The Late Movies: Covers of the Pixies

Chris Higgins

The Pixies have had a special place in my heart since I discovered Doolittle in 1996 -- three years after the band had broken up and seven years after the album was released. I used to listen to that tape on repeat as I walked to class, from class, even sometimes in class. I was most pleased when the band reunited years later and began touring -- and they're still at it. If you can't catch the real Pixies live, maybe you'll enjoy these covers of some of their songs.

"Wave of Mutilation" - OK Go

Live, acoustic, in a tent. Note that OK Go have covered virtually every Pixies song I can think of -- just go a-Googlin' and you'll find nice versions of lots of Pixies favorites covered by these guys.

See also Beck's version.

"Cactus" - David Bowie & Moby

Goofy but fun. There's even a clap-along at one point.

"Cactus" - The Swell Season

At Coachella, 2008. Glen breaks a string almost immediately and eventually throws in some lines from "Subbacultcha." Lovely and crazy, just like it should be.

"Debaser" - Rogue Wave

A poppy, upbeat take on the opening track from Doolittle.

"The Holiday Song" - James Mercer

On a local Portland, Oregon radio station (KBOO), James Mercer of The Shins and Broken Bells performs a solo acoustic cover of "The Holiday Song."

"Mr. Grieves" - TV on the Radio

Insanely complex a capella (plus possibly a bass, or a really good bass singer?) version of this track from Doolittle.

"Here Comes Your Man" - Teenage Fanclub

You wouldn't believe how many awful, awful covers of this song are on YouTube after 500 Days of Summer came out. I like this one (pre-500 Days, of course).

"Where is My Mind?" - James Blunt

A very pretty cover -- the keyboards are a nice touch.

"Into the White" - Julian Plenti

Paul Banks (of Interpol) rocks this one out -- complete with cello.

"Gigantic" - The Breeders

Arguably cheating since, of course, The Breeders are fronted by Kim Deal. But still, this is lots of fun. Apparently from Tokyo, 2003. Keep an eye out for Kelley belting out the choruses.

"Winterlong" - Pixies (Neil Young)

In case you haven't heard this sweet B-side, this is my favorite Pixies cover -- in this case, they're covering Neil Young. Live in Boston, 2008?

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There are zillions more Pixies covers online -- if you'd like to dig for fire and post it, I'd be blown away. (Sorry.)