Friday, October 14, 2016

Six Deep Cuts I Would Cry If I Heard At Desert Trip Weekend 2

So, so stoked to be heading out to Desert Trip this morning to see six of my favorite legends perform together for the first time.

In honor of the event, I thought I'd take a break from our 2015/1967 countdown, and post one deep cut from each artist, not played in Weekend 1 (and in truth, likely not to be played Weekend 2 either), that will literally bring tears to my eyes should the artists choose to perform them Weekend 2.

1. Bob Dylan - Bob Dylan's 115th Dream

Quite possibly the silliest and most playful song in the entire Dylan catalog, this surreal tale of trying to bust Captain Arab from jail after discovering a fully-settled/contemporary America that closed the revolutionary Dylan-goes-electric side one of Bringing It All Back Home possesses some of the funniest and punkiest couplets Bob ever wrote (some favs amongst many brilliant turns of phrase in the song. "They asked me for some collateral/And I pulled down my pants." and "I said you know they refused Jesus, too/He said you're not him."). Cannot express how excited I would be to hear this one live.

2. The Rolling Stones - Stray Cat Blues

A dicey choice even this raunchiest of acts is wary to play in today's election/cultural environment, but this Beggar's Banquet tale of a sexual predator luring reckless fifteen-year-olds into his loft with its horrifying refrain of "Bet your mama don't know you bite like that" has always been, in my opinion, the most  unnerving song in the entire Stone's catalog, as well as one of the the genuinely elite non-Hot Rocks-rockers from their classic Beggars thru Exile period (along with Live With Me, Monkey Man, Bitch, Rocks Off and Can't You Hear Me Knocking).

3. Neil Young - Love And Only Love

An easy choice here.

Unlike the other, prodigy level talents that will grace the stage this weekend, Neil's strength has always come (not unlike Lou Reed) from how much he's able to convey through such limited natural chops (as friends and I often say, he's the best bad guitarist the rock world has ever produced), and this ten-minute garage-rager from 89's Ragged Glory captures that tension found in the desire to communicate artistic passion through instrumental limitation better than any other song in his entire fifty-year canon.

Here's a fairly recent live performance of the song.

4. Paul McCartney - Mother Nature's Son

After Blackbird, this spartan, delicate whisp of a track from The White Album is one the most unusual and contemprary feeling acoustic ballads The Beatle's ever recorded. Just listen to In Rainbows or A Moon Shaped Pool and tell me Radiohead hasn't drawn inspiration from this song over the years.

5. The Who - The Ox

I'm as big a Who's Next fan as the next guy, but I've always found the sheer energy on the band's debut album, 1964's The Who Sing My Generation, extraordinary, and no song brings that energy into focus more than this positively possessed, years-ahead-of-their-time firestorm of an instrumental.

6. Roger Waters - Sheep

A very personal reason here, and probably one Water's himself would be troubled by, but this song - my favorite from 1977s Animals and the only track not played from that album Weekend 1 - was a critical component of my college fraternity's hazing rituals back in the late 80s. As I will be attending Desert Trip with some of my closest college friends and fellow fraternity brothers, hearing this song on the polo fields would summon up all sorts of extra meaning.

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