I Can Tell You Why (Wilco should cover the Eagles)

YouTube served up the Eagles‘ “I Can’t Tell You Why (Official Video)” this morning. I’ve watched it before, nothing I haven’t already seen but I sat through it again because it’s just a damn good song. Like every Eagles hit, I’m sure this was a staple of my childhood – I don’t remember my parents owning any Eagles albums but their songs are as familiar to me as any Beatles songs so I must have heard them on the radio. Side note: When I saw the Eagles in 2018, I thought for sure there’d be songs I didn’t know in the set list but, to my surprise, I knew them all and every time they’d kick off the next song, I’d think, “Oh yeah, how did I forget about this one?”

Anyway, back to “I Can’t Tell You Why” – it’s the epitome of soft rock, the opening keys that sound like an intro to a TV drama (Law and Order, St. Elsewhere, Hill Street Blues, etc), the deep bass accompaniment and then Timothy B Schmit‘s vocals which, when they kick off, always make me think this could have been a Bee Gees song. Reading on Wikipedia, Don Henley and Glenn Frey gave it an R&B feel after Schmit presented it to them. That’s the first time I’ve heard this described as an R&B song and I can hear it now.

The guitar solo is understated, nothing flashy but full of character. Glenn Frey recorded it but in the video, Don Felder is seen playing it. As I was listening, the guitars reminded me of what Nels Cline has brought to Wilco – though the solos aren’t interchangeable, I was reminded of Cline’s work on “Impossible Germany” which got me to wondering (though I was pretty sure I knew the answer) – “Has Wilco ever covered the Eagles?” In my surface level internet sleuthing, I don’t believe they have. So, no time like the present, right?

Give this a listen, close your eyes, imagine Jeff Tweedy singing Schmit’s part, John Stirratt covering Schmit’s bass parts, Pat Sansone playing the electric piano and Nels Cline ripping the Frey solo. It works, right?

Scott Lucas and The Married Men cover Bananarama’s “Cruel Summer”

Scott Lucas revealed after his band’s performance in Columbus on Sunday night that the cover they opened their set with – Bananarama’s “Cruel Summer” – will be featured on the Onion’s A.V. Undercover series sometime in the coming months.

And, shaking the setlist up a little bit, Scott Lucas and The Married Men decided to play the song for the first time live at this show. Fans of the original song (which became a hit after being featured in The Karate Kid) may not recognize this version of the song which is exactly what the band was going for. It was either Scott, or his drummer Randy Payne, who said that when they decided to cover the song, they said, “What would this song sound like if it had been written by Neil Young?” Judge for yourself whether or not they nailed it. (In my opinion, they absolutely did!)

Download: “Cruel Summer” (live)

Not sure if they’ll continue to toss the cover into the set, but if you live in one of the following cities, check ’em out.

Jun 22 Sunset Tavern – Seattle, WA
Jun 23 Bunk Bar – Portland, OR
Jun 25 Brick & Mortar Music Hall – San Francisco, CA
Jun 26 Bootleg Theater – Los Angeles, CA
Jun 27 Rhythm Room – Phoenix, AZ
Jun 29 The Mohawk – Austin, TX
Jun 30 The Common Table – Dallas, TX
Jul 20 Fitz’s Spare Keys – Elmhurst, IL
Jul 21 Roscoe Village Burger Fest – Chicago, IL
Jul 22 Firebird – St Louis, MO
Jul 24 The End – Nashville, TN
Jul 25 JR’s Lightbulb Club – Fayetteville, AR
Jul 26 Vaudeville Mews – Des Moines, IA
Jul 27 Club Garibaldi’s – Milwaukee, WI

I’m obsessed with Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire”; listen to a beautiful cover by Kate Tucker

Everybody loves the Boss for his blue collar rock anthems – the kind that make you stand up in your chair, throw your fist in the air, sing along at the top of your lungs, maybe even make your feet shuffle – but there are very few songs that move me the way the slower, driving late at night number does.

Glancing through YouTube, there are dozens of covers by all sorts of artists from many different genres. This morning I stumbled upon a version by Kate Tucker backed by members of Lovedrug.

Kate’s made her version of “I’m on Fire” available for free via Bandcamp where you can also listen to (and buy) Kate’s most recent release, Ghost of Something New.

Luna covers Zeppelin on digital release

Luna may have broken up in 2005 but their last three releases (2002’s Romantica, 2002’s Close Cover Before Striking (EP), 2005’s Rendezvous) have just been issued digitally on iTunes, Amazon, eMusic, Rhapsody and Bandcamp and all come with bonus tracks.

Here’s the previously unreleased (I think) cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Dancing Days” which can be found on Close Cover Before Striking.