Available on Bandcamp the PRF Monthly Tribute Series is an ongoing project which challenges musicians to attempt covers of a particular band or artist. The musicians are given a month to record songs by that band, or about that band, or in the style of the band. In September 2019 the 63rd in the series it was the turn of Captain Beefheart.
- Situations – Grown So Ugly (3:19)
– this track races along as a straightforward rock song rather than following the blues of the original
- Doctor Coffee – Dropout Boogie (2:42)
– a similar arrangement to the SAM track complete with waltz-style break but has an interesting metronomic beat and a wailing slide
- Audrey & the Zig Zag Forever – Zig Zag Wanderer (1:33)
– great fun track which is a fascinating melange a la B52s that dispenses with most of the original lyrics
- Naythen Wilson – The Dust Blows Forward n’ the Dust Blows Back (2:03)
– recited as per the TMR original but has added Beefheart-style twin guitar and bass accompaniment
- Major Sedan and the Kentucky Colonel – Ella Guru (2:30)
– close to the original arrangement but has more of a ‘stately’ feel with guitar and organ backing
- The Kentucky Colonel and Major Sedan – Old Fart at Play (2:04)
– similar to the original but with a drum-heavy backing and extra emotional ending
- Spycker – Sheriff of Hong Kong (3:19)
– a throbbing beast of an instrumental version
- Naythen Wilson – Apes-Ma (0:41)
– straight recitation – on an answerphone?
- The Erratic Retaliator Strategy – Frownland (but it’s a real song) (1:53)
– with a strummed guitar backing TMR’s challenging opening track becomes a poignant ballad
- Oms en série – Abba Zaba (2:39)
– same arrangement as original but with electronic bass and added accordion
- Tanzcafé Hawking Concentrate – Electricity (3:59)
– the spiky square dance of the original is turned into a psych rocker that dissolves into a freak-out
- hench – plastic factory (2:19)
– pretty much as the original but with a kazoo in there – great ending!
- The Five Mod Four – Bluejeans & Moonbeams (3:41)
– one of Don’s more accessible songs which is pleasant enough and is enlivened by a guitar intro and outro
- Peach Malört and the Shovel Fight – Well Since My Human Gets Me Blues (7:01)
– a great mash-up of two songs this starts as per the original acappella track and then develops into a soulful bluesy outing. You can’t see the join between the two songs.
- DJ Boots Raingear ft. Gloria Hole – I’m Gonna Booglarize You Baby (Live at XStacyFest 2019) (3:24)
– not the first to turn this song into a bangin’ dance tune although this one seems to have its tongue firmly in its cheek
- Room 302 – Too Much Time (3:24)
– another straightforward cover
Overall an interesting collection of cover versions that I’d be happy to listen to again. Well done to all the musicians who took part!
The PRF Series originated on a message board set up by the Electric Audio Studio in Chicago. Electric Audio is owned and operated by Steve Albini, although he doesn’t have any input to the tribute series that I’m aware of.