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Monday, January 27, 2014

Music Monday! Special All Covers Edition

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Mon, Jan 27, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Music Monday! We've got three new covers in today's Grammy-hangover edition.


It took the von Trapps to get us interested in what Pink Martini's been up to. The family singers—descended from Captain and Maria von Trapp, who you know from a little movie called The Sound of Music—have collaborated with Portland's icons of exotica on an upcoming album (more info on that here). Here's the title track, a cover of the evergreen "Dream a Little Dream," sung by Amanda von Trapp and provided sumptuous, surprisingly tasteful backing by Pink Martini. Dream a Little Dream comes out on Heinz Records on March 4.

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Don Henley recently teamed up with Blind Pilot to record a Jackson Browne song for a Browne compilation tribute album. The song is "These Days," a song Browne wrote when he was 16. I doubt many 16-year-olds these days (eh??) will be super into it, but moms should find it pretty soothing. (Perhaps fittingly, the song premiered over at the Wall Street Journal.) To Blind Pilot's credit, their backing is note-perfect and quite pretty, and without any real research or evidence whatsoever, I'll say this is the best thing Don Henley's recorded since 1989. It's nothing close to a new Blind Pilot song, but oh well. Looking into You: A Tribute to Jackson Browne also includes contributions from Bruce Springsteen and Lucinda Williams, and comes out April 1.
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This one's a bit of a reach, but it's too good not to post. Built to Spill are, of course, a Boise band, but they spend enough time in Portland—they've even kept a practice space here—for us to glom onto them, particularly when there's a song as good as this to post. It's another cover from an upcoming tribute comp, focusing in this case on Bob Dylan's wilderness period, the 1980s. "Built to Spill" tackle the sublime "Jokerman" from 1983's Infidels, a weird but pretty good record in which Dylan combined the guitar talents of Dire Straits' Mark Knopler with legendary reggae rhythm section Sly and Robbie. The original version always worked pretty well, but Built to Spill's amp-crunch, eons-of-guitars take is fan-damn-tastic. Dylan in the '80s: Volume One also includes tracks from Blitzen Trapper and Langhorne Slim, and comes out March 25 on ATO.

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