Music Article

Song Sung New

We grade the latest indie rock covers -- Leah Greenblatt rates music makeovers given by The White Stripes, Bright Eyes, and two others

We grade the latest indie rock covers

Irony-steeped indie bands have always had a taste for R&B and pop jams (Bonnie Prince Billy's live version of R. Kelly's ''Ignition''; Adam Green's deadpan take on the Beach Boys' ''Kokomo''). Lately, though, many of their ilk have been turning an entirely sincere eye to their own alt-rock peers. Below, some examples:

THE WHITE STRIPES cover TEGAN AND SARA's ''Walking With a Ghost.'' The midtempo track from the Canadian sisters' 2004 release, So Jealous, gets a signature Stripes-y stomp makeover—but it's not quite remarkable enough to merit this release as a single. Original: B Cover: B+

SUN KIL MOON cover MODEST MOUSE's ''Ocean Breathes Salty.'' On last month's Tiny Cities (Caldo Verde), Sun Kil Moon's Mark Kozelek transforms the propulsive 2004 single (among other, older MM songs) into a dreamy, contemplative dirge; his revamp lacks mighty Mouse power but is still hypnotically lovely on its own. Original: A- Cover: B

BRIGHT EYES cover FEIST's ''Mushaboom.'' A concert staple for Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst that shows up on his recent live album Motion Sickness; Oberst's take on the blog-phenomenon cult classic is sweetly countrified, but it can't hold a candle to the effervescent twinkle and tumble of the original (from this year's Let It Die). Original: A Cover: B

JOSé GONZALES covers THE KNIFE's ''Heartbeats.'' Gonzales, who released his debut, Veneer, on Hidden Agenda this past fall, turns his fellow Swedes' driving electro-pop masterpiece (from their 2004 import-only Deep Cuts) into a winsome, hauntingly spare acoustic ballad. Original: A Cover: A

Originally posted Dec 09, 2005 Published in issue #854 Dec 16, 2005 Order article reprints