Thursday, August 25, 2005

They're Quite Lame, Indeed.

Live blogging Highway 61 Revisited Revisited, the CD included with the new Uncut (McCartney-Richards cover). On which "Uncut's favourite artists" re-record the great album and generally make a hash of it.

1. Like a Rolling Stone -- Drive-By Truckers. The Truckers really drew the short straw having to do this one. This band recorded a whole song about Danko and Manuel so we cannot doubt their intentions. A+ for effort but ... covering LARS is like a paint by numbers Mona Lisa (and before y'all start in on me -- yes, yes, Hendrix is an exception).
2. Tombstone Blues -- Marc Carroll. Alright voodoo shuffle sound. Pass.
3. It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry -- Paul Westerberg. Garage band loose and coulda come from Big Pink itself. Rocks.
4. From a Buick 6 -- Richmond Fontaine. The It Boys of Alt.Country. Kinda boring in that special Uncle Tupelo cover band way.
5. Ballad of a Thin Man -- Willard Grant Conspiracy. Meh. (update: gets better, around the time it acquires both a melody and thrashy guitars.)
6. Queen Jane Approximately -- American Music Club. Uncut says this is an "ethereal shimmer." I say it's a giant wussy snoozefest.
7. Highway 61 Revisited -- Dave Alvin. Everything Dave Alvin does is cool. This shows you can completely reinvent the original successfully in your own image. Go buy some Blasters.
8. Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues -- The Handsome Family. Oh boy. The Handsome Family are one of those (too much)alt(not enough)country outfits so beloved of Uncut. They can be relied upon to take any song and suck the ever-loving life out of it. I don't care if they do have a pedal steel. Go directly to jail. Both of you. (update: The music is nice and its better than I expected but there's something so mannered about them. Like Hag said in the interview linked in the post below, there is no tear in this music.)
9. Desolation Row -- Songdog. Go away, little boy. When you hit puberty, you might be able to sing this song properly.

I did learn one very good thing from the mag though. Chris Guest, Euegene Levy and the crew are making another "mockumentary" Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show and A Mighty Wind (and Spinal Tap of course) are some of my favourite films and last I read Guest had called it quits. Hurrah! A Mighty Wind was totally robbed at the Oscars by that stupid Annie Lennox song from Lord of the Rings, stuck over the closing credits to sell soundtrack CDs. The AMW soundtrack OTOH is actually important to the narrative of the film and manages the tricky balance between exceptional musicianship, novelty and genuinely funny lyrics. I listen to it alot. Continuing the Stones theme round this place recently, this Folksmen song is on the soundtrack but not in the film.

Start Me Up
-- The Folksmen (2.9mb)

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