The phrase “cover music video” is something of a misnomer. The fact that these songs were originally performed by other artists has, in all cases but one, nothing to do with the video. We might more accurately call this list “Best Music Videos for Songs That Just So Happen to Be Covers.” Still, the cover angle gives us a chance to look at some brilliant music videos that mostly flew somewhat under the radar.
Jay Reatard passed away one year ago today. His unexpected death shocked everyone except, perhaps, himself. “Everything I do is motivated by the fear of running out of time,” Reatard had told the New York Times several months earlier. Songs like “It Ain’t Gonna Save Me” and “An Ugly Death” indicated a near-obsession with mortality. Maybe that’s why he packed 22 albums into his 29 years.
Jay Reatard covers don’t come along too frequently, but when they do they seem to come from indie giants. First we heard Arcade Fire cover “Oh, It’s Such a Shame.” A month later, Spoon tackled “No Time.” Now, Superchunk’s Mac McCaughan strums through an acousta-punk “My Shadow.” The occasion was a backstage performance at the recent 21st birthday celebration for Matador Records, the label that both Superchunk and Reatard once called home. (via Pitchfork)
An Indie Timeline:
August 2, 2010: Arcade Fire cover Jay Reatard.
August 4-5, 2010: Spoon open for Arcade Fire at Madison Square Garden.
September 13, 2010: Spoon cover Jay Reatard.
Coincidence? Maybe. Whatever the case, more Jay Reatard covers is never a bad thing. Since his sudden death last January there have been far too few, but it seems the indie mega-groups have begun making up for lost time.
The Arcade Fire coverage unexpectedly continues, since last night in Philadelphia they covered the late Jay Reatard’s punk nugget “Oh It’s Such a Shame.” Arcade Fire doesn’t really do “punk nugget” though, so they turned it into a to-the-rafters gospel shout. You’d never hear the potential in the three-chord original, but that’s because your ears aren’t as good as theirs.
The video capture is shaky, but the audio’s not terrible. With luck the band will reprise the cover Thursday at Madison Square Garden for their YouTube/Vevo webcast (directed by Terry Gilliam!). Until then, we’ve got the video and MP3 below, along with a clip of Jay performing the original at New York’s Cake Shop to give you an idea of just how drastically they changed it. (via Pitchfork)