black keys

Cover Wars March Madness: Round 1, Pt. 1

Last week, we kicked off the beginning of Cover Wars March Madness by announcing our first ever “play-in” game. We took ten covers that had not previously participated in a Cover Wars and let the readers select up to three for automatic entry into this year’s tournament.

The winners of the play-in round are:

1) Live and Let Die (Paul McCartney) as performed by Perpetual Groove
2) Across 110th Street (Bobby Womack) as performed by My Morning Jacket
3) FM (Steely Dan) as performed by 2D (Gorillaz) featuring Nathain Haines

The other 29 entries already gained entry into the tournament the conventional way – by winning a Cover Wars in the past year. Now that we’ve got our 32 covers selected, let’s take a look at the matchups…

Matchup #1 (Bob Dylan Covers):

The Black Crowes – Rainy Day Women #12 & 35

In addition to performing the song live, The Black Crowes also contributed a studio take to this 1995 disc for NORML that also includes Gov’t Mule performing Don’t Step On The Grass, Sam, and Widespread Panic’s studio take of And It Stoned Me, amongst other tracks. Source: Hempilation: Freedom is NORML

[audio:https://glidemag.wpengine.com/hiddentrack/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/rainydaycrowes.mp3]

VS.

The Black Keys – Wicked Messenger

There are some real gems from the 2007 I’m Not There soundtrack and this is one of them. Previously on Cover Wars, Stephen Malkmus and the Million Dollar Bashers contributed a cover from the same release for Ballad Of A Thin Man. Source: I’m Not There (Music From The Motion Picture)

[audio:https://glidemag.wpengine.com/hiddentrack/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/bkmessenger.mp3]

READ ON to vote in the remaining seven matchups for the the first half of Cover Wars March Madness Round 1…

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HT 25 Best Albums of 2010: Numbers 1-5

For the second consecutive year at Hidden Track, we concocted our innovative little experiment for the year-end Best Albums list. Instead of picking the old fashioned way – subjectively – we opted for something a little different: a collaborative, collective list that incorporates the opinions of everybody here at HT.

To begin, we devised an all-encompassing list of well over 100 nominees, whereby most everything our contributors recommended made the list. Then we invited our crew of writers to independently and blindly vote on the whole list on a scale of 1 to 20 (20 = five stars). We ended up with varying degrees of familiarity with the nominees as some folks voted on just about everything, while some just a few. From there, we deployed our egghead algorithm for rating albums: (two times the average rating) + (the total number of votes). At that point, we took the top 25 highest scores and presto: the Hidden Track 25 Best Albums of 2010. No bullshit, no big opinions; just the results.

We’ve come to the end of our week long countdown, let’s check out our Top Five…

5) LCD SoundsystemThis Is Happening

Sounds Like: Dance Yrself Clean, I Can Change

Key Tracks: Modern spacefunk, Talking Heads with an indie twist


The Skinny: James Murphy and company’s third full-length finds the eccentric front man exploring the benefits and trappings of stardom accompanied by the funky dance-pop we’ve come to know and love. Not at all a departure from the first two records, This Is Happening takes the LCD sound in a slightly more laid-back, introspective direction. Gone are some of the dancehall sounds in favor of a more organic, live band-sounding approach which brings the seemingly more personal material to life beautifully. Murphy’s impassioned vocals are direct and honest, particularly on the monstrously catchy single I Can Change. This record has all of the things we love about LCD – the Talking Heads-esque bounce, Murphy’s staccato delivery, thick, ever shifting soundscapes – but with a maturity and comfort that shows Murphy growing as an artist and a person.

READ ON for the final four albums in our countdown…

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Bloggy Goodness: U2 + Danger Mouse

With Bono fully recovered from back surgery that forced U2 to postpone their North American tour, the Irish rock band has announced plans to head back into the studio to

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The Black Keys: Central Park Summerstage, New York, NY 7/27/10

Past tours and live offerings have found the group blasting out hard rocking/white boy blues, but tonight found them more confident, easing back and letting the songs (especially those played as a four piece) speak for themselves.  This came with a sacrifice of their metallic aggression and urgency but it is hard to argue with the quality of the Brothers tracks.

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