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Karaoke On A Whole 'Nother Level

by John Asante
Apr 12, 2010

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John Asante

Twenty-five bands. Twenty-five cover songs. One small, sound room.

The A.V. Club — the entertainment entity of the satirical paper The Onion — started a fascinating weekly music recording session, known as "Undercover."

This project immediately caught my attention, as NPR Music's own "Tiny Desk Concerts" came to mind. (There's also the uncanny connection between these two sites — NPR's own Stephen Thompson is the founder of A.V. Club). Although "Tiny Desk Concerts" invoke a certain type of intimacy in musicians, "Undercover" has sort of a karaoke feel to it. But here's the catch — once a band performs a song, that's that. The next band can only choose from the remaining songs. In short, the last band must cover the one and only song.

So far, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists have covered Tears for Fears and Fruit Bats took a stab at Hall and Oates' "One on One", to name a few. The project has been getting positive reviews. If you're as interested as I am to see what these bands will happily or reluctantly perform — check back each Tuesday to the Undercover site for more videotaped performances.

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