The nostalgia game

Covers too bitchin’ for a ghetto blaster
By SHARON STEEL  |  August 22, 2006

Like, gag us with a spoon already! How is it that the neo-new-wave resurgence hasn’t managed to resurrect Fraggle Rock from the musical cartoon graveyard — or at least make snap bracelets legal again? The ’80s are enjoying a prolonged indie revival, and even the most unlikely of artists are getting into the nostalgia game. Here are four unexpected covers way too bitchin’ for a ghetto blaster.

José González, “Love Will Tear Us Apart”
Not many would want to get inside Ian Curtis’s head, but it’s certain that he and José would have made super-sensitive-hetero BFFs. A finger-picking, classical-guitar-toting wizard who stops hearts with his intensely simple acoustic airs, González reinvents Joy Division the way only a Swedish/Spanish troubadour can.

The Boy Least Likely To, “Faith”
Finally, white R&B served with a double scoop of twee pop. Music bloggers have been cuddling up to this British duo all year, and here, The Boy Least Likely To transform George Michael’s sexy “Faith” into a quaint library story-time session.

TV on the Radio, “Mr. Grieves”
The Pixies gone gospel? Substituting Tunde Adebimpe’s icy-smooth vocals for Frank Black’s boorish screams sounds wrong yet is truly oh-so-right. All quintessential punk rock should get a doo-wop makeover at some point.

South, “Bizarre Love Triangle”
Only a band spurned from the ashes of Joy Division, the saddest motherfuckers this side of Manchester circa ’80, could release a pop-perfect single that’s both irresistibly danceable and lyrically crushing. South simply reinvent the New Order classic in this exclusive iTunes session.

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