If you are a pop culture nerd like myself, one of your favorite websites should be the A.V. Club. They give great, and always humor filled takes on film, television music, and more. Since March of 2010, the website has been running a cover series where 25 songs are available for 25 bands to cover. Once one band covers a song, it is crossed off the list, leaving the remaining songs to the following bands. Currently on season 3 of the series, one of the better ones I have come across lately was a cover of Sufjan Stevens' "Chicago" by Milwaukee's Field Report, a chamber pop/alt country project led by Chris Porterfield. The song has already been covered to no end, mainly by Stevens himself on his Illinois outtakes and b-sides double album The Avalanche, which Porterfield knowingly points out himself.
For their take on the tune, which was recorded in September in the A.V. Club offices, the band removes the whimsical and orchestral feel to the song, which dominated most Stevens work throughout his career, and backs Porterfield's great vocals with some nice subtitles: a beat machine, gentle percussion, and soothing backing harmonies.
While we are on the Sufjan Stevens subject, don't forget he will be bringing his "Surfjohn Stevens Christmas Sing-A-Long Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant On Ice Tour" to Babeville on December 18th. Tickets are on sale now for $20.