cleverness deficit eliminates intriguing caption

Some interesting covers have come my way lately. From a couple of years ago, here’s Steve Barton (formerly of Translator) doing an all-but-unrecognizable version of the Beatles’ “She’s Leaving Home.” I’m not entirely sure it works…but it’s certainly a thorough reimagining of the song. I do wish, though, that he’d thought to translate the opening harp bit into a guitar riff (syncopated, something like 2-3-4, 6-7-8…).

The next most-thorough transfiguration of the original is this full-band realization of Nick Drake’s “Fly” from The Soundtrack of Our Lives. This version seems a bit more supported by the original, evident in that it begins in a simple acoustic style similar to that original.

Mac McCaughan’s Portastatic somewhat unexpectedly covers Julian Cope’s “Elegant Chaos” (only somewhat because with both Portastatic and Superchunk, McCaughan’s shown excellent taste in covers). It’s a bit stripped-down, and I miss Kate St. John’s oboe – but it’s an effective reading that makes a bit more sense of the lyrics than I would have expected.

Finally, here’s the Dirtbombs, dirtying up Sparks’ “Sherlock Holmes.” The original is unaccountably a favorite of mine, I think for its sheer nonsense-to-sense ratio, and the Dirtbombs sort of gleefully ransack it, replacing the oddly fussy synths with buzzing electrics.

Steve Barton & the Oblivion Click “She’s Leaving Home” (Flicker of Time, 2007)

The Soundtrack of Our Lives “Fly” (Communion, 2009)

Portastatic “Elegant Chaos” (2009?)

The Dirtbombs “Sherlock Holmes” (We Have You Surrounded, 2008)

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1 Comment

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One response to “cleverness deficit eliminates intriguing caption

  1. “Elegant Chaos” is a favorite song of mine, along with almost everything on Cope’s first solo album. The Portastatic cover is pretty cool, though I agree with you about the missing oboe. Where did you find it? I went looking for it on eMusic, but found only a Frank & Walters cover of the same song. (Which sounds like a more fleshed-out “full band” version, though still somewhat lo-fi.)

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