The cover song has gotten a bad rap.
Sure, it can be used as a way to squeeze a marketable (read: "pretty") band into regular broadcast rotation, but it can also be a rebirth, a chance for a great piece of art to be wholly re-envisioned or for a piece with unrealized potential to have its greatness brought to the fore.
That's why it was such a joy to stumble across Radio Free Fernie under the "Alternative Rock" section of iTunes radio. All covers. All day. All awesome. And sure, some of them are those radio breakthroughs everyone knows like Jimmy Hendrix's "All Along the Watchtower," but most of them are the obscure versions you've never heard, even when they're by established bands. Tori Amos doing Nirvana. Arctic Monkeys doing Amy Winehouse. A Perfect Circle doing Elvis Costello. Contrast the angry introversion of Nine Inch Nails' version of "Hurt" with the elemental sincerity of Johnny Cash's. Or Ike and Tina's version of "Proud Mary" with the original by Creedence.
With Radio Free Fernie, not only do you get the gleeful shock of hearing Ted Leo sing Kelly Clarkson, you get a chance to hear the song again for the first time, possibly discovering something beautiful you'd previously overlooked.
Check it out on iTunes or at coversongsradio.com.