When awesome bands cover awesome bands

My favorite season of all.

My favorite season of all.

If you ever want a fool-proof way to make me shout, “Aughaughaughhh,” in a positive manner, tell me about one of my all-time favorite bands having their somewhat obscure songs shown some love by a current favorite band. I nearly bawled fat tears of joy when Glen Hansard of the Swell Season made it clear that he’s a fan of the Pixies. In the Swell Season’s show in Eugene, OR last year, Hansard and bandmate Markéta Irglová took a break from their collaboration’s characteristically yearning ballads and paid their respects to the former-ish band of Eugene resident, Frank Black. I especially like the part when Hansard digresses to talk about Finding Nemo and manages to logically tie a movie about fish to the end of the Come On Pilgrim track. It’s an inspired combination of images that Black would surely enjoy.

Less recently and less locally, the Swell Season also tried out “Cactus” from the Surfer Rosa album. Hansard breaks a string but smoothly gets his guitar replaced without interrupting the flow of the song too drastically. Irglová’s soft voice gets more volume, too. And while it’s impossible to really capture the tension and bare-faced desire of the original, particularly at Coachella as the audience members clap their hands and grow increasingly more delirious with every passing sleepless hour, the song is still a pretty apt selection for a Swell Season cover. Only time will tell if the Breeders or Frank Black’s solo work (or, less likely, the short-lived project of Joey Santiago and David Lovering, the Martinis) get the Hansard/Irglová treatment at a future show.

The Swell Season will play at the Crystal Ballroom on Tuesday, November 24. Doveman will also play.

“Levitate Me”

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