Last Friday, I posted a few videos from last week’s Town Hall tribute to Bob Dylan’s 1963 concert at the same venue. I included Bill Murray, Steve Buscemi, Geoff Muldaur, Emily Haines, and Bob Neuwirth’s performances, and promised I’d add more videos as they landed. Well, they never landed. But we’ve got the next-best thing: a bootleg audio recording of the full concert. It includes beautiful covers of songs Bob performed at that 1963 concert by the Milk Carton Kids, Laurie Anderson, Mark Kozelek, and many more. And we’ll get to them…but first we have to talk about the dog in the room.
Last night, Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg held an epic Leonard Cohen tribute show, bringing together Cohen’s peers and younger admirers for a 22-song blowout of tribute covers. From a killer instrumental opener of “Hallelujah” by Delicate Steve – a smart move, getting that out of the way up front with a left-field guitar version that doesn’t attempt to compete with Jeff Buckley – the sold-out crowd sang along to Cohen many profound lyrics, and a few of his profound ones too (Lenny Kaye of the Patti Smith Group led a rousing holler through Cohen’s dumbest song, “Don’t Go Home with Your Hard-On”).
Many of performers had personal Cohen stories to share. “I met Leonard Cohen at a BBC session in 1967 – but I can’t remember anything about it,” Richard Thompson quipped, while Josh Ritter told a yarn about chasing Cohen down an alley backstage only to run headfirst into a truck and miss his once chance. Richard’s son Teddy Thompson recalled Cohen once asking him what he was working on. When he replied that he was making a country album, Cohen said cryptically, “I went country myself, once…” Thompson then covered one of Cohen’s most country songs, “Ballad of the Absent Mare.”
This year marks the 40th anniversary of The Band’s legendary The Last Waltz final concert and to celebrate, NYC’s Lincoln Center hosted an all-star tribute concert Saturday night. Held down by Levon Helm’s longstanding Midnight Ramble Band, special guests included Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, Lucinda Williams, Patty Griffin, and even Dr. John, reprising the song he sang at the original Last Waltz.
Every Wednesday, our resident Gleek Eric Garneau gives his take on last night’s Glee covers.
In “Pot of Gold,” Irish foreign exchange student Rory Flanagan (Damian McGinty) makes his way to McKinley High just in time to see the glee club falling apart — Shelby’s (Idina Menzel) rival group continues to steal members from New Directions, while Sue (Jane Lynch) works tirelessly to end funding for arts programs once and for all. But all Rory really cares about is making a couple friends, and maybe convincing Brittany (Heather Morrison) to share her own pot of gold.
We can avoid the subject no longer – it’s time to talk about The Glee Project. Other than runner-up Lindsay Pearce’s appearance in Glee‘s season premiere, the influence of that summer reality show has so far been nonexistent on its parent program. However, in “Pot of Gold” that all changes as Project winner Damian McGinty begins his seven-episode guest arc as Irish exchange student Rory Flanagan. This episode makes it clear that Damian won more than just a bit part; he gets two of the show’s five songs tonight, making a big splash in an introductory episode which I’d guess will endear him to many a viewer.