List: My Top 10 Dylan Tracks

Well, everyone else is paying tribute to Robbie Z. on the occasion of his 70th birthday, so I thought I might do so as well. Here it goes…

My Top 10 Bob Dylan Tracks

“It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” – 1965 – This is one of the greatest album closers ever. It’s a classic kiss-off in one sense, but what makes it remarkable is the apocalyptic imagery Dylan throws in. Love that noodly guitar too.

”Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again” – 1966 – Everything about this song is simply amazing, from the lyrics to the drumming. It just sort of sweeps you up and carries you along on a wave for six or seven minutes.

”Tangled Up In Blue” – 1975 – One of the most beautiful songs ever. I love the way you feel like you’ve completed a journey with Dylan by the time the last verse ends, and then that harmonica kicks in and makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Awe inspiring.

”If Not For You” – 1970 – What a great little love song. You gotta dig the arrangement – so 70’s.

“You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere (Greatest Hits Vol. 2 version)” – 1970 – This is Dylan’s goofed-out performance of an already silly song. Roger McGuinn of The Byrds went and butchered the lyrics a few years earlier, and so Dylan sends him up in the first verse. “Oooo-eeee/Ride me high/Tomorrow’s the day my bride’s a-gonna come/Oooo-eeee/Are we gonna fly/Down into the easy chair…”

“She Belongs To Me” – 1965 – “She’s got everything she needs/She’s an artist/She don’t look back…” Absolutely sublime lyrics on this one, the kind of stuff that “stones me to my soul” as Van Morrison would say. The arrangement is so wonderful too. An incontrovertible proof of Dylan’s greatness.

“Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues” – 1965 – “When you’re lost in the rain in Juarez/When it’s Easter time too…” The ragtime riff on that piano is pure genius.

”The Mighty Quinn (Quinn The Eskimo) (live)” – 1969 – This is Dylan’s performance with The Band at the Isle of Wight festival in 1969. Most people know this song from the Manfred Mann “oldies” version, but Dylan & The Band make this sound  like a blast. It’s sloppy and joyful, almost like a lost take from The Basement Tapes.

“Buckets of Rain” – 1975 – This one brings me to tears just about every time. Again, it’s such a simple song, but the lyric is vintage Dylan – soulful with a little bit of silly thrown in. I can’t help but think of the heartbreak that Dylan was going through at the time.

“Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright” – 1962 – I’m generally not a big fan of Dylan’s work prior to Bringing It All Back Home, but this was one of his great early tracks. It’s not a protest song, not even faintly political, but it’s a showcase for the sort of wit that would become a centerpiece of Dylan’s work on later albums. Great finger-picking too. An underrated early pop-folk song.

Check out what else I’ve had to say about Dylan (plenty)…

Honorable Mention:
One Of Us Must Know (Sooner Or Later)
Goin’ To Acapulco
I Shall Be Released (Greatest Hits Vol. 2 version)
I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight
Tomorrow Is A Long Time (live)
Tryin’ To Get To Heaven
Thunder On The Mountain
Tonight, I’ll Be Staying Here With You

News Bits: Possible Rodan Rarities Collection in 2011

jason nobleCheck out this Magnet Magazine interview with indie rock godfather/superhero Jason Noble. Newsworthy bits:

    • Rodan Peel session – Official release likely (along with other rarities) in 2011 on Quarterstick
  • Rodan reunion – unlikely (but he doesn’t completely rule it out)
  • Shipping News – Next project will be another RMSN EP with separate studio recordings by each member
  • Young Scamels – More music probable in the near future, looking to a more contemporary author for influence.

There’s much more where that came from, so you should definitely check it out.

My review of Rodan’s 1994 Peel Session
My review of Young Scamel’s Tempest LP

News Bits: Pavement’s Terror Twilight Deluxe Pushed Back

A few months back, I posted about the potential release date for Pavement’s Terror Twilight deluxe reissue. Well, a Matador employee has confirmed on the Matador message board that it has been pushed back to 2011. Furthermore, speculation is that it will be in late 2011. So, bummer . . .

Cool News: Over the Rhine Concoct Harebrained Scheme to Fund New Album!

Looks like Over the Rhine is gearing up for recording a new album in the next few months. They’ve released their last few records on their own label, Great Speckled Dog, but this time around they are looking to partner with their (completely obsessive in a good way) fans in order to fund the album up front. You can get the details by going here, but the short of it is that if you can shell out, oh, $2,500, you can get credit for producing the record in executive fashion! BAD-ASS!!!

You can also pay a lot less and still get some pretty cool stuff, but this is the first time I’ve heard of something like this, and I have to say, daggonit, I think it’s a totally cool idea. No matter what you think, a new Over the Rhine LP is a worthy cause, so get on over and donate your kids’ futures!

