Monthly Archives: December 2010

The on again, off again bootleg ban

As highlighted by Harold Lepidus a few days ago, bootleg recordings of Dylan’s gigs (and presumably other collectibles) are again being shared at Dimeadozen.org, which is probably the premiere location for fans to download and share live recordings, in lossless quality, via bit-torrent software. If particular artists object to recordings of their gigs being shared in this way, their wishes are respected at Dimeadozen and those torrents are removed and banned. This is what happened, apparently, in November, with the Bob Dylan bootlegs. The rumor was Continue reading “The on again, off again bootleg ban” »

Incredibly annoying climate keeps changing

Among the things that Matt Drudge deserves credit for is drawing attention to the ongoing and varied lunacies and inconsistencies of the worldwide global warming lobby on his website — a website that is read daily by millions, and is a major driver of traffic to other media outlets, and quite often a driver of stories in mainstream media outlets as well.

Today, as we are in the midst of almost unprecedented snow-related chaos across much of Europe, Drudge simply links back to what was a fairly typical article on global warming from the year 2000. It was in Continue reading “Incredibly annoying climate keeps changing” »

Dino & Dylan: The Christmas Blues

The other night there was a little Christmas party at the RWB mansion. Naturally a big bunch of seasonal favorites were loaded up on the old Wurlitzer, and were playing randomly throughout the evening, while guests sipped top-shelf cocktails and admired the ice sculptures. At one point up came Bob Dylan’s venerable take on the classic song The Christmas Blues, written by David Holt and Sammy Cahn. (Have we ever had a Christmas without Christmas in the Heart? It doesn’t feel like it, to me at least, and that’s a nice thing.) Then something else played — I forget what — followed, in one of those random-play coincidences, by Dean Martin’s version of The Christmas Blues. I’d heard it many times, of-course, but hearing it now so soon after Bob’s version, it struck me how close in character Continue reading “Dino & Dylan: <em>The Christmas Blues</em>” »

Age of Light update: Barack Obama, the tax cutter

In USA Today, the story is Obama gets tax deal — now needs new jobs.

In selling the agreement with Republicans, Obama stressed the analysis of economics who said it would boost the economy and stimulate jobs — a major concern for a president whose Democratic Party took a beating at the polls last month in the shadow of a high unemployment rate that has now hit 9.8%.

“I am absolutely convinced that this tax cut plan, while not perfect, will help grow our economy and create jobs in the private sector,” the president said this week.

So, two years into his presidency, Barack Obama has allegedly had an epiphany: the Bush tax cuts (which were the epitome of all evil during his 2008 campaign) “will help grow our economy and create jobs in the private sector.” You could say a lot about this, but what burns me most is the fact that I truly believe that Obama has only now started caring about unemployment — which is why he is for the first time pushing a policy that might help alleviate it. Continue reading “Age of Light update: Barack Obama, the tax cutter” »

Wanda Jackson sings Thunder On The Mountain

Wanda Jackson, who started making records in the 1950s, when she sometimes shared the bill with a guy named Elvis Presley, has recorded a cover version of Bob Dylan’s 2006 song Thunder On The Mountain for her forthcoming album The Party Ain’t Over, which has been produced by Jack White (via Immaculate Noise).

I think it’s a fantastic take on the song, and Wanda’s voice and style sounds amazingly well-preserved at age 73. You can listen to a streaming sample of it below. Continue reading “Wanda Jackson sings <em>Thunder On The Mountain</em>” »

Forced into a life of perpetual crime

The nub of the matter has finally been addressed today, although it will be some time before the U.S. Supreme Court weighs in with the only ultimately relevant ruling. The story: Virginia Judge Strikes Down Key Part of Obama Health Care Law.

In a stinging rebuke to the Obama administration, a federal judge Monday invalidated a key provision of the recently passed health care law, saying that it “exceeds the constitutional boundaries of congressional power.”

[…]

U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson said in a 42-page opinion that the so-called individual mandate provision, which requires all Americans to buy some form of health insurance, would “invite unbridled exercise of the federal police powers.”

The Obama administration had argued that the individual mandate was essential to keep down nationwide health care costs, and that Congress had acted under its authority to regulate interstate commerce. But the judge said an individual’s decision to purchase — or to decline to purchase — health care from a private provider is beyond the “historical reach” the Constitution grants Congress to regulate interstate commerce.

“At its core,” the judge ruled, “this dispute is not simply about regulating the business of insurance, or crafting a scheme of universal health insurance coverage, its about an individual’s right to choose to participate.

In Bob Dylan’s movie “Masked and Anonymous,”a preacher on the radio is heard intermittently, not so much commenting on the action as just commenting on the human condition. One of his most striking assertions is this one:

The only power the government has is to crack down on criminals. When there aren’t enough criminals, you make them. You make so many things a crime that it becomes impossible to live without breaking laws.

When the government can effectively make it a crime for you not to buy something (and there is no way to escape the requirement), you need no longer have any doubt as to whether you’re living in the kind of country that the preacher there describes.

Bob Dylan in The American Conservative

The January edition of The American Conservative (I guess many would call it a paleo-conservative publication — one of its founders was Patrick Buchanan) includes an article on Bob Dylan, written by Bill Kauffman. Really, it’s an article on a particular kind of upper Midwestern political tradition and world view that seems to be all but gone, but which the writer recognizes in Bob Dylan. You don’t have to agree with every word of it to enjoy it as a very smart take on Dylan and the place in America from which he springs.

The article is only available to subscribers, but Expecting Rain has a scan of it at this link.

Last words, on retirement, from Bob Dylan

Keith R. writes, in relation to this retirement debate, that he’s surprised no one has mentioned the 60 Minutes interview which the late Ed Bradley did with Bob Dylan from 2004:

Ed asks him, in so many words, why Bob doesn’t retire. Bob made a deal with the Chief Commander on this Earth and in the World We Can’t See, he says. It’s all in the cards. He can’t retire, wasn’t part of the deal.

The article [on whether Dylan should retire] – and most of the responses that I’ve seen – seem very tied to this world that we can see, but isn’t Bob one of the great messengers between this world and that world we can’t see? Isn’t that one of the reasons we love him? and one of the reasons he can’t retire?

I think that Keith is right in every respect. It’s funny — this exchange didn’t even occur to me in the context of the retirement discussion, even though it’s the “infamous” one which a few freakazoids out there claim as proof that Bob sold his soul to the Devil. The clip is below along with the transcription: Continue reading “Last words, on retirement, from Bob Dylan” »