Monday, May 09, 2022

Ballad of the Sad Kafe

From 2021, please enjoy the incomparable Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats and their magisterially gorgeous "The Future."

I think we can all safely agree that the above is the most convincing emulation of vintage period Robert Zimmerman -- circa, say, Blonde on Blonde -- any of us has heard lately.

But a little backstory.

As attentive readers are aware, my local watering hole is a joint called the Keuka Kafe, a few blocks down Queens Boulevard -- or as the regulars call it, the Boulevard of Death, due to the sadly high number of little old lady traffic fatalities -- from our digs in Forest Hills.

Apart from the splendid food and drink available there, and the hospitality of its proprietors Oleg and Olga Sakhno, the Kafe is also notable for the high quality of the music played on its sound system; I've been frequenting the place for six or seven years now, and hardly a visit goes by where I'm not hipped to some cool song previously unknown to me. The Rateliff tune above, which I heard for the first time this past Saturday, is just the most recent example.

I should add that if you're in the neighborhood, another reason to check the place out is their splendid selection of Ukranian beer, the sales of which are all donated to charities benefiting that beleaguered country. And tell 'em PowerPop sent you.


pete said...

It's really only in the last twenty years or so that songwriters have been able to use Dylan's breakthroughs in ways that go beyond hero-worship. I've found it in my own work lately - here's an example, with apologies for the self-promotion, not to mention trespassing on Bob's patch of Sinai without taking off my sandals. said...

Pete, wish your link copied on my phone...
Mushrooms maybe but Rateliff channeled Dylan at his best lyrically and presentation wise.
Amazing performance.

getawaygoober said...

Saw a review on the album and it mentioned the "signature shrieks".
Yes, like those shrieks when saying "divide".
They are very cringe-worthy and hard to ignore.
It keeps one from coming back for a second listening.