The album Colin Meloy Sings Morrissey was The Decemberists' lead singer's first solo effort, released in 2005 and limited to 100 copies sold only on the accompanying tour, so we'll forgive you if you haven't heard of it.
The fact that Meloy finds Morrissey inspiring should be a surprise to no one at all. So much as a cursory listen to both singers' respective bands speaks for itself. But Meloy is far more than a cover artist, and The Decemberists are far more talented than to be tossed off as yet another indie-rock throwback to The Smiths. Though the storytelling lyrical style might be familiar, The Decemberists reach for a more folksy, Americana tone than their British predecessors, and this is where they shine. Meloy's covers are no different, but stripped down and backed merely by an acoustic guitar. Applied here to "I Know Very Well How I Got My Name", it challenges Morrissey's lyrics to stand on their own.
In honor of Panic, I've chosen the oft-overlooked Aztec Camera single "Good Morning Britain", featuring vocals from Mick Jones of The Clash, from their 1990 release Stray. And of course this post wouldn't be complete without "Panic" by The Smiths. See you tonight!
What I love about the Handsome Devilz is that they are the least pretentious musicians I have ever met. They know they’re talented and have had success in other bands playing their own music, but they absolutely love The Smiths and Morrissey and dedicate a night a month covering their heroes at the Abbey Pub. Lisa and I are big fans of their night “The Queen Is Dead” and look forward to hosting their after show party on the last Thursday of every month. If you go to the show this week, remember that Atomic is free with a wristband or ticket stub from the Abbey and you’ll get to hear Guest DJ Arturo spin a Smiths/Morrissey set!
Somewhere back in the '90s, I drug a handful of friends to a Placebo show in St. Louis. Having only ever heard their solitary US hit "Pure Morning", they were skeptical, and I can hardly blame them. I don't much care for that song; to me it is to Placebo what "Vaseline" is to Flaming Lips fans: an annoyance that requires so many "no but really, their other stuff is so much more than that" explanations.
I'm proud to say that my friends left the show that night as Placebo fans, and henceforth trusted my judgement about these sorts of things.
Despite the little airplay they get here in the States, thankfully they've attracted enough of a cult following to tour here every few years. I always go see them, and -I can't say this about too many bands- they've always gotten better. One of the things one comes to expect from their encores is a cover of someone who has influenced them; I'm quite fond of what they've done to The Pixies and Kate Bush. But since this week we are providing the afterparty for The Queen Is Dead (details to your right), it seemed more fitting to post their rocked-out version of The Smiths' classic "Bigmouth Strikes Again" from their collection of covers Sleeping With Ghosts. Though not necessarily as good or true to the original, their take on it is worth noting.
In honor of the
This likely combo also dragged along Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys for the ride on their 1989 debut single "Getting Away with It." Rumor has it that the lyrics of the song were a parody on Morrissey's lyrics and public interviews, including the chorus: "However I look / It's clear to see / I love you more than you love me."
The first Electronic album of the same name is ranked highly among my favorite work of Sumner and is definitely worth pursuit if you are new to the band.
Hear this song and other New Order related tracks this week on Thursday, February 4th for Atomic at Neo... See you in the dark.