I like cover songs.
When an original band inserts a cover into its set - as<B> </B>a salute to a band or artist that the performer admires - it's typically pretty cool.
When Against Me! played a punk version of The Replacements' "Androgynous," I loved it. The band's singer, Laura Jane Grace, is transsexual, and the song was a wink to her status and a nod to one of her favorite bands. It was clever and it was cool.
When a country band plays "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash it's not clever. It's not cool. It's pandering, and it's extremely annoying.
Before you call me the concert curmudgeon, hear me out. I go to a lot of concerts, so I tend to notice little<B> </B>things, whether it's how a guy tunes his guitar or how different bands handle encores.
Lately, cover songs have been driving me nuts. A lot of bands play the songs to say "look how cool/clever/rooted in (insert genre here) we are for knowing this song.