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“a film is more like music than like fiction.” —Stanley Kubrik

Undercover: Don’t be fooled by legit imitations

The Best of Undercover

Part 1 of 2

Some things to keep in mind:

  1. There’s nothing new under the sun
  2. Some ideas are better than others
  3. Some ideas’ mothers are bigger than other ideas’ mothers
  4. I thought of it first

In 1999 I started amassing a hefty collection of cover songs recorded or performed by big-gun artists and fledgling indies. Lovingly sequenced, badly art-directed and inspiringly named, Undercover became a coveted collection of faithful renditions and inspired interpretations of the pop music canon.

125-tracks strong and still growing, it reminds us of pre-teen years spent in front of a mirror, tennis racket slung low, air-guitaring our way to stardom to the strains of Highway to Hell. Ok, for me it was more like air-drumming with utter precision through the whole of Moving Pictures. It’s the unspoiled yen of a pure heart that aspires a kid to get the band back together again, learning to rock by imitation of our musical heroes.

There’s much to, um, cover on the subject, so for now I say just this:

It’s mine. All mine. Don’t be fooled by legit imitations:


10 years prior to this sham, The Original is so much better. Nyah, nyah. Witness a selection from Volumes 1 thru 5 (hurriedly compiled, unlovingly sequenced, for now). You can hear complete versions of each volume here or in the audio player at the top of this page.

  1. Allow Myself to Introduce…Myself: Austin Powers
  2. Roadrunner: The Jazz Butcher  Conspiracy
  3. Sweet Child o’Min: Lune
  4. Creep: Chrissy Hinde
  5. Because: Elliott Smith
  6. Ceremony: Galaxy 500
  7. There’s Nothing More Pathetic Than an Aging Hipster: Austin Powers
  8. Mama Told Me Not to COme: Wolfgang Press
  9. Sympathy for the Devil: Bryan Ferry
  10. Paint It Black: Echo & The Bunnymen
  11. Victoria!: The Fall
  12. Waterloo Sunset: Elliott Smith
  13. Alison: Everything But the Girl
  14. She’s My Best Friend: The Wedding Present
  15. Happiness Is A Warm Gun: The Breeders
  16. Turning Japanese: Liz Phair
  17. In The Ghetto: Cartman
  18. Paint It Black: The Feelies
  19. The Passenger: Siouxie & the Banshees
  20. Thirteen: Elliot Smith
  21. Season of the Witch: Luna
  22. The Killing Moon: Pavement
  23. Here: Tindersticks
  24. Mrs. Robinson: The Lemonheads
  25. Hazy Shade of Winter: The Bangles
  26. Dear Prudence: Siouxie & the Banshees
  27. Somebody’s Baby: Yo La Tengo
  28. Follow YOu, Follow Me: Red House Painters
  29. One MOre Cup of Coffee: The White Stripes
  30. One: AImee Man

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