Top 5 Old Songs Ripe for Hipster Updates
"Different Drum," Linda Ronstadt & the Stone Poneys
Covered by: Lana Del Rey
The backstory for Linda Ronstadt's coming-out party, "Different Drum," is a fairly interesting one, and the parallels to Lana Del Rey (nee Lizzie Grant) are near pitch-perfect, even if Del Rey could never hope to match Ronstadt's pipes. In 1967 San Antonio native Mike Nesmith, of Monkees fame, found his considerable talents marginalized and largely disregarded after being shoehorned, albeit willingly, into a fictional pop-character role. (Sound familiar?)
Frustrated, he took an original song, "Different Drum," to Ronstadt, who in turn took the track to the top of the charts and a long career beyond. Even more fitting, Del Rey's sultry retro yet of-the-moment smoke-and-mirrors routine, whether genuine or factory created, matches perfectly with the sad lonesome strains of "Different Drum." And Del Rey, much like Nesmith, contains undeniable talent inside her cartoon facsimile, whether you like the character she's playing or not.
Bonus trivia: Though credited, the other members of the Stone Poneys don't appear on this song. They were replaced by session musicians, a few of whom also sat in for, wait for it...The Monkees.
"Coming Around Again," Carly Simon
Covered by: Grizzly Bear
Carly Simon was a victim of 1980s production traps. There, we said it... we like Carly Simon, dammit. This song was everywhere when we were kids. Maybe it wasn't that popular, and our mom's love of Heartburn just made it seem that way.
We can't seem to escape Grizzly Bear these days, either. Rocks Off is pretty sure we heard "Two Weeks" coming from a Williams-Sonoma at the mall the other day. Hipsters love these guys for obtuse things like their "deep and complex instrumentation, man" and "totally progressive structures." We tend to just hear a lot of 80's synth-and-bass ballads in there.
We also just wanna hear the boys sing like the pop divas they always wished they could be. Besides, if you take yourself as seriously as Grizzly Bear seems to, you should be forced to cover Carly Simon songs as penance.