Covers are HOT this year. The Onion A.V. Club is wrapping up its Undercover Series: 25 Bands, 25 Cover Songs, 1 Small, Round Room.  So if you want to hear Superchunk cover The Cure (Yeah!), or Cymbals Eat Guitars cover Superchunk (probably not), you’re…uhh, covered.

Over at NPR, All Songs Considered has selected Five Great Cover Songs From 2010 (So Far).  And Peter Gabriel released an album of covers: Scratch My Back, where his voice is accompanied solely by piano and orchestra, leading to some “radical reinterpretations.”

“Songwriting is what drew me into music,” Peter reveals. “The craft and the process of putting together a good song seemed both exciting and magical.” And it’s this magical craft that Scratch My Back salutes, a dozen covers of songs that Peter regards as among the pinnacles of songwriting endeavour. “Songwriting is what turns his crank,” agrees long-standing member of his management team Mike Large, “and there’s a whole bunch of songs that, when he hears them, the meter goes off the end of the scale.

So this series will present a few of MMT’s favorite covers.  The best covers are not just same song/different singer, but re-imaginings that might amplify an undercurrent or illuminate hidden corners of the originals.  And speaking of radical reinterpretations, we kick things off with “Creep” as performed by Amanda Palmer.  What began as a party goof blossomed into a full album of  Radiohead covers.  Here’s the one that started it all…

Looking for more Radiohead covers?  Check out the surprising “Optimistic” from Hanson (yes, the mmmboppers), and the sublime instrumental performance of “Kinves Out” by the Brad Mehldau Trio.