For years now, The A.V. Club has been running an Uncover series in which visiting bands play covers in a round room. Here are some of my favorites. (Note: depending on whether you like the band, you may wish to skip the intro material before the actual song.)
They Might Be Giants Covers Chumbawamba: "Tubthumping"
Okay, this is wonderful. TMBG brings The A.V. Club's staff into the room and just friggin' goes for it. Song starts at 1:18, though the intro material is funny.
Superchunk Covers The Cure: "In Between Days"
A lovely power-pop twist on this one. Song begins at 1:20.
Punch Brothers Cover The Cars: "Just What I Needed"
First off, it's bananas to think that "Just What I Needed" is from 1978 (!). But that aside, this acoustic, folky cover version is terrific.
The Swell Season Covers Neutral Milk Hotel: "Two-Headed Boy"
FANTASTIC and unexpected -- this song is built for Hansard's voice, but I assumed he would've launched into the guitar part from the start!. The harmonies starting at 4:45 are truly beautiful. Oh yeah, and after the song they just keep going with "The King Of Carrot Flowers Pts. 2-3" for a bit. True fans.
Justin Townes Earle Covers Bruce Springsteen: "Atlantic City"
When I covered Springsteen way back when, this was my go-to song. Earle does it better.
Ben Folds Covers Elliott Smith: "Say Yes"
Two great tastes that taste great together. Note: mild language warning, if you're not an Elliott Smith fan.
Trampled By Turtles Covers Arcade Fire: "Rebellion (Lies)"
Lovely fiddle work on this one.
Clem Snide Covers Journey: "Faithfully"
Surprisingly beautifully executed on ukulele. Not sure about the whistling at the end.