9 thoughts on “The Raconteurs, “You Don’t Understand Me”

  1. I doubt anyone will bother but, for me, if there’s horribleness here, it’s from this live version. The album version is much better:

    1) Vocals/backgrounds are weak and off throughout here.

    2) The really cool, one-note, intensifying piano solo from the studio recording doesn’t come off at all here. It kind of just sounds like a mess.

    If you have some problem with the lyrics, I don’t know what they’re about and I don’t care. They sound fine with the music, IMHO.

    To my ear, this is a really good simulation of later, poppier Zeppelin, with some early Zep heaviness (especially the drums) thrown in for good measure.

    The reason I love that second Raconteurs album so much is it’s very like a new Zep album to me. Poppier at times, yes. Not quite the same? Yes. But poppier and different and well-done.

    Now let’s talk about horrible.

    Wanna know what’s horrible? My kids have been home for the summer (that’s the opposite of horrible), and as a result I’ve been subjected to today’s pop music regularly.

    Horrible? How about a booming bass drum with some black guy chanting foul language over top. And I’m certainly not one to oppose cleverly placed foul language – but the whole hipness of the song being the foul language? Really? There’s not even any music in this shit. Just a bass drum, chanting and some noises here and there. (This is the REALLY cool stuff for teenagers these days.)

    Horrible? How about Taylor Swift’s summer hit “Bad Blood.” Was this song written by a second grader? Has Taylor (or the Taylor Swift Inc. crew that writes her songs) ever heard of iambic pentameter? Every other line has none in this smash hit. I’m told the appeal of this song is the video. Oh, well thank you. Music, anyone? The goddamn chorus sounds like Kidz Bop. Hey, but the video’s good!

    • I listened to the album version and posted the live version because it seemed better. But I could be wrong. But at least part of the reason is the lyrics are awful. I’ll listen again to the studio version and post something about it if I find it doesn’t suck. By that I mean really suck, like this thing does.

      • I just found a different album version and hear more Abbey Road than Led Zep, but it is well crafted for sure. Still, the sentiment of the lyrics is crap, which was more apparent on the live crappy version. But despite all that, I would listen to the album version again. Like I listen to Pink Floyd and the Led Zeppelin in the later years.

  2. It looks like he has the lyrics perched on his piano, which is inexcusable. If it’s the set list, that’s excusable. I dunno, it’s not horrible but neither is it exactly rousing. I hear the Zeppelin comp, with a bit of Faces thrown in.

    Our music and indeed our pop culture is like a basement ballclub playing out the string, only it appears we lack the September call-ups from whom spring hope. I guess you never know, but if there is going to be a sea change I doubt it will come from the played-out West or the imitative East. That leaves Africa, or aliens.

  3. Agreed wholeheartedly on the playing out the string thing Gene. A big reason I’ve been away from Remnants is because I’ve been striking out with everything “new” (whether it’s from now or 1995) I try.

    Hope for me is there are new Graveyard and Uncle Acid albums scheduled for September. God help me if they suck.

    The latest John Lydon biography is very good and the brand new Dennis Dunaway Alice Cooper (just the early “band” incarnation) book is fantastic. Read when there’s nothing to listen to, I guess.

  4. I just read Dylan’s Chronicles – I know, welcome to 2005 – and found it fascinating if spotty. I never knew that he was a rocker in the 1950’s but it makes sense. I don’t have the book in front of me so I can’t cite chapter and verse, but the man is among other things a great critic. His takes on various singers and bands – few of the biggies unfortunately – are incisive. He also states that his favorite politician was Barry Goldwater (!). It’s been a long wait for Volume 2.

    • I loved his description of raising his kids by putting a basketball hoop in the kitchen.

      I also loved his description of living on a couch near Canal Street and West Street, and reading their library of books about the Civil War.

      It’s an odd book, formless really, but shaped by a mind you have to pay attention to.

  5. I love Chronicles simply because Dylan came off as a mostly regular guy to me, who is clearly talented and unapologetic about his path. He is also pretty smart and gets most people aren’t, but still doesn’t talk down (I did read it ten years ago).

    As for music and the future, I think the name of our site says it all, for the source was Steve noting he was always foraging for remnants of rock.

    that is all that is left, though, as one who believes in the cycles of life and art and such, i suspect some kind of nirvana, beatles, elvis, pistols band that deconstructs and simplifies pop music back to its roots is eminent.

    i also think in 5-10 years DFS fantasy will slow and it will be chic to play in season-long leagues.

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