Archive for Duffy

Happy Birthday, Paul!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2009 by 30daysout

One of the greatest songwriters and singers in rock and roll, Paul McCartney turns 67 on Thursday (June 18).  With the Beatles and later as a solo performer and bandleader, McCartney created some of the best (and worst) music in rock and roll history.  He isn’t as cool today as he was in the 1960s, or in the early part of the 1970s, but even at the twilight of his career McCartney is still a formidable talent.  His album Electric Arguments, released as The Fireman late last year, was considered to be one of the year’s best and a return to form for McCartney.  A collaboration with fellow legend Bob Dylan may be in the works – if it happens, that would be another milestone in an incredible career.

In 1965 McCartney wrote “Yesterday,” which the Guinness Book of World Records says is the most covered song ever.  It has been covered more than 3,000 times and in the 20th century alone the song was performed more than 7 million times.  We thought about doing a marathon with different covers of one song (as we did a few weeks ago on Bob Dylan’s birthday) but thought it would be more fun to just dig up songs from throughout McCartney’s career.  So after the jump you have some of McCartney’s best music as performed by others, as well as a few versions of “Yesterday.”  McCartney may be rather unfairly judged by his output over recent years, but most of this shit rocks.  Happy birthday!

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Review: “War Child Presents: Heroes”

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2009 by 30daysout


This cool little compilation has, at its heart, a pretty interesting idea: take a handful of legendary singers/bands and ask them to identify a current artist to perform cover versions of their songs.  The result is War Child Presents: Heroes, a 16-track disc that aims to benefit children affected by war.  Although the album is a bit uneven, it rocks in its best parts.  So Beck’s garage-rock dismantling of Bob Dylan’s “Leopard Skin Pill-Box Hat,” the Kooks’ faithful rendering of “Victoria” by the Kinks, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs channeling the Ramones in “Sheena Is A Punk Rocker” are successful because each of these artists understand the context (and the era) that fuels these classics. 

When the performer imposes too much of his or her personality on a song, the result is less satisfying: Rufus Wainwright turns a medley from the Beach Boys’ Smile into a long whine, and Duffy’s too-sultry reading of “Live And Let Die” drains all the excitement out of the song.  And a few choices couldn’t be more right: Bruce Springsteen is dead-on with his choice of The Hold Steady to do “Atlantic City” and TV On The Radio is a perfect fit for David Bowie’s “Heroes.”  I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised by this album – try it and you will be too.

MP3: “Leopard Skin Pill-Box Hat” by Beck

Stream songs from War Child Presents: Heroes at this MySpace page

Review: “Rockferry,” Duffy

Posted in Review with tags , on May 14, 2008 by 30daysout

Welsh singer Duffy is a throwback to Britain in the 1960s. The look, the voice, the songs and even the CD cover takes us back to the days of Dusty Springfield, Lulu and Bridget Bardot (more the look, not the voice). Her impressive first disc, Rockferry, is filled with lush arrangements, somber moments, cool beats and sweet sex-kitten vocals.

Duffy belts out tunes about heartbreak throughout the CD’s 10 tracks. She begs like a schoolgirl on the saccharine “Syrup and Honey,” she won’t be a pushover on the Burt Bacharach-esque “Stepping Stone,” trusting someone was a mistake on the mellow “Hanging On Too Long,” she channels the girl groups of the 60s in the cool “Rockferry,” and Bruce Springsteen on “Distant Dreamer,” and she shows her off her writing and vocals skills on the best track, “Mercy.”

My guess is you probably won’t hear too much of Duffy on conventional radio. It’s probably a good thing. She’s too cool to be lumped in with the likes of Mariah Carey, Christina Aguliera and, dare I say, Clay Aiken.

MP3: Mercy

YouTube: Mercy

YouTube: Rockferry

Duffy Official Website