Jan 292021
 

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20. Joy Zipper – Wave of Mutilation

Joy Zipper’s “Wave of Mutilation” cover rocks hard and uses pauses in calculated ways. This cover still is upbeat, but with a slightly more relaxed energy. Hearing the screech of guitar strings and changing of chords brings an intricate ambient touch that adds a level of intimacy to the cover. The guitar is cleaner, with less overdrive, allowing the vocals to take center stage. – Ally McAlpine

19. Real Vocal String Quartet – La La Love You

Black Francis was not one to write a straightforward love song. “La La Love You” is a smartass take on romance, simple and proud of it. But that’s not to say that others can’t find the beauty in it – it’s appeared in its fair share of hip wedding ceremonies. The Real Vocal String Quartet, led here by Dina Maccabee, recorded their cover for a Doolittle tribute album, but watching them sing and play it, not a hint of snark in their voices or faces, adds to the honest pleasure the song now holds. – Patrick Robbins

18. Local H – Tame

This list features a number of “Wow, I can’t believe they covered the Pixies!” bands. But perhaps with no band does a Pixies cover seem as natural and obvious as Local H. As noted in the intro, the Pixies were a formative influence on Nirvana and, through them, every other grunge band that followed in their wake. But Local H still manage to make “Tame” their own, by dialing everything up to 11. You thought those screams couldn’t get even louder and more throat-shredding? Think again. – Ray Padgett

17. Glen Hansard – Gigantic

First things first: it was probably a mistake for Glen Hansard to perform this song with a children’s choir, which he seems to realize about halfway through. Nevertheless, it’s a very fine rendition of Kim Deal’s signature tune. “Gigantic” is, at its core, a song about loneliness, solitude, and watching other people be happy, and Hansard’s version – which mainly consists of him playing the bass alone – captures that feeling perfectly. The audience seems slightly uncomfortable, but Glen, as always, knocks it out of the park. – Tim Edgeworth

16. Bonfire Madigan – Monkey Gone to Heaven

Perhaps it’s appropriate that the first Pixies song to feature a string section gets covered by riot grrrl cellist. Bonfire Madigan, aka Madigan Shive, has been playing alternative cello since the early ’90s. Madigan immediately gives “Monkey Gone to Heaven” a different vibe with a kind of “funky drummer” percussion base – with just her vocals, the percussion, and her cello to start. She uses her cello as a kind of bass melodic instrument, until about 90 seconds in, when it takes up more of the instrumental load. It’s a stripped-down version that still packs the emotional wallop of the original. And in case you weren’t sure a cellist could tackle Frank’s scream on the “god is 7” line, she does so admirably. – Riley Haas

15. Weston – La La Love You

Weston was a band from Bethlehem (the Pennsylvanian one) whose sound has been compared to the Pixies. In this contribution to a Pixies tribute album from an emo, pop-punk point of view, they maintain the elements we expect from “La La Love You”: the whistling, the spy-like riff, and of course, the “shake your butt” command. – Sara Stoudt

14. Julia Easterlin – Break My Body

“A cappella Pixies” sounds like an annoying gimmick you’d hear some college group perform (or one of Glee‘s unfortunate ideas). But in fact, there are two such covers on our list – neither by college groups, both taking the form in some unusual directions. On “Break My Body,” loop pedal expert Julia Easterlin tackles every part herself. Things stay quiet and percussive in the verses, then joyously explode in the chorus. It’s a different spin on the band’s famous loud-quiet-loud sound, with only one woman’s vocal chords to handle the heavy lifting. – Ray Padgett

13. WaCO – Bird Dream of the Olympus Mons

Despite its brevity, there is something epic about the Pixies’ “Bird Dream of the Olympic Mons,” describing a sleeping bird’s nighttime visions of flying into the legendary 72,000 foot volcano on Mars. In the hands of WaCO (aka Waco Moreno of San Juan, Argentina), the beautiful melodic groove of fantastical solitary escape is transformed into something a bit different namely a stadium anthem straight out of the ’80s. With brazenly beautiful sonic nods to The Cars, Big Country, and modern day acolytes The Killers, the sound is as huge as the sentiment within it. – Hope Silverman

12. Orange – Gigantic


Dreampop is an ideal genre to cover the Pixies in. The band is famous for its quiet-loud dynamic, and dreampop is both of those at the same time, the soft melodic noise coming at the listener in gentle waves of mutilation. (Maybe the Pixies’ 4AD label, famous for its dreampop stable, saw that in them as well.) Orange, the late lamented San Francisco band, shows how it’s done on their cover of “Gigantic,” as sweetly overwhelming as the song’s subject matter. – Patrick Robbins

11. Kate Rogers – Here Comes Your Man

Information about Kate Rogers isn’t easy to find. Her website is down, and her Bandcamp page lists some, but not all, of the releases mentioned in her sparse Wikipedia and AllMusic entries. It appears that she’s Canadian and started her career mostly singing with bands on the Grand Central Records label, which focused on electronic music, and she still often works backing other performers in the studio and on the road (when there was a road). Rogers’ solo work leans more toward folk with some jazzy influences, which can be seen in her cover of “Here Comes Your Man,” from an almost all-covers collection, Seconds. Although the original might be one of the Pixies’ most straightforward and accessible songs, it is still a Pixies song, so it has its hard edges and strange harmonies. Rogers’ acoustic version relies heavily on her smoky vocals and prominent acoustic bass and begs the question of why Rogers isn’t better-known. – Jordan Becker

The list continues on Page 4.

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  18 Responses to “The 30 Best Pixies Covers Ever”

Comments (18)
  1. “Where is my mind” again, by La Boca Abierta
    https://youtu.be/UPSOCERijIM

  2. Where Is My Mind by Nada Surf

  3. There’s this guy, recently passed away. Kind off famous. Did a cover of Cactus. Fidn’t see David Bowie’s name mentioned

  4. Alec Eiffel by Bunnies is one of the best Pixies cover ever.

  5. andrew mccubbin – gauge away
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXPayW-mAf4

  6. Skeggs, here comes your Man

  7. Think Micahs cover beats them all, but we are a little biased.
    https://youtu.be/PqsImlsjFD8

  8. Larsen – Where is my mind?
    https://youtu.be/rC-lpX681pE

  9. The Get Up Kids – Alec Eiffel

    https://youtu.be/OInieXoW71A

  10. Break my body by Hanne Hukkelberg…

  11. Loving that Kate Rogers cover!

  12. Great list!! This whole post is a great soundtrack to a rainy morning!

  13. I Bleed by PsychoTrópicos
    https://youtu.be/5c871P9qiqU

  14. My favourite artists cover my favourite artists all the time but I’ve never heard of a single one of these 30 artists that covered my all time favourite, the Pixies. And I don’t remember the Pixies ever covering any of my favourites either. Very odd.

  15. Kristin Hersh – Wave of Mutilation
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p71JpIl5Ob8

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