Saturday, September 8, 2007

Glenwood Like A Promethean Curse

I know in my last post I had alluded to some magic bullet of a post that would snap me back into a blogging fury, and as with most things like that, I got distracted from it and don't even remember what that post was supposed to be about. So, sorry about that.

The distraction in question is new songs from Sunset Rubdown's upcoming album Random Spirit Lover, which I'm writing a review of for next month's Hatchet. This one song in particular is just flooring me, "Wicked/Winged Things"

your pattern of flight is chaotic and blind
but it's right 'cause chaos is
yours and it's mine
and chaos is luck
and luck love and love blind
your pattern of flight is chaotic and blind but it's right 'cause is yours
and it's mine mine mine and chaos is blind and they say love is blind

So, I'm really looking forward to finishing that, and getting the proper album for review, (hopefully before the deadline for the song review, so I can build the album review around the song review).

In other news, I'm kinda disappointed in this upcoming Bob Dylan boxed set, which for the first time in the fairly storied history of his non album releases brings up a serious case of redundancy. As far as I can tell from the tracklist, there is nothing new. No unreleased tracks, no alternate takes, just a repackaged greatest hits, given the capital B boxed set treatment. Which of course has already happened. Biograph, being one of the better (and first major) boxed sets ever made. Where "Dylan" fails and Biograph succeeded was a wealth of unreleased songs and songs only available as singles, that put the "greatest hits" songs in a different light. Without the benefit of throwing in any "lost" songs, "Dylan" sits like a question, "didn't you already buy this stuff?" As an introduction to Bob Dylan, this set is too heavy on later period stuff to really impress the point of why he's so revered, this set has no real appeal to the rabid fan. And that's pretty much it, there is the rabid fan, and the neophyte. The casual fans are few and far between. Those new to Bob Dylan are better served by buying an actual album or Biograph.

As a rabid fan, I'm kind of relieved that this set doesn't have any "lost" songs on it. Because I would spend money on it. As I have on every release in the "Bootleg Series", which is the best handling of an artist's rarities collections ever. Though Bob Dylan is a special case in the prolificacy that wasn't shared by other big names from the time like The Beatles or Rolling Stones.

(This is something that most people know about me, that I haven't relayed yet in Beneath The Underdog, I'm a HUGE Bob Dylan fan, I have everything outside of the post-finding Jesus period, which I am not afraid to say have no redeeming qualities whatsoever, post-post-Jesus Bob is tolerable, though I don't give it the breathless praise that it's given in the press.)

The boxed set, which if you've ever had a conversation about Bob Dylan with me, you might recognize how the name of it boils my grits, it's called "Dylan". I'm not a fan of calling Bob Dylan "Dylan", like he's either a dead poet/philosopher, or in a disdainful contemptuous dismissal, "Dylan". One is too rapturous, one is just plain silly. I have a hard time dismissing a musician because of an unconventional voice. (And not to be a total asshole to some of these dismissers, over the past twenty years plus Bob Dylan's done no favors to anyone by dragging his words out like cats to the vet). To take these transgressions and dismiss what was essentially the best fifteen year hot streak that any musician ever went on. Shit, Lou Reed only had four years (albeit four of the most important years in the evolution of punk, indie rock, et al).

To promote this new boxed set, though, a remix of "Most Likely You'll Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)" by Mark Ronson (Amy Winehouse producer). Which is essentially the Dap-Kings (of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings fame, also Amy Winehouse's backing band), playing over the original song, with only Bob's singing remaining. Not bad at all, a few Motown string flourishes would have put it over the top, but it's an interesting re-imagining of one of my favorite Bob Dylan songs. Here's the video for the remix, which is kinda lame, in a VH1 Classic kind of way.

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