I love me a good cover. I love me some Tokyo Police Club. Dear Lord, do I ever love me some nostalgia! So when you take all three of those things and mix them together, you get one very happy Stephanie. Which is exactly what’s happening with Tokyo Police Club’s Ten Songs project…. officially titled Ten Songs, Ten Days, Ten Hours, Ten Years.
These four Canadian dudes, which I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing when they opened for Weezer in 2008 here in Vancouver, have decided to revisit the aughties by recording ten covers, one from each year and releasing them day-by-day. I knew they were doing the project but I hadn’t paid any attention to the start date. Anyway, they’re four songs in and so far, I am diggin’ it. Here’s what’s been released to date:
2001: Moby ft. Gwen Stefani – “Southside”
2002: Jimmy Eat World – “Sweetness”
2003: The Strokes – “Under Control”
2004: Kelly Clarkson – “Since U Been Gone”
2005: Queens of the Stone Age – “Little Sister” (Release: Aug. 28)
(Sidenote: You can follow the project by visiting their Soundcloud page where new tracks are posted each day.)
Imitation as Flattery
Covers are always a difficult thing because depending on what the song is, people interpret your intentions differently. Are you covering this song because you think it’s awesome? Are you trying to be ironic? Or are you trying to leech off someone else’s popularity? Not to mention, if you do a bad job, it’s kind of a kick to the shins for the original song and you end up turning off more fans instead of the opposite.
A Quick Review
I am pretty into the “Southside” cover. It might be because I remember when that song came out and I was super into it. The song and the music video had this strange 90s cool, very neon-everything-raver-life quality to it. Don’t ask me why that was ever popular but at one point, it was.
The music video for “Southside” featured Gwen and Moby on the set of
a flashy video shoot, complete with fur jackets, light-up signs,
platform shoes and plenty of backless raver clothing.
The Jimmy Eat World nod is pretty understandable. I’m just glad they didn’t do “The Middle.” “Sweetness” was a way better choice, for sure.” The Strokes’ cover is actually the one in the bunch that doesn’t do much for me. Strange because “Under Cover” is one of my favourite Strokes songs. Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” is a cheeky choice of song and, despite being a pop song, TPC seems to understand there’s a place in the world for pop music, whether you value it or not — it’s “popular” for a reason.
On the Topic of Covers…
Anyway, I’ll leave you off with the video for Tokyo’s “Bambi” off their album Champ. I love this video because of its lights, colours and faded, vintage quality — very cool, very fun. Another sidenote since we’re on the topic of covers, check out Stereogum’s Stroked, a compilation tribute to the Strokes’ Is This It, currently celebrating it’s ten-year anniversary. Some tracks to highlight are the Morning Benders’ “Last Night” and Heems’ “New York City Cops.” You can download the album for free over on their website.
Photo: Google Images.