(In Which We Cover Covers)
Yoni Wolf - “Shoot the Singer (1 Sick Verse)” [Original by Pavement]
In memorial for the WHY? sit-down tour that was canceled on Wednesday, let’s end the week with leader singer Yoni Wolf doing a solo voice + piano cover of a song by Pavement.
“Shoot the Singer (1 Sick Verse)” comes from Pavement’s Watery, Domestic EP (aka “the one with the chicken on it”), and holds the rare distinction of being a Pavement song that sounds a little bit sad. Malkmus, Spiral, et al. did a lot of things, but they rarely did sad songs. They were too cool, man. Even a track like “Shoot the Singer (1 Sick Verse)” isn’t really a sad song; it just sounds a little sad for a Pavement song. It’s a subtle thing.
So, all of my kudos1 go to Yoni Wolf for recognizing this, and bringing it out in his cover. Slowing it down and stripping it down to just his voice and a sparse piano accompaniment allows the song to fully realize its emotional power. Sections like the ending repetition of “Don’t expect” talk on a completely new, and completely depressing light in Yoni’s hands.
It’s the sort of thing that you always want to see in a cover. The basic elements of the song remain, but it’s interpretation gives it an entire new meaning.
Download this track and some other Yoni live cuts here.
1. I have exactly 42 kudos.