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Monday, September 17, 2012

Dylan Still Rocks My World

Google Search for Bob Dylan new album: about 87,200,000 results. Google search for "new iPhone" 7,970,000,000 results. For perspective, "Topless Kate" had 685,000,000 results.
When a new Dylan album came out, back in the day, it was the talk of the town, the town consisting of radio, publications and "buzz." No cellphones, no internet back then. Today the town has a much different geography. The iPhone rules. Even over Royal boobies. As of today, the new iPhone has been "out," that is, announced, described, enpictured, and hyped for 5 days and Tempest has been out for about a week.

In my fondest sense of things, my world is talking about Dylan more than anything. Don't get me wrong; I love tech with all my heart, with all my soul and with all my might. (I'm not a big upgrade fan, in fact I resist as long as I can. I'm still on WinXP.) The iPhone and it's related technology, the iPod Touch, other smart phones, the notion of carrying internet connectivity in your pocket, has changed this world as much as Bob Dylan did our world. The world is smaller now for both of them, and also larger.

 The iPhone broke the division between a telephone, a media player and a PC. The smart phone made messaging preferable to a phone call. The smart phone made the telephone nearly obsolete. (The iPhone, from most reports is actually a crappy phone but the the other functionality is irresistable. Even to me. I have an iPod Touch and a stupid phone.)

 Bob Dylan broke the sentence. He broke the length barrier for airplay. He broke the mold for the pop recording artist. He broke the mold of his own persona, over and over again. But he fixed utter literature into popular music, referentially, expressively and permanently. And as he progressed in his career over a half century that spanned two centuries, he made 35 studio albums, some of arguable interest, others that burst onto the airwaves and into minds and mp3 players with startling and resonant intensity. And among the many elements that are incandescent about Tempest, its scope, its depth, its texture, is that it is one of those Dylan albums that changes the experience of listening to songs. Add another, his voice, like fine Scotch, is as penetrating as when he virtually screamed into the mic. He is still and yet, the most authentic, most groundbreaking, most relevant popular singer songwriter in history. It's not likely anyone else will approach the bar he set.

It's not Bob Dylan vs the iPhone. They are symbiont. iTunes made the entire Tempest album available for streaming before it was released. They are married in their impact on the mindset, the music and the culture.

And by the way. A search for "Jesus" yielded 827,000,000 results. Do we need John Lennon to evaluate that?

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// posted by Ellen @  22:04   //Permalink// 
Ellen says hey
Mainer, New Yawka, Beijinger, Californian, points between. News, views and ballyhoos that piqued my interest and caused me to sigh, cry, chuckle, groan or throw something.

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