It's hard to believe that it's nearly 15 years since War Child assembled the "Help" compilation, which had some brilliant moments, like Suede's cover of Elvis Costello's "Shipbuilding" and the Smokin' Mojo Filters version of "Come Together." The record was also the first time we heard Radiohead's "Lucky," which later appeared on "OK Computer."
The Filters were a one-off supergroup with Pauls McCartney and Weller, Noel Gallagher, Steve Craddock of Ocean Colour Scene and Young Disciples' Carleen Anderson.
War Child -- an organization that aids kids affected by war -- now dishes up an,a rguably, even better record in "Heroes" (Astralwerks), which takes a bass-ackward approach to the covers album.
Instead of bands picking songs to cover, 16 artists chose current artists to cover a song of their own.
So, while it's fun to hear Beck's version of "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat" and TV on the Radio's take on "Heroes," it's even more interesting to know that Dylan and Bowie believed these guys could do justice to these songs.
It's especially fun to see that the "old guys" are obviously smitten by their youthful disciples. Who among us hasn't noted The Kooks' penchant for The Kinks and The Hold Steady's passion for The Boss? Looks like Ray Davies and Bruce Springsteen noticed, too.
Heck, Mick Jones even guests on Lily Allen's cover of The Clash's "Straight to Hell."
Some of the more engaging moments:
- Hot Chip's quirky electro-pop cover of Joy Division's "Transmission."
- Duffy's over-the-top pseudo-gospel version of "Live and Let Die" with some flamboyant Bassey-isms.
- Peaches' buzzy reading of Iggy Pop's "Search and Destroy."
- Elbow's tender, spacey re-make of U2's "Running to Stand Still."
Some other artists on the record include Franz Ferdinand, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Rufus Wainwright and Scissor Sisters.
The record is for a good cause and in it we likely already have the best comp of the year.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.