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FEIST and MASTODON
Another Record Store Day item, with a flair specific to the occasion, is “Feistodon” (Cherrytree/Interscope/Reprise), a seven-inch single by Feist, the blissfully coolheaded singer-songwriter, and Mastodon, the strenuously proggish metal band. Extensively blogged about before and after its arrival, and streaming free at soundcloud.com/feistodon, it’s a boutique oddball collision that makes total sense. Feist and Mastodon share an aesthetic of literate obduracy (and, no coincidence, some overlap in the indie commentariat), and each sounds natural covering the other’s song.
Mastodon pummels through “A Commotion,” the obvious choice from Feist’s most recent album, “Metals.” It’s a faithful appropriation, with clear vocals and sly guitar filigree; I prefer it to the original. On the flip side Feist translates “Black Tongue,” the overture from Mastodon’s 2011 album, “The Hunter,” into a humid junkyard stomp, flattening its triple meter but keeping its riffs, and spookily multitracking its chorus. Lyrically both songs involve a self-inflicted trauma, which each new version accentuates in its own way.