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Bob Dylan, Out of Time

While listening to Blood on the Tracks the other day I thought, “This must’ve blown people away when it came out,” so I Googled “Rolling Stone Blood on the Tracks review” and there it was. The Internet is wonderful.

Thing is, the review, by legendary rock critic/manager/producer Jon Landau, isn’t that favorable. It’s mostly a treatise on Dylan’s “indifference to the process of making records” and how “his position as a premier recording artist is called into question.” It even includes the line, "I don’t believe that Bob Dylan would qualify as a great rock artist."

Forty years later, that scans as crazy talk. But Landau also wrote this, the final lines from that review in the winter of 1975:

The album answers to no one and was made for everyone. It is the work of someone who is not just seeing through himself, but looking through us — and still making us see things that we haven’t seen before.

So maybe it did blow people away, and still does.

Filed under Music Bob Dylan Blood on the Tracks Rolling Stone Crazy Talk

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Top 20 LPs of the First Half of 2014

Hey, here’s what I’ve been enjoying these past six months. Listen via my Best Albums of 2014 for Real Spotify playlist, which will be updated all year long. Because I’m addicted, you see.

1. The War On Drugs :: Lost In The Dream

2. Sturgill Simpson :: Metamodern Sounds in Country Music

3. Future Islands :: Singles

4. Beck :: Morning Phase

5. Strand of Oaks :: HEAL

6. Real Estate :: Atlas

7. Jack White :: Lazaretto

8. Damien Jurado :: Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son

9. Parquet Courts :: Sunbathing Animal

10. Band of Horses :: Acoustic at The Ryman

11. Mac Demarco :: Salad Days

12. Sharon Van Etten :: Are We There

13. Jamestown Revival :: Utah

14. Hurray For The Riff Raff :: Small Town Heroes

15. Walter Martin :: We’re All Young Together

16. Hamilton Leithauser :: Black Hours

17. First Aid Kit :: Stay Gold

18. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks :: Wig Out At Jagbags

19. Damon Albarn :: Everyday Robots

20. Kevin Drew :: Darlings

Filed under Music Indie Rock Lists War on Drugs

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Neil Young :: “Needle of Death” (Bert Jansch cover)

"Young released the vinyl-only A Letter Home, a collection of covers recorded in single takes on acoustic guitar in Jack White’s Voice-O-Graph booth at Third Man Records. About the size of a phone booth, the machine records you to vinyl as you play, which is exactly what Young did, giving the album a unique vintage quality.”

This is relevant to my interests. 

Filed under Music Neil Young Jack White Vinyl Beardcore

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The 50 Best Albums of 2013 for Real

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Unlike the 20 best songs of 2013 for real, which is in no particular order, this order is very particular. It’s the 50 albums I liked and listened to the most, winnowed down from a much larger Spotify playlist (a 1,018-track, 65-hour monster, if you can handle it).

1. Phosphorescent :: Muchacho

2. Kanye West :: Yeezus

3. Futurebirds :: Baba Yaga

4. Vampire Weekend :: Modern Vampires of the City

5. The National :: Trouble Will Find Me

6. Foxygen :: We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic

7. Yo La Tengo :: Fade

8. Jason Isbell :: Southeastern

9. Daft Punk :: Random Access Memories

10. Kurt Vile :: Wakin on a Pretty Daze

11. Sonny & the Sunsets :: Antenna to the Afterworld

12. Jim James :: Regions of Light and Sound of God

13. Still Corners :: Strange Pleasures

14. Steve Gunn :: Time Off

15. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros :: Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

16. Volcano Choir :: Repave

17. Drake :: Nothing Was the Same

18. Arcade Fire :: Reflektor

19. William Tyler :: Impossible Truth

20. Pusha T :: My Name Is My Name

21. Laura Marling :: Once I Was an Eagle

22. Unknown Mortal Orchestra :: II

23. Ducktails :: The Flower Lane

24. Mutual Benefit :: Love’s Crushing Diamond

25. The Avett Brothers :: Magpie and the Dandelion

26. Parquet Courts :: Light Up Gold

27. A$AP Rocky :: LONG.LIVE.A$AP

28. Bob Dylan :: Another Self Portrait

29. Cass McCombs :: Big Wheel and Others

30. Camera Obscura :: Desire Lines

31. Waxahatchee :: Cerulean Salt

32. Cayucas :: Bigfoot

33. Okkervil River :: The Silver Gymnasium

34. Houndmouth :: From the Hills Below the City

35. Local Natives :: Hummingbird

36. Iron and Wine :: Ghost on Ghost

37. Courtney Barnett :: The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas

38. The Love Language :: Ruby Red

39. Deerhunter :: Monomania

40. Youth Lagoon :: Wondrous Bughouse

41. Rogue Wave :: Nightingale Floors

42. Washed Out :: Paracosm

43. The Shouting Matches :: Grownass Man

44. Earl Sweatshirt :: Doris

45. King Krule :: 6 Feet Beneath the Moon

46. Junip :: Junip

47. Danny Brown :: Old

48. Cults :: Static

49. Cate le Bon :: Mug Museum

50. Toro Y Moi :: Anything in Return

Filed under Music Best of 2013 Indie Rock Dad Rock Beardcore

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The 20 Best Songs of 2013 for Real

I usually make a “Best of [the Year] for Real” mix CD for friends, but this was the year I stopped listening to music on CD at all, so now they’re just getting a playlist. Sorry, friends. Hop on the slow train of progress; the music’s fine.

Best of 2013 for Real on Spotify | Best of 2013 (extended edition)

1. Jim James, “A New Life”

2. Still Corners, “The Trip”

3. Vampire Weekend, “Step”

4. Cate le Bon, “Are You With Me Now?”

5. Junip, “Line of Fire”

6. Kanye West, “Blood on the Leaves”

7. Phosphorescent, “Song for Zula”

8. Cayucas, “Deep Sea”

9. Parquet Courts, “Borrowed Time”

10. Cass McCombs, “Brighter”

11. The Avett Brothers, “Every Morning Song”

12. Drake, “Furthest Thing”

13. Sonny & the Sunsets, “Green Blood”

14. Arcade Fire, “Reflektor”

15. The Orwells, “Who Needs You”

16. Pusha T, “Nosetalgia”

17. Foxygen, “San Francisco”

18. Yo La Tengo, “Ohm”

19. Futurebirds, “Heavy Weights”

20. Telekinesis, “Symphony”

Past years: 20122011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007

Filed under Music Spotify Best of 2013 Indie Rock Dad Rock Chillwave Scarfwave Beardcore

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Harry Nilsson :: “One”

"Nilsson wrote the song after calling someone and getting a busy signal. He stayed on the line listening to the ‘beep, beep, beep, beep…’ tone, writing the song. The busy signal became the opening notes of the song." (via Wikipedia)

Filed under Music Harry Nilsson