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Gnarls Barkley Cover Radiohead, Channel Buddy Holly

August 4, 2008 12:20 AM ET

Two years ago, Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" was the toast of Lollapalooza and covered by multiple performers. This time, Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse returned the favor. Saluting 2008's most adored act, the twosome pulled off a brilliant rendition of Radiohead's "Reckoner." That wasn't the only surprise, of course. The costume-savvy duo came adorned in dark-mustard-colored suitcoats and coordinated bow ties, while their support band modeled maroon sweater vests and white dress shirts. Visually, it evoked Buddy Holly and made for a clever play on private-school instructors and their geeky charges. If only Juilliard could be so soulful. With Danger Mouse manning the keys and reeling off haunted organ refrains, his partner belted out "Run (I'm a Natural Disaster)," "Blind Mary" and "Who's Gonna Save My Soul" as if possessed by a sinister spirit. Nuggets-era garage rock and gospel dirges framed the singer's dementia. After urging the crowd to lose its mind, the Round Mound of Sound closed out the set on a happy note, putting giant grins on faces everywhere with — what else? — "Smiley Faces."

More Lollapalooza Coverage: Rock 'N' Roll Diary

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Song Stories

“Long Walk Home”

Bruce Springsteen | 2007

When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

More Song Stories entries »
 
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