AV Club Undercover: When great live music concepts go wrong

Kurt Vile covers Nine Inch Nails
Firstly, I am in no way attacking A.V. Club and their live music series ‘Undercover’ but when I recently stumbled upon their recording of Kurt Vile covering Nine Inch Nail’s ‘Down In It’, I gawked. Can you spot what the problem is here?

There is a myth in the industry that suggests you have to create more interesting angles when it comes down to recording live music – it needs to be packaged, it needs to have a hook.

The premise for the ‘Undercover’ series is this – a list of 25 songs is selected and the bands featured have to choose one of these tracks to cover. Interesting idea but flawed – what happens when you get to the end of the list with not many choices for the bands to cover? A car crash…

Kurt Vile is a brilliant musician and ‘Down In It’ is a brilliant song. So what went wrong?

I can only guess the lacklustre performance above is a result of an artist being unmotivated by a track they have to cover. The result doesn’t help the publisher, artist or sponsor.

Shame because the other performances are fantastic.

Have you any thoughts on the topic above? Please feel free to leave your comments below.

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Steven Wilson-Beales

Content strategy consultant
I'm Head of Editorial at Global Radio, London looking after a fantastic range of websites including Capital FM, Capital Xtra, Heart, XFM, LBC, Classic FM and Smooth. Find me on and Twitter. Please feel free to email me here.