Skip to Content

Tag Archives: song of the week

Julien Baker – Ballad of Big Nothing (Cover)


julien baker ballad big nothing

While things are in the process of changing around here, I came upon this incredible cover of an Elliott Smith song, and had to share. Obviously, the image for this series has always been a picture from the Elliott Smith memorial wall, but I don’t think I’ve ever shared one of his songs as a part of this, because I’d already wrote about him way back when I started the blog, and because I tend to hate it when people cover artists like Elliott Smith and Bob Dylan as they are on the untouchable list.

But – “Ballad of Big Nothing” was always one of Elliott’s songs that I never loved quite as much as the rest for some reason. And when I heard this version, I realized it is the kind of cover that brings something great to the song, rather than just replacing his vocals with vocals I’ll usually care less about.

The way Baker – who was literally only 8 years old when he died – slowed the melody down and stripped away some of the extra elements Elliott had brought into his work in the last couple albums really, really works – and allows the brilliance of his lyrics to shine through even more. I think she managed to make it sound almost uplifting in its declarations, whereas Elliott sounded somewhere between angry and not giving a shit on this one.

Apparently this tribute album will be released on October 14th 2016, and also features covers from J Mascis, Lou Barlow, Amanda Palmer, Juliana Hatfield and Yuck, so I’m putting away my hatred of people messing with his work because these are the right artists to take on such a challenge.


Leon Bridges – River

song of the week!

If you watched last weekend’s SNL you will probably know why I am posting this.

Leon Bridges music is gorgeous, but this particular performance of this song did something to me that I can’t quite explain. As I tweeted, I stopped in my tracks while doing chores. I had to watch the screen and pay attention to what was happening because it was so powerful.

The album version is strong, but gospel music is at its best live, and it shows here. This performance is one of the most beautiful live performances in SNL history, if you ask me.

I watch SNL to laugh, but this made me cry (in a good way). This is music at its best. This is music that forces you to pay attention because it’s reaching some part of you that you don’t even really know is there until you hear a song performed like this.

I am posting this for anyone who may have missed it, but mostly I am posting it for me, so I can always easily come back and find it in the years to come.


Ben E. King – Stand By Me

song of the week!

I have a feeling that everyone on the planet has heard this song at least once in their life, which is enough times to feel affected by it.

As a 13-year-old I was obsessed with the movie Stand By Me (and River Phoenix), so this song has a special place in my heart.

Ben passed away on Thursday, but this song will literally live on forever. RIP Ben, thanks for making us feel all the feelings and reminding us to hold our friends a little closer.


Jack White’s Awesome New Interactive Video

Jack White black bat licorice

It’s no surprise that Jack White is easily one of my favourite musicians on the planet. He brought it again this week, calling out the media for making an uproar of stupidity about his rider. If you’ve ever been curious about why a rider sometimes has strange requests, like brown M&Ms – give this a read.

Musicians need to know that their rider is being taken seriously not from a food point of view so much as an equipment safety point of view. If something as simple as seeing a bowl of M&Ms free of the brown ones lets them know the show will go on safely without technical errors from the rider not being read properly, it’s not quite the diva move we paint it out to be.

Imagine if Radiohead had a brown M&Ms clause? Maybe their team wouldn’t have been onstage when the whole thing fell apart and took one of their own with it (but we also know it is certainly not up to Radiohead or any band to ensure the safety of the stage).

Of course, Jack’s rider doesn’t even have that kind of demand – pointing out that the guacamole recipe is a joke between his manager and the promoters. So much can get lost without context, hence why judging a rider is stupid.

ANYWAY  – the real point of this post is his new video which is so great I couldn’t wait until Sunday to share it as my song of the week. The genius man released an epic video for “That Black Bat Licorice” and I’m obsessed with it.

They shot three different videos for the song, and you can easily flip through each video by holding down the 3 or the B key on your computer. The standard video is my favourite, completely animated, then the 3 key gives you the live action version featuring Jack himself, and the B key is another live action version with people headbanging. This is what you do when you have three ideas for the video but like them all equally. Forget decisions, make them all!

The most interesting way to watch is to flip between the animated and the live action Jack videos (cutting out the semi pointless headbanging one), to see how they used animation to do what they couldn’t actually pull off in real life.

Is it better than Arcade Fire’s or Bob Dylan’s interactive videos? Maybe not, but it comes close.

Whatever you feed me, I’ll fee you right back. But it’ll do no good. 


Frank Turner – Hits and Mrs

song of the week!

The perfect Valentine’s weekend tune.

What is love if not someone to give you hangover hugs and comedown kisses.

Frank Turner is coming to the Horseshoe in March, if you hadn’t heard. Can’t wait to finally see him live.

Hope you’re spending this weekend with someone you love, romantically or not. Yes, it’s a Hallmark holiday – but it’s never a bad thing to have another excuse to tell the people in your life just how much you love them. Life is short, guys.