Tim Palmieri

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



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)


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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Cover Wars: Any Major Dude Will Tell You

Any Major Dude Will Tell You is the third track on the 1974 Steely Dan album Pretzel Logic. Here’s a funny excerpt from Blinded by the Lyrics

“Okay, friends, break out your Steely Dan decoder rings. Starting with the release of their debut album Can’t Buy A Thrill back in 1972, no group has trafficked in more oblique, head-scratching, and just plain weird lyrics than Steely Dan. Case in point: Have you ever seen a squonk’s tears?, an enigmatic line from “Any Major Dude Will Tell You” off the Pretzel Logic LP.’

What on earth is a squonk? As they used to say on the old Laugh-In television show, “Look that up in your Funk & Wagnalls!” Actually, don’t both bother, because the word squonk is not found in any dictionary.

It turns out that squonk is a piece of jabberwocky, a completely made-up word referring to a mysterious animal, that due to its abject homeliness, spends most of its time crying. Credit for coining squonk goes to William T. Cox, who introduced the word in his oddly named book Fearsom Critters of the Lumberwoods, with a Few Desert and Mountain Beasts. To quote from Mr. Cox’s volume: “The squonk is of a very retiring disposition, generally traveling about at twilight and dusk. Because of its misfitting skin, which is covered with warts and moles, it is always unhappy; in fact, it is said, by people who are best able to judge, to be the most morbid of beasts.”

Two years after Steely Dan introduced listeners to the mythical squonk in “Any Major Dude Will Tell You”, Genesis included the song “Squonk” on their A Trick of the Tail album, wherein Phil Collins sang: Stop your tears from falling / The trail they leave is very clear for all to see at night.

Cover Wars

The Contestants:

God Street Wine: The earliest recording on the Live Music Archive of God Street Wine performing this cover dates back to 1990. So when GSW played it last Friday, it was a good 20 years since that night at The Wetlands. Resident GSW expert ScottyB pointed me in the direction of the performance below from 1994. Man, the way they perform the intro makes it sound more like The Grateful Dead than Steely Dan. Source: 9-16-1994


READ ON for the scoop on the rest of this week’s contestants…

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Cover Wars: O-o-h Child Edition

O-o-h Child was originally recorded by Chicago’s Five Stairsteps, it was released both as a single and on the 1970 album The Stairsteps. O-o-h Child reached #8 on the Billboard charts. What did I learn this week? That the correct way to spell the song title is O-o-h Child.

Cover Wars

The Contestants:

Beth Orton: Beth Orton leads us off this week with her down-tempo solo acoustic performance. This cover was included in an episode of the television show Alias. Source: The Other Side Of Daybreak


READ ON for the rest of this week’s contestants…

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Last Week’s Sauce: January 18th – 24th

Taking our weekly audio look back, there’s a bit of a supergroup vibe going on. Tim Palmieri and Todd Stoops had the jazz/fusion thing going on in Kung Fu and Scott Metzger/Will Bernard channeled Hendrix in their ensemble Some Cat From Japan. We mix in tracks from Gov’t Mule and Umphrey’s McGee for the Rock & Roll contingent, and complete the audio with Marco Benvento’s long overdue collaboration with moe. as the band celebrates its 20th year.


[Thanks to sonicsound for this week’s photo]

Artist & Title: Gov’t Mule – Broke Down On The Brazos
Date & Venue: 2010-01-20 Revolution Live, Ft. Lauderdale FL
Taper & Show Download: Steve Kwartin

This tune is the first track on Gov’t Mule 2009 album By A Thread. I’ve featured tapes from a lot of friends in this column since its creation and I was very happy to see that I could use my first track from taper legend Steve Kwartin. As Steve says in the torrent information on bt.etree.org, “If you like what you hear – buy a taper a beer”. Mule plays tonight at The Lyric Theater in Oxford MS.


Video from the same show of Mule doing 30 Days In The Hole:

READ ON to stream the rest of this week’s selections…

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