Sometimes I think the Punk Goes… series will never die. And when I hear that Fearless Records has announced the second edition of Punk Goes 90s, I feel a little more at ease. Because, come on, who didn’t love the ’90s?
Although the full track listing and release date have yet to be revealed, Get Scared will lead the way with a cover of Lit‘s “My Own Worst Enemy” on January 7th. Check out the label’s teaser video, including a sample of Get Scared’s cover below. (more…)
The holidays are a time for friends, family, baked goods, and of course, the release of cover songs from some of your favorite artists past and present. From fun.‘s recent cover of Sleigh Ride all the way back to the days of Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra, our playlist has a little something for everyone.
Listen to our playlist below and let us know your choices for best holiday cover in the comments.
More like this:
Last week we brought you a little teaser from Hopeless Records’ Christmas compilation, Hopeless For The Holidays. Featuring tracks from For The Foxes, Driver Friendly, Anarbor and Divided By Friday, the compilation is now available for full stream, and features both originals and classic covers. It’s a little taste of the holidays, minus all the mayhem. Check out the stream after the jump.
If you like Driver Friendly, check out OurStage artist Clear For Takeoff.
More like this:
˜Tis the season for holiday classics! You’ve noticed it while pushing through the crowds on Black Friday or strolling through the supermarket to pick up pies, and now we’re bringing the holidays to you via Hopeless Records’ new compilation, Hopeless For The Holidays. Featuring newcomers and long time favorites such as For The Foxes, Divided By Friday, Driver Friendly, and Anarbor, the album will contain Christmas covers and originals. Dive into the spirit by listening to For The Foxes’ contribution, All That Glistens after the jump, along with the track listing.
1. For The Foxes “ The Only Thing That Glistens
2. Divided By Friday “ All I Want For Christmas Is You
3. Anarbor “ West Coast Christmas
4. Driver Friendly “ X-Mas In Texas
If you like Driver Friendly, check out OurStage artist Clear For Takeoff.
More like this:
We hear cover songs all the time. Entire bands exist for the sole purpose of covering the work of another artist or group. Big name musicians perform the music of their fellow artists all the time to pay tribute to the ones who inspired them. And more recently, we’ve seen up-and-coming singers become famous from posting their cover songs on YouTube. Fourteen-year-old Greyson Chance, who has already released his debut album, got his big break from covering Lady Gaga‘s “Paparazzi” at a school event. OurStage’s duo Karmin has received over 40 million views on one of their captivating and unique hip hop covers. Just a couple of weeks ago, they performed at the iHeartRadio festival among artists such as Lady Gaga and Jay-Z. But with so many people recording and performing cover songs, we have to wonder “what makes the good ones stand out?” We’ve found some of our favorite from the Cover Bands Channel to show you!
Take, for example, the talented a cappella group called Rockapella, who covered Vampire Weekend‘s hit “A Punk”. The group took a song that is upbeat, fast-paced and performed by a full band, and recreated it with just their voices. Their version is slowed down and focuses on the harmonies created by the members of the group. It sounds more soulful and catches your attention right from the start.
What is stage presence, anyway? Basically, it’s the way you carry yourself on stage and interact with the audience and your fellow band members.
As an artist, your goals should be: to sound as tight as possible, make sure your audience has a good time and make sure they leave with some merch and/or music. Here are some tips to make it all happen.
When organizing your set list, it’s a good idea to consider the flow of the songs. Essentially, don’t load all your new songs at the beginning or the end of the set and don’t play similar songs back-to-back. Adding in a cover song can be a fun way to engage audience members who don’t know your original material yet. You should always end your set with your strongest song or your newest single in order to leave the crowd with the best impression possible.
Always arrive to the venue at or before the specified time. If the booking agent doesn’t tell you when to show up, an hour and a half before doors open is always a safe bet. This will ensure that you have enough time to load in your equipment and, if possible, sound check before doors open to avoid any potential technical difficulties.
During your set, remember to encourage audience participation. The vocalist should always try to be charismatic, exciting and fun. Start claps, teach them a sing-a-long part or talk directly to certain crowd members. If the audience is into your music, they will love feeling like they’re becoming a part of it.
Through the set, you should try to mention your band name three times. It also helps to tell the audience where you’re from and where they can find you online. Mention that you’re on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, OurStage, etc. and encourage them to look you up. Keep in mind that the more the audience hears your band’s name, the more likely it is that they will remember it when the show is over. Of course, you should also tell the audience about your latest release and what your plans for the future are, especially if you plan on playing in the same area in the near future.
It’s also important to sell from the stage, as your merch is both promotional material and a way to earn cash from the show, regardless of ticket sales. Point your audience’s attention to your merch table and list two or three of the items you have available. As always, have your mailing list set up at the table so you can capture names and contact information.
If you’re not headlining, always try to stay for the bands playing after you to provide support. Introduce yourselves to them before or after the show”don’t forget that each performance is a networking opportunity!
Just like athletes watch footage of their latest game, filming a show and going over it with your bandmates afterwards will help you see how you appear to the audience. And if you like the video, be sure to enter it in our brand new Pro Performance Video Channel!
Which tips would you add to the list? Let us know in the comments.
Once the domain of super-serious, straight-up cover bands like Sticky Fingers (The Stones), Crystal Ship (The Doors) and the thousands of Beatles covers bands who flourished after the Broadway musical Beatlemania made it cool to be faux, the world of tribute bands has evolved along with every other musical movement. From the weird and marginal (Mini Kiss, a band of little people who lip sync to Kiss recordings) to the ultra professional (Bjorn Again ,the highly successful traveling fake-Abba stage show), tribute bands are multiplying and diversifying.
