Saturday, September 23, 2006

20 Questions with Mark Prindle

"Mark Prindle, he's a buddy of mine!" I say, with the fervor and coked-up enthusiasm of Alfred Molina's character in "Boogie Nights" when he describes his relationship with Rick Springfield. There is no Chinese boy throwing firecrackers in the background as I say this, just as there is no real "relationship" between myself and Mark Prindle.
What it amounts to is that one day back in the 90's, I was looking for some information about Polvo, a band that I was totally obsessing on at the time. While scouring the internets, I discovered a guy who had posted some online reviews of Polvo albums and he let readers "Add Your Thoughts" about the topic. I did and then I promply forgot about it, much in the same way that most people completely forgot about Polvo.
A year or two later, I ran into Prindle's website and discovered that this was the same dude that reviewed the Polvo albums. He expanded his scope. Big time. To the point where dozens of other bands were reviewed, and with no hint of linear thought.
Buckner & Garcia, Sun City Girls, Sonic Youth, and many more were provided with reviews and, this is telling, their entire catalog was represented.
Prindle was/is unlike any reviewer that I've ever come across. Mixing a dollop of Lester Bangs with a heaping tablespoon of junior high humor, his reviews provide more laughs than actual information on whether or not you'd actually like the music. Like most music fanatics, he's obsessive about his hobby and his stream-of-consciousness commentary is not only an end result of his passion, it's fucking refreshing. Particularly after you've read a Pitchfork review.
Like Bangs, Mark has also ventured into the music world via such albums as "Keep On Zaccin'! Songs From And Inspired By Mystical Excursions On The Experimental Hallucinogen 'Prozac' (Fluxetine)" and "Stop, Drop and Roll: A Musical Celebration Of Death By Smoke Inhalation." His music, like his reviews, are littered with inside jokes, potty humor, and enough busywork to make a kid on Ritalin remain on task. And that's not saying that his music, like his reviews, are bad by any means. Christ, I heard more talent in his "Only The Good Die Young" album than I have in any fucking Jandek album, and that fucker has a documentary on him. Prindle, on the otherhand, does have a Wikipedia page devoted to him, so give him time and we may be seeing a biography about him in Netflix.
I started reviewing music and posting online ramblings for two reasons: 1.) My therapist at the time suggested that I needed a creative outlet to compliment my own passion and 2.) Mark Prindle. Actually, the therapist suggested that I start and maintain a journal and write about anything, but that idea came to an end when my ex-wife started rummaging through it and ripping out pages. She also ripped out several pages of my copy of Jim Carroll's "Forced Entries," for what reason, I don't know. So I started blogging shit, and I used Prindle's unrelenting enthusiasm as a role model. This isn't his career, which helps, and it adds to the validity of everything he writes about.
So as a way to public thank Mark Prindle and to perhaps let anyone who runs across this little slice of heaven know about him, I posed 20 questions to the man and he responded. Some of the questions use obvious Prindlesque juvenilia and I've added comments after the fact using that nifty italicized "-ed" thing that Jack Rabid does.


Why did you start
"I wrote silly record reviews for my college newspaper (the Daily Tar Heel) and upon moving to NYC with my brother in early ’96, remarked to him that I would greatly enjoy writing a book in which I told my thoughts about every single album I own. He said, “You could do that on a web site” and offered to set up the HTML for me. The rest is (etc)."

How much time do you typically devote to maintaining the site and/or writing reviews?
"Too much. Probably an hour and a half a day, at very least."

Do you still write for any zines or other publications?
"Not that I know of. Sometimes I’ll send something to New York Waste. I was in a good position to begin writing for Maxim UK (and wrote one very brief little joke article for them), but then the editor-in-chief who liked me got fired."

How did you get noticed by some of these publications? Did you solicit them or did they approach you?
"Both. Citizine and California Pop approached me. I approached most of the others."

I know that little is left for the imagination on the site reviews, but have you ever had to “modify” a review for a publication based on the feedback it received?
"I believe so, yes. If a joke didn’t come across the way I meant it to. Like Aerosmith’s “Hooked On Bobo” or whatever that one’s called."

The website has been up for ten years, what keeps you going?
"My urge to do something ‘creative’ (which is why I don’t write straightforward record reviews at all anymore – too fucking boring!), and the positive feedback I get from people. It’s nice to know I can make people laugh their folly and cares away."
Mission accomplished, sir!-ed.

Tell me about the worst album that you’ve heard so far this year?
"That new Pink album. It’s just terrible. She’s terrible. No vocal melodies, no musical melodies – why does she exist?"
Pink is regularly panned by Prindle and is a fairly easy target, I suppose. At the same time, I've heard one of her newer songs and it didn't produce the violent reaction that she seems to cause Mark. Who knew?-ed.

So far, what’s the best album that’s been released this year?
"Who knows. I’ve only heard about 1% of this year’s releases."
OK, he's got me there. What I was trying to get out of him was "What is your favorite release so far this year and he gets all pissy about the semantics. Christ.-ed.

You got a lot of feedback regarding your comments about Katrina, what other topics or comments have you made in the past ten years that struck a nerve with your readers?
"Did I? I got many more comments about my dumb attack on the 9/11 firefighters. I ended up deleting that whole bit after enough letters came through pointing out how asinine that whole bit was. So there’s another answer for #5."

Occasionally, I’ll try and solicit feedback from people at work by saying “Add your thoughts.” It makes me chuckle because I think about you. Does that make me gay?
"Couldn’t think of a full 20 questions, I take it?"
Actually, I originally had about 26, but narrowed it down to 20 and kept this one on the list because I thought it was funny. I was wrong.-ed.

