It’s the time of the season to pay homage to a few of our favorites in the form of the ever-popular tribute album.
This week saw the release of Jim James’ tribute to the late, great George Harrison of the Beatles. The My Morning Jacket lead singer (using the moniker Yim Yames) recorded these years ago, but it’s still a treat to see the album, Tribute To, find the light of day.
We are only a few days away from the release of New Tales to Tell: A Tribute to Love and Rockets, which provides fresh takes on this underrated band‘s catalog from artists as diverse as Black Francis, The Flaming Lips, and (egads) Better Than Ezra. Check out the official website for more details.
And potentially the most interesting of the various tributes scheduled for release is Ciao My Shining Star: The Songs of Mark Mulcahy. You may ask yourself, “Who?”, but artists like Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe, Frank Black (flip-flopping his name as he sees fit), The National, Dinosaur Jr., Juliana Hatfield, and countless others didn’t need a second invitation to offer their versions of selections from Mulcahy’s catalog.
The physical release (available on September 29th) will feature 21 tracks and an additional 20 tracks will be released digitally. Heather Browne over at I Am Fuel, You Are Friends gives the lowdown on Mulcahy’s history (along with a few choice audio samples) to accompany the sad fact that this tribute album also serves as a benefit for Mulcahy, raising young twins after the death of his wife, Melissa.
And be sure to click over to Stereogum, which has been streaming the Yorke cover of “All For The Best”, representative of Mulcahy’s days with the band Miracle Legion.
Good stuff all around and plenty of reasons to check out some new takes on some old tunes. I say keep the tribute albums coming.
A great cover song can bring out the best in a favorite artist while encouraging listeners to seek out the original source material. Add in a worthy cause now and then and it’s a no-brainer.