Cover Friday: Do you go crazy crazy on beards?

Tracking AND posing! So multitalented, these boys

Tracking AND posing! So multitalented, these boys

Carrie Brownstein, formerly of Sleater-Kinney and currently the awesome authoress of Monitor Mix, an NPR music blog, calls 2008 “the year of the beard.” If you’ve seen photos of the members of Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, or local darlings, Blitzen Trapper, you know what she’s talking about. Much of the critically acclaimed music of last year was marked by a penchant for recording in off-the-grid locations (Bon Iver) and reflective lyrics about natural phenomena (Fleet Foxes and Blitzen Trapper). Very mountain man (my way of saying vaguely hippie) business. True to form, a lot of the musicians look like they’ve insulated themselves very adequately against the winter chill.

That’s why it’s always a treat to see a band, to borrow an acting analogy, play against type. One does not easily tie the band, Heart, those girls with big ole’ voices and those juicy guitar hooks, with the mountain man chic. Yet Blitzen Trapper covered “Crazy on You.” Of course, Eric Earley can’t sing like a Wilson sister, and the cover lacks that start/stop tension of the original. But Blitzen Trapper keeps the same lusty, excited energy in their own way. And you know, mountain men! Singing Heart!

The song is on a compilation called Bridging the Distance, a highly entertaining mix of cover songs performed by Portland musicians that benefits p:ear, a local non-profit that offers educational and recreational programs for homeless youth. Is it my favorite cover ever? Not at all. Does it make me want to cuddle under a flannel blanket, read by candlelight at night, then chop wood during the day? Not likely. Does it make me appreciate Blitzen Trapper all the more? You betcha.

  • Blitzen Trapper ~ Bridging the Distance: A Portland, OR Covers Compilation ~ Arena Rock Recording Co.

Crazy on You


2 Responses to “Cover Friday: Do you go crazy crazy on beards?”

  1. 1 Danielle January 17, 2009 at 6:35 AM

    Um, I suppose it depends on who is wearing the beard as to whether I dig it or not. Musically, I’d agree with Carrie (who’d venture to disagree? All three Sleater gals are GODDESSES in their own right). Yes to B. Trapper. And recently I’ve been totally into Iron & Wine. And if Sam Beam doesn’t have a beard, then you bes’ be getting your eyes checked.

  2. 2 blouseparty January 19, 2009 at 6:16 PM

    Cheers to the beard!
    Musically my favorite beard is Will Oldham. My favorite comedy beard is surely one Zach Galifianakis.
    Have you seen the Beard Revue? They have a pretty charming beard print for sale…

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