I love to hear a different interpretation of a familiar tune. In the past, the only way to do this was to "cover" the song. When I perform in coffee shops, I usually play a bunch of cover tunes. I perform in a somewhat laid back, folk, finger picking guitar style. Any song that I choose to play at a show comes out sounding like that. If you ever clicked on my last.fm page, you've probably noticed that my taste in music is quite eclectic. My shows have consisted of folk versions of songs by the Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, and James Taylor to Led Zeppelin, Rush, and Whitesnake (I'm not kidding, "Limelight" and "Here I Go Again" make excellent folk songs). Here are a few links to some great cover song blogs:
Another, more modern way to interpret a song is through a remix. A remix is when a musician takes the actual recording of a song (usually the individual tracks; vocal, guitar, drums, etc.), and mixes it up with other original material. Sometimes remixes can be as simple as substituting a new electronic drum part for the original beat, other times it can be a completely different interpretation, where the remix artist creates a whole new track underneath the vocals.
There is a wonderful music community website called ccmixter.org. cc stands for Creative Commons. All of my songs are released under a Creative Commons license. Basically, this means that my songs are free and can be freely posted on blogs and podcasts or used as a soundtrack to some one's video or remixed.
ccMixter is a site where musicians can post the separate tracks of their songs for other musicians to remix in any way that they would like. radiotimes is the moniker of a very active remix artist at ccMixter. He did an excellent remix of my song "Rachel Rosen", which is the song that you can download at the top of the post. He took my guitar part and vocals and added a completely different drum beat and bass line. He also added all sorts ofsynths, sound effects, and reversed cymbals. I love it. Check out some of his other remixes at his ccMixter home page here.
Here is my original version of "Rachel Rosen"
If you or anyone that you know enjoys remixing other people's music, head over to my ccMixter page here. This is where you can download the individual vocal, guitar, and drum tracks to some of my songs. Check it out, and feel free to do something creative with them.
Hope you enjoy it,