MICK, MAC and LU (2021): Jagger, McCartney and Lucinda Williams

 |   |  2 min read

MICK, MAC and LU (2021): Jagger, McCartney and Lucinda Williams
Steve Coogan does a passable parody of Mick Jagger, but Jagger is his own best imitator as his new video Eazy Sleazy with Dave Grohl proves. He rolls his eyes, that yawping mouth yelps out the tumbling lyrics like a Jagger impersonator.

Ostensibly about coming out of lockdown, the thrashy song is as ambiguous as Street Fighting Man of 53 years ago. Seemingly satirical lines like “looking out from these prison walls” and “Bill Gates is in my blood, it's mind control” could also sound torn from the playbooks of conspiracy theorists.

Mick_Dave_single_Jagger however says the energetic song injects “some much needed optimism” and it certainly sounds upbeat, if angry.

At 77, Jagger remains a remarkably durable flashpoint for opinion, many on social media rejected the song and the singer. Others thought it exciting and, after all, it's only rock'n'roll.

Perhaps the truest line about lockdown and the song itself is, “Soon it'll be a memory you're trying to remember to forget”.

If Jagger has become a self-parody yet still a singular figure in blues-based rock'n'roll, Paul McCartney, a year older, has had something of a free pass recently.

Last year's McCartney III album recorded during lockdown received wide critical acclaim, topped many international charts (a modest 28 here) and was applauded because he was at least trying something different.

McCartney_III_Imagined_Album_CoverNow comes McCartney III Imagined, a collection of McCartney-curated remixes bringing in Beck, Damon Albarn, St Vincent, Phoebe Bridgers and others.

As with the original album, this is interesting but uneven and many contributors remake the material in their own image: Khruangbin take the folksy Pretty Boys into their ambient-cum-world music territory; Beck makes over Find My Way much as you might expect; Anderson.Paak takes the acoustic, pastoral reverie of When Winter Comes into suburban living rooms with beats; Radiohead's Ed O'Brien distorts Slidin' even further into rowdy rock . . .

A cynic might suggest because this album is patchy it serves to elevate and throw attention back on McCartney III.

No such cynicism required with 68-year old Lucinda Williams' Runnin' Down a Dream: A Tribute to Tom Petty.

lucindarunnindownadream_1500xWilliams' vowel-draggin' Southern drawl and rock'n'roll attitude is ideally suited to Petty's similarly delivered, country-framed rock songs. From Louisiana herself, Petty's Louisiana Rain, Southern Accents and Down South are right within her orbit, she aggressively takes I Won't Back Down into throbbing rock, gets under the skin of the weary Wildflowers and Room at the Top becomes a heartbreaking farewell letter from Petty.

She doesn't nail the renegade sneer of Rebels but the enjoyable and honestly felt album – recorded live in the studio, the first in Lu's Jukebox series – ends with Stolen Moments, a Williams original about Petty which is steeped in pathos.

“It's like a heartbeat, I think about you in stolen moments . . . you're riding with me again . . . like a prayer, you're with me again”.

.

jb_logoMcCartney III Imagined is on Spotify here.

Runnin' Down a Dream is available on double vinyl and CD.



Share It

Your Comments

Clint Baddeley - May 10, 2021

Bloody good Rock and Roll!!!

post a comment

More from this section   Absolute Elsewhere articles index

FLYING NUN AT 30 (2011): Getting older and bolder

FLYING NUN AT 30 (2011): Getting older and bolder

If you are 20, jeez even if you are 30, the great days of Flying Nun -- that thrilling period between the Clean's rallying cry-cum-single Tally Ho in '81 and, say, Martin Phillipps announcing... > Read more

TAYLOR SWIFT, MISS AMERICANA DOCO,  CONSIDERED (2020): She got a suite and you got defeat

TAYLOR SWIFT, MISS AMERICANA DOCO, CONSIDERED (2020): She got a suite and you got defeat

When Taylor Swift's Netflix documentary Miss Americana debuted in January, keyboard fury on social media accused this young pop upstart (who was 30) of appropriating the name of a genre... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Elsewhere Art . . . Leo Ferre

Elsewhere Art . . . Leo Ferre

When I wrote a column Five French Albums I'm Surprised I Own I could just have easily made it 10, 20 or 30 albums. Or a few dozen singles, 10'' or EPs. As I mentioned, the School of Music... > Read more

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . KLAUS NOMI: Twinkle twinkle little star . . .

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . KLAUS NOMI: Twinkle twinkle little star . . .

There have been some remarkable voices who have landed in rock culture -- that strange world where people like Tom Waits, Antony Hegarty (of Antony and the Johnsons), Yoko Ono and other people... > Read more