Best Borrowed Gloom

Unknown Pleasures and Magfuckingnificent

In a way, there's something ghoulish about appropriating the deeply personal pain of a suicidal singer. But when Steve Tulipana becomes Ian Curtis in the Joy Division tribute band Unknown Pleasures, he doesn't dwell on the late frontman's profound despair. Instead, he pays tribute to Curtis' choppy choreography and disarming croon while his band gorgeously reconstructs every morose melody. And though the depression that afflicted the Cure's Robert Smith wasn't fatal, his smeared-lipstick laments have soundtracked thousands of lonely nights -- a flash flood at an outdoor drag-queen convention couldn't make more mascara run. The Cure skipped Kansas City during its summer tour, but the stark cover group Magfuckingnificent lets jilted fans cry on its shoulders.

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