Last Nite, Adele
A big thank you to Jack for bringing this cover to my attention. Simply put, if I were forced to name one song as my favorite song of all time, I would probably have to say the Strokes’ 2001 garage-punk gem “Last Nite,” off their marvelous debut Is This It (also probably my favorite album of all time). I was therefore thrilled to discover that the biggest and most talented breakout star of last year, Adele Laurie Blue Adkins, had covered the song nearly four years ago for a BBC radio session. Who would have thought that Adele had such great taste in early millennial indie rock? By now, we’ve come to expect big, heart-on-sleeve power ballads and torch songs from the British soul star. “Last Nite” is something different entirely – a bare-bones, no-frills rock and roll song. Adele, however, gives the vocals of bluesy, soulful quality not present in Julian Casablancas’ wonderfully nasal delivery. She sounds completely at home on this cover and her R&B wail fits perfectly into the spots where Casablancas’ throat-lacerating screams used to be. Plus, they keep the chugging guitar and pounding drums of the original. For me, nothing will ever top the original, but Adele’s cover is fun and fresh, with the original sneer behind the song still intact. [via Indieshuffle]
Last Nite, Adele
I’ll Try Anything Once, The Strokes
If we’re all honest with ourselves, we can admit that the last two Strokes albums, in comparison to the first half of their discography, have been a little disappointing. Their third record, 2006′s First Impressions of Earth, was a big-budget overproduction, filled with heavy-handed meditations on fame that were long on angst but short on memorable hooks. Their long-awaited comeback album, Angles, released earlier this year, was a scattershot 80′s pastiche with some promising ideas that were unfortunately not carried through to completion. However, just because the albums as entire pieces were lackluster, this sad fact does not mean that there weren’t a few gems sprinkled amongst the filler. Actually, the best song to come out of the Strokes’ catalog over the past five years is “I’ll Try Anything Once,” a B-side early demo of First Impressions’best track, “You Only Live Once.”
The original is a loud album opener, filled with whirring guitars and forceful drum hits. In a sharp contrast, “I’ll Try Anything Once” is the closest the Strokes have ever come to writing a lullaby. It’s basically a Julian Casablancas solo recording, caught on tape during a BBC radio session. Casablancas sings in a hushed croon, backed up only by an old Casio keyboard. The lyrics to the song are different from its final album incarnation, but sport the same general life advice motif as the more popular version. The lyrics are relatively incoherent, but the image of a New York scuzball rocker dispensing life advice on a mini Casio keyboard is strangely endearing. As a result, the song has the overall effect of being very sweet and innocent, an aura which was used most effectively in the trailer for the recent Sofia Coppola father-daughter drama Somewhere. For the Strokes, turning down the volume is fairly rare, but with “I’ll Try Anything Once,” they prove that they can be just as excellent muted as they are with full amplification.