605. just like Tom Thumb’s blues

“The people I feel sorry for are the ones who try to make definitive sense of a Bob Dylan lyric, particularly the stuff from his pre-motorcycle-crash-peak-amphetamine (and whatever else) period. I mean, take the first two lines of Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues. When you’re lost in the rain in Juarez and it’s Eastertime too – And your gravity fails And negativity don’t pull you through. You can go anywhere from there. Or nowhere. Which is the whole point, of course. Maybe. What I mean is, I first heard it when I was maybe fourteen, three decades ago now, and I’m sure I’ve heard it hundreds of times since, but I still couldn’t tell you what any of it’s actually about. Not a single line. And I don’t care. It takes me regardless, maybe nowhere at all. And if you don’t get the appeal in all that, then there’s someone you need to meet. His name is Mr. Jones.” (Philip Random)

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620. like a rolling stone [live]

“It’s true. I wouldn’t be compiling this list if it wasn’t for Bob Dylan’s Like A Rolling Stone. Push comes to shove, it’s probably the single record I’d grab if the house was burning down (which it is, by the way). Because it marks the moment at which the Apocalypse got interesting to me, when the big story I care about kicked into gear. It’s the snare shot to be specific, the one at the very beginning. That’s what did it – kicked the proverbial door wide open, and it’s all been wild urgency ever since. But you’ve already heard that record at least a thousand times, so it doesn’t qualify for this list. But I bet you haven’t heard the live version, from 1974’s Before the Flood, Dylan and the Band raving it up like the anthem it is, saving the world one night at a time. Because everything just keeps on exploding. Same as it ever was.” (Philip Random)

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634. hot burrito #1

“It must’ve felt very weird when the Flying Burrito Brothers first hit in 1969. Out of all the psychedelicized weirdness and envelope smashing wildness of the previous years comes … country rock!?!? My friend Motron’s theory is that it was all tied to the assassination of Martin Luther King – that up until springtime 1968, the big dream of All You Need Is Love was alive and well and thus the white man’s pilfering of the black man’s music was all just part of the shiny happy game. But after that – it just didn’t feel right anymore. And thus Nudie suits and pedal steel and so-lonesome-I-could-die ballads suddenly felt somehow relevant – the white man’s soul music, as it were. Bob Dylan, of course, was ahead of the game as usual, but it took Gram Parsons and crew (by way of the Byrds) to really make it a fact. And it’s all there on Gilded Palace of Sin – one of those albums that truly does not have a weak moment.” (Philip Random)

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36. The Solid Time Of Change

Installment #36 of the Solid Time of Change aired on Saturday May-6-2017 (c/o CiTR.FM.101.9).

Podcast (Solid Time begins a few minutes in). Youtube playlist (sadly inaccurate).

The Solid Time of Change is our overlong yet incomplete history of the so-called Prog Rock era – 661 selections from 1965 through 1979 with which we hope to do justice to a strange and ambitious time indeed, musically speaking.

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Part Thirty-Six of the journey went as follows:

  1. Jeff Wayne – Horsell Common + The Heat Ray
  2. Neil Diamond – Holly Holy
  3. Led Zeppelin – in the light
  4. Crosby Stills + Nash – Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
  5. Yes – your move
  6. Yes – all good people
  7. Bob Dylan – desolation row
  8. Grobschnitt – solar music [edit]

Fresh episodes air most Saturday nights, starting 11 pm (Pacific time) c/o CiTR.FM.101.9, with streaming and download options available within twenty-four hours via our Facebook page.

809. too much of nothing

Speaking of the Basement Tapes, here we have Mr. Robert Zimmerman (aka Bob Dylan) and the band known as The Band (circa 1967) trading verses, talking about what seems to be the overall problem inherent in the downside of prolonged psychedelic (and other) amplification and expansion of one’s mind, body and soul. What do you do with all that nothing you’re feeling?  In the end, maybe just sing the blues.

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814. this wheel’s on fire

In which Julie Driscoll + Brian Auger + The Trinity  score a big deal UK hit with a then unknown Bob Dylan song concerning a burning wheel about to explode and other suitably apocalyptic stuff. The time was 1968 and it turns out the song was one of very many to emanate from what would come to be known as the  Basement Tapes, the fruit of time Mr. Dylan spent the previous year hanging out in the basement of a big pink house with the band known as The Band, just messing around, drinking wine, having loose, sloppy, sometime brilliant fun with music. And then, inevitably, tapes started to proliferate, such that some decades later, Absolutely Fabulous  (the TV show) would have itself a suitable theme song.

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827. Mozambique

 

Sometimes the true genius of Bob Dylan is revealed not via some high reaching paradox infused poetry of chaos and apocalypse (or whatever), but when he’s just casually tossing something off, like this little ditty about grooving away in exotic Mozambique, found on 1976’s Desire, his last truly necessary album of the decade, unless you had a hunger for fire and brimstone and long trains slowly coming.

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The 12 MixTapes of Christmas

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The Twelve Mixtapes of Christmas have got nothing to do with Christmas (beyond being a gift to you) and they’re not actually mix tapes, or CDs for that matter – just mixes, each 49-minutes long, one posted to Randophonic’s Mixcloud for each day of Twelvetide (aka the Twelve Days of Christmas).

The mixes are in fact remnants of an unfinished project from a few years back that had something to do with compiling a playlist for an alternative to Alternative Rock (or whatever) radio station. To be honest, we’re not one hundred percent clear about any of it because somebody spilled (what we hope is) red wine on the official transcript, thus rendering key parts illegible.

Bottom line: it’s five hundred eighty-eight minutes of music covering all manner of ground, from David Bowie to Bow Wow Wow to Tuxedomoon to Claudine Longet, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Captain Beefheart, Aphrodite’s Child, Tom Jones, Marilyn Manson, Ike + Tina Turner, anything and everything, as long as it’s good.

 

 

888. a hard rain’s a-gonna fall

Leon Russell, everybody’s favourite underappreciated genius of the past fifty years, takes Bob Dylan’s surrealized hymn to ongoing apocalypse and renders it soulfully, gospelly, funkily (almost) fun. So much so that Dylan would be following that road himself in a few years … but first he’d have to find himself some Jesus.

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