Bon Jovi + Bon Iver = ‘Bon Joviver’

January 24, 2012

What happens when you mix the pop-metal-meets-adult-contemporary-frat-rock sound of this guy ...


Jon Bon Jovi, right, performs next to guitarist Richie Sambora, left, in Bucharest, Romania, on July 10, 2011. (Theodor Pana/AP)

With the indie falsetto vocal stylings and mountain-man beards of these guys?


Grammy-nominated band Bon Iver performs the first of two sold-out shows at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Dec. 13, 2011. (Andi Stempniak/AP)

You get “Bon Joviver,” the strange melodic blend of New Jersey’s and Wisconsin’s greatest “Bons,” combined.

Here’s Bon Joviver — actually a band called Miracles of Modern Science — doing an Iver-esque version of Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name,” and totally nailing the breathy falsetto.

You can expect even more Internet riffing about Bon Iver as the Grammy Awards approach. The indie band was nominated for Best New Artist, but the announcement confused those who only knew the band as supporting vocalists on Kanye West’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.”

Some Twitter users had never heard of them. Some even thought they were Bon Jovi. Thus, a Tumblr called “Who is Bon Iver?” was born, poking fun at their cluelessness. Expect the confusion to get even worse in the days preceding the awards ceremony Feb. 14.

Reviewing Bon Iver’s debut album, music critic Chris Richards asked, “Why do you sing in that clumsy, wonderful falsetto? To transcend gender? To emulate R&B? To get closer to God?” Perhaps Bon Joviver has the answer: It’s because they’re living on a prayer.

Maura Judkis covers culture, food, and the arts for the Weekend section and Going Out Guide.
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