The husband/wife duo of Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel (pictured) previews its upcoming summer release Crushes (The Covers Mixtape) with a twee pop tribute to the Bay Area band the Girls, on the song "Laura." While it certainly builds some curiosity for the remake record, one can't help but wonder how The Mars Volta's normally bombastic "Son et Lumiere" or Nick Cave's ominous "Love Letter" will translate to the track list.
2. Amanda Palmer: "The Truth"
From her time as a cabaret rocker in the Dresden Dolls to becoming a solo starlet, Amanda Palmer has always thrown the rule book out the window. She recently embarked on a highly public (and persistent) quest to leave the Roadrunner Records family, and upon her recent label emancipation, wrote this sparse, heartfelt track about her coming-of-age experiences.
3. Everclear: "Here Comes the Darkness"
For a band that broke big in the 1990s, Everclear sure is keeping up with the times, technologically speaking. In order to score this song, fans have to spread the word on Facebook or Twitter, which may take a moment, but sure beats shelling out a buck at iTunes if you're broke. As for the sound of "Here Comes the Darkness," expect the same angst-fueled, arena-filling power pop that the act could've recorded a decade ago.
4. The Morning Pages: "Telephone"
In one of the more ingenious examples of covering a current pop smash, The Morning Pages turns back time to interpret Lady Gaga and Beyoncé's club cut "Telephone" as if it were written a century ago. Mechanical beats and synth-pop saturation are replaced with a hoe-down of guitars and southern-fried vocals that prove a contagious tune can thrive no matter the interpretation, or genre.
5. Various Artists: Sympathy for the Record Industry Sampler
It's no surprise that the music business is in dire need of a makeover -- and the artists on this compilation may provide an artistic kick start, if not an attitude check. The most notable name listed in the seven-track punk and alternative rock serenade is the New York Dolls, who serve up some retro revelry on "Personality Crisis." Others worth scouting out include the garage swing of Holly Golightly during "Run Cold" and the cheeky girl pop of April March across "Poor Lola."
6. Ian McCulloch of Echo and the Bunnymen: Daytrotter Session
Even though the members are considered elder statesmen of '80s alt-rock, Echo & The Bunnymen continue to forge into the future thanks to its latest release, The Fountain (Phantom Sound and Vision). The project marks the group's tenth studio release and still features the ambitious interplay of frontman Ian McCulloch and guitarist Will Sergeant. In this live session, the sunglasses-bearing front man turns in three brooding new tracks, along with an intimate recollection of the new-wave landmark, "The Killing Moon."
7. Stewart: "Dance With Me"
The Big Apple's grunge-infused punk rockers are scoring increased airplay for this superhero-centered love anthem, thanks to the "Rock Band" video game offering it for Xbox 360 download. The band goes well beyond gimmick territory with roots dating back to 2004 and gigs at New York hot spots such as CBGB and The Continental.
8. Deluka: "Cascade"
Having drawn comparisons to Ladytron and a series of like-minded electronica acts, Deluka brims with girl power for its stateside conquest. The female fronted, UK-based band is currently pumping up the lead single "Cascade," previously featured on the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards; it still oozes with pop sensibility and sensuality.
9. Air Supply: "Dance With Me" and "Hold On"
The goopy punchlines are literally endless when it comes to this soft-pop outfit that was once "Lost In Love," then "Making Love Out of Nothing At All" and eventually "All Out of Love." Believe it or not, the group just turned 35 this year and has earned some unexpected shout-outs in indie rock circles (if only for the guilty-pleasure kitsch factor). Catch the brand new melodramatic acoustic ballad "Hold On" and the surprisingly brisk "Dance With Me" in all the pair's lovey-dovey glory.
10. Weatherbox: "The Bullets"
Rugged SoCal rockers Weatherbox turn in a scratchy song about relationships, with front man Brian Warren singing about his personal rotation between being "subservient, equal and dominant." Along with gritty production from Ben Moore (Rocket From The Crypt, The Night Marchers), expect an alarming but ultimately compelling, heart-on-sleeve effort.