ENTERTAINMENT MUSIC Pop & Hiss

Miley Cyrus plays a grip of great covers with Flaming Lips, Ariana Grande

Think what you will about Miley Cyrus' latest transformation into a sailor-mouthed Burning Man faerie sprite. She might be having the most fun of any musician on the planet right now.

Her show at Terminal 5 in New York Wednesday night, tied to Adult Swim's network upfront party, sounds like a feast of excellent covers choices, tart-tongued banter and some pretty flagrant disregard of the old corporate-show imprimatur of mild-mannered good behavior.

Even as recently as "We Can't Stop," we wouldn't have thought to say this, but we are genuinely jealous we did not get to attend the Miley Cyrus show promoting a cable network Wednesday night.

Among her many deft covers? Johnny Cash's "A Boy Named Sue," Led Zeppelin's "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" and, perhaps most fittingly, Khia's ever-more-essential "My Neck, My Back." We couldn't have picked a better jukebox round-out ourselves, let alone played them all with such imaginative musicianship and bawdy glee.

Also on the docket: A bunch of new material with favored collaborators, the stalwart psych-rock band Flaming Lips, from a planned collaborative album "Tiger Dreams."

“No one’s ever heard this [stuff], unless you’ve been in my garage,” Cyrus said, adding a further caveat: “Or maybe you’re not as [messed] up as I am.”

Having to socialize with other media professionals would indeed drive us to heavy drinking, but darned if Cyrus doesn't make it seem the best night out in a while.

Soooooo thankful for Ariana Grande for being a part of the #backyardsessions!! You're the sweetest little #happyhippie...

Posted by Miley Cyrus on Thursday, May 14, 2015

Even the latest installment of her new backyard video series -- this time with Ariana Grande -- looks like a fine way to wind down the night, covering Crowded House's dream-pop hit "Don't Dream It's Over" in a couple of silly raver animal suits (or are they pajamas? a little of both, probably) while they pass microphones and cuddle.

After similar sessions last week where she took on songs like the Mats' "Androgynous" and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts' "Different" with Laura Jane Grace and Jett herself, we can only conclude that for all the flak she's caught in the last couple of years for appropriating "ratchet" aesthetics, Miley Cyrus is now leading a fantastic, more imaginative musician's life and we should all be so lucky as to pass into her orbit.

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