Ever since Timely Persuasion came out back in 2008 I’ve always wanted to do some sort of tie-in soundtrack type thing featuring covers of the Local Boy songs, but various attempts to get a project like that off the ground always stalled for one reason or another. Until now…
Back in the summer of 2009 I heard a cover of Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart” by a band called the Painting Tasters (aka Ken Gordon) on an indie hodgepodge episode of Coverville. It was a great version in a Local Boy-esque kind of way, but my interest was really piqued when Brian Ibbott said there were also covers of “Drain You” and “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on the band’s website.
I especially dug those covers and the way they were billed as “how I imagine Dylan or Tom Petty would play it,” so I sent Ken Gordon an email. We chatted back and forth about Nirvana and cover songs for a few days, he generously offered to take a stab at “Lounge Act” from TP, and eventually the conversation tapered off as we both got busy with real life. I had more or less forgotten about the whole thing until he found me on Facebook in late December 2010 with a link to a huge cache of “Nirvana Country” covers he’d been working on!
Ken has put together a great batch of songs, somewhat reminiscent of the “Local Boy Does Nirvana” set I’ve envisioned previously but with different songs and so much better since he’s actually recorded them with his own unique spin and voice while still staying true to Kurt’s original lyrics. The things he does with some of the heavier songs really blow me away.
Check out the full set along with some non-Nirvana songs on Ken Gordon’s Facebook, and get a bonus preview below of his rendition of Tourette’s — my favorite of the bunch since it’s almost unrecognizable going in and probably should have made my Local Boy short list: