Cover Me: French Miami’s French Miami

An ongoing series in which musicians reveal the artists they’d most like to hear covering their songs.

It’s no surprise that French Miami’s self-titled album drew comparisons to Trans Am and the Fucking Champs when it hit the streets last year. After all, Phil Manley, an agent of both groups, was the one twiddling the knobs when the San Francisco threesome recorded it.

Still, French Miami can be a lot more melancholic than either Trans Am or the Fucking Champs ever could. Plus, French Miami work in vocals – vocals that aren’t usually manipulated by electronics.

So who do French Miami sound like? Or who would they like to sound like? Or who would they like to hear playing their songs?

Well, who better to ask than the guys themselves? I posed those questions to them last summer, while they were trekking around Detroit “hoping to run into RoboCop … and Batman.”

The tour was actually one the guys had more or less booked themselves. But they didn’t seem too stressed out at the time and were game for “Cover Me.” Singer Jason Heiselmann did most of the talking, with multi-instrumentalist Roland Curtis occasionally chiming in, and drummer Chris Crawford more or less staying mum.

Here’s the track-by-track rundown they offered for most of French Miami, which was released by Dinner Party Recordings and the bandmembers themselves:

[Note: The guys didn’t have an answer for the last track, “Special Events.”]


Heiselmann: “It could be the Mae Shi. We’ve been into them for a while. They’re friends of ours. We played with them in SXSW this year. Roland’s old girlfriend used to play drums for them. That song kind of reminds me of them. Just the intro.”

“God Damn Best”

Curtis: “We’ll say Polvo for that one,” he said, mentioning that he caught one of their recent reunion gigs. “It was awesome. I had seen them about 10 years before also. And then Trans Am opened.”

“Science Fiction”

Heiselmann: “What about early Genesis?” he asked the other guys in the van. “It’s got the tapping. We’re going to say Gabriel-era Genesis.”

“Mr. Moment”

Heiselmann: “Kraftwerk.”

“Multi-Caliber Rifles”

Heiselmann: “I’d like to hear My Bloody Valentine cover that song.”

“Wind War”

Heiselmann: “We’re going to say Eno and John Carpenter. That song is very weird and instrumental.”

“Li’l Rabbits”

Heiselmann: “I’d say Minor Threat.”
Curtis: “Death or Metallica.”

“All on Fire”

Heiselmann: “For sure the Muppets on that song. Any band that wears clown shoes. Maybe Nickelback.”


Heiselmann: “Nirvana for sure. Even though it’s kind of an electronic song.”


Curtis: “I’d like to hear the Velvet Underground do that.”
Heiselmann: “I could see the Velvet Underground. Or Daft Punk. There’s actually an electro version of that song that’s kind of cool.”

French Miami assets:
• Bad Penny MP3 download: “Science Fiction
• Bad Penny MP3 download: “God Damn Best

Go here to check out Cougar’s installment of “Cover Me.”

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