Thoughts On Dylan Original:
This is a weird one, as I heard this track after I had already fallen in love with The Beatles "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" and didn't know what Dylan was getting at with this track. After checking out Wikipedia, I guess I am not alone as John Lennon was all over the map with his reactions to it. The music is the same and the lyrics are a mix of lazy and nonsense, reading into anything Dylan says too heavily can cause one to go mad, but why he chose to do this song so close to when the Beatles had their first lyrical success is a mystery. social commentary, goof, stoned malaise? Either way, the song was never one of my favorites and not up to anywhere near the version he was praising or mocking, take your pick.
Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Yo La Tengo are like the grown up Sonic Youth. Granted they are probably all younger then members of the Youth, but the thought is there...they are the relaxed version; never getting to high or low, but always putting out interesting/weird music. The band has such a great back catalog of tunes that it is fun to sink back into and listen to their sounds from the mid 90's, and are still going strong with their most recent release 2009's Popular Songs which just may be their best. A fantastic group that is doing what they love and are still worth catching live or on disk whenever they have a statement to make. Oh and they just may have the coolest name origin in rock (from Wikipedia):
During the 1962 season, New York Mets center fielder Richie Ashburn and Venezuelan shortstop Elio Chacón found themselves colliding in the outfield. When Ashburn went for a catch, he would scream, "I got it! I got it!" only to run into Chacón, who spoke only Spanish. Ashburn learned to yell, "¡Yo la tengo! ¡Yo la tengo!" instead. In a later game, Ashburn happily saw Chacón backing off. He relaxed, positioned himself to catch the ball, and was instead run over by left fielder Frank Thomas, who understood no Spanish and had missed a team meeting that proposed using the words "¡Yo la tengo!" as a way to avoid outfield collisions. After getting up, Thomas asked Ashburn, "What the heck is a Yellow Tango?".
Thoughts on Cover:
Delicate with organs acoustic guitars soft brushed snares and a heavy bass line make a sweet musical foundation for this tune to float along on. There are amazing layers of sound throughout that allows the musicians to vamp on all different sorts of keys, scales and wanderings adding a fresh sound to things. The major downside seems to be the lyrics themselves and the song structure. The really cool organ/keys lead outro is fantastic and perhaps a more "jammy vibe" could help elevate things, but I got a feeling those tossed off words would still weigh things down. The song just isn't that substantial overall but as far as covers compared to the original go: