Tree: Radiohead’s Karma Police Cover

Tree (a.k.a. Oliver Tree) just released the video for his cover of Radiohead’s “Karma Police,” which is featured on his debut EP Demons. You can watch the video and stream the EP in its entirety below. Tree’s singing voice can’t quite compare to that of Thom Yorke, but then whose can? What sets his cover apart is the brief verse that he raps and especially his arrangement of the song – a mix of electronic beats and lovely classical strings.

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Ukulele Party!

Guest Post by: Brendan

Muruch Editor Vic may not have been fond of Amanda Palmer’s ukulele era, but I’ve been enjoying her performance of popular Radiohead hits on her Magical Ukulele:

Even more awesome is the fact that she brought her ukulele to C-Span.

Amanda’s Ukulele anthem is among the free downloads available from her Soundcloud page.

“The Guacamole Ukulele Song” by Lauren Fairweather and Lena Gabrielle will worm its way into your head and stay there forever. You have been warned:

Guacamole Ukulele by Lauren Fairweather

Here’s Jake Shimabukuro covering Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep”:

Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s “Over The Rainbow” is perhaps the most heard Ukulele cover. He was profiled on NPR’s All Things Considered.

Finally, I dare you to sit still during this NPR Tiny Desk Concert from Tune-Yards (mp3).

Muruch Classic Albums Appreciation Club: Week 13

Last week’s pick, Radiohead’s The Bends, was even better than I remembered. It’s not an album I’ve listened to much in recent years, simply because it’s tied to some intense memories and emotions that I’m not always prepared to relive (ah, the power of music-induced nostalgia!). When I do listen to it, though, I’m surprised at how inaccurate my memory is regarding the album’s mood. Radiohead’s music, particularly their early albums, has often been inaccurately described as depressing and time always seems to lead me back to that misperception. But listening to The Bends again, I was struck at how beautifully and brilliantly they embellished even their most melancholy melodies with rock riffs and electronic beats. The sneering rock “Just” reminds me why Muse is always compared to Radiohead, but “High and Dry,” “Fake Plastic Trees,” “Black Star” and especially “Street Spirit” remain unparalleled in their elegiac elegance. Now for something a little more upbeat and fun…

This week’s classic album is…Cyndi Lauper: She’s So Unusual

To recap the procedure here: At the beginning of each week, I’ll post brief thoughts on the previous week’s listening experience along with the coming week’s classic album selection. Then sometime in the week that follows, we’ll all take the time to listen to the album from beginning to end with no distractions. It can be as simple as just getting away from the computer to listen alone or you can make an event of it with candles, beverages and friends. Whatever format you play the album in or the manner in which you listen, just give the music your full and undivided attention.

Feel free to comment or email your opinions of our selections and recommendations for classic albums (from any decade, including this one).

Sonos: SonoSings

Six-piece vocal ensemble Sonos perform a cappella covers of songs by popular indie artists. But this is no bland choir. Thanks to the presence of human beatbox Ben McLain and the innovative way their male and female harmonies are arranged, their covers are often more interesting than the originals. I was introduced to the group last April when they performed live at Mountain Stage. Their debut full-length SonoSings will be released by Verve Records on September 15th.

The album quietly begins with the Bon Iver cover “Re: Stacks.” I think a stronger song may have been a better choice for the opener. But whether humming in such hushed tones or belting to the rafters as in latter tracks, there’s an elegance to each note the sextet sings.

The cool, vibrating rendition of Radiohead’s “Everything In Its Right Place” that follows is more impressive, and Sara Bareilles herself joins Sonos for a rhythmic a capella recording of her song “Gravity.” I personally prefer both of these covers over the originals.

However, the studio version of “Again and Again” (originally by The Bird & The Bee) doesn’t translate as well as it did in their live performance. Sadly, this is somewhat true of the album in general. The fault obviously lies in the smooth production, which dampens the dynamics of the individual vocals. I know from hearing them sing unaccompanied in concert that these six voices need no such help or effects.

Still, the studio polish is only a minor irritation in most cases. The delicately atmospheric takes on Imogen Heap’s “Come Here Boy” and Bjork’s “Joga” are much more successful.

Sonos save their most stunning cover for last. To say their vocals on Fleet Foxes’ “White Winter Hymnal” are gorgeous and chill-producing may be cliché, but it’s true.

Sonos – Everything In Its Right Place (mp3 expired) *

*mp3 posted for a limited time w/ permission of ThinkPress PR on behalf of Verve Records

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