Although the resemblance between these British pop masters and Kansas City's dissonant noise-rock champions The Casket Lottery isn't immediately apparent, singer Nathan Ellis says his trio feels a definite connection with Sting's three-piece. "It's one of probably three or four bands that we can all agree on," Ellis says. Appropriately enough, The Casket Lottery plans to perform perhaps The Police's most chaotic song, the jagged "Synchronicity Two." In addition to giving Ellis the opportunity to howl humiliating kick in the crotch, this tune offers a punky riff, a driving pace and a slow-fading resolution, making it a Lottery winner. The group plans to record a version of "Synchronicity Two" on a split 7-inch single due out this summer, with indie stalwarts Sweep the Leg Johnny covering the first "Synchronicity" on the flip side.
While that selection seems a natural choice for Ellis' band, as does the somber "So Lonely" and the exasperated "Don't Stand So Close to Me," the perky "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" might present the group with a challenge. "That one's going to be screwed up just a little bit," Ellis admits.
Cruse, whose new-wave-influenced synthesized sounds bring to mind many of the Police's contemporaries, faces a different quandary: how to translate the music of a guitar-bass-drums combo into the language of a keyboards-and-voice duo. While studying up on Sting and company, ReGina Cruse developed a new appreciation for the group.
"Honestly, I've never been a huge fan of The Police, but practicing for this tribute has been like studying math begrudgingly and then finding out it was always just another language, and a purposeful and meaningful one at that," she says. Cruse also notes the lyrical power of the songs her band will perform -- the martyr-complex angst of "King of Pain," the vivid character-study detail of "Roxanne" -- before admitting, with some trepidation, "I've been Stung."
Clint Kueffer, titular frontman of the Clint K Band, was stung in a negative sense by some of the singer's wordplay once he started rehearsing "De Doo Doo Doo De Da Da Da." "It's a cool song, and we like how it sounds for us, but from a lyrical standpoint I'm not completely comfortable with it," he says. "No one has ever said anything powerful enough to me to leave me feeling raped. Rape is too serious a matter to throw around loosely. I'd be interested in knowing what Sting's motives and/or reasons were for using that word in the song." However, from a practical standpoint, the tune works well for the band. "We like it because the chorus is easy to remember," explains drummer Jason Green. "Hooked on Phonics works for us."
Proudentall; Brighton, Ohio; Soccer Mom (featuring members of Ultimate Fakebook and the Creature Comforts); Superkid (starring Mike Slurry and his daughter Gypsy) and Mi6 will also offer their original takes on Police tunes on Saturday, January 27, at The Bottleneck, with Superkid kicking off the festivities at exactly 8:30 p.m.