Review of single tracks by the Shins, the Virgins, Dead Prez, Fiona Apple, Doom
A weekly playlist for the listener with a one-track mind.
The Shins: "Plenty Is Never Enough" (Tenement Halls cover) Can we interest you in another benefit covers disc? How about one where the hipster bands of today cover the hipster songs of yesteryear -- songs you'll be instantly nostalgic for, even though you'd previously forgotten all about them? Done and done! In observance of Merge Records' 20th anniversary, the Shins emerge from their undisclosed location with this plucky, mostly faithful Tenement Halls cover.
The Virgins: "Rich Girls" (Le Castle Vania's Spring Break No Parents Remix) N.Y.C. new wave band the Virgins' beloved, practically made-for-"Gossip Girl" '08 hit has been the subject of countless recent remixes, none better than this sped-up, lightly discofied version.
Dead Prez: "Stimulus Plan" Possibly the only thing worse than the tanking economy is the recent flood of lecture-y hip-hop songs about the tanking economy. But on this kinda lugubrious DJ Green Lantern-produced track (which likely hails from an upcoming mix tape), Dead Prez don't appear to even take a position on the stimulus plan. Their thoughts on the recently passed federal budget are also unclear.
Fiona Apple: "Why Try to Change Me Now?" (Cy Coleman cover) On this circa-January tribute track, Apple delivers a lighthearted, funtastic version of the pop standard. Kidding! It's actually pretty depressing.
Doom: "Gazzillion Ear" (Thom Yorke Remix) The Miley-Cyrus-spirit-crushing Radiohead frontman and the theatrically mopey, metal-mask-wearing rapper Doom have finally joined forces, with semi-tragic results: Yorke has seemingly jettisoned the original track's sample of Giorgio Moroder's "Midnight Express" theme, but left the "Ernest Goes to Camp" reference mercifully intact.
-- Allison Stewart