Conrad Spencer: 2 + 2 = 5 (Radiohead Cover)

B0000EWO82.01.LZZZZZZZHey everyone. Here is the first submission for the month of June. Nate Stromberg (aka Conrad Spencer) has taken up the cover project this month – to cover a track one side one of a Radiohead album. Here it is:

2+2=5 (the lukewarm.)

It is a fabulous cover of the song, an outstanding recording that must have taken forever. It’s sort of like a photorealist painting. So similar to the original. I forget it’s Nate at times. I commented to Nate that it’s a very different way of thinking about covers in general. So, I ask you all, what makes a good cover? A Halloween, Alaska type cover (deconstruction, reconstruction) or a more faithful representation? Either way, you’ll enjoy this one.



  1. In response: I didn’t set out to just copy the tune- I had every intention to change it up and make it mine, but as I deconstructed and tried to figure out all that was going on in this crazy tune it morphed into something else- I’m still very much figuring out the limits of garageband so it was super fun to search for all the guitar tones, drum beats and such… Also, It’s Radiohead. It’s crazy enough as it is- it just felt weird and egotistical to change something do incredibly unique in the first place. I defy anyone to take this particular tune and make it better than the original (Like Lars did with Space Oddity)… it can’t be done.

  2. Maybe you’re right Nate. I’m not sure what I would do with this song myself. I think I would try and strip it down. Try and turn a cover into a different genre. An example, Jose Gonzalez’s cover of The Knive’s Heartbeats – he took a techno song and made it acoustic and I think it’s one of the coolest covers ever. I wonder if there are underlying chords in 2+2 that could be used in an acoustic version. This is not to diminish your recording, I love it. I listened to it a number of times yesterday. I’m just interested in cover philosophies.

  3. There’s a good cover assignment: try to do this song acoustic- sort of what I set out to do. It loosing everything chaotic and crazy in the process… I wouldn’t say we differ in our cover philosophies, but that the song chosen makes all the difference

  4. Great job, obviously a lot of work to get all of those layers. The record is very good, pretty good harmony.

    Regarding, making it your own or coving the song exactly. For FoodForTheBeloved I don’t think it matters. It is pretty interesting either way. If Nate was in a popular rock band, say Nickelback, and covered this song exactly, then I would want to throw a flaming bag of poop at him.

    I think that the FoodForTheBeloved is ment to be educational and deconstructing and reconstructing is very educational.

  5. Along the same vein as an acoustic version, I have always thought it would be interesting to take a radiohead song and “pop” it. Take away the interesting bits. In 2+2=5, remove the harmonies, change the guitar to a strumming pattern and give me 2 and 4 on the snare with 8ths on the hats. It’s my concept of “popping”. When you take a pop song and deconstruct it we refer to it a jazzing it up, but when we take a intricate song like 2+2=5 and, for lack of a better word, construct it, we pop it. I think it works on many levels.

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