Tag Archives: piano

Covers by Lovers SPECIAL CHRISTMAS EDITION — Vince Guaraldi Trio

I’m not saying I hate Christmas, I just hate a large majority of Christmas music.

Please don’t kill me, but I really can’t stand all the forced jolliness and cheer that everyone pretends to go along with when really they’re just stressed the crap out by having to find the perfect gift for every single person they know. My favorite Christmas songs are the ones that are actually about Christmas (you know, the birth of Christ), or, ones that just aren’t about how happy we have to be because it’s December. I particularly hate the ones that are about falling in love. It’s like, “Oh really? You mixed falling in love, the most popular topic in music, with the most popular American holiday and sold a ton of records? I can’t believe how creative you are!”

That’s why one of my favorite Christmas songs isn’t even really about Christmas per se, but it’s still a classic and iconic Christmas song. Linus and Lucy by the Vince Guaraldi Trio, from the film A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965), doesn’t even have any words, yet it still never fails to remind me of all the special parts about Christmas–just being happy to be with my friends and family–rather than the need to purchase gifts, worship Satan Santa, or pretend that being hit by a projectile sphere of crystalline water in blisteringly cold weather is somehow pleasant. So, I’ve got 3 covers for you today, and I hope you enjoy their various interpretations of this iconic composition.

You should have known that I can’t stay away from the guitar covers. Yes, I know, pretty much every cover here features a guitar, but I’m working on trying to span out the range of instruments featured here (but there’s not a lot to work with on youtube). That aside, the first cover comes from youtuber mtreed55 playing the guitar in his “personal studio” (which he admits is actually just his bathroom). It’s got good harmonies that work well on the guitar, and I chose this one because, as you know, I love alternate tunings. He’s got his guitar in the D A D F# B E tuning. Altogether it sounds well, especially with the resonance of the bathroom. Check it out here:

This next cover has taken a few more steps in production. Youtube user PoopPoopFart (no comment) lays multiple tracks on one another, including two guitar parts and some percussion–I believe he’s playing an egg-shaker and rubbing some bongos with a sheet of paper (correct me if I’m wrong). He does the song very well and pretty loyally, but what I really enjoy are the small liberties he takes with melody and rhythm in the second verse and the personalization in the interluding riffs. Watch and enjoy here:

The last cover, surprisingly, doesn’t feature a guitar! Youtuber snakefl plays the song on piano, as in the original, but there are more liberties taken throughout the whole song and a lot of personal flavor added in. Seeing that Vince Guaraldi was a jazz pianist, and jazz is all about individuality in the solos, I think the outcome would really satisfy him. In the comments, snakefl has been criticized for not getting the whole song down correctly. There are some places where I think he slipped up, but I think the comment author was referring to the distorted rhythm of the song. However, I think it’s more of an interpretive move rather than a lack of understanding of the original. Here’s my favorite version:

Well, for now, have a merry Christmas. Try not to get caught up in all the glamor of the holiday; instead, relax and enjoy the music! And for good measure, a shout-out to all the Jews (including Jesus): If I knew any good Hanuka songs I’d post ’em.

Here’s the original. Unfortunately I couldn’t find the video with all the Peanuts gang dancing, but still images will suffice for now:
Linus and Lucy by Vince Guaraldi Trio.

The Dodos – Walking, Red and Purple

Somehow it’s quickly upon us: autumn, the most volatile of seasons. Yes, one might argue that spring changes just as quickly, but I prefer to romanticize autumn in this way because its changes are more dramatic; with spring comes life, and with autumn comes death. In step with the natural changes occurring outside, my tastes in music are quickly changing as well. I don’t have to be the one to tell you that I don’t keep up with the latest music. Just look at my posts; they’re mostly older songs. Even today’s covers are not that up-to-date, but at least they’re a little more recent than 5 years ago.

I just “discovered” The Dodos, though they’ve been around for quite some time. Their 2008 album Visiter (intentional misspelling with a touching story) is a big hit here at my house, so today I’ve got covers of Red and Purple and Walking. Shall we step right into them?

The first cover of Red and Purple comes from youtuber lanze. He uses a single guitar, so obviously some parts like the drum beat and bells (?) are missing, but I find it pleasant nonetheless. According to his page, he played this song by ear. It’s a nice reminder of how pleasant music can be–I envision some nice guy with his guitar, just chillin’ in the manner in which villains are stereotypically known to chill, trying to play some song he likes. Well, lanze did so and did so well. I particularly like the guitar instrumental part in the middle–you can really tell he’s having fun. It’s a nice tribute to the original. Watch here:

The next cover from simulache is a bit more elaborate. What I really enjoy about this cover is the liberties taken with the original. The Dodo’s original is based on a foundation of strings (guitar and perhaps a banjo), but simulache‘s cover relies upon the piano, playing chords not exactly present in the original. There are also multi-track voices with harmonies and a few other instrumental effects I’m unable to identify. It’s such a great cover that I’d say simulache could contend with The Dodos themselves! Check it out here:

And of course, here are the originals:
Red and Purple by The Dodos
Walking by The Dodos

Arcade Fire – Crown of Love, Neighborhood #1

Despite being a few years old, these songs remain near and dear to my heart–perhaps only for the value of reminiscence, but, at any rate, I’m going to share a few covers of the The Arcade Fire‘s songs Crown of Love and Neighborhood #1.

This first is a very simple cover on the piano by youtuber maggitrymbill. It gets off to a slow start, but then progresses and eventually becomes a very intense composition by the end–just like the original. Plus, it’s done entirely on piano. Watch here:

It’s hard to choose a favorite between these two, but the second cover, from heypaul27 is inching closer and closer to that spot. This cover was done live with piano, cello, and voice. What I really love about this cover is the cello part. It adds a lot to the composition and also plays some parts that aren’t in the original. I only wish that they would record another version with a higher sound quality so that we could enjoy this cover to its fullest. Check it out here:

And of course, here are the originals:

Arcade FIre: Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)

Arcade Fire: Crown of Love

Regina Spektor – Samson

I’ll admit that when I first heard Regina Spektor‘s music, I wasn’t really sure of how I felt about her. After receiving some strong recommendations from a friend, I finally checked out Soviet Kitsch from the library and have been a fan ever since. Samson is a track from her 2006 album Begin to Hope that is near and dear to my heart so I was pleased to find some lovely covers that did it justice. In fact, there were so many good covers that I had a very tough time narrowing it down to just a few to post!

The first cover features the lovely csandman07 on piano. She sounds remarkably similar to the Regina and her piano-playing is nearly flawless.

It was a nice change of pace to see that this song was covered by both sexes. YouTuber fabrice4671 took a different approach with his cover on the acoustic guitar instead of the piano featured in most of the other videos I watched. This version feels much more upbeat, which is refreshing in contrast to the slower, sadder feel of the original.

Finally, matthewlukesandoval played my absolute favourite cover of Samson. His voice and singing style are all-around incredible. Perhaps my favourite thing about this, however, is how expressive and emotional he gets towards the end of the song. The other covers on his YouTube channel are wonderful as well, so you should definitely check him out!

And here’s the original: Regina Spektor – Samson