Indie star Sufjan Stevens’ “John Wayne Gacy, Jr.” is probably the most complex song ever written about a serial killer. The song, from Stevens’ Illinois album, presents the Chicago killer as a multidimensional character and, while not openly sympathetic, definitely plays in shades of gray rather than black and white. In the end, Stevens’ confession that, with the secrets in his own closet, “I am really just like him,” is creepy enough to produce goosebumps.
A revelatory Beatles cover succeeds maybe 10% of the time, tops. Rubblebucket pulls it off by not being afraid to offend John-Paul purists. Their female-fronted “Michelle” leans heavily on the atmospherics, with heavy vocal echo and distant trumpet wail building to a “Day in the Life”-style wall of orchestra. Though the languid pacing remains, this ventures well beyond the typical Beatles karaoke
This Brooklyn-via-Burlington octet approached the Rubber Soul cut with something less than total reverence. Gone are McCartney’s acoustic strumming and the thick harmonies. This “Michelle” grinds along with weirder noises as upper-register xylophone vies with a whole mess of soul claps. The cover comes off the band’s new Triangular Daisies EP, which also features the song that spawned this terrific video. Download “Michelle” below.