Speaking of covers, and Warren Zevon, there’s a second album of bands doing their versions of the Dead’s songs coming out…soon…and I’ll give it an honest try, but for those of us of a certain age (22, but with a Time Sheath) the only real Dead cover album will only ever be Deadicated.
Every ’90’s Deadhead had this and played it more times than they’ll admit. The record’s main problem is irrelevance. Most of the collection is just dudes jamming through first set songs. The guy from Georgia Satellites sings US Blues okay, and if you saw them do it in a bar to close the set, you’d be losing your shit: they would rock that house, then the house next doow, and then they would go to the retirement home down the street and show their ding-dongs to old ladies for compliments and old men for money. Same with Dwight Yoakum’s Truckin’, and sadly, too, Warren’s Casey Jones.
Points for trying go to Midnight Oil. Once, in the forests of New Jersey, I caught the gospel hour on one of those Sunday shows, those inexplicable shows that air on Sunday at dusk. It was just organ: one man, both keyboards and the pedals, accompanying himself and arguing with his own lines, astonishing that a human could be in so many places. Though there were no words, I knew that song was about Jesus. Midnight Oil’s take on Wharf Rat is like that. I know he’s singing about August West, but all I can think about is the guy who gets all the laughs in the fist Crocodile Dundee. You mistreated aborigines, sure: let’s move on. Last, I heard, that guy was in the Australian Parliament and had intervened in four separate attempts to eat babies: two by dingoes, once by croc, and once by dingo-croc, which is a new thing they have down there because that whole continent is a nightmare.
Dr. John’s Deal was good, if obvious. Suzanne Vega’s China Doll was perfect and fragile, but the stand-out was the last track, Jane’s Addiction doing Ripple. Perry Farrell sings the ending not as a benediction, like Garcia, but as an exultation. Also, they’re playing
Ripple The Other One behind him, so that’s cool, too.