Now in its fourth year, An Under Cover Weekend continues to challenge bands to assume the identity of another artist or band. Curator Mike Tomko has again corralled many of the city's best and brightest to take on some well-loved acts, and this year the bands have moved away from Hall of Famers and more toward some underground acts of the last twenty years. The first two nights of the concert series take place this weekend at the Firebird. (The covers-fest will conclude next Friday, September 17; check next week's RFT for that lineup.) Here's a peek at the performing bands and the heroes they'll be channeling.
Friday, September 10
In Reality: Purveyors of hazy, blissed-out shoegaze and psych-rock.
Artist Covering: Queens of the Stone Age
Why This Will Work: osh Homme's QOTSA songs cut much a more direct path through stoner rock's fog, but much like Troubadour Dali's work, these songs never abandon their entrancing weirdness and psych overtones.
The Blind Eyes
In Reality: A nervy power-pop trio that hits the sweeter side of garage rock.
Artist Covering: Fleetwood Mac
Why This Will Work: The band has long harbored a love of AM Gold, although there's no word on which of these dudes will take Stevie Nicks' high harmonies (or wear her top hat).
In Reality: Sassy punk-rock combo featuring Morgan Nusbaum (ex-75s) and Jason Potter (ex-Left Arm).
Artist Covering: The Descendents
Why This Will Work: The legendary punk quartet mixed quick riffs and wry, tossed-off lyrics, like Bruiser Queen does.
In Reality: An effervescent duo that mixes Brill Building piano chords with noise-rock guitar scrawls.
Artist Covering: Pavement
Why This Will Work: Paige Brubeck's guitar work reflects the raw, ragged hooks of Pavement's best work, and Evan Sult's wide-open drumming leaves plenty of room for these all-over-the-map tunes.
Union Tree Review
In Reality: A winsome folk-rock group fond of writing pretty, pastoral songs.
Artist Covering: The Postal Service
Why This Will Work:Jimmy Tamborello's glitch-pop compositions and Ben Gibbard's navel-gazing lyrics are a good match for UTR's gentle arrangements.
Saturday, September 11
In Reality: Zippy guitar pop with alternating moments of experimental verve and jangly rock.
Artist Covering: The Raveonettes
Why This Will Work: With a penchant for both '60s pop smarts and evocative, reverb-soaked moods, the Hibernauts will summon the darkly cool Swedish duo.
In Reality: Indie-rock quartet with a fondness for new wave and post-punk.
Artist Covering: Iggy & the Stooges
Why This Will Work: After tackling the Pixies last year, the Orbz should be primed to inject a little Raw Power into the Stooges' deathless tunes.
Cassie Morgan & Beth Bombara
In Reality: These two singer-songwriters are frequent collaborators; Morgan favors low-slung acoustic blues and folk, while Bombara frequently channels warm indie-rock dissonance.
Artist Covering: The Breeders
Why This Will Work: The pair's close harmonies and knack for noisy pop should be able to mimic the Deal sisters circa Last Splash.
In Reality: A country-rock troupe that matches Dave Anderson's red-hot guitar work with his wife Mary's high-reaching, plaintive vocals.
Artist Covering: Loretta Lynn
Why This Will Work: Tenement Ruth already uses plenty of pedal steel to back up a formidable female vocalist, so the band should have no trouble with Loretta's songbook.
In Reality: Youthful revivers of St. Louis' third-wave ska revival, if that makes sense.
Artist Covering: Reel Big Fish
Why This Will Work: Since the quintet fondly recalls the poppiest of the '90s ska heyday, Reel Big Fish is one of the band's patron saints.