In the Spotlight showcases a cross-section of an artist’s cover work. View past installments, then post suggestions for future picks in the comments!
Arcade Fire has a new album out. Reception: a trifle mixed, shall we say. But don’t let that stop you from engaging in a little cover love.
Their songs can be sweeping, epic, with almost a cinematic quality about them. Indeed, “Wake Up” was heavily featured in the trailer for Where the Wild Things Are (which was arguably the best thing about that film). We thought we’d invent some movie and television synopses to go with the covers below, both widely featured on the internets and by some newer unknown artists. Coming soon to a delusional theater in your mind…
Bobtown — My Body is a Cage (Arcade Fire cover)
Kevin Costner is a 60-year-old washed-up curling player trying to make a comeback. Bobtown’s cover of “My Body is a Cage” plays while Costner’s girlfriend, 22-year old Jamie Lynn Spears, helps him train for the finals, where he must sweep for his life or go back to being a custodian at a sewage treatment plant.
Genevieve Atkerson — The Suburbs (Arcade Fire cover)
Daniel Radcliffe is a young up-and-coming law clerk in the prestigious law firm of Kostelecky, Kostelecky & Kostelecky during the murder trial of the century. But a brash young intern (Miley Cyrus) brings to light information that can bring his world crashing down: not that their client (Carrot Top, in a career-defining role) is innocent, but that Radcliffe might not have billed enough hours. Genevieve Atkerson’s take on “The Suburbs” plays as Radcliffe frantically searches for the one Post-It note that can save his future as a young up-and-coming law clerk in a prestigious law firm for the next 14 years.
Devin Loran — Crown of Love (Arcade Fire cover)
Zach Braff directs and stars in this delightful indie film about an 8-track music store owner coping with his mother’s recent dementia. Braff’s salty-tongued mom (Pat Benatar) thinks she is Woody Allen in Annie Hall. But after playing along with a fake movie shoot (Jack Black’s in-drag portrayal of Diane Keaton is already getting Oscar buzz), the committed son must build a set for “Oscar Night” in just 24 hours. Loran’s cover of “Crown of Love” plays in the background as Braff struggles with plywood — and who he will give the fake Oscar to.
Tim Noyes — Rebellion (Lies) (Arcade Fire cover)
Bradley Cooper is stuck. It’s the early ’90s and he’s the majority shareholder in a lucrative flannel-shirt clothing business. But his real passion is to be a wombat handler for mainstream action movies. As Aunt Martha’s Noyes’ interpretation of “Rebellion (Lies)” reaches its crescendo and the news of Kurt Cobain’s death flashes on TV screens across the country, Cooper gets out his pooper scooper and goes to work.
Lenka — Deep Blue (Arcade Fire cover)
In Diablo Cody’s new film, a quirky vegan fast food waitress (Lena Dunham) catches the eye of a successful stock broker (Kevin Spacey). Will her Tourette’s syndrome get in the way of love? Lenka’s cover of “Deep Blue” plays during a sequence where Spacey drinks Glenlivet with his father after a particularly racist outburst from Dunham, interspersed with her making sculptures of genitalia out of old car parts.
PopCult — Keep the Car Running (Arcade Fire cover)
PopCult’s take on “Keep the Car Running” is well suited for Wes Anderson’s latest, in which our hero (Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig) quits his professional air hockey career to build a replica of the Taj Mahal out of smoked gouda for the Cheesy Cheese Cheese Festival — just as the air conditioning goes out in his apartment. His progress is intercut with scenes of his nemesis (Bill Murray) building the Statue of Liberty out of cremeux de citeaux.
Meklit Hader and Quinn DeVeaux — Neighborhood #1 (Arcade Fire cover)
Beyoncé and Jennifer Hudson are retired double dutch champions who want to give it one more shot in this Ernest R. Dickinson drama. While Hader and Deveaux’s lovely cover of “Neighborhood #1” plays, Beyonce trains for the World Jump Roping Championship held in Brussels, while Hudson must face down her fear of Belgians with the help of a therapist (Charles S. Dutton) specializing in Walloonphobia.
Clare Burson — We Used to Wait (Arcade Fire cover)
Clare Burson’s version of “We Used to Wait” is ideally suited for the series finale of Grey’s Anatomy. The full cast of the show are all in comas due to a botulism incident, a time bomb cooked in a baked ziti, and a mishap at the giraffe rodeo. As Burson delicately slows down the song, the whole cast flatlines one by one, leaving the two remaining doctors from the hospital love quadrangle with only one choice: to have sex with each other.