I find it so amusing to see how times have changed. In my short-lived college days, I joined a band that was formed by two brothers. The band was called Greek. It was resolved that we would only perform original music or ‘OC’s’ as they are dreadfully called today. So we spent a lot of time writing and rehearsing a multitude of original songs that we hoped to be able to play for the then rock scene.
The word ‘indie’ was not even a twinkle in any mind’s eye. So there we were, up on stage ready to play our set of OC’s, and much to our chagrin, the audience would have none of it. There were chorus calls to play music by the happening bands of the time.
In other words, note-for-note cover versions and God help you if you played a wrong note. Cut to… many, many years later. Today the vehemence and distaste that a band faces when they begin to play a cover is hilarious to watch.
It is partly because the audience doesn’t really know the song, but mostly because the band doesn’t know the song. So what comes out is a half-a**ed attempt at immortality. Hence, the safe ethos is to play your own music, which will largely remain unknown by most of the ‘indie’ audience, so that even if you screw up, no one will know anyway. So, all you fans of Indian indie bands, please ‘listen’ to the albums that they put out. For you never know, you might want to cover their music one day… if I may say so.
Here’s what you want on your iPod, recommends Luke Kenny:
Born Sonny John Moore, he is of the half-shaven head. The current whiz-kid genius of sonic manipulation releases his fourth EP of knob twiddling and electro blipping. A genre called dubstep that has just been discovered by us Indian sonic scavengers, is all set to invade civilisation as we know it. But make no mistake; it is a serious sound to reckon with, and Skrillex is the current master of the game. It is somewhat repetitive and has its heart lying in his earlier EP’s, but this is the album that the world will judge him by.
For The Good Times
The Little Willies
The second album from Norah Jones’ side project sees them pull out a bunch of classics by Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn and even Quincy Jones, and give it the Willie twist. Yes, a cover album, but then again, not just a cover album. Every song gets an affectionate reworking. Norah Jones and her little band of stellar musicians know exactly the nuances of the classic country songs they’re playing on here. Country music is its own treasure and The Little Willies show us how valuable it really is.
Good times indeed.
Chimes Of Freedom
Now here’s the biggest Dylan tribute album you’ll ever lay your hands on. Four disks of Dylan, performed by a multitude of artists you’ll go crazy keeping track of. Collected here to commemorate 50 years of the life-saving human rights activist organisation, Amnesty International, these 73 songs performed by artistes like Sting, Johnny Cash, Lenny Kravitz, K’Naan, Patti Smith, Carly Simon, Rise Against, Tom Morello and many, many more will keep you going for another fifty years, methinks.
With Bob on our side.
Kisses On The Bottom
The almost 70-year-old former Beatle travels back in time to revisit the songs he heard as a child and presents his interpretations of them. The album opens with Paul pulling out the 1935 Fats Waller song, ‘I’m gonna sit right down and write myself a letter…’, which contains the line that contains the title of the album. Whew! Diana Krall, Eric Clapton and Stevie Wonder drop in to lend a helping hand on a few tracks. This is Paul at his most mellow and sedate. Something to wind down with on those chilly winter evenings.
Pecks on the cheeks.