The Interpreter: Live at Largo
Who knew the Pixies' "Wave of Mutilation" sounds best played as a back-porch country stomper? Only Rhett Miller, apparently, who gives the song that treatment halfway through this collection of covers recorded live at the Los Angeles club Largo in 2008. Elsewhere, the Old 97's frontman favors more modest makeovers: David Bowie's "Queen Bitch," with Jon Brion banging away blissfully on piano, becomes a brash bit of dancehall glam that would fit right in on an early Elton John record, while the Kinks' "Waterloo Sunset" gets low, hushed and folky. It would be easy to complain about the lack of Miller originals, but by the end of The Interpreter, he's made other people's material his own.