It used to go like that, but now it goes like this.

(photo by Tom Vincent)

I was having a discussion with my friend Jessica over dinner tonight, before seeing Built to Spill at the Metro. We were talking about cover songs, and how getting a live version of a cover on a mix CD is definitely not as cool or interesting as getting a studio version. (Jessica also has a strange personal rule of only having one cover song on any mix she makes, but it's probably no weirder than my personal rule about putting no song longer than 6 minutes on at the jukebox -- unless it's "Why Can't I Touch It?" by the Buzzcocks.)

She had a good point though. Any asshole can toss off a cover song in a live setting; any crappy punk band can do the formulaic "ironi-punk" cover of a song by speeding it up a little and steamrolling over all subtlety. There's just something more special, whether the song is good or bad, of a studio-recorded cover. Plus, you never know when a band you hate might pull off a cover you can respect.

Anyway, I didn't mean to pontificate so much. What I'm trying to say is: Here, have a couple of cover songs tonight.

"Suddenly Everything Has Changed" by THE POSTAL SERVICE: Back when I was trying to introduce some new music into my roommate's computer, I had added the debut album from these guys but wasn't sure how they'd take to the electrotweeness of it all. This cover of the Flaming Lips cut from "THE SOFT BULLETIN" was the spoonful of sugar that may have helped the medicine go down. The interesting use of one of their songs in the GARDEN STATE trailer didn't hurt, either.

"Seven Nation Army" by THE FLAMING LIPS: One of my fondest Chicago music memories will always be catching the double billing of The Lips with the White Stripes on New Year's at the Aragon Ballroom. I stood out in the freezing cold weather for hours to ensure that I had one of those sweet ass balcony booths, and I was never more thankful for that seat when midnight came and the two bands joined together to perform a joyous, explosive version of that Jack White song. This studio version is a different beast entirely, but somehow just as much fun as that concert. I recently read a review that said Wayne Coyne sounds like your grandmother here. I'd amend that to read "Your HILARIOUS grandmother."

"Give Me Some Money" by the GORIES: Here this sloppy Detroid garage band, lead by future DIRTBOMBS singer Mick Collins, puts a little motor city sludge into a cover of a song from the comedy masterpiece "SPINAL TAP." Take it as seriously as you think you should take the preceeding sentence.

"Seconds" by ROGUE WAVE: This cover of the "WAR"-era U2 song comes from the recently released "EXHUMED AND REGROOMED" EP, which includes this track and 5 new versions of tracks from the band's debut album. I love me some old U2.



ogmb said...

Can we just pile on? Queen Adreena's version of Jolene gets my ironi-punk-steamroll-over-subtlety-but-in-a-good-way vote.

Dylan Gaughan said...

Pile on, by all means.

Dolly, Queen and Nine Inch Nails. Very cool, and definitely not some crap ass 311/Goldfinger-style boredom.

Anonymous said...

slightly alarmed by your desire to make out with aimme mann but you're redeemed by this current post - when i was oh so much younger than today i was a huge u2 fan, so seconds is a real treat to a) hear again and b) hear for the first time . . . grand stuff

mr simon james

scourtney said...

I have always believed that every mix tape/disc MUST contain a cover or two...thansk for the post

Roo said...

Sorry about linking to the Seven Nation Army cover, dude. On the subject of covers, I'm pretty fond of Fennesz's total destruction of 'Paint It Black'. And Cat Power's 'Covers Album' is aural heaven.