"Hey Joe"

>> Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Struggling with my writing and all that, and not a lot to say--at least not here (seems like I've had some lengthy comments and conversations on assorted comment threads forums, but that's another thing).

Writing is coming along a little, if by "coming along" one counts little half hour drips and drabs that are semi-productive but don't result in anything great. There is, I suspect, something wrong with me, but I have no idea what it is. There's no doubt in my mind that I was far more productive up through May, and that since May I have been rather less useful. This is, I think, all in my mind at some level. So I count the drips and drabs as something.

Anyway, by way of offering up something today, here's one of my favorite jazz bands, Medeski, Martin & Wood, doing "Hey Joe" accompanied by Marc Ribot. It may seem heretical, but MMW's version, which also shows up on Tonic, is by far my favorite take on the song; while I appreciate Jimi Hendix's gifts as a guitar player, he's never really resonated with me and I'm not much of a fan. Of course, Hendrix's take on "Hey Joe" is the famous one that's overshadowed everybody else's, but it's worth mentioning that the song was a bit of a standard in the '60s. (The Wikipedia entry on the song is worth taking a gander at in my opinion; it's one of those songs where what most people think they know about it is wrong.) MMW's take is almost somnambulant, but in a good way--a sinuous, languid, shuffling meditation on violence that somehow suggests Joe's wayward woman is going to end up dumped in the swamp or buried beneath the magnolias.

It goes something like this:





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