Now! That's What I Call Music (That I Don't Particularly Care For), available for free download at sleddingwithtigers.com, offers a mix of classics (a folk-punk rendition of Linkin Park's "In the End"; a teary-eyed acoustic take on Creed's "With Arms Wide Open") and newer hits (including two versions of Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together").
Some of the covers are surprisingly awesome. Among the highlights: Adam Powell reinventing Carlos Santana's "Smooth" as whimsical indie-pop and Nathan Leigh turning Kid Rock's "Bawitdaba" into a sweet campfire sing-along.
Faughnder, 24, launched the project as a birthday present to himself. He recruited friends online and got tracks from musicians he didn't know. He gave participants one admonishment: "Don't be a jerk."
Though he says he still hates "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," Faughnder says the comp helped him think differently about some of the songs.
"I actually listened to the lyrics of Bawitdaba,' and they're not that bad," he says. "It makes you think, if Kid Rock didn't grow up in Detroit—like, in the worst part of America—maybe he would've just made some really killer folk songs or something."
The first round of speakers and bands has been announced for this year's San Diego Music Thing, the annual music festival and conference set to go down on Sept. 13 and 14. Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth will be a featured speaker, along with Mike Herrera of MXPX. Performers include Titus Andronicus, Ra Ra Riot and The Album Leaf.
The fest's organizers also announced a venue change for the conference portion of the event. Formerly held at North Park's Lafayette Hotel, the talks and workshops will be at the Sheraton Mission Valley this time. Keep posted for more lineup announcements at sandiegomusicthing.com.