Monkey's Gone to Heaven?
by Daniel Phifer
A good cover song is no simple achievement. It requires a very delicate balance. An artist has to add their own stylistic viewpoint to the song they’re covering without straying too far from the elements that made the original so cover worthy.
A perfect example of a band achieving this balance is Dinosaur Jr. Their cover of The Cure classic ‘Just Like Heaven’ is possibly one of the finest cover versions we’ve ever heard. When taking in this song, there’s no mistaking that you’re listening to Dinosaur Jr. All the J Mascis elements are in place, the deafening guitars, the apathetic vocal style. But at the same time it’s pure Robert Smith. And it’s pure brilliance.
Being a fan of a band gives an individual a sense of ownership over that band's work. So we, as we're sure countless others do, feel like the Pixies belong to us. This sets incredibly high expectations when presenting an evening of nothing but Pixies covers.
We want to preface this by saying that the idea behind the UnderCover Presents event series is terrific -- local San Francisco musicians paying tribute to a group who’s influence is ubiquitous among anyone who’s picked up an electric guitar in the past 20 years. The problem lies in the aforementioned delicate balance.