September 04, 2010

Masked and Anonymous - Various & Bob Dylan

Like the film it serves, the music on this perky set of diverse covers (plus handful of Dylan performances) is episodic, fragmented, oftimes surreal, occasionally ridiculous, multicultural, urgent, and off-balance. All grounded in questions of history and integrity.

1. My back pages - Magokoro Brothers
Cracking opener. Nothing effete about the Mag. Bros. A brave, if foolhardy, literal translation of the lyrics into Japanese that has the MBs galloping along to keep up. Which they do, just.

2. Gotta serve somebody - Shirley Caesar
Straightahead gospel from Dame Shirley Ann.

3. Down in the flood (new version) - Bob Dylan

4. It's all over now, baby blue - Grateful Dead
Giving the lie to Dylan and the Dead debacle. Simpatico!

5. Most of the time - Sophie Zelmani
Swedish SSW manages to equal Oh Mercy original and thankfully erases images of  drenched rat John Cusack. Result. 

6. On a night like this - Los Lobos
Otra vez, simpatico! Swinging too. Esta noche tu!

7. Diamond Joe - Bob Dylan
Now this is more like it. Turn of 21st century backing band (Charlie Sexton, he be the man) rip into old timey country folk rollick:

Diamond Joe come and git me,
My wife done quit me.
Diamond Joe, you better come git me, Diamond Joe.

Quite. Choice banjo.

8. Come una pietra scalciata (like a rolling stone) - Articolo 31
Frantic hip-hop built around LARS chorus. Audacious.

9. One more cup of coffee - Sertab
Turkish pop diva (and winner Eurovision Song Contest 2003...) masses Asia Minor strings, transporting original from US-Mexico to Arabia.

10. Non dirle che non e' cosi' (If you see her, say hello) - Francesco de Gregori
Popularly known as Il Principe Poeta ("The Poet Prince"). Wonder why he signed up? Slinky.

11. Dixie - Bob Dylan
The voice, the arrangement, the sentiment....fabulous.

12. Senor (tales of yankee power) - Jerry Garcia
Goes on a bit.

13. Cold irons bound (new version) - Bob Dylan
More rock stomp and less Lanois languor =  a good thing.

14. City of gold - Dixie Hummingbirds
Cracking closer. Up-lifting and elegiac.

Oddi wrth y brawd

Look out for choice detail in promo vid. Y brawd particularly appreciates the Dr. Benway name check. Hang around for the last minute or so of Dylan close up like a shrunken and ineffably cool Vincent Price

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