For a little detour on the Homecoming road, the vivacious Zoe posted a link to a cover of Green Day’s “The Grouch” on Facebook and I was pretty floored when I listened to it, and subsequently, a few more of Team Perfect’s Green Day covers as well.
In an earlier post on Green Day performing “Letterbomb” at Lollapalooza in Chicago and last week in Buffalo, I mentioned how it was fascinating to hear and compare the versions of that song between Billie Joe’s male voice and the female voice of Rebecca Jones of the American Idiot on Broadway cast. Not long after I updated my post mentioning the comparison as well as Billie Joe’s high-energy performance of the song at Lolla, did I hear these songs from Green Day’s Nimrod by Team Perfect.
Here’s a brief description of the musicians:
“WHAT IS TEAM PERFECT? It’s the name Devonte Hynes (of ‘Lightspeed Champion’) and Florence Welch (of ‘Florence and the Machine’) gave themselves when they performed together. These recordings are from their cover of Green Day’s “Nimrod” album. They were recorded back in 2007 on Devonte’s laptop; so please do not complain about the quality — this is the highest quality version out there.”
You can read more about Devonte Hynes, also known as Lightspeed Champion, at his website. The British Hynes has written music for performers such as The Chemical Brothers, Florence and the Machine, and Diana Vickers. He also has his own solo career, releasing Falling Off The Lavender Bridge in 2008 and his 2010 album, Life is Sweet, Nice to Meet You, along with a host of other material he’s done as well as these underground Green Day covers. He’s also a classical performer but throat surgery interrupted a two-year tour in 2008. He’s a graphic artist and seems to be an out-there character. He teamed up with Florence Welch of the Machine to record covers from Nimrod for female voice and acoustic guitar.
All of the songs were recorded on a laptop and are raw. It’s pretty awesome to hear “Platypus (I Hate You)” and “The Grouch” while Welch sings and Hynes attacks the acoustic guitar behind the lyrics. “Platypus’s” curse words sound dangerous and dainty coming from a woman, but the meaning comes down to the same, I just hate you and “The Grouch” reminds us that men and women alike can suffer a bad, horrible, terrible no good life, so fuck you very much, but sweetly. Not only that, but they also highlight Billie Joe’s lyrical and Green Day’s musical penmanship as the stripped-down songs allow a different exploration of the musical complexities of Nimrod. As Hynes says at the end of “Playtpus (I Hate You),” RROOCCKK!
Team Perfect Does “Platypus (I Hate You)”
Team Perfect Does “The Grouch”
Check out the other covers such as “Redundant,” “Worry Rock,” “Nice Guys Finish Last,” “Hitchin’ A Ride,” and “All The Time” that were also recorded in 2007. It’s a bit difficult to track down a place to purchase the songs, but do catch all of them and other covers by Team Perfect at the Youtube site as well as Hynes’ other works. You hardcore Green Day collectors out there may have already heard these cause you’re so cool, but for those of us who haven’t, enjoy!