Saturday, March 4, 2017

OTHER SOURCES: Band Bombshell's "Completely Covered"

"Completely Covered" was an interesting little project started by Chad Taylor, former music critic of "Cityview", when he was managing editor of the now defunct Des Moines music website, Band Bombshell.

Chad, though, described the project better than I ever could on his own website, Culture Myth and on the Band Bombshell:

"Almost exactly two years ago, in January of 2015, I came up with an ambitious idea.

"I was, at the time, the Managing Editor for a site called Band Bombshell...

"...I came to Erika with what I still feel is the best idea I've ever come up with: gather together 10 local acts, give them all a single, well-known song, and have them cover it. The idea of 10 different points of view on the same song intrigued the hell out of me, and everyone I pitched the initial idea to was just as excited. Erika loved it, we got Nova Labs' resident genius Bryon Dudley on board to help with the production side, and we were off and running. Eventually, we wound up doing a second edition, with new acts and a different song.

"The bands almost universally hated the songs they were given; seven acts would wind up not turning anything in at all. Both editions were plagued by recording delays due to scheduling conflicts, and ultimately traffic remained flat, so the songs themselves were almost completely ignored.

"The actual songs were absolutely glorious."
- from the Culture Myth post, Band Bombshell, Cover Songs and a Cluster Fuck: A Retrospective

"The idea in and of itself wasn't a new one. As soon as the first song was ever written, the first cover song probably followed closely behind...

"There were, however, a couple of things that made "Completely Covered" unique. Firstly, most cover song projects give the bands involved at least a certain modicum of choice... But for "Completely Covered" what intrigued me was... how a bunch of different minds and talents would choose to look at exactly the same material. It was meant to come off less like a tribute CD, and more as an examination of perspectives.

"But more importantly, of course, it was local. Musical projects that try to incorporate a large number of Des Moines-area musicians are few and far between. There's the occasional local music festival.. Juice has been producing their terrific "Side Sessions" video series since August, and it really highlights what kind of fun, creative things you can do with local music in Des Moines when you've got a little money to throw at your ideas.

"But Band Bombshell had no cash, and one really can not heap enough praise on Bryon Dudley and Nova Labs for his willingness to hop into the project with both feet, and do all of the recording and mastering for nothing more than the fun of the project, a banner ad and a hearty thank you. The series also stands as a credit to the musicians who took part. When I pitched the idea to them all, they were given the basic premise, but were not told what song they were going to be working on until after everyone had said yes. It was a bit of a gamble for everyone involved and one that required more than a little adventurous spirit. It was incredibly fun to watch it all come together."
- from the Culture Myth post, Covering a Local Music Retrospective, Day 2

"The concept was simple: to see how different people, with different tastes and influences, would approach the same material. How much different would a song sound, if it were tackled by a metal act as opposed to a country one? The idea was intended to both challenge the artists artistically and creatively, while simultaneously showcasing the wealth of talent within our state's borders. Plus, it just sounded fun as hell.

"And so, at the beginning of the new year, these are the ground rules we gave our 10 participants:

"The song may have been written by a different artist, but it's yours now. Own it. Don't like the chorus? Change it. Hate that one verse? Drop it. Change the perspective, add to it, strip it down, make it your own. You've got 30 days to re-imagine, write, rehearse and record your cover. Don't tell anyone. With those scant instructions, we turned everyone loose. On the back end, the absolutely amazing Bryon Dudley at Nova Labs in Ames generously offered his studio and his time to help bands get their tracks recorded and mixed, and it really can't be overstated: this project would not have happened without him.

"For the first round, our song choice was a controversial one. It's by an artist who's polarizing on just about every front. Not all of the lyrics are appreciated by everyone, and people have found the subject matter offensive. So why did we choose it? We wanted to see what people would do with a song they didn't necessarily like."
- from the Band Bombshell post, COMPLETELY COVERED: 10 BANDS, 1 SONG

"Our song of choice, Kanye West's "Gold Digger", was not the most popular of choices. Kanye isn't the most popular of artists among the bands we tapped, and "Gold Digger" is far from his best song, so covering it—and making it into something entertaining—required a little more effort on the part our bands. Not everybody was up to it, and three of our bands dropped out, with varying degrees of grace."
- from the Band Bombshell post, COMPLETELY COVERED: THE STORY THUS FAR

Chad has written a post of each version in the first series on this Culture Myth website. You can read them here...

Ira Grace and The Bible Belt Prophets -

The Other Brothers -

Patresa Hartman -

Strong Like Bear -

Cover Grrls -

Murder Earth -

Monday Mourners -

And Band Bombshell interviewed each artists about covering the song:

Ira Grace and The Bible Bible Prophets -

Patresa Hartman -

The Other Brothers -

Strong Like Bear -

Monday Mourners -

Murder Earth -

Cover Grrls -

James Biehn -

Microwaved -

Bonne Finken -

Randy Burk -

Other IMSC websites and links:


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