Thursday, January 03, 2008

Theme Time Radio Hour w/Bob Dylan "Classic Rock"
Theme Time Radio Hour w/Bob Dylan "Time"
Colossal Yes "Acapulco Roughs"

I don't know if it's 'legal' or 'cool' or not, but this blog seems to have all of Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour shows for download, and whoah, I'm into it. I mean, it's just nuts...for each show, there is a theme like "The Bible" or "Weather" or "Mother" or "Father" or "California" and Bob plays songs from various genres and time periods that relate to the theme, sometimes directly, sometimes tangentially, sometimes humorously, sometimes seriously. This is true of the introductions he gives for each song as well, which he delivers in a strange wheezing hipster DJ patter that, I swear to you, reminds me of the delivery of the late Mitch Hedberg. And he's almost as funny as Hedberg too -- the guy is constantly cracking jokes and he clearly enjoys the hell out of being a DJ. The first one I listened to was "Classic Rock", which is actually about the real classic rock, i.e. rocks and minerals, in which Dylan plays everything from the Staple Singers to Johnny Thunders while discussing the composition of the Earth, street terms for drugs, theories about Easter Island and Stonehenge, the evolution of gravestones from the Stone Age to the present day, and much much more. I downloaded like 10 more tonight, I'm stoked. The Colossal Yes album has been out for awhile but I'm just now getting to it. I think it's the drummer from Comets on Fire, doing some lush 1970s piano rock balladry. The arrangements sound real nice, his singing is as sweet as honey, and the wordplay seems promising with titles like "A Titan's Buffet," "A Fig for Misfortune," and "Between Ass & Ophir" (say what) -- but after a first straight-thru listen (preceded by a few shuffle appearances on the iPod) I'm not sure the songs really distinguish themselves from one to the next. Of course, I do love it when a collection of songs becomes one overriding mood/feel/thing, as long as substance is the victor over style. I'm not sure if it is on this album, but I know it's damn close, and I'm gonna keep listening to see who wins. (Unless I just put on the stylistically and technically comparable but decidely more thorny and idiosyncratic Enantiodromia by Azita for the 100th time this decade instead.) (Here's something rad though - I was checking out the Colossal Yes MySpace and his great list of "all time favorite piano men" and "all time favorite piano women", the latter of which includes Lea Cho of Blues Control! I agree!)(Colossal Yes update 1/5/08: "Between Ass & Ophir" is sounding damn good on shuffle.)

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