Every once in awhile I stumble upon a hidden gem when looking for music. This happened recently when I was doing a search for the bands the Minus 5 and Loose Fur, both side projects for Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy, and found Bridging the Distance: A Portland OR Covers Compliation.
Bridging the Distance is almost exactly what the whole title eludes to, a collection of cover songs from Portland OR area bands. The bands enlisted for this album aren't household names. In fact, before checking it out I had only heard of three of the bands before: The Decemberists, The Minus 5, and Blitzen Trapper. The songs on the other hand are quite recognizable. Most of the songs included were famous chart toppers of the 70s and 80s from artists like Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac, and Led Zeppelin.
As with most cover albums, there are some hits and misses. Some of the standouts on the album include The Decemberists rendition of Fleetwood Mac's "Think About Me" which has been stuck in my head for days, and Whip's slow folky interpretation of Billy Idol's "White Wedding". The hits outweigh the misses, but the glaring cover that could have been skipped is Lacktherof's cover of Michael McDonald's "What a Fool Believes". Of course, this fool believes there is no appropriate version of that song and it would've landed on my miss list no matter who covered it, but don't let that deter you from checking out this steller compilation album.