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Deerhoof Tests Their Fans’ Music-Reading Abilities; Vulture Keeps Score

Photo: Getty Images, Deerhoof.com

Deerhoof are well known the blogosphere around for their angular, deconstructionist tunes, which they give away — sometimes as entire albums — on their official Website. The band’s latest freebie, “Fresh Born,” the first track from their upcoming full-length Offend Maggie, takes a decidedly steampunk approach to copy protection — they’ve posted the track’s sheet music in PDF format and encouraged fans to submit MP3s of themselves covering a song they’ve never actually heard. After the jump, Vulture grades some of the more interesting results.

1. Aaron Novik
Novik, a pretentious-sounding professional clarinetist (who insists that he is both a musician and an artist, “because he uses music as his medium of expression”) turns in our favorite of the bunch, which starts out as a jazz meditation and ends up sounding like a Bulgarian wedding. A

2. Matthew Walker and the Hidden Messages
The London-based Walker recruited his band, the Hidden Messages, for this impressive version of “Fresh Born,” the first time a Deerhoof song has ever been sung intelligibly. A-

3. Josh Richmond
Richmond’s records a sort of Switched-On version with some alarming vocals. Not bad. C+

4. Savant Trigger
Savant Trigger is an electronic musician with a seizure-inducing MySpace page. Thankfully, his club mix is slightly easier on the senses. B-

5. Dr. David Sunderman
Dr. Sunderman is an electrical engineer, a professor, a music theorist, and an expert in speech conversion systems. He’s also a scat-singing German Dave Matthews. D+
—Ehren Gresehover

Deerhoof [Official site]

Deerhoof Tests Their Fans’ Music-Reading Abilities; Vulture Keeps Score