It is almost fall, and I haven’t written a new post all summer. This really isn’t any way to run a blog.
But I have been writing regularly elsewhere, so let’s catch up on that while I consider how to finish the real post that has been sitting in the drafts folder for a while.
Over at Cover Me, I actually wrote a full piece–a lengthy review of the new William Elliott Whitmore album of covers, Kilonova. Whitmore is a riveting performer, with a voice that is unforgettable, and he takes a group of covers, that range from Bad Religion to Johnny Cash to Bill Withers, and makes them special. Highly recommended.
I also contributed to a bunch of group features–two Q&As: What’s your favorite cover of your favorite song? for which I wrote about Sarah McLachlan’s cover of Peter Gabriel’s “Solsbury Hill,” and What’s your favorite original song that’s best known as a cover? which prompted me to write about Dave Edmunds’ “Queen of Hearts,” best known, if at all, from the Juice Newton cover.
We also did a bunch of “Best Covers Of” features. The one on Beyoncé barely interested me, but it turned out that a friend of a friend of my kids named Garth Taylor, of the Rooks, did a beautiful cover of “1+1,” and it finished 12th. For the Rolling Stones feature, though, I had ten nominees out of the final 50: Bettye LaVette’s soulful cover of “Salt of the Earth” (8), Susan Tedeschi’s bluesy cover of “You Got The Silver” (15), Cal Tjader’s jazzy instrumental version of “Gimme Shelter” (17), Social Distortion’s scuzzy take on “Under My Thumb” (26), Golden Smog’s faithful cover of “Back Street Girl” (30), Otis Redding’s ad-libbed, horn-heavy version of “Satisfaction” (32), Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit’s live take on “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” (34), his former band mate Patterson Hood’s sloppy live version of “Loving Cup” (37), The Feelies’ jangly “Paint It Black” (40), and Elvis Costello and Lucinda Williams collaborating on “Wild Horses” (43). And for the Madonna feature, another one that really was not that interesting to me, I nominated Tommy Emmanuel’s cover of “Borderline,” featuring. Amanda Shires, and it finished third.
As usual, I tried to write twice for each Star Maker Machine theme, and mostly succeeded. For the Burn/Fire theme, I wrote about Ani DiFranco’s “Fire Door,” and about the Clearwater Festival where I saw her perform, and about ELO’s “Fire on High,” which was once used in my answering machine outgoing message. Next up was July, which inspired a piece about Nanci Griffith’s cover of John Stewart’s “Armstrong,” in honor of the July, 1969 moon walk, and Rufus Thomas’ great “Walking the Dog.” Remedies was our next theme, which led to pieces about Dan Bern’s funny song about a serious subject, “Cure For AIDS,” and the very different “Mental Medication,” from prog-rock “supergroup” U.K.
I then suggested a Forgotten? theme, about bands that had success but had fallen off the radar. This prompted posts about Dutch proggers Focus and Arizona power pop masters Gin Blossoms. I only contributed once to the Trio theme, a piece about the Three Stooges, a song inspired by them, “The Curly Shuffle,” which inspired the Mets of the 1980s. And our current Wine theme, reminded me of Queen’s first hit, “Killer Queen.”
I promise that there will be some new content here soon. Really.