Coming soon…

I’ve had a nice and necessary little hiatus, but I plan to return to daily posting next week. Here’s what you can expect in the next month or so…

– Album/EP Reviews of the latest from Vampire Weekend, Real Estate, Second Story Man, Pearl Harbor, Follow the Train, and many, many more
– Track Reviews continuing where I left off with my Top Tracks of the Decade
– Miscellaneous music commentary (of course)

I’m planning on branching out in some creative ways in the months to come, so make sure you stay tuned!

In the meantime, enjoy a tune from Real Estate, one of my favorite new bands…

Like Eddie Vedder…

Just wanted to touch base and say that I’m still alive, and plan on returning to regular blogging sometime in the spring.

A few music-related thoughts:

– the new Norah Jones was like the last Norah Jones, pretty blah…
– the new Vampire Weekend is okay, pretty mediocre compared to their outstanding debut…
– the new Dawn Landes sounds EXCELLENT after one listen…
– I never did pick up the Farrar/Gibbard record…anyone care to comment?
– Louisville indie-rockers Second Story Man just released a new record, Screaming Secrets…you should check it out…
– I’d probably agree with Paste Mag that Sufjan’s Illinois was the greatest record of the last decade…more later though…
– I”m stoked that Louisville’s Follow the Train might re-group when their new LP is released on Removador Records
– of course I’m with CoCo…duh…
– I like that new-ish band Real Estate…
– psyched for some new Josh Ritter in the spring, more psyched for the tour that should follow…
– best record of 2009? No clue…I think last year kind of sucked for music…

That’s it for now, stay in touch…

The Unseen Power of Pavement (Pavement Reuniting?)

You can never really be sure in these uncertain postmodern times, but it sounds like we’re close to a mathematical proof that Pavement will in fact re-unite in the next year. See here and here for more.
As a tribute, here’s a mix I concocted recently from the Matador reissues of the band’s greatest rarities and b-sides from their heyday. Did I leave anything off?
The Unseen Power of Pavement
1. Give It a Day
2. Painted Soldiers
3. Frontwards
4. All My Friends
5. Drunks with Guns
6. Beautiful as a Butterfly
7. Sue Me Jack
8. Sensitive Euro Man
9. Harness your hopes
10. Gangsters & Pranksters
11. Secret Knowledge of the Backroads (Peel Session 1)
12. The Sutcliffe Catering Song
13. Circa 1762 (Peel Session 1)
14. Shoot the Singer (1 Sick Verse)
15. Strings of Nashville
16. Mussle Rock (Is A Horse In Transition)
17. Lions (Linden)
18. Texas Never Whispers
19. I Love Perth
20. Greenlander
21. No tan lines
22. Kris Kraft
23. Roll with the wind
24. Unseen Power of the Picket Fence
25. Nothing Ever Happens

pavement18caYou can never really be sure in these uncertain postmodern times, but it sounds like we’re close to a mathematical proof that Pavement will in fact re-unite in the next year. See here and here for more.

As a tribute, here’s a mix I concocted recently from the Matador reissues of the band’s greatest rarities and b-sides from their heyday. Did I leave anything off?

SECRET KNOWLEDGE OF PAVEMENT

1. Give It a Day
2. Painted Soldiers
3. Frontwards
4. All My Friends
5. Drunks with Guns
6. Beautiful as a Butterfly
7. Sue Me Jack
8. Sensitive Euro Man
9. Harness your hopes
10. Gangsters & Pranksters
11. Secret Knowledge of the Backroads (Peel Session 1)
12. The Sutcliffe Catering Song
13. Circa 1762 (Peel Session 1)
14. Shoot the Singer (1 Sick Verse)
15. Strings of Nashville
16. Mussle Rock (Is A Horse In Transition)
17. Lions (Linden)
18. Texas Never Whispers
19. I Love Perth
20. Greenlander
21. No tan lines
22. Kris Kraft
23. Roll with the wind
24. Unseen Power of the Picket Fence
25. Nothing Ever Happens

August 14, 2009: CD Reviews, New Radiohead EP??

Thanks for dropping by. I’d love to hear your opinions on the music I review…

New CD reviews:

Radiohead, OK Computer Collector’s Edition Disc 2
Tortoise, Beacons of Ancestorship

And this…

New Radiohead EP this Monday???

August 13, 2009

New Reviews:

Josh Ritter, The Animal Years
REM, Fables of the Reconstruction

Could this be a new track from the suddenly inscrutable Radiohead? You might not believe until Yorke starts singing about 2 1/2 minutes in. If it ain’t, it’s a REALLY good impression. Judge for yourselves:

August 11, 2009

Two new reviews today:

– Dinosaur Jr.’s FARM
– Modest Mouse’s GOOD NEWS FOR PEOPLE WHO LOVE BAD NEWS

News from around the web:
– Built to Spill got a new LP on the way (PASTE)
Sufjan’s hitting the road. [Pls pls pls let this be to road test songs for a new full-length!] (Pitchfork)

Just gotta say, today it’s SGB 2, Pitchfork 0, for those keeping score. AND I’VE GOT A DAY JOB AND A FAMILY. Who loves you baby???