The country music station plays soft
But there’s nothing, really nothing to turn off
Just Louise and her lover so entwined
And these visions of Johanna that conquer my mind
- Bob Dylan, "Visions of Johanna"
When it comes to naming all-time favorite Bob Dylan songs, I have dozens.
It's been a pretty lousy decade in many ways (think George W. Bush, etc.), but, when it comes to music at least, it's been a great ten years.
From Bob Dylan's continued renaissance, to the emergence of Jack White as one of music's most inspired artists, to the revolutionary new sounds being created by the likes of M.I.A., to the hip hop genius of Jay-Z and Kanye West, it's sure been an exciting time to be a music fan.
So here they are, my picks for the best music of the last ten years:
What's with the whole "Top 10" thing anyway? What are we, pre-school kids counting on our fingers? Why not a Top 15? Because that's what I'm offering up here: My 15 favorite albums of the past year.
Even though, overall, 2009 wasn't the greatest year for music, there were still some terrific albums released.
Terrific albums, yes, BUT, unless I missed them, no classics. I mean, where was this year's Kala, or Modern Times, or Elephant, or East Nashville Skyline, or Is This It, or Late Registration, or Stankonia, or Heartbreaker, or Love and Theft, or Tell Tale Signs. If an all-time classic album was out there this year I'm pretty sure I didn't hear it.
That said, the year did produce some pretty damn great music. And so here, in no particular order, are MY PICKS FOR THE TOP 15 ALBUMS OF 2009:
Finally, more than two weeks into 2009, here they are: My Picks For The Best Music of 2008:
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
1. Bob Dylan: "Tell Tale Signs"
Who would have thought that a collection of outtakes and alternate versions of previously released tracks from the years 1989-2006 would be this good and would sound so little like a compilation and so much like an incredibly coherent album? But it does. And it's not just good, it's the Best Album Of The Year... an album that just gets better and better with each listen. Proof to any doubters out there that Bob remains as relevant, essential and important as ever.
This is truly a special week for all fans of great music. I mean, how often do you get treated to new albums from the likes of Bob Dylan, Todd Snider and Lucinda Williams all within a few short days? For me, personally, we're talking about new albums from three of my all-time favorite artists - all within an 8-day span. It doesn't get much better than that.
They said it couldn't be done, they said there was just no way we could ever top last year's Todd Snider show down in Bellingham, they said that after a show - and a night - THAT good there was simply no point in even trying, but "they" obviously don't know Todd Snider... or my friend Johnny "The Flash-er" Rogers.
This was a pre-show anticipatory rave. If you want to read the actual review of this concert, click here:
Here they are, finally, My Picks For The Best 15 Albums and 40 Songs of 2007. I'm not necessarily claiming these are "The Best" albums and songs of the past year since there were thousands of albums and tens of thousands of songs released over the year and I simply haven't heard them all. What I am claiming, however, is that the selections you'll find below are my favorite tunes and discs from the past 12 months - damn good music, all of it. Enjoy! And let me know anything I've missed.
The Amazing Adventures of Todd Snider and The Magnificent Seven (or River On A Bender Without A Paddle)
Ok, so there we were down in the States on Friday night for a concert at a bar in Bellingham, just over the border in Washington State, when suddenly a gushing River swept right through the place. Somehow we avoided getting all wet. Unless you count the spilled wine, that is.
But this isn't a story of a flood, it's the story of an amazing show, an incredibly fun road trip and one man's awesome attempt to release ALL of his stress in one short evening.
Ok, so you've read my "Todd Snider Rave" that I sent out two weeks ago, yet somehow you're still hesitant, resistant even, to rush out and buy Todd's latest album. I don't know what that's all about because I think I made a pretty persuasive case for both Todd and his new album's greatness. But perhaps what you need is a second opinion. Well, you'll certainly find one if you click on the link below. Check it out, then go make that purchase and become a member of the small, lucky group of people who have discovered the often-hilarious wit, fantastic songwriting, wonderful sound and all-round great music of Todd Snider.