to check out each and every one.

No comments: