A selection of artists performing other people’s music from throughout the week:
Reggie Watts – “Panama”
Comedian/beatboxer/pretty cool guy of all trades Reggie Watts stopped by The Onion A.V Club’s Chicago office to take part in their “Undercover” series. He chose Van Halen’s bombastic ‘80s party anthem “Panama,” but no ironic David Lee Roth reworking would do here. Watts takes the song in a completely new direction, actually giving us an anthem about the nation of Panama and its canal, set to a looped beatbox. Educational!
Netherfriends & Show You Suck – “Full Of It”
Not a cover per se, but an interesting use of already-existing music anyway (not your typical mash-up, that’s for sure). The always-ambitious, nomadic Shawn Rosenblatt, who we last saw recording a song in each of the 50 states (your move, Sufjan!) introduces his new project, Netherfriends Does Nilsson, an album featuring Rosenblatt singing over tracks comprised of all Harry Nilsson samples. The results, especially on this funky single featuring Chicago rapper Show You Suck, are fantastic.
The Weeknd – “Dirty Diana”
The Canadian R&B icon, who will be appearing at a number of U.S. festivals this summer, has been incorporating Michael Jackson’s classic “Dirty Diana” into his repertoire for the past several months. Check out this video, featuring some sweet choreography, to get some idea of what this entails.
Neil Young & Crazy Horse – “God Save The Queen”
Neil Young and Crazy Horse returned this week with Americana, their album featuring a number of traditional American folk songs re-imagined through the lens of Mr. Young. Among them is this rockin’ version of “God Save the Queen,” just a few days too late to shake things up during the Diamond Jubilee.