Wednesday, January 25, 2012

That Dylan album ...

... I mentioned a while back is now available for your listening pleasure on Spotify (and probably elsewhere, but hey, that's what just popped up on MY screen).

Anybody here shocked that Lenny Kravitz chose to do "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35?" Me neither. Still, it was a nice surprise.

Seal and Jeff Beck's toke take on "Like A Rolling Stone" is not as good a cover as the one Jimi gave us, but it's not turrible.

Wish I'd been in the control room when Michael Franti recorded "Subterranean Homesick Blues." I would have 86ed that clap track so hard. Ruined an otherwise interesting effort.

Kesha's version -- eh, whaddya gonna do? They also let Kris Kristofferson and Miley Cyrus in -- of "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" is about as histrionic and self-indulgent as you might expect, if you feel the same as I do about Whitney Houston clones. (Annnnn diiiiiiiiiiiiiiieee will always love yooooooo-oooo-ooo-oooooo) (But! if you like that style, hey, no problem! Like the man said.) The instrumental version by the Kronos Quartet is much more recommended, if practically not at all recognizable.

Shoutout to the geezers: Pete Seeger does "Forever Young," sounding strong if more monotonic than he did when I first saw him a few about 50 years ago. Eric Burdon (ERIC BURDON IS STILL ALIVE??? WOOHOO!) is in fine form on "Gotta Serve Somebody." And Marianne Faithful, doing "Baby Let Me Follow You Down," accompanied only by a mandolin, gets the award for sounding most like the original artist. (Okay, a cheap and easy joke, which is unusual for me, I know, but it wasn't actually a diss.) Good to see her alive and kicking, too.

(pic. source: High Times National Geographic)


toma said...

On the topic of Dylan covers, Jason Mraz's version of "Hard Rain's Gonna Fall" is brutal. I wish folks had some respect for the original. It certainly doesn't need a substantial re-arrangement.

Brendan Keefe said...

Haven't heard that one yet. Perhaps I never will!

I have to say, though, that much as I trust your taste, better a substantial rearrangement than a re-recording that sounds like nothing so much as a garage band trying to grow into a tribute band. The rearrangement may well fail, no doubt. There can be some decisions that make anyone wonder Why? Good God, why? But at least it's USUALLY some sort of honest creative effort, it seems to me, rather than a lazy attempt to cash in on someone else's work without adding anything new.

(Pardon me for planting that image in your mind with the link above. Have some tonic.)

toma said...

Good lord, I'm not touching that 1001 strings cut. How did you even find it?

I'm with you in that I prefer someone take a cover into some new area. Let's see your arranging chops. I also prefer a song done definitively be left utterly alone (Hard Rain qualifies).

Having said all that, here's how never to do a cover. Rule of thumb: if you think a giant hit song was insufficiently emotive, and that you are the spirit-being who could properly channel it, just go back to making candles.

Brendan Keefe said...

How did you even find it?

The same way one does "research" to defend a political argument: start with what you believe, and Google for something that supports it!

(I tried to find something specific by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, first, but evidently Willard has had the Web scrubbed of song title listings for their 98763,4308236.359 albums. So I thought next of Zamfir, of pan flute fame, with equally no soap.

(Fourth was going to be Kenny G. Of course.))

if you think a giant hit song was insufficiently emotive ...

So, not much of a Kesha fan, either, huh? Glad to hear it, glad to hear it.

As to your link: I've never quite settled on which Adams I think is more saccharine: Ryan or Bryan. In any case, I am very glad I had Flashblock installed.

Brendan Keefe said...

... just go back to making candles.

That one deserved its own separate bow-down.