4AD and Jagjaguar have teamed up to bring us a unique acoustic session of songs from Bon Iver. The recording features Justin Vernon and his Bon Iver band-member Sean Carey on piano and vocals. These stripped down versions are a fun alternative to his usual multi-layered orchestral performances. The session includes several songs from last year’s self-titled sophomore release, “Hinnom, TX”, “Wash.”, and “Beth/Rest”, one from his Blood Bank EP, “Babys”, and a cover of Bonnie Raitt’s classic heart-breaker “I Can’t Make You Love Me”. What’s amazing about this performance is how full a sound these two still manage to create in a “stripped down” session. I really enjoyed hearing Sean Carey, step out of his usual backing role and take the lead on a few tracks. I think that their version of “Beth/Rest” that closes the session was the highlight for me. I loved this song from the get-go, but I fully understand why many people were turned off by it’s cheesy 80′s feel. The album version sounds like it should be included in the closing credits of John Hughes film, but that is part of why I love it. But I don’t know how anyone could not love this version of the song, captured here at in it’s purest form, just Vernon’s voice and a piano.
Recorded in AIR Studio‘s Lyndurst Hall back in October, this is quite the treat.
While in New York for his appearance on SNL, Justin Vernon was kind enough to drop by Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night studio and record a quick little session with everybody’s favorite late night house band. With the help of ?uestlove and The Roots, Bon Iver delivers a very cool and groovin’ version of one of my personal favorite tracks from last year’s self-titled sophomore effort. Spanning over 8 minutes long, they really stretch it out and create something unique that stands on it’s own, while keeping the integrity of original. It really makes me wish that they would go into the studio together and recreate the entire album.
Indie rock band, Miracles of Modern Science, have given the internet world a fun little treat with their new mini-project, Bon Joviver. They have taken the musical stylings of Bon Iver and combined them with the classic 80′s pop tune, “You Give Love a Bad Name”, written by, of course, Bon Jovi. Thus, giving us the name, Bon Joviver. Short and silly, but very entertaining. I’m pretty surprised that Jimmy Fallon hadn’t already come up with this.
So 2011 has been a phenomenal year for new music so far and both Adele and Justin Vernon are doing their darndest to help make sure it continues. Each of them have released a brand new full-length that are both likely to end up on my year end “Top 10 List”. And then in the past couple of weeks they each decided to bless us with their own take on the legendary Bonnie Raitt ballad, “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” I have been a fan of this heart-rending song for quite some time and each of these artists have rendered a cover that is both true to the original and to their unique musical stylings. The National, if you could please follow their lead and give us your rendition next, that would be great. Matt Berninger, your deep crooning voice would suit this tune quite well. I’ll be waiting patiently.