Monday, September 6, 2010

From Bob Dylan's TTRH show on body parts 2



Worth noting that in a TTRH episode from the second season, Dylan says flat out that all the records played on the show are from his own collection; stored in "various places," because it is so extensive. Which lends some additional weight to the fact that Rilo Kiley and lead singer Jenny Lewis, as a solo act, have been featured on the program several times. Lewis has also contributed spoken interludes.

UPDATE: Bumping this up to make the point that I've listened to it again several times, with the criticisms of commenters both forthright and furtive firmly in mind, and still like it. Know too little about music to be able to explain why, though as with many of my musical preferences the response may have a strong extra-musical (narrative and/or emotional) dimension. I will say that as a writer the charge of bad lyrics reminds me of the legendary suggestion that Abraham Lincoln's legs were too long. Famous response: "They're exactly the right length. They reach all the way to the ground."

The point I would make about this stuff is that you start with the response, then go back afterwards if you care to and try to figure it out. Especially if you're writing about it -- the first thing you owe anybody who might be reading you is an honest account of your experience. If you ever get to the point of being embarrassed to admit you like something, it's over.

RK lead singer's new one sounds much closer to that worst of all possible genres, "glossy pop." Pretty much irresistible at first listen; unclear how much staying power it will have.

8 comments:

Tulkinghorn said...

But.. But... It's so lame.

Ex-child stars and Hollywood types writing theme songs for The O.C., Dawson's Creek and other tv series. I live with this stuff all day, and, frankly, can't stand it.

There's obviously something going on here, since just this morning the august New York Times reviews the latest project from Ms. Lewis, called I'm Having Fun Now. With her boyfriend, she performs under the name of Jenny and Johnny. She makes Katy Perry sound like Lotte Lenya.

Oh, and politics, too. Maybe that's why Dylan likes her:

“We save our money in good faith/And we work hard for our living wage,” Ms. Lewis sings in “Big Wave.” “But still the banks got a break.”

Generic said...

Lame as opposed to what? "Fuck You"? (Tell me you didn't see that coming.)

I'd say that no longer being susceptible to a song like this is a loss, not something to be trumpeted proudly.

As for rejecting a song on political grounds -- how are you now different from the PC clowns at KPFK?

Tulkinghorn said...

Trust me, I'm not proud of my inability to get this stuff, I'm just baffled.

As for the aforementioned unmentionable song: It makes me very happy - a mixture of old school soul and 21st century bluntness.

This, on the other hand, is the kind of stuff that, as a youth, i would have called plastic: digitally carapaced, commercial to a fault, and careerist.

I can imagine driving down the interstate yelling along with the CeeLo song. I can't even begin to imagine what people see in this.

I don't reject the song on political grounds -- the politics are simply idiotic, confused, and highly un-selfaware -- The star of "Troop Beverly Hills" singing about working for a living wage? Paris Hilton meets Woody Guthrie...

Generic said...

Too bad. I'm not even aware of any of that when I'm listening to it. A nice melody that captures something. Who cares what else she's done?

Tulkinghorn said...

It has been proven many times and will again that your appetite for glossy pop is much greater than mine...

De gustibus and all that, but the Dylan part of it doesn't make sense. Maybe she's a friend of his kids -- they all went to Harvard-Westlake together or something.

Generic said...

"Glossy pop"? Not how I'd describe it.

Tulkinghorn said...

That's the issue, right there.....

Generic said...

Jesus. Why bother?