One of the most frequent questions we receive here at The A.V. Club is how people can get their hands on audio versions of A.V. Undercovers. The short answer is that you can’t, because of various licensing complexities. But sometimes we get lucky, and a band decides to release something on its own.
To kick off season seven of Undercover, A.V. Club pals Shearwater returned, this time to cover an entire album. We spent one Sunday in March with the band while they played David Bowie’s Lodger in its entirety, and it was so good that frontman Jonathan Meiburg wants to release it on vinyl. On choosing to do this particular Bowie album, Meiburg wrote:
And as a collection of songs, [Lodger] seems eclectic to the point of being slapdash. ”Yassassin” was an attempt to invent Turkish reggae; “Move On” is “All The Young Dudes” played backward. The singles “D.J.,” “Look Back In Anger,” and “Boys Keep Swinging” form an ungainly lump in the middle of the record, like a cow that’s been swallowed by a python. All the songs end in question marks, fading out on one uneasy groove or another, and the album lacks the sonic majesty of “Heroes” or Low. Lodger’s mix is thin and disoriented, and Adrian Belew’s guitar pyrotechnics are shoved down till they’re tinny and contorted, the opposite of Robert Fripp’s explosive work on “Heroes”.
Shearwater is currently fundraising on GoFundMe to release this on vinyl, and $45 will get you a limited-edition vinyl LP, mastered by Greg Calbi, who also mastered Bowie’s Lodger in 1979.