Katie and I were lucky enough to catch Ra Ra Riot‘s show and pirate picnic in the general vicinity of Bon Iver‘s show in the past couple weeks, both part of the now concluded 2011 season of Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park. I know, right? Summer’s FLYIN’ by. But, to the point of the post, at both performances, we heard some crazy-interesting cover songs. Which leads us to today’s Friday Cover Up—a celebration of five of our favorite recent-ish cover songs. First up, none other than Brooklyn-by-way-of-Syracuse’s Ra Ra Riot.
Ra Ra Riot • Hounds of Love (Kate Bush cover)
Truth be told, this totally was not the cover Ra Ra Riot played last Friday—they played an entertaining version of Steve Winwood’s Valerie featuring an appropriately screaming solo by Delicate Steve.  But it shoulda been the cover they played. This one’s of Kate Bush‘s 1985 hit, “Hounds of Love,” and was performed live in the fall of 2008 at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, recorded by Andrew Maury. So, no, not new, but AWESOME, nonetheless and not nearly well-known enough. And singer, Wes Miles, seriously says “Thank you so much” exactly like that a million times a show. Is cute. PS—Welcome to Brooklyn, RRR.

Okay, this IS the cover Bon Iver—AKA Justin Vernon—played at the bandshell a couple of days ago and, though the recording doesn’t quite get across the sheer awesomeness of hearing it in-person live, it’s superb. A lovely take on one of Björk‘s better songs off of Medúlla, recorded live last week at the Black Cat, in DC. Black Cat, Black Cat!

Computer Magic • Take It or Leave It (The Strokes cover)

Stereogum—purveyor of all things musically awesome—put together a cover tribute to the StrokesThis Is It on the 10th anniversary (10 YEARS?!) of that album’s release. This cover of “Take It or Leave It” by Brooklyn’s Computer Magic was one of our faves—though the morning benders and Owen Pallett songs are definite runner-ups. You can download the entire tribute over at Stereogum and judge for yourself though.

Ellie Goulding—who, seemingly has covered half the songs ever written, and covered them well, I should add—delivers a lovely-ly stripped-down version of the Knife‘s classic, “Heartbeats.” I know what you’re thinking—”The Kinfe’s Web site hurts my eyes.” Yes, mine too. And also, yes—José González already did that. But Ellie’s SO AWESOME! How could you not love this version.

First of all, in answer to your question, yes, this is Beyoncé’s sister, Solange Knowles, covering the Dirty Projectors‘ “Stillness if the Move,” and, yes, it’s just as awesome as you want it to be. I don’t think a second of all is necessary.

Still cover-starved? Really? Alright, two more items for you—First, check out this newly-released and pretty dope cover of a Ride song Death Cab for Cutie did. And, finally, get excited for the just-announced “Ten Songs, Ten Hours, Ten Days, Ten Years” project that professional champs, Tokyo Police Club announced this week. They’ll be recording ten cover songs in ten days, one from each year between 2001 and 2011, the first to be released online August 24. Check out their site for the rest of the details and stay tuned. And good weekend to you, Reader.
Above: Katie and the late, great Ida Malone, under covers.