Last night, I stood outside under the Space Needle in the air-conditioned evening as one of my college rock heroes, Billy Bragg (yep, I'm old), performed a batch of electric guitar protest songs at Bumbershoot.

Unfortunately, as great as his rambunctious set sounded (he opened with a couple of his dynamite 1983 one-man-Clash demos, "To Have and Have Not" and "Diggers"), there was a glaring problem. Ironically, it came during the best number of the night.

Going with his trademark electric guitar crunch, Bragg reworked a Dylan classic, "The Times They Are-a-Changin'". (Dylan—obviously a gigantic influence on Bragg—played Memorial Stadium at Bumbershoot on Saturday night).

The glaring problem? Just like the incongruous feeling you got from Bragg's socialist rock in the 1980s (Ronald Reagan was president and the word "yuppie" had just been invented), singing Dylan's '60s social justice anthem  on the eve of a Republican rout felt wildly out of sync. Sad.

That said, dig this.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIaq9eB0ayc[/youtube]
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