Matthew Price over at Nerdage and I tend to have periodic geek-out discussions about INXS, and how one of the biggest bands of the 1980s basically ceded its place in history by following up 1987′s new wave/funk/juggernaut “Kick” and its capable successor “X” by being too adventurous for its audience (1992′s “Welcome to Wherever You Are”) and then releasing the worst album of their career just when they needed a great one (1993′s “Full Moon, Dirty Hearts”). But the music from their best period holds up well, as evidenced by the profoundly sexy version of “Need You Tonight” that St. Vincent, Beck and Liars did a few years ago.
Now, as part of AV Undercover, Thao & the Get Down Stay Down do their own version, which hews much closer to INXS’ original style, but with Thao Nguyen throwing in some bottleneck slide for punctuation. It’s a strong entry — respectful but with enough fresh flourishes to make it stand out, and unusually faithful for a series in which the covers tend to be wildly rebuilt and, on occasion, savagely butchered. Thao & the Get Down Stay Down have a new album out, “We the Common,” released in February on Ribbon Records.