Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Bury the rag deep in your face

It's been a while since I wrote the blog. Oh lordy lordy it's been a while. Since the Guy episode, I've moved house, and been drinking - nay quaffing - from the cup of culture like a thirsty Brian Sewell.

The question I've been asked constantly over the last few weeks is, "Are you watching /did you see the ScorceseDylan documentary?" They all know I'm a huge Bob Dylan fan, see. The answer has been "no". I managed to buck the trend, by going to a Dylan tribute concert the night of the doc, in which various singersongwriter types got onstage and played Dylan songs. Billy Bragg, Martin Carthy, Odetta, Willy Mason, Liam Clancy and KT Tunstall were all pretty great. (I've noticed that a lot of people loathe KT Tunstall but are unable to give a reason for their hatred. If I hated her, my reasons would be that she gets a bit MOR at times and her voice is just a bit too perfect. But I don't hate her, so I'm not bothered about this.)

I'd like to single out Roy Harper and Barb Jungr, who also played, and were appalling. Barb Jungr particularly, whose cover of Like a Rolling Stone made me want to wrap my jumper round my head in pain. After turning Ring Them Bells into an over the top Celine Dion-like mess, she demolished Like a Rolling Stone, transforming it into a horrible slow "atmospheric" ballad. Lines like, "Threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you?" she'd sing with a questioning inflection in her voice, point at an imaginary person, and put on a slightly cross face. This triad of inanities was unbelievably painful to me. Even more painful than Christopher Ricks' dire Like a Rolling Stone article in The Independent the other week.

Anyway, they filmed the show for BBC4 and you can see a couple of clips (of Bragg and Tunstall) here.

And tonight, Matthew, I'm going to be Nathan Barley: off to Medicine bar in Shoreditch to see an alt-rap hip-hop collective called Crack Village. Totally Mexico. Read the press release. They sound terrible.

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