Wednesday, April 04, 2012

COVER WARS: Travis Garland vs. Usher, Jamie Bendell vs. fun., Mike & Cody vs. Britney Spears, Henry Lau vs. Pitbull

In continuation my first amalgamation of the current coverscape as it were two months ago, fate has intervened and presented me with three awesome covers by some of my favorite (and most promising) up & coming musicians -- and allowed me to also fangirl squeal a semi-recent cover by a "forgotten"(-ish) KPOP star (who happens to be Chinese...I'll explain later).

First up, the gorgeous Travis Garland, who has been the inspiration for no shortage of posts here at Melismatic. His latest cover contribution comes hot on the heels of his beautiful rendition of John Mayer's "Slow Dancing In A Burning Room" in the form of Usher's Diplo-produced single "Climax". You just know there is a pun in this statement that involves both my love for that song, Travis & Travis' buttery vocal chords just itching to be used, but I'm choosing to be professional and just say this...listen.

It's been a second since I've formally checked in with indie songstress Jamie Bendell (as in back in the summer of 2010 -- where have I been? Seriously?), but she's been chugging along, regularly recording her own material, released a music video (for "Five Little Minutes") along with a new EP to iTunes  and has been doing a few shows. A few days back, she sent me to the link to a YouTube video of her latest cover -- of fun.'s "Some Nights"! Insert me salivating here. Jamie strips out the Queen-grandiose vibe in favor of her more usual softer bravado, and truly gives "Some Nights" her own trademark vibe. Check it out below. If you like what you hear, I seriously urge you to follow her on the Twitters. Kind words don't do her justice -- she's beyond a sweetheart!

Next, the boys in Mike & Cody, a duo whose array of offbeat pop cover choices only continues to make fans wait in anticipation for what they will think up next. We've seen them pull off "Hot In Herre" and "No Scrubs", but now Mike & Cody tread dangerous waters -- in the form of covering Britney Spears' iconic bow with "Toxic (do do doooo-oh do). "Toxic"'s trademark bubblegum is slowed down, balanced out with a full live band in place of AutoTune there's a different use of AutoTune. With every cover video these dudes release, I become increasingly amazed by their creativity! Remind me as to why this has not "gone viral" already (as the kids say)? Do yourself a favor and subscribe to their YouTube. You will not regret.

Which brings to Henry Lau, the somewhat overlooked North American member of Super Junior-M, the Mandarin subgroup of Super Junior (the other members currently are Korean SuJu members Sungmin, Eunhyuk, Donghae, Siwon, Ryeowook & Kyuhyun, along with Chinese member ZhouMi). I say overlooked because SuJu-M only promotes heartily in Mandarin speaking countries, and while Henry & ZhouMi are often invited to the ELF Squee Fest Super Show tour shows, there have been a few instances when Korean ELFs (read Korean fangirls of Super Junior) show visible...shall we say...discontent with the "additional" members of SuJu (another story for another time). Henry is actually from Canada (like Justin Bieber but more me anyway) and has openly stated that although his lack of super-packed schedule with his hyungs (he is officially the youngest of the pack of 15 boys associated with SuJu) is a little dissapointing, he's used his "spare time" by brushing up his own musical prowess (songwriting, violin, keyboards, etc. etc.) and attending college (in North America). Below is a result of that spare time via this excellent cover of Pitbull, Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer's "Give Me Everything Tonight" with a smattering of friends. Watching this makes you wonder why some K-ELFs get their panties all twisted, right?

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