Darren Barefoot
Darren Barefoot



Comments on music, musicians, live shows, etc.

August 8, 2003

I got an email back from Greg Mercier, the guy who wrote the review of Dave Matthews' concert:

Darren, thanks for the comments. I'm not sure the review is as lacking in commentary on the music as you suggest. I think telling the story about a DMB concert without describing the phenomenon around the band or describing the setting would be incomplete. And the Dave Matthews cover of the Dylan song is called The Watchtower, not All Along the Watchtower. Thanks.

But I appreciate the feedback.

I'm not going to quibble with his music commentary comment--the actual musical content is obivously pretty scant. However, I think he's on crack on the whole 'Watchtower' versus 'All Along the Watchtower' business. My album suggests the latter.

UPDATE: Greg writes to indicate that the Band's (flashtastic, and it don't work too well in Mozilla) official site lists the song as 'Watchtower'. Fair enough, I'll give him that. Mind you, I don't think it's very kosher to rename a song you faithfully cover.

11:49:24 AM  Permanent link to this entry    Trackback []    Music The Arts

I'm afraid the review isn't online, but I was displeased with the review of the Dave Matthews concert. I didn't go to the concert, and the review, I guess, is generally positive. However, the quality of the criticism is shameful. It's hardly criticism at all. I sent off this quick letter to the editor:

A note to Mr. Mercier on his Dave Matthews review: traditionally a concert review involves actually commenting on the music. Mr. Mercier expends three-quarters of his review on merchandising, the band's dress and the audience's antics. While I didn't attend the concert, I'm curious about how it actually sounded. The best he can offer her is a comment on Matthews 'obviously ailing voice' (which was obvious, as the singer admitted this himself on-stage) and 'some spaced-out base work'. He even gives the wrong title to that famous Bob Dylan song, All Along the Watchtower. Your writer seems to have abandoned music criticism, and written an article about being at the Dave Matthews concert. I can only conclude that Mr. Mercier's expertise lies in another genre of music, or another journalistic beat altogether.

If anybody finds that review in the strangeness that is the Vancouver Sun online, let me know.

As a bonus, here's a piece on why there will always be a critic who will stick his thumb up. It's pretty lightweight, but still an interesting read. It reminded me of the excellent Hollywood Bitchslap.

UPDATE: I had a couple of requests for the review, so I got off my lazy ass and slapped it on the scanner. Here it is. There's a nearly-as-naff review from the Vancouver Province here.

9:29:15 AM  Permanent link to this entry    Trackback []    Movies Music