In the post-millennial, post-irony era, it is difficult to enjoy even our guilty pleasures without some conceptual tweaking that allows us to feel that we are in on the joke. So while the more serious tribute bands continue to rake in literally millions of dollars per year from ticket sales, a whole crop of acts have emerged that combine off-kilter performance art with sing-a-long élan.
One popular trend in this direction is the stylistic mashup”like New York City’s Tragedy, who play heavy metal versions of Bee Gees songs; Beatallica, a seamless blend of thrash metal and Fab Four pop; Hoboken’s Skanatra, who apply a spirited blue-beat to the Ol’ Blue Eyes repertoire; and Hayseed Dixie, whose bluegrass renditions of hard rock classics”and elaborate fictional backstory”have kept audiences chuckling for over a decade.
An offshoot of the hybrid tribute act is the gender switch”e.g. Hell’s Belles (femme AC/DC), Deva (double-X chromosome Devo tribute), Lez Zeppelin (All girls, all Zeppelin), We Got the Meat, (Portland’s all-male Go-Go’s) and The Pretty Babies, the all-girl Blondie tribute band led by New York singer/comedienne Tammy Faye Starlite, who was an actress before she turned to musical comedy.
I like to play characters, says Starlite, who also plays Mick Jagger in the hilarious all-female Rolling Stones act, The Mike Hunt Band. I guess I’d call myself a ˜performer’”like Liza, but less sequined. And unfortunately, with fewer opiates.
Inhabiting the persona of Debbie Harry, Nico or Mick is like doing a great play. The singer is the lead character, and the songs are the lines.
Then there are the less theatrical but still high-concept acts. Former Guided By Voices member Doug Gillard (now mainly a solo artist) has recently begun playing in Bambi Kino, a Beatles tribute with a twist: their song selections and playing style directly copy the early-˜60s, Hamburg-nightclub-playing era of the band, during which their set lists were mainly pop covers and a few primitive originals. Although the group, which includes Nada Surf’s Ira Elliot, doesn’t assume fake Beatles identities, they do aim for sonic authenticity.
Says Gillard, We try to avoid more modern guitar chord voicings, licks, and drum fills in favor of period-appropriate styles”which is a challenge. There’s an appeal for us in really inhabiting the music and the era we’re playing songs from.
Aside from the artistic challenge, and the potential to make some money, what motivates tribute artists to do their thing? Singer Cathy Cervenka heads up the New York-based Cathyland rock collective, which puts together tribute shows for their favorite ˜80s artists, demonstrating both great devotion and dashes of amiable camp. A recent gig had Cervenka performing, with gusto and supple vocal skill, Pat Benatar’s breakthrough Crimes of Passion album with a strong backing band in full ˜80s spandex array.
There’s nothing more fun than getting to play your favorite songs onstage with your band, says Cervenka, for an audience of fellow fans, who know every word and guitar lick of every song.
She adds reverentially, It’s a very communal experience.
By Paula Carino
Paula Carino is a musician and writer based in New York. She’s written for AMG, American Songwriter and contributed to the Encyclopedia of Pop Music. She’s also a yoga teacher and authored the book Yoga To Go.
A cover song can be a great career booster, and an easy way to reach a wider audience. People love to hear new takes on old favorites, as proven by the popularity of cover compilations like Fearless Records’ Punk Goes… collection.
It may seem strange to use someone else’s music for your own benefit, but a cover can actually be a powerful promotional tool. Once you have a solid recording, upload it into a movie-making program, like iMovie, so that it can be posted on YouTube. While you can make the video a still shot with your band’s name and URL on it, shooting a music video for the cover song will show off your creativity and personality as a band. Best of all, it doesn’t need to cost a penny.
Case in point: The Fold. The band were previously signed to Tooth & Nail Records, but decided to cut ties in 2008 and have remained unsigned ever since. This past December, they released a parody version of Miley Cyrus’ hit “Party in the U.S.A,” this time titled “Every Band in the U.S.A.” The song’s lyrics were re-written to poke fun at the pop-punk scene, specifically how playing a Miley Cyrus cover can instantly win over an unenthusiastic crowd.
The laugh-out-loud video, which was shot completely on an iPhone, quickly gained national attention and has racked up over 345,000 views on YouTube. It was even promoted by Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz and Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low (a band that was name-dropped in the video as refusing to tour with The Fold) on Twitter. The Fold also made the song available for free download on their Web site (remember-charging money for a cover song without permission is illegal!) and even got an endorsement from Glamour Kills clothing for a t-shirt after mentioning their lack of sponsorship in the song.
One more thing: before you unleash your video to the world, make sure that it is tagged appropriately with the song name, the original artist’s name and your name. This will ensure that anyone who searches YouTube for the original song, or for covers of it, will be able to see your video as well. Once the video is up, get to work promoting it on all of the social media accounts you have!
As The Fold’s drummer Mark Rhoades commented, YouTube is the new MTV, and you don’t need big marketing money to reach new fans.
The other week I attended the New Found Glory/Saves The Day concert at the House of Blues in Boston, MA. Being a fan of both artists since their inception, I’ve collected the entirety of their respective discographies. New Found Glory put out an EP in 2000 called From the Screen to Your Stereo which consisted of 7 cover tracks of national artists used in motion pictures (in 2007 they released the follow-up album From the Screen to Your Stereo II ¦ clever huh?). In the history of music, many bands have recorded and released covers of their favorite artists, or of songs that they believed the public would enjoy (something played on Top 40 to gain more recognition in most cases). So, in this week’s “Generation DIY,” I’d like to talk about the process of covering a song and the legality behind doing so.