Thursday, January 13, 2011

Cover Your Tracks: Electrelane, "I'm On Fire"

Bruce Springsteen occupies a thick stratum of the American musical bedrock, somewhere where folk and rock and soul are forged into a heavier, elemental crust; his music is righteous and undeniable, and immune to fashion or whatever musical trends the kids are futzing around with. So when his songs are covered by punk poet Patti Smith ("Because The Night") or the groovy r'n'b Pointer Sisters ("Fire"), no one blinks. When I heard Sleater-Kinney cover "Promised Land" in concert many years back, it made sense, too—they found the frustration in the song's core and translated it into their punk idiom.

In the 2000s, Electrelane made four good albums of keyboard-driven, droning rave-up, sort of like Stereolab's punkier younger sister on a VU kick. They too, found a Bruce track whose dour folk melody conveys dark frustration, regardless of the musical backing. So their organ-drenched, accelerated reading of "I'm On Fire" (originally a b-side) likewise turns the quiet, desperate original into a punk rave-up. The only problem is that it's not long enough.

Electrelane cover Bruce Springsteen's "I'm On Fire":


  1. whoa - I accidentally clicked on your're back. nice...and it's about time.

  2. now that I finally downloaded what I had been missing, I've got to say this one fell flat for me.