Watch Marissa Nadler Cover Dusty Springfield’s “Spooky” With Members Of Earth, Cave In, Shearwater, & More
Right now, the Two Minutes To Late Night video series is in a truly excellent Halloween zone. The weekly series, in which comedian Jordan Olds rounds up a group of heavy-music all-stars for recorded-remotely cover songs, has been a consistent delight during quarantine, but it’s been especially fun lately. In the last two weeks, we’ve had Halloween-themed versions of songs from the Misfits and Ozzy Osbourne, and now we’ve got a great new psychedelic doom-metal take on a Dusty Springfield classic.
The song “Spooky” isn’t technically a Dusty Springfield track; it had a few lives before she got ahold of it. The first version of “Spooky” was a slinky Mike Sharpe jazz instrumental in 1967. Then the Florida band Classics IV had a major hit with the song in 1968, after they added lyrics about a “spooky little girl.” (The Classics IV version made it to #3 in the US.) But Dusty Springfield’s 1970 take on “Spooky,” with the genders flipped around, is the one that most of us know today, and it’s easily the best one.
The Two Minutes To Late Night version of “Spooky” goes off of the Dusty Springfield template, and it’s got a pretty great stand-in for Springfield: Marissa Nadler, the doomy folk musician who’s worked with a lot of metal greats. Nadler has been on Two Minutes To Late Night before; she sang on a cover of Steely Dan’s “Reelin’ In The Years” back in April. Last year, Nadler teamed up with Cave In/Mutoid Man leader and Two Minutes To Late Night regular Stephen Brodsky to release the album Droneflower. As part of that project, Nadler and Brodsky covered songs from Guns N’ Roses, Phil Collins, and Extreme, and it’s possible that those helped set the stage for Two Minutes To Late Night.
On this new “Spooky” version, Brodsky once again joins Nadler, and the rest of the band is nothing but heavy hitters. Dylan Carlson, longtime mastermind of doom metal pioneers Earth, plays guitar. Emily Lee, from Shearwater and Loma, plays keyboards and some kind of mini-theremin gizmo. Big Business/Melvins drummer Coady Willis, a former Murder City Devil, starts the song out doing ritualistic percussion before going into full drum thunder when the song inevitably gets heavy. As usual, Jordan Olds joins in, playing his Gwarsenio Hall character.
The production on this video is pretty great, too. Brodsky wears his creepiest Halloween costumes. Scenes from classic horror movies play behind them. Emily Lee turns into a cat. But the real draw here is the song itself — an extremely cool turn-of-the-’70s pop nugget that easily makes the transition to psych-metal stomper. Watch it and check out Springfield’s version below.
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