Arcade Fire are one of Canada’s most widely beloved (and reviled) bands with four studio albums to their name, but on their current world tour, they’ve mostly made headlines for singing other people’s songs rather than their own. Now there’s nothing wrong with a well-placed cover, and you can’t fault music publications for posting poorly-shot fan YouTube videos on slow news days, but the group’s regionally friendly choices (Fugazi in Washington! Feist in Calgary!) have lacked, shall we say…inspiration.
This weekend, the band finishes Web Content Tour 2014 (Toronto tonight and Montreal on Saturday), which means they have just two more chances to fuel blogs with content for the rest of the year, so they'd better make it count. Here’s a list of 30 other songs that they could cover. Some of these choices are so obvious, it’s hard to believe Arcade Fire haven’t thought of them already, while others are less predictable but surefire crowd-pleasers.
Joni Mitchell, “A Case Of You”
A no-brainer really.
Neil Young, “Heart Of Gold”
Do you think Win Butler invested in Pono?
Gordon Lightfoot, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”
Q: What’s more quintessentially Canadian than this song?
The “Dr. Penfield, I smell burnt toast” Heritage Minute
Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX, “Fancy”
Death Grips, “I’ve Seen Footage”
R.I.P. Death Grips (2010-2014).
It's not cheesy if it's Kanye West’s “No. 1” song.
Drake, “Hold On We’re Going Home”
Indie covers of popular rap/R&B songs are generally the worst, but think of the web traffic!
Drake, “Worst Behaviour”
Drake, “Started From The Bottom”
The bottom in this case refers to a loft in Montreal.
Drake feat. Soulja Boy, “We Made It”
With Owen Pallett on Soulja Boy’s part.
Nickelback, “How You Remind Me”
Ironically of course.
Limp Bizkit, “Nookie”
“Break Stuff” has become a staple of Mac Demarco’s live shows, but there’s still Fred Durst & Co.’s other big hit.
The theme song from Orange Is The New Black.
Still the worst part of Orange Is The New Black.
H.M.S. Pinafore; or, The Lass That Loved a Sailor
Covered in the style of Sideshow Bob.
Tchaikovsky, “Symphony No. 5” (Fourth Movement)
To really give the haters something to talk about.
The B-52’s,“Rock Lobster”
Sure, R.E.M.’s “Radio Free Europe” was a good choice, but do you know who else is from Athens, Georgia? The B-52’s.
Riff Raff, “Tip Toe Wing In My Jawwdinz”
A brief list of things Jody Highroller and Win Butler have in common: both grew up in Houston, both basketball fans, funny haircuts.
Lou Reed, “Metal Machine Music, Part 1”
Lou Reed, “Metal Machine Music, Part 2”
Lou Reed, “Metal Machine Music, Part 3”
Lou Reed, “Metal Machine Music, Part 4”
"Weird Al" Yankovic, “Eat It”
Quick, while he’s relevant.
Michael Jackson, "Beat It"
Why not? You've already learned the chords.
“The Battle Hymn of the Republic” (Traditional)
Outside of high school marching bands, has anybody ever covered this song and managed to look cool in the process?
David Bowie, “The Laughing Gnome”
If anybody can coax the Thin White Duke out of hiding, it’s Win Butler & Co. Also, this song is atrociously bad.
Tears For Fears, “Ready To Start” (Arcade Fire Cover)
What’s more meta than Arcade Fire covering a cover of one of their own songs?
Alanis Morissette, “Ironic”
Burzum, “Channeling the Power of Souls Into a New God”
They already have the corpse paint.
For 24 hours or more.