Slang – “Handle With Care”
It just might take a super group to cover a supergroup with the kind of pedigree of the Travelling Wilburies. Luckily for Slang and their cover of “Handle with Care,” they meet the description of supergroup, with and without the space. A duo consisting of Janet Weiss on drums and vox and Drew Grow on guitar and vox, Slang simply “plays really good cover songs.” And boy do they. Easily the best cover band I’ve ever seen with a repertoire which can only (somewhat unfortunately) be described as “all killer, no filler.” The few times I’ve seen Slang perform, I find myself thinking “this is the best cover song choice ever,” and then I repeat that thought the entirety of their set. When they played a wedding of dear friends last February I tweeted “I want Slang to play ALL the parties.” And I do.
But I have to admit, I was a little nervous when Grow’s harmonica and Weiss’ crushing drums began “Handle With Care,” a lasting favorite of mine that I have loved since it first came out in 1988, when I was just seven years old. Those worries were wholly unfounded, as the adoring and adorable duo make the song their own and in doing so, just may out do the original (and definitely surpass the too many cooks in the kitchen version from Jenny Lewis’ Rabbit Fur Coat). Grow and Weiss’ voice were made to harmonize together, not blending but accentuating, and when they sing “Handle With Care” every word is managed to be sung with both intense integrity and a cheeky wink.
While we haven’t even seen two weeks of 2013 pass, it’ll take a hell of a cover to make me think Slang’s version of “Handle with Care” isn’t “the best thing I’ve ever found.”