Anyone who was paying attention to cover songs a decade ago will remember The A.V. Club’s “Undercover” series. In the vein of the BBC Live Lounge and Triple J Like a Version, the entertainment web site would bring bands into their Chicago offices to cover a song. The concept, though, was the site started with a masters list of songs and the band had to pick one. The later they came in, the fewer song choices remained. It went on for years and the covers were ubiquitous (we must have posted a million of ’em). Practically every indie band of the era stopped by (many several times), and they often delivered something great.
This week’s A.V. Undercover episode brings Canadian singer-songwriter and autoharp enthusiast Basia Bulat into the round room to perform her take on “Where Have All The Rude Boys Gone” by indie-punk outfit Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. Bulat trades in her usual mellow sound for an old, warm-sounding electric archtop and a silverface Fender amp — a setup that isn’t too different from what Leo plays in his solo concerts.