Like Dylan in the '80s: Music Hall of Williamsburg Gig, New ATO Records Comp Seek to Reclaim Bob's "Me Decade"

By Ian Holubiak on Apr 03, 2014 12:32 PM EDT

In keeping with the resurgence of Bob Dylan's unfairly maligned '80s period (thanks Spotify), some of his most misunderstood tracks are beginning to get some modern love.

In concert, no less.

Kentucky folkie Dawn Landes recently cooed "Dark Eyes" (a personal favorite) from Empire Burlesque to a welcoming Brooklyn crowd at the Music Hall of Williamsburg--during a show explicitly devoted to Dylan's "Me Decade" oeuvre.

And as Caitlin White of the Village Voice duly notes regarding Deer Tick's John McCauley at that same concert:

"The whole purpose of the project was to show that maybe we didn't like the songs the first time we heard them, because maybe there was some sort of weird '80s over the top quality about them," said John McCauley of Deer Tick. He and bandmate Ian O'Neill performed two Dylan numbers for the show, "Night After Night" an original song from the Hearts of Fire soundtrack, a film Dylan also starred in, and "Mississippi" from Tell Tale Signs, one of Bob's infamous bootleg albums.

Even better: The latest release from ATO Records, Bob Dylan in the 80s: Volume 1, is doing no small part to reassess The Bard's most "embarrassing" period.

Again, White writes:

On ATO's release, though, [Deer Tick's] re-imagination of "Night After Night" was included, with what McCauley and O'Neil call the "Carmelita" treatment. "If you strip everything down, they're all really good songs. If you listen to the original version, it's terribly '80s. So we re-imagined it with a Warren Zevon kind of treatment," McCauley said.

Are artists like Landes, McCauley and O'Neil really re-imagining the Tambourine Man's most loathed decade?Or are their efforts merely a driving manipulation for a similar resurgence of all 1980s music?

However you want to look at it, the Voice's article makes some salient points that are worth checking out.

While you're thinking, here's Built to Spill doing "Jokerman." Quite fitting...

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TagsATO Records, Bob Dylan, Bob Dylan in the 80s, The Village Voice, Williamsburg Hall of Music, Empire Burlesque, Deer Tick, Dark Eyes

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