"When you ask someone to name a Bob Dylan song or album from the 1980s, you usually get a blank stare in return. Bob Dylan In The 80s: Volume One helps to answer this question." —I was going to say that this assertion is incorrect, but you know what? It may very well be true. I can of course name several Bob Dylan songs or albums from the 1980s, but then again I was there when it happened. I personally remember the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments that occurred with each [...]
Yesterday when a friend was all, "Oh my God, have you seen the Kanye video?" I was like, no, I don't care about the Kanye video and I feel as if it is one of the few signal achievements in my career, if we want to call it that, that I have somehow gotten myself into a position where I don't need to have an opinion about the Kanye video, and, more importantly, no one really needs to have an opinion about the Kanye video, the fact that you are going to watch something that is widely acknowledged to be terrible—the fact that you are going to watch something [...]
Part of me wishes that Jack White had stopped in the middle of his new single and broken into Eddie Van Halen's "Eruption," but this mellower, Dylan-and-Emmylou thing is working pretty good for him, too.
"I never liked him. He seems sort of unpleasant and uncomfortable." —Bill "Smog" Callahan, in the (subscription-only) New Yorker, on Bob Dylan, who is having a tough week in the press. This kind of blows my mind. I mean, sure, I guess Dylan can come across that way. Like, his personality. It's been noted before. Lou Reed once said, "If you were at a party with him, I think you'd tell him to shut up." But still, he's the best at what he does, and it hurts me a little to hear other songwriters snipe like that. Though when Maureen Dowd (and/or whichever one or more [...]
I have mixed feelings about Will.I.Am protesting Sony's release of Michael Jackson's unfinished work. The new single came out this weekend, with a new album (the first of many, apparently) due in December. Will says:
"Whoever put it out and is profiting off of it, I want to see how cold they are. He just wasn't any ordinary artist. He was a hands-on person. To me, it's disrespectful. There's no honoring. Michael Jackson songs are finished when Michael says they’re finished. Maybe if I never worked with him I wouldn’t have this perspective. He was very particular about how he wanted his vocals, the reverb he used … [...]
The new song from Bun B really does seem, as the venerable MC says at the outset, to have been "a long time coming." It was produced by Gangstarr's DJ Premier, and so brings together two of hip-hop's very most revered practitioners. Bun and Premier are both from Texas, too, though Premier made his name after moving to Brooklyn in the late '80s. What's most interesting about the song to me today, besides the mesmerizing beat and the jaw-dropping rhymes ("When I get to gladiatin' on haters like Leonidas/Niggas just gonna have to admit that he the tightest…" Triple exclamation points) is how old these guys are. [...]
This account is hoax created by Italian journalist Tommasso Debenedetti
— Bob Dylan (@BobDylanTweets) December 11, 2013
"Contrary to widespread reports, Bob Dylan did not join Twitter this morning," is a sentence we were able to read here today in 2013, where everything is apparently bullshit and the past and future blend together in a horrible melange of the futile and the mundane. As you were.
Bob Dylan will release his 35th studio album in September, and already Dylanologists are attempting to discern the meaning behind the record's title. The most popular theory is that it is an acknowledgment of Dylan's longstanding admiration for the actress who played Vanessa Huxtable on "The Cosby Show," although some discount that speculation based on the fact that she was already the subject of his 1986 song "Driftin' Too Far from Shore."
Oh, man! Bob Dylan is going to write six more books for Simon & Schuster! That's great, because his first one was so totally excellent. But also, six more? Really? Six? When am I going to have time to read six more books by Bob Dylan? (Especially seeing as I have to spend so much time watching his old music videos on YouTube.)
"Here's what I love about Dylan: He was exactly as you'd expect he would be. He wouldn't come to the rehearsal; usually, all these guys are practicing before the set in the evening. He didn't want to take a picture with me; usually all the talent is dying to take a picture with me and Michelle before the show, but he didn't show up to that. He came in and played 'The Times They Are A-Changin'.' A beautiful rendition. The guy is so steeped in this stuff that he can just come up with some new arrangement, and the song sounds completely different. Finishes the song, steps off the stage [...]
"Bob is the ultimate bad boyfriend, always so cool because he's so completely uncool, and always desperately desirable because he's never what you want him to be. So to the true Bobbista this video is just great. For a horrible moment you think the dude on the squeeze-box at the beginning is Bob in his final metamorphosis (he's got that Bob head angle, looking upwards and kind of quizzical, like a dog who's not quite sure if he's going to bite you or jump over your shoulder), but then you get a glimpse of Bob side-on. Yes, it's really Bob. You think, cool, Bob hasn't turned into an accordion [...]
My daughter, watching a Bob Dylan documentary: "If he was around today, he'd just rap all this. And he'd have to be cute."
— Tom Junod (@TomJunod) November 21, 2013
Tom! So what happened here? We lost our dog in September. We just got a new one, five days ago. My 10-year-old daughter is obsessed with him, to the extent that she wakes herself up every hour or so to ask how he’s doing. That’s what happened when I was watching—again—Scorsese’s [...]
"Where does this disdain for workers come from? Some of it, obviously, reflects the influence of money in politics: big-money donors, like the ones Mr. Romney was speaking to when he went off on half the nation, don’t live paycheck to paycheck. But it also reflects the extent to which the G.O.P. has been taken over by an Ayn Rand-type vision of society, in which a handful of heroic businessmen are responsible for all economic good, while the rest of us are just along for the ride." —Paul Krugman is right. And it's important to note that before Neil Peart replaced John Rutsey on drums and Rush was taken [...]
"There is no way to accurately or adequately laud Bob Dylan. He is the Homer of our time. The next Bob Dylan will not come around for another millennium or two, making it highly unlikely that it will happen at all."—T-Bone Burnett, foreword to Rolling Thunder Logbook
Critics have always been quick to proclaim someone as the Next Dylan. "No sooner was Dylan Dylan," says Gene Santoro in Highway 61 Revisited, "than the search was on for the Next Dylan, the New Dylan—a list that, over the decades, accumulated dozens." Pity the poor soul who writes intelligent lyrics, sings a bit off-kilter, strums a guitar, and—hoist the millstone!—plays harmonica. [...]
Your Potential Existences, In Order Of How Tolerable They Would Make Your Still-Inevitable Servitude To Another (Be It Satan Or God)
37. Bread subsister 36. Floor sleeper 35. Visually impaired individual 34. Possessor of a physical disability 33. Impecunious person 32. Milk drinker 31. Dome dweller 30. Firearms hobbyist 29. Hairstylist
"A mountain climber told us that a dozen aluminium cans of beer and other beverage cans were torn apart around the cart. We are positive that the bear was responsible for it." —A Seoul Zoo official tells the story of Kkoma, or "The Kid," a sun bear who escaped from his cage on December 6th, apparently because he didn't like being cooped up with a crabby older member of his species, and headed for the hills. Eluding hundreds of bear trappers with dogs and a helicopter, the brave young antiauthoritarian became a national media sensation—celebrating his freedom with a few well earned frosty cold ones before being caught on [...]
"It's a symbol for us. The way the Confederate flag used to be. But the flag today has taken on so many unfortunate associations, nobody feels good about showing it anymore. So we've embraced moonshine: making it, moving it, drinking it. Moonshine has become a point in our identity. It's a way of saying, â€˜I'm from here.'" -The resurgence of moonshine brings to mind the nice article on the history and production of the stuff Garden & Gun magazine did last year. And also, the many versions of the classic folk ballad that goes with it. Here are six more, in ascending order of my preference. [...]