Cov­er­ing all the bases

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Music - JAR­RAD BE­VAN

FAR more than just a fad, Triple J’s Like A Ver­sion has be­come an in­sti­tu­tion.

Over the past half- decade the se­ries has trans­formed it­self from a ‘‘ bit of fun’’ or a nov­elty seg­ment on the morn­ing show, into a who’s who of the mu­sic scene.

Didn’t get a look in? Your act’s prob­a­bly not as pop­u­lar as you’d like.

Episode num­ber seven sports a slew of great acts giv­ing fab­u­lous per­for­mances.

Some sim­ply trans­pose other peo­ple’s lyrics on to their own style.

While oth­ers grab their cho­sen song by the throat giv­ing their fresh new live in­ter­pre­ta­tion of a favourite tune every­thing they’ve got. It sounds like a sub­tle dif­fer­ence but it’s re­ally not.

This 23- song al­bum starts with one of the sta­tion’s favourites, Pumped Up Kicks, this time de­liv­ered del­i­cately by Owl Eyes with a sprightly base­line, bell melodies and or­gan lines. There is never a bad time to bust out a whis­tle, ei­ther.

Art vs Sci­ence add some wel­comed funk and bounce to the al­ready funky and bouncy Daft Punk hit Harder Bet­ter Faster Stronger. The sen­sa­tional Sarah Blasko trans­forms Outkast’s Hey Ya!. Her ver­sion is slower, qui­eter, acous­tic- driven but it still smoul­ders and swings with the same in­ten­sity as the orig­i­nal. Per­fect.

The first real sur­prise comes from lo­cal rap­per Dialec­trix cov­er­ing ’ 90s alt- rock an­them Buyme A Pony. It is quite sim­ply crazy. And great. Also worth a men­tion is the spooky gui­tar and ‘‘ just right’’ vo­cal tone on Eskimo Joe’s Go­tye cover.

The songs these per­form­ers pick tells us some­thing about them.

Per­son­ally I’ve found Paul Dempsey to be an un­bear­able sad sack from about the sec­ond or third Some­thing For Kate al­bum on­wards ( AKA the time they traded fuzzy rock gui­tars for plucked acous­tic gui­tars).

Any­way, his se­lec­tion, Bat For Lashes’ mys­ti­cal, vel­vety, weep­ing song Daniel was a shock. But a pleas­ant one. He not only does it jus­tice, he makes it his own.

Oc­ca­sion­ally peo­ple miss the mark, such as Plan B who don’t of­fer any­thing ex­cept a wa­tered- down ver­sion of Kanye West’s con­fes­sional smash hit Run­away.

Ob­vi­ously, not ev­ery song the sta­tion recorded could ( or should) get a run here.

How­ever, a glar­ing omis­sion was The Hol­i­days and their strong ver­sion of Wolf Like Me by TV on the Ra­dio.

Many peo­ple would say it was the high­light of Like A Ver­sion last year. Per­haps Triple J couldn’t clear it with the band?

Once again this year the sta­tion filmed these per­for­mances as well as record­ing them for the al­bum.

The DVD is great fun. It shows off an of­ten cramped stu­dio space and the calm or panic in an artist’s eyes as they strive to do a con­tem­po­rary’s song jus­tice.

Only 15 of the 23 get their video on the sec­ond disc – slight bum­mer but not a deal- breaker.

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