The World That's Coming

October 5, 2012 366 Songs , ,

366 Songs 278: Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat

There’s something very playful about Bob Dylan’s “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat”; it sounds like a parody of the blues, in some way, with such a traditional backing and basic riff playing under Dylan’s usual whining (Although, this is from Blonde On Blonde, one of “the” classic Dylan albums, so maybe it sounded more fresh and exciting back then), and there’s a fun bounce to the whole thing. You can imagine everyone having a good time playing it, even as Dylan complains about an unfaithful lover who apparently was very into her headwear. This, however, wasn’t the way that I discovered the song.

No, I found it through a cover by Beck from a couple years back that has an entirely different vibe to it:

This is… bouncy, yes, but it’s a more glam rock stomp, and performed in such a way that recalls Beck’s music from the Scott Pilgrim soundtrack, so much so that I wonder if it was recorded at the same time; definitely, the fuzzy bass and cymbal-happy drums feel very similar to, say, “Garbage Truck” or whatever, and the beeps and blops at 1:27 are, I’m sure, lifted from the Katayanagi Twins battle from the movie:

I far prefer the Beck version; it’s a cover, yes, and it’s as much as unfaithful rip-off of other people’s music as the original, and yet… I don’t know. It sounds more fun, more exciting to listen to, and more into the joke behind the whole thing, if that makes sense. Like his Sex Bob-Omb tracks from Pilgrim, it’s a song that makes me wish I was twenty-years younger and able to play guitar.

1 to “366 Songs 278: Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat”

  1. Matt says...

    That Beck cover is killer. Dylan also has an amazing live version on the Live in 1966 set from his Bootleg Series.

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