Every week on The Mosaic we end with an original song and its cover. Vote for your favorite at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Last Week’s Results:
Apparently Bon Iver and Deadwood Floats are equally good musicians—at least when it comes to “Holocene”—because they tied for this week’s challenge. It isn’t necessarily surprising. Deadwood Floats’s version appears to mirror the original to the point that I sometimes forget which one I’m hearing. While both versions are haunting and subdued, Deadwood Floats ramps it up a bit in the last half by accentuating the percussion a bit more. I guess what I’m trying to say is I agree with you guys on this one.
This Week: M83 vs. Trails and Ways
I’m super excited for this week’s cover because I kind of love M83 with a passion. The band is a French creation, originating from Antibes, France and consisting of Anthony Gonzalez and Nicolas Fromageau who formed the band in 2001. After the tour for their second album, Fromageau left the band. Gonzalez is now the only full-time member with his brother Yann, a vocalist/keyboardist, and a drummer filling in as needed. M83’s song “Midnight City, written by Anthony Gonzalez, his brother, and Morgan Kibby, reached number 5 in US Alternative Charts and—fun fact—is currently being used by BBC in a commercial for the 2012 Olympics. Gonzalez created the opening rhythm by distorting a recording of his voice. He chose to end the song with a saxophone solo, saying “this element has been overused in the past and is considered clichéd or cheesy, but the song needs it” (guardian.co.uk). Or does it? The band Trails and Ways take a more lighthearted approach to the song, supplementing many of the distorted and synthesized songs present in M83’s version with their own voices. The saxophone is substituted for what sounds like a flute (but don’t take my word for it. I’m notoriously horrible at identifying instruments) which continues the bands attempt to lighten the song. What do you guys think?
Look at these chill bros. I would be delighted to bro out with them, given the opportunity. Wouldn't you?
If you think that Australia’s Pond sounds a lot like Tame Impala, you have good reason: 3/4 of Pond is Tame Impala. But while Tame Impala’s vibe is reverb-soaked and megastony, Pond’s sound is more straight-forward classic rock. On “Elegant Design,” the standout track from the brand-new Beards, Wives, Denim, Pond shows that they’re more than Tame Impala sans washes of reverb. With straight, groovy drums and a falsetto chorus, these Aussies have created an incredibly catchy song that wears its 70s influences on its sleeves. Even with the King Crimson-esque breakdown at the end, Pond still manages to sound fresh and relevant.
Every week on The Mosaic we end with an original song and its cover. Vote for your favorite at email@example.com! Results for Last Week:
Kate Bush is the resounding victor of last week’s battle with Greg Laswell. I was surprised by this outcome because, honestly, Bush’s version sounds a little shrill, but after researching “This Woman’s Work” I realized that this really works for the lyrical content. Bush wrote the song “This Woman’s Work” to accompany a scene from the movie She’s Having A Baby in which the lives of a woman and her unborn child are endangered. Singing with a tremulous voice at certain points and breaking into a full-throated cry at others, Bush has much more of an emotional presence than Laswell who spends most of the song singing barely above a whisper.
This Week: Bon Iver vs. Deadwood Floats
The song this week is “Holocene,” written by the frontman of Bon Iver Justin Vernon. Vernon says the song “is a metaphor for when you’re not doing well. But it’s also a song about redemption and realizing that you’re worth something; that you’re special and not special at the same time.” (songfacts) Since its release, the song was ranked by the Rolling Stone as the 22nd best single of 2011, won 2nd place at Stereogum’s Gummy Awards, and was nominated for Song of the Year at the 54th Grammy Awards.
Now that you have sufficient evidence of the song’s awesomeness, we can go about deciding who did it better. You guys know about Bon Iver, the band who has it all in the world of indie folk. They won the 2012 Grammy Award for Best New Artist as well as the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album, an album which they just so happened to record in their months living in a middle-of-nowhere cabin. Their challengers hail from the sleepy old town a few miles down the road of Columbus, Ohio. Deadwood Floats began in 2009 almost as a hobby to distract them from their day jobs. Today, the band is made up of six members and recording music like “Holocene” which I think you’ll find to be quite accomplished in its own right.
As the guitars screech to conclude a low-fi and more angsty version of Weezer’s “Undone,” Eric Harm, the lead singer of Titus Andronicus, taunts the crowd with dark images of our generation: “Think about what you want our generation to be remembered for. Shouldn’t be pictures of some dude doing cocaine in a warehouse bathroom. This is all we’re going to have left after we’re gone: just pictures of us acting like morons. Think about it.” Interpret that however you will, but one thing is clear: this band is out to make a statement.
In 23 tracks Titus Andronicus does these things:
–> Covers Weezer, The Velvet Underground, Thin Lizzy, The Clash, Television Personalities and The Replacements
–> Releases a new track, “Upon Viewing Oregon’s Landscape With the Flood of Detritus,” which will be on their next studio album
–> Releases 5 demo tracks of previously released material, including a really sweet acoustic demo of “My Time Outside the Womb”
4 live tracks
The mixtape works in so many different directions that it transcends the modern idea of a mixtape. It wasn’t even released online for publicity, but instead, the New Jersey rockers made 200 copies of the mixtape and sold them at their SXSW show for a small collection of doll hairs. Then the bloggers got a hold of it, started tapping away, and since it’s release last month, it has gone pretty viral on the indie-rock-grunge blogosphere. The result is something unique and reveals the accessible side of the band.
“Upon Viewing Oregon’s Landscape With the Flood of Detritus” is a clear standout on the mixtape. It’s the only newly released track, and even among the classic tunes like “The Boys Are Back in Town” and “Undone (The Sweater Song),” the new track holds its own.
More oddities. More bizarre sounds to enrich your cultural heritage in some fashion: this time we go in the realm of the cerebral. Drone, repetition, relaxation music, for the really rainy days of spring/future-summer.
Socks on C*cks: Red Hot Chili Peppers knew what was up.
Have you ever thought to yourself, “Gee, so-and-so used to be so good, but now they SUCK!”? I’m sure it’s happened more than once. For me, I feel like it happens all the time. That’s just how the music world works, I guess… So for this week’s playlist I decided to prove this timeless musical dilemma right: 10 songs from bands who were once awesome (and whom I used to rock out to) but now quite simply, suck.
In other words, songs from bands that make my ears hurt and my eyes cry when I listen to their new material.
Maybe you’ll agree after watching these great ol’ clips.