Duck and Cover

Some of the city's best-known bands go incognito at Off Broadway.

If you're tired of hearing local bands play their own stuff but would still like to support the (cringe) "scene," make Off Broadway your second home this weekend. On Friday and Saturday night, the club is hosting the inaugural edition of what's called An Under Cover Weekend. The premise is simple: Each night, five local bands will be pulling out all the stops to cover their favorite non-local bands. The identities of the latter artists honored have been kept secret — until now.

Friday, September 7

Shame Club

In reality: A no-frills, riff-heavy, KSHE-caliber rock and fucking roll band. Band covering: Deep Purple, duuuuuude Why this will work: Shame Club relishes its classic-rock roots and love of lumbering psychedelic rock. Which, uh, exactly describes Deep Purple. Fire up the bong, find your best flares and groom up that killer 'stache. Sex Robots In reality: An exuberant, bubble-gum-punk band with the catchiest pop hooks in town. Band covering: Down-home rocker Tom Petty Why this will work: Early Petty hits were quick, snappy pop songs ("American Girl," "I Need to Know," "The Waiting") that influenced everyone from the Strokes to Kings of Leon. The Sex Robots are just as catchy, concise and All-American — even if they're more Ramones and Replacements than Riverport-ready. Heroes of the Kingdom In reality: A Collinsville, Illinois, quartet that combines the Zeus-like thunder of Led Zeppelin with prog's sweet, gnarled riffs. Band covering: Cheap Trick — aka the state of Illinois' biggest cheerleaders Why this will work: The members of Heroes did their home state proud, too, when they covered the 'Trick during a cover show, mainly by dressing the part. But more important, mewling vocalist Chris Powell has the range and distinctive timbre to pull off Robin Zander's yowls on "Dream Police." The Hibernauts In reality: Indie-poppers whose songs possess a distinctly Britpop bent and reveal an obsession with intricate songcraft. Band covering: British Invasion wordsmiths the Kinks Why this will work: Harmonies, harmonies, harmonies — the Hibernauts are fond of using 'em, as are the brothers Davies. Robb Steele In reality: A rap/hip-hop trio consisting of three white dudes whose ribald rhymes, nasally flow and tinny electro-beats are very reminiscent of the Beastie Boys. Band covering: Rap/hip-hop trio the Beastie Boys Why this will work: Uh, see above. Saturday, September 7

7 Shot Screamers

In reality: A thrashing, manic group whose tunes split the difference between rockabilly and punk. Band covering: The Beatles — but Ringo Starr songs only Why this will work: It's surprising the Screamers aren't covering Morrissey and/or the Smiths, but the quartet's fondness for making other people's songs its own — regardless of genre — is well-established. See the unhinged version of Outkast's "Hey Ya!" it still busts out live. The Bureau In reality: A dark, danceable quartet with roots in '80s mope-rock and sleek neo-post-punk. Band covering: New Romantic heartthrobs Duran Duran Why this will work: Besides the fact that the band is hiring a sax player (!) for a few songs this night — guess this means we can expect a rendition of "Rio" — the Bureau's slinky basslines work well in tandem with its synth parts, just like Duran Duran's best, critically underrated work. Plus, the band's impeccable hairstyles and attention to grooming rival the Fabulous Five's snazzy new-wave sartorial choices. Ghost in Light In reality: A hard-to-categorize indie trio that smooshes together shoegazing ambience, post-rock riffing and effects-laden noise freakouts. Band covering: Alterna-goth patron saints the Cure Why this will work: GiL can produce roaring cloudbursts of chaos on one song, aim for the pop jugular on the next and then veer into a quiet, delicate composition right after. Just like the Cure ca. Disintegration and Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me. One only hopes GiL will kick out the keyboard player it's borrowing for the night mid-set — also just like the Cure. The Feed In reality: A power trio that shuns guitars — but amps up keys and a saxophone — to craft '70s-inspired FM gooey-pop indebted to Steely Dan, Ben Folds and Morphine. Band covering: The only band that matters: The Clash Why this will work: The members of the Feed easily have the musical chops to pull off the Clash's diverse genre-skipping. But the group's fondness for punk-ifying its soul, jazz and funk influences certainly makes its set one of the more intriguing ones, indeed. Fattback In reality: A funky outfit that brings to mind the twangy drawl and sinewy grooves of Primus — had that band's Les Claypool explored his jammier roots much earlier in his career. Band covering: 1980s AOR staples the Cars Why this will work: While at first seemingly an odd choice, Fattback's retro-cool synths and penchant for goofiness (à la Columbia's over-the-top rockers Witch's Hat) are oddly perfect to tackle the Cars' paranoid, theatrical power-pop. — Annie Zaleski

 
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