Tonight's 8 off 8th at Mercy Lounge pits Peter Gabriel cover songs against Phil Collins cover songs, in what can only be called a Peter Gabriel vs. Phil Collins 8 off 8th. The lineup includes hosts Pico vs Island Trees, Matthew Perryman Jones, Peter Barbee, Eric Wilson, Tyler James, Boss of Nova and Andrew Osenga. I like to think of How I Became the Bomb's rendition of "In the Air Tonight" as thee definitive cover of a Phil Collins song by a local band at Mercy Lounge, but that's just me. The real question is: Who's gonna do "Strangers Like Me"?
Speaking of Peter Gabriel and cover songs, Mr. Womad should probably win this 8 off 8th because his latest release is a covers album. Boom. Then again, maybe Phil Collins will rise head, head and head above Gabriel on this night. Here to slice up your eyeballs is the one and only Jim Ridley, from this week's Critics' Picks:
One was a former Genesis frontman who morphed into a boring hack and the star of some of the dopiest, most obnoxious videos of the MTV era. The other recorded “Sussudio.” Banzai, bitches! And so the age-old conflict continues: Either Genesis turned from a genius conceptual prog-rock unit into sonic air freshener for elevators when Peter Gabriel left the band, or Genesis jettisoned its inscrutable, insufferable pomp-rock pretensions and morphed into an ace singles act when Phil Collins took over. Their solo careers have deepened the grudge: Is Collins the chump, or Gabriel the goat? At a special 8 off 8th — which takes its name from a cryptic phrase Gabriel dropped in his farewell-to-Genesis letter to the British press in 1975 — a variety of local club faves led by Pico vs. Island Trees will settle the matter by performing their respective works head to head. Which protest anthem cuts more deeply, Gabriel’s “Biko” (“Yihla Moja, Yihla Moja, the man is dead / And the eyes of the world are watching now”) or Collins’ “Illegal Alien” (“It’s no fun / Being an illegal alien”)? Is it better to be a sledgehammer or an easy lover? Answer carefully, that’s all. There is no middle ground. There can be only one.
9 p.m. at Mercy Lounge. Free. You know the drill.