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...Baby one more time

A few weeks ago, I received an e-mail asking, “Why is it so amazing that (insert band name) did a cover tune? Bands at Holiday Inns do it all the time.” For the record, I believe I wrote that said band did an amazing cover of (insert song). Not that it was amazing that said band did the cover of said song.

Trivialities aside, it brought up a common misconception that needs clarifying. A band that does covers does not a cover band make. I wasn’t comparing said band’s performance to a forever-bar band rendition of “Mustang Sally.” Said band’s cover was inspiring, one of those covers that makes you scratch your head because it’s familiar yet you … just … don’t … know… why.

Oh, yes (insert smile). That’s Britney Spears’ “… Baby One More Time,” only Travis is doing a deliciously mellow Brit-pop version of it. Brilliant. Francis Healy’s subtle vocals and the labored instrumentation somehow make the lyrics — “My loneliness is killing me/I must confess, I still believe (still believe)/When I’m not with you I lose my mind” — sound transcendent, sensitive and smart even.

The young Scots definitely have served up my favorite cover, but a close second is the Unholy Trio’s swing-your-partner-round-and-round version of Public Enemy’s “Bring the Noise” on the Down to the Promised Land, Five Years of Bloodshot Records compilation. I still haven’t decided if Unholy Trio’s version is the most disturbing or most hilarious thing I’ve ever heard. Check it out. If you’re still not convinced, pick up Cat Powers’ The Covers Record.

Leaving something behind

I caught Le Triggers’ last show a few Thursdays ago. (The Ann Arbor band is on temporary hiatus as guitarist-singer Bryce moved to Japan.) They played like a graduating high school football heroes taking a jog across the field one last time. They still have the prom (side projects, travel) to look forward to, but you know they’re going to miss throwing the old pigskin around. You may not be able to catch a live show for a while, if ever, but you can still find the band’s latest record, Beached on the Shore of Uncertainty … The Ship is Waiting?, at Ann Arbor record stores.

Morsel is also calling it quits. The tangled, jangled study of sonic serenity from another Ann Arbor creative force will surely be missed. Fans should watch for the band’s new release coming out early next year. The group finished recording before the breakup.

Just can’t get enough

For those of you who can’t get enough of Slumber Party and the band’s brand-spankin’-new self-titled album, mark your calendars; the band is going to perform live on the “Skrockin’ Yer Butow” show on 89.3 FM WHFR, 10 p.m.-midnight, Sun., Sept. 3. The second hour will include “One Kiss Away,” the band’s contribution to the next Patty Duke Fanzine. Listen to some tracks off the album at Sonic Metropolis on In other radio news, THIK will appear on 101.1 FM WRIF’s Motor City Riffs show at 10 p.m., Sun., Sept. 17.

For those who didn’t get enough hip hop at the last hip-hop holiday, there’s another one planned for Sept. 1 at the Giovanni Caboto Club, 2175 Parent Ave., Windsor. The event starts at 7 p.m. and Killah Priest, Lil Cash Dough and plenty of other Canadian and U.S. hip-hop artists will perform. Peace.

More festival fun!

Even though fall is approaching rapidly, the festivals keep coming. A carnival, a parade, and Caribbean, swing, polka and rock music are planned for the 21st Hamtramck Festival, which runs Fri., Sept. 1-Mon., Sept. 4. Everything takes place on Joseph Campau, between Caniff and Commor.

Serious festivalgoers have been keeping some multiband energy on reserve for next week’s Dally in the Alley — the annual gathering that takes place all around the I-shaped alley bordering Second, Third, Hancock and Forest. Acts scheduled for this year’s Dally include Soul Clique, Atomic Numbers, Black Magic Crossing, Give and more. It all takes place Sat., Sept. 9, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Show up early to catch Half Looking, a fun band from the Lansing area that does an “amazing” cover of Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer.”

Melissa Giannini writes about music for Metro Times. E-mail her at

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