Monthly Archives: May 2010

Simon says

Although there’s still a fair bit of unofficial Dylan content on YouTube, a whole lot seems to have been deleted recently, including entire accounts to which I had subscribed. Well, easy come, easy go, and so it goes. Them’s the breaks. Insert whatever cliché signifying a spirit of philosophical resignation which seems most apt.

And a change is as good as a rest. Below are the King’s Singers, performing Paul Simon’s great tune, Some Folks’ Lives Roll Easy. Continue reading “Simon says” »

Odds and Ends

An America in retreat: From Charles Krauthammer’s column today, on Iran’s great coup in winning Brazil and Turkey as allies in the confrontation over their continuing pursuit of nuclear weapons, and other foreign policy disasters:

The real news is that already notorious photo: the president of Brazil, our largest ally in Latin America, and the prime minister of Turkey, for more than half a century the Muslim anchor of NATO, raising hands together with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the most virulently anti-American leader in the world. Continue reading “Odds and Ends” »

The contagion is spreading

The title above does not refer to the Greek apocalyptic debt contagion — although that will spread soon enough — but the contagion that causes elected officials in liberal localities of the U.S. to impose boycotts on Arizona, due to its recent law regarding illegal immigration (police are required to check the immigration status of those they have already legally stopped, arrested or detained when reasonable suspicion exists as to the legitimacy of that status).

The New York City Council is the latest to take steps towards a boycott of Arizona. Continue reading “The contagion is spreading” »

Compression impressions

In PC Magazine (and picked up by the Washington Post) there is an article on the subject of audio compression, detailing a test the journalist (Lincoln Spector) did with a small group of music professionals to see if they could detect the differences between various compressed .mp3 and .wma files versus uncompressed .wav files. Two pieces of music were used: 30-second clips of Tchaikovsky’s sixth symphony, performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, and Joan Osborne performing Bob Dylan’s Man in the Long Black Coat. The article also allows you to do a similar comparison test yourself, if you think it worthwhile (personally, I didn’t). The results obtained in this test were fairly mixed, although the .wma format seemed to appeal to the listeners more than anything else.

I’m not sure what it ultimately demonstrates, other than that Continue reading “Compression impressions” »

Bedtime tune

Bob Dylan recorded a version of In My Time of Dyin’ on his eponymous first LP. There have been many iterations of what is basically the same song, with Blind Willie Johnson’s Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed being, apparently, the earliest recorded version. There is also a version by Charley Patton, called Jesus Is A Dyin’ Bed Maker. I kind of like that expansion of the thought. Jesus is a dying bed maker, and so he’s going to make up my dying bed. It’s kind of a gospel of grim realism, but then there are times when nothing else will do. Continue reading “Bedtime tune” »

Noisemaker, spirit maker, heartbreaker — puzzle maker?

Scott Warmuth’s most recent post, on more “cut and paste” style references he’s identified in Bob Dylan’s memoir, Chronicles: Volume One, has generated a variety of responses, as usual. It’s titled, “The Perplexing Puzzle of Bob Dylan and Jann Wenner, The Unrepentant,” which is rather amusing in itself. Without getting into all the details that are in the post, I think that undoubtedly Warmuth is on to something in his chronicling of these references. Exactly what, I don’t know, but for sure his research is in itself ingenious. Continue reading “Noisemaker, spirit maker, heartbreaker — puzzle maker?” »