English Indie-Rockers The Vaccines are no stranger to the modern pop song. Last year they took on Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night” and now they’re back with their cover of Taylor Swift’s new mega-hit “We are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” The rockers hit the Live Lounge this week and transformed the cheesy sing-a-long into a rock n’ roll tune that might even be taken seriously by indie-lovers.
Every Wednesday, our resident Gleek Eric Garneau gives his take on last night’s Glee covers.
In “Pot of Gold,” Irish foreign exchange student Rory Flanagan (Damian McGinty) makes his way to McKinley High just in time to see the glee club falling apart — Shelby’s (Idina Menzel) rival group continues to steal members from New Directions, while Sue (Jane Lynch) works tirelessly to end funding for arts programs once and for all. But all Rory really cares about is making a couple friends, and maybe convincing Brittany (Heather Morrison) to share her own pot of gold.
We can avoid the subject no longer – it’s time to talk about The Glee Project. Other than runner-up Lindsay Pearce’s appearance in Glee‘s season premiere, the influence of that summer reality show has so far been nonexistent on its parent program. However, in “Pot of Gold” that all changes as Project winner Damian McGinty begins his seven-episode guest arc as Irish exchange student Rory Flanagan. This episode makes it clear that Damian won more than just a bit part; he gets two of the show’s five songs tonight, making a big splash in an introductory episode which I’d guess will endear him to many a viewer.
Last week, the Vaccines hit Australia’s Triple J radio to cover Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind?” A classic tune for sure, but nothing too surprising. Their new cover, for BBC’s Live Lounge, gets a little more contemporary. The London quartet takes on Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night,” transforming it into a rock and roll rave-up.
It’s always fun to find out why artists decide to cover the particular songs they do. In the case of the spontaneous teamup of The Vaccines and Noah and the Whale, the reason was simple: “I don’t know the lyrics to very many songs,” said Noah frontman Charlie Fink on Britain’s Triple J radio before performing the Pixies’ “Where is My Mind?” As always, we get the typical radio banter with the DJ talking endlessly and the band just ready to get the show on the road already, but, when they finally do, it’s a treat.
Festivals often entice artists to perform covers. What better way to convert the uninitiated than by drawing them in with a song they know and then (ideally) hooking them by transforming it into your sound? This past weekend’s Lollapalooza, though, seemed to offer even more cover performances than usual. Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune even christened Saturday “#80snight” to keep track of all the ‘80s covers performed.