Wednesday, September 12, 2012

In praise of cranky old geniuses

This has been making the rounds: With furrowed brows and evermore furrowed face, Dylan obliged yet another The Rolling Stone Interview, this time in support of his newest album. And that furrowed aspect of that face––the gestural lining, the graying cloud of hair, and the more recent addition of a mustache that is the car salesman's version of debonair––is very much in effect in his words. But then Dylan has always been more dark matter than shining star. As a guy edging ever closer to overripe maturity myself, I have nothing but respect for the old guys who can still deliver big––Leonard Cohen, Noam Chomsky, Richard Dawkins, Ian McKellen, etc. (sorry Clint)––and Dylan, now 71, delivers here epically.

The newsy red meat from the interview has been popping up on the interwebs news sources like juiced time lapsed mushrooms. That old crank Mr. Zimmerman just brought slavery fresh into the national conversation again! And, yes, his music referenced the material of others as have many other songwriters in history in a longstanding musical tradition: To this he responds, appropriately: So what of it, m*****f*****? If the new record Tempest has half as much salt and spice as the interview then handle this disc like you would a jalapeƱa pepper: It may leave some eye-searing burn on your on your fingers. See what all the fuss is about here.

Slightly less geriatric but none the less for it, is one of my favorite bands of all time, Television, heard in a vintage performance captured in their fully muscled prime from 1977 and available for download at Aquarium Drunkard, a blog I humbly submit as one of the best and longest running music sites around. Better yet, if you've been deprived of the experience of this band up till now, then hear it here, now. I've had a crush on this record since discovering it in high school. For me, this record is a rare diamond, un-occluded from start to finish. Really. It's that m*****f***ing good.

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