Xiu Xiu

I’m a sucker for a good cover, and the past few weeks have produced two of the best I’ve heard in a while.

Xiu Xiu featuring Michael Gira – Under Pressure

Under pressure indeed. Xiu Xiu have released a brilliant, dangerous, and sometimes ugly album that is receiving lukewarm, confused reviews. I have a feeling that Women as Lovers will look better to most people in five years than it does now. Meanwhile, listeners should at least be ready to get on board with this subtly dark cover of David Bowie and Queen’s “Under Pressure.” Jamie Stewart and Michael Gira (of Swans and Angels of Light) do self-conscious impressions of Bowie and Freddy Mercury against a background of anxious brass and and muted synth. Caralee McElroy’s voice is a refreshing surprise. And the instruments get carried away with themselves.

Jeffrey Lewis–Do They Owe Us a Living?

By releasing a full album of Crass covers, called simply 12 Crass Songs, Jeffrey Lewis is doing the ’80s crust-punk band’s fans a great service. For the first time, we can make out the lyrics. This raucous, boy-girl, call-and-response folk version is just what this classic of sorts needed.