Men in Gorilla Suits
Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 83: Last Seen…Covering Tunes

Don't let Shawn and Christopher singing part of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Freebird" scare you away from this week's show. This week is all about cover tunes, so singing just had to happen.

(Yes, there is more than just "Freebird." You'll get bits from these Neil Diamond tunes: "Sweet Caroline," "Coming to America," and "Turn on Your Heartlight." Shawn busts out "Let's Stay Together," by Al Green, and Christopher impersonates Jello Biafra doing "Viva Las Vegas." Shawn gives us Otis Redding's "Dock of the Bay," and we both sing a line from the dreadful "Pina Colada Song." Also, hear Shawn do James Brown's "Living in America" and "Get Up (I Feel Like a Sex Machine).")

Now that we've scared you away, on to the show description...

We begin by talking about the first cover tunes we ever heard and then go into the appeal of cover tunes.

Some say cover bands just copy and make money from other artists. Is that true; do they deserve the bad rap, or can a good cover band capture an experience that may be too expensive or no longer possible to attend? Is it smarmy to make money from another artist's work?

MTV had a hit with its show, Unplugged -- in which bands played acoustic sets. It's common for a cover band to take a louder song and turn it acoustic. What is it about going acoustic/unplugged that just seems to work with many cover tunes? Is it really as simple as shifting a loud tune soft, or a soft tune loud -- or does it take something more to do a great reinterpretation of a song many know and love?

YouTube has made it very easy for bands to gain attention through cover tunes. Find out our thoughts about covering songs to bring attention to yourself.

Can a cover tune be better than the original? We sure think so -- and we share the tunes we believe have achieved this. Then: a 60-second lightning round in which we name all our favorite cover tunes. After that, we discuss songs that we feel could never be properly covered or reinterpreted.

We wrap it up with two questions:

  • What’s the weirdest or most surprising cover tune you’ve ever heard?
  • What’s a song you haven’t heard covered that you would love to hear covered?

We mentioned that we'd post a link to the song Christopher wants to hear covered. Here it is, Little Jack Melody and His Young Turks - "Lock Up Your Daughters"

Not a cover, but the mashup of Justin Bieber and Slipknot we mentioned.

We'd love to hear which cover tunes you think are good, bad, and ugly in the comments below.

Direct download: migs83.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 12:52pm EDT