It's been a long time since I've heard a local band that caught my ear. Last night, in the midst of my Mardi Grasing (new verb?), I attended a performance at the Clarendon Grill of a band called Naked Grace. This was such a band.
At first glance, a typical cover band, playing probably one original for every 2-3 covers (the proper ratio, in my less-than-humble opinion, to keep any new audience interested). They were a very capable band, with strong originals, but what made me notice (and get excited) were their covers of 90's alternative songs. And not your typical, heavy air-play covers, but less known, tight numbers. I've been known to be blase about pop, country, hip-hop, ska, funk, you name it. Even today's 'alternative' music by and large is a mere shadow of what it once was. Of course, you are going to get that when you had 'alternative' go mainstream in the early 90's, by far the best era for alt-rock.
Naked Grace played a lot of covers from that golden era. Two that I was very impressed to hear were Galaxie from Blind Melon's Soup album and The Bends, the title track from Radiohead's The Bends LP. Neither received a lot of airplay on college radio when they were released, but they remain two of my favorite songs from that era. The latter, most notably, is my favorite Radiohead song of all time. To actually hear another human other than Thom Yorke belt out the soaring lyrics at the end of the song (and do it well) was damn cool.
In short, in the course of a few hours of drinking, they got themselves another groupie. Check out their site for a few samples of their originals.