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Alterkaker Hot 3

Dylan: Punked Up and Rocked Out

By now you’ve no doubt heard about the Alterkaker Hot 6 concert taking place in California this October – Stones, McCartney, Waters, and so forth (it is also known as Desert Trip). We’ve featured most of the sextet on our AKH3, but in the coming months we’ll delve a little deeper into some of the acts – starting this week with Bob Dylan songs covered in blistering, hard-edged rock style.

Dylan released Song to Woody in 1962 as a soft folk homage to his icon Woody Guthrie, but the Canadian post-hardcore band Silverstein released this version, which is something else entirely, in 2012 (the band’s name is a reference to the children's author Shel Silverstein).

The original Desolation Row, from the classic Highway 61 Revisited LP released in 1965, is a surreal, enigmatic tune that runs over 11 minutes long. My Chemical Romance, the rock group from Jersey City, recorded this cover in 2009 for the movie Watchmen. They utilize just four verses from the epic song, in the process cutting about 9 minutes and making it sound like  kickass early-80s Ramones.

The Times They Are A-Changin’, the title track from Dylan’s 1964 album, has been covered by Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, The Beach Boys, Nina Simone…but this rendition by Flogging Molly is the coolest by far. Granted, this isn’t straight punk, but rather Celtic Punk, which is the genre of this 7-piece Irish-American band. Prior to forming Flogging Molly, Dublin-born Dave King was lead singer for the heavy metal band Fastway.

Finally, a video of Dylan/Baez performing “Pity The Poor Immigrant” in the 1970s – the liveliest performance ever by this duo, who often seemed lackluster when sharing a stage. No extra charge for the Japanese subtitles.

Bob Dylan and Joan Baez performing Pity The Poor Immigrant