“Don’t Dream It’s Over,” first reentered the covers stratosphere with Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande’s adorable rendition for the Happy Hippie Foundation earlier this year. Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner (under her solo moniker Flock of Dimes) and Sylvan Esso also covered the Crowded House jam for AV Club’s Undercover series, and as much as I loved Miley and Ariana’s take, this one may have it beat.
The A.V. Club’s Undercover series has been producing great covers for many years now with the same premise: a list of songs chosen by the staff and fans, slowly whittled down by the bands coming in to cover them. It has resulted in incredible combinations (GWAR’s version of “Carry on My Wayward Son” being the most startling) and plenty of entertainment. One of the most creative renditions of a tough cover, Chumbawamba’s “Tubthumping,” came from the stalwart experimental rockers They Might Be Giants. The Johns (singers Linnell and Flansburgh) returned to the A.V. Club recently to cover Destiny’s Child‘s “Bills, Bills, Bills.”
For many, Courtney Barnett seems to be the heir apparent to Kim Deal as the coolest woman in rock. It’s fair to say the ‘intelligent slacker’ look and sound of Kim and the scene she came from has certainly informed Barnett as a writer and a performer.
Now in its fifth series, A.V. Undercover from the A.V. Club has churned out some memorable performances over the years. Although the break was a little longer than usual this time, this next batch of songs should add plenty more to a growing list of interesting combinations. There’s some low-hanging fruit out there, with oft-covered greats like TV on the Radio’s “Wolf Like Me” and Mountain Goats’ “The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton”, but there are going to be some tricky ones too, like Arrested Development’s seminal “Tennessee,” and the Go-Go’s dated “We Got the Beat”.
Paul Hammer and Deidre Muro made sure that the 90s are alive and well in Chicago when they stopped in the AV Club. The duo, collectively known as the Brooklyn-based pop-rock act Savoir Adore, shared their late 90s nostalgia with an endearing cover of one hit wonder New Radicals “You Get What You Give.”