Remote Hog

Ray Davies: The World From My Window
Documentary Channel
9:10 tonight

This much-too-short 50-minute doc looks at one of the most underrated figures in rock. Yes, when the monkeys finally take over, the Kinks front man will rightly be elevated to his proper place in the upper pop echelons, alongside Lennon, McCartney, Jagger, Hendrix and Cobain. If you don't agree, especially after listening to any of the beefier Kinks compilations, here, take these rusty gardening shears, do us all a favor and just lop your ears off, fer chrissakes, 'cause you obviously ain't using 'em. You certainly don't get any argument in this doc from Bowie, Costello or Weller. They, too, know that the way Davies looks at the world, through the pain and irony and humor and heartache of the constantly shit-upon class, coupled with his incredible voice and playful phrasing and engaging stage presence, make him a truly unique artist. Some get close; if you dunked XTC's Andy Partridge in a vat of warm and fuzzies, you could almost—almost—fuse him to Davies' hip. Anyone who was fortunate enough several years back to see Davies' one-man show—well, two man counting the guitarist—especially live—although the VH-1 Storytellers was quite good, too—will appreciate this documentary catching us up on the man who gave us "Lola" and "Waterloo Sunset" and "Dead End Street" (yeah, Dead End Street!) and "Dedicated Follower of Fashion" and, Christ, can you write about Ray Davies without mentioning "You Really Got Me" and, courtesy of Ray's brother Dave, what's probably the most ubiquitous riff in rock next to the "Stairway" opening? No, no you can't. Says so right here in the manual. The most amazing thing about The World From My Window is that afterward, you'll immediately want to go to your nearest record store—they still have record stores, right?—or your nearest electronic downloading enabler and find certain Ray Davies music. Nope, I ain't talking classic Kinks; I'm talking Other People's Lives, the solo album released in February that he was recording during filming. The snippets on screen just were not enough. You must now own them. See, old man's got his hooks in you again. Repeats 11 a.m. May 30.

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