I don’t like New Years’ resolutions for a very good reason: all too often they are “made to be broken,” so to speak. And with a baby on the way, I know I don’t have the luxury of making goals that are outrageous (performing in ten different establishments every weekend) or aren’t going to be feasible to keep, long term (like writing the next Great American Novel while simultaneously recording three more CDs, all while juggling the Day Job and Infant Wrangling).

That said, I do like to make resolutions goals regarding career-oriented topics, like finishing up long-overdue poems and stories, writing songs, or just practicing more. 🙂

This last summer I saw several musicians doing cover song challenges, basically, setting a goal to learn songs by other artists and post YouTube videos of the results. I am interested in such things, because I love learning cool songs by other people, and I have a YouTube channel

The things I’m not so sure about are:

-Aren’t cover song videos overdone?
-Aren’t they kind of illegal if you have your own work that you’re promoting?
-And, does anyone watch them? (I.e. are they a waste of time?)

Thoughts, anyone? I would be more than willing to do a “cover-song-a-month” challenge if I thought I could get away with it. 🙂

[edit, 1/4/2013] I knew it.  YES, cover songs posted or performed publicly are illegal. Blatantly so if you don’t fork out the $$ for licenses.

Guess I’ll have to come up with some other YouTube/music related challenge for my goal this year. Maybe one new, original song a month? That would at least get me playing/writing a little more than I am currently…

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4 thoughts on “Cover songs, anyone?

  1. Being heavy into certain fandoms, I watch a lot of fanmade music videos. You’d be surprised how many cover songs I’ve since “found” and enjoyed more than the original versions that way. So people definitely watch them. Can’t say to how legal they are, can’t imagine they’re illegal since I don’t suspect many doing these challenges are making a profit from doing so?

    Three I definitely recommend:

    Aston, a classical instrumental cover band. Have made absolutely gorgeous instrumental versions of unexpected songs. Particularly like their “Monster Symphony” and “Rude Boy” (yes, the Rihanna song…) renditions.

    Boynce Avenue’s version of “Somebody That I Used to Know”, in my humble opinion, much better than the original.

    Linnea Khalil’s version of “Love is My Drug” (no, not the Ke$ha song…the original is by John Me, I believe. Never actually listened to his, so can’t say if it’s better but man, this girl’s voice drew me into the song.)

    1. Okay, that’s cool to know that other people watch them. 🙂

      The reason I was concerned about the legality of it, is because some artists (or their labels!) are very particular that you CANNOT use their work for ANY reason, unless you are paying them to do so. Some local businesses I’ve played at have had issues with even booking free live music (no payment for the musicians’ time) on the off chance cover songs might be played. One business owner said he couldn’t even have a radio playing during business hours because he would have to fork over an exorbitant fee since he didn’t pay for the radio service. It’s totally crazy. The last thing I want to do is step on anyone’s toes (or get myself in trouble!). 😛

      1. That *is* crazy, I can see why you’d be concerned. Hope some fellow cover artists can help answer your legality questions, I’m afraid I’m out of my depth.

      2. It is most definitely crazy. One good reason right there why I chose to release all my music under a Creative Commons license. Music is meant to be shared! Enjoyed! Listened to! Not locked away in a box…!

        But, yes. The legal issues of doing a year of cover songs is… daunting. At the very least. I mean, I know people DO them — and obviously get away with it! — but if Murphy’s Law holds any water, it would be me that would get nailed for performing something I shouldn’t on video. 😛

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