Aesthetics for Birds

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone

August is Covers Month at AFB


The Cover Song is a wondrously magical yet terribly fickle alchemical creature: just as it may resurrect an otherwise lifeless subject, so too might it destroy all that’s good in it (or even worse, leave it seemingly altogether unchanged).
To pay tribute to this mysterious being, for the month of August Aesthetics for Birds will feature nothing but cover songs in its weekly music posts Musical Mondays & Fall Fridays.

As an extra bonus, AFB is holding a PHILOSOPHY CONTEST related to the philosophical issues surrounding the Cover Song. Here’s what you need to know:
Background: Cover bands (also known as tribute bands) aim to faithfully reproduce the music (live performances) of the bands they cover (e.g., Fan Halen is a Van Halen cover band, BC/DC is an AC/DC cover band from British Columbia, Iron Maidens is an all-female Iron Maiden cover band).

Assignment: In 50 words or fewer, provide a argument that answers the following question:

Can a band be it’s own cover band (e.g., can Iron Maiden be an Iron Maiden cover band)?
Submit your entries via email to [Subject: AFB Covers Contest] by August 30th to be eligible to win.

2nd Prize: a 6-pack of AFB Logo Stickers

1st Prize: a 6-pack of AFB Logo Stickers & an AFB T-shirt

All entries will be anonymized and evaluated by an independent judge who will then select the winners (in consultation with/pending final approval from yours truly).

In the meantime, celebrate the appropriation of others’ work ostensibly in service to some emulatory end by kicking out the cover jams AFB-style with the Aesthetics for Birds Awesome Cover Song Playlist of Awesomeness:

  1.   Sonic Youth, “Rowche Rumble” (The Fall)
  2.   The Meatmen, “How Soon Is Now?” (The Smiths)
  3.   The Slits, “Heard It Through the Grapevine” (Marvin Gaye)
  4.   The Cardigans, “Iron Man” (Black Sabbath)
  5.   The Fall, “Jungle Rock” (Hans Mizell)
  6.   The Screamers, “And The Beat Goes On” (Sonny & Cher)
  7.   Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” (The Arrows)
  8.   The Dickies, “Nights in White Satin” (Moody Blues)
  9.   Melvins, “Lexicon Devil” (The Germs)
  10.   L7, “Cherry Bomb” (The Runaways)
  11.   The Replacements, “Black Diamond” (KISS)
  12.   The Fever, “The Glamorous Life” (Sheila E)
  13.   Guitar Wolf, “Summertime Blues” (Eddie Cochran)
  14.   Nick Cave, “Rainy Night in Soho” (The Pogues)
  15.   The Cramps, “Surfin’ Bird” (The Trashmen)


  1. This seems like a good time to note that Mike Rings (Indiana) has written an excellent article on rock covers.

  2. Don't forget about lil' ol' me (and PD & Cristyn Magnus).

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