Seriously. What’s your fucking deal about the band Bloodrock?
"My fucking deal is that they fucking ruled. Have you ever heard any of their albums?"
You're Goddamn right I have...When I was six, I listened to "Bloodrock 2" countless times and always got freaked out by the song "D.O.A." Then I got some taste and started listening to Styx albums. This is a great example of Mark's passion. Here's a band that was, he'll take offense to this categorization, a farm league Grand Funk. Both were managed/produced by Terry Knight and both sucked sweaty balls. For the record: Bloodrock is much better than Styx.-ed.

Have your parents ever visited your site? Do you talk that way to your Mother?
"My mother used to read my site, but stopped when she realized how “blue” my writing style is."

Was it hard to understand Mark E. Smith on the telephone?

What bands would you consider yourself to be a piss drinking little fan faggot for?
"None. I’m too old for that silliness. "
OK, a little explanation here. Mark loves The Fall and so do I. Except he had a chance to speak with Mark E. Smith and, when he transcribed the interview several years after the fact, he publically declared himself to be a "piss drinking little fan faggot" after he chuckled at one of M.E.S.'s comments for no apparent reason. It's a great example of Prindle's self deprecating humor and one of the reasons why I enjoy reading him.-ed.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine. Add your thoughts.
"He just seems to really love a lot of records that are goddamned near OBJECTIVELY horrible. Maybe he just likes everything ever recorded?"
I don't mind S.T.E. that much. But many people do.-ed.

You’re on Wikipedia now. How gay is that?
"I’ve been on Wikipedia for about four years. Way to keep up on current “Mark Prindle” goings-on."
Again with the semantics. I should have deleted the "now" and left it at that. But really, had I known that Prindle has been on Wikipedia for the past four years, wouldn't that qualify me as being a piss drinking little fan faggot? Does the fact that I'm doing 20 questions with Mark make me one anyway?-ed.

Was it hard sucking Jess Margera’s dick and interviewing him at the same time?
"You could ask the same thing about any of my interviews. I actually don’t recall being all that fawning about Jess Margera, but I haven’t read that review since I posted it so you may be right. I don’t set out to do confrontational interviews though; that’s never been part of it. I set out to let my favorite artists (or.. you know, people whose bands I like) know how much their music means to me, so that they trust me and will be more willing to open up about things that they normally don’t discuss in interviews."
A little explanation here. It totally blew my mind that Prindle liked C.K.Y. and went so far as to interview Jess Margera for his site. That, to me, qualifies as being a real fan/supporter of their work. I consider C.K.Y.'s work to be of minimal importance; sure it's nice background music for my C.K.Y. videos (which I own), but I never really considered them to be anything more than a by-product of Bam Margera's MTV-funded empire. But whatever, it's his site and this is just some gentle ribbing, in much the same way I kid those who are huge Elvis Costello fans about his album "Spike." Christ, I've admitted to liking April Fucking Wine, so there's a huge target for anyone who wants to take aim at me.-ed.

How’s your dog?
"Great! He’s very happy at the moment because my wife and I have been out of town for 8 days and now we’re home."
Mark has a very cute dog. And his wife is very attractive too. Like Rod Stewart said, "some guys have all the luck. Then Phil Collins said something too, but I was into Peter Gabriel at the time.-ed.

How many beers would it take before you seriously would consider fucking Pink?
"So many that I would be passed out and incapable of performing."

What prescriptions are you taking right now?
"Effexor, Gabitril and Lipitor"
"Effexor" is an anti-depressant medication that is known as a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor.
"Gabitril" is typically used as a medication to help with epileptic seizures.
"Lipitor" is a cholesterol-lowering medication.
All of these medications produce no side effects which prevent or hinder an individual's ability to maintain a review website.-ed.

So there you have it: Glam Racket's first interview! Mark was a great sport for participating and I, again, encourage every one of you to click on the link that's always been to the right of this page and pay a visit to Mark's record reviews site. Take a look at his opinions on the many albums he's heard and check out his own, ever-growing list of interviews.
And while you're there, add your thoughts.
I did.
Look where it got me.

Monday, September 18, 2006

White Whale-WWI

Someone tell me how a bunch of land-locked indie veterans have the balls to name themselves after a large sea mammal and throw together some nautical titles and name it after World War 1? There’s the idea that White Whale is somehow a “supergroup” even though the most popular band that one of the members is from, the bassist, is The Get Up kids. Add to this that the band is from Lawrence, Kansas, a Midwestern town that’s so far removed from the sea and the assassination of an Austrian Archduke, that you could pretty much dismiss these guys without playing one note of their debut album.
But hold the phone, Franz Ferdinand, these guys have got something good going on.
Singer Matt Suggs sounds like Ray Davies, which is a strange vibe particularly when the first words out of his mouth on the album are “Won’t you lay your nine good fingers on me/Would you please keep that lone one wrapped in gauze?” So immediately we’re let on the notion that the band is not out to give us a history lesson about the Black Hand or an albums worth of sea shanties.
It is an epic endeavor, with elements of British progressive rock and obligatory indie chamber pop making their way into the sonic landscape. It’s a blast to listen to with headphones; cheap synths, feedback, and drum machines pop in an out of the mix with precision. They’ve spent a lot of time on this album and it’s an admirable effort.
The album’s lengthiest tracks, “O’William, O’Sara” and “Fidget and Fudge,” utilize this approach the most and, as a result, are the best tracks on the album. They more than make up for the album’s worst entry “I Love Lovely Chinese Gal.” I’ve hit forward every time that song has come on.
So one dud among a pretty impressive album of eleven; not a bad way to start off and a heckuva better than Suggs’ other Merge output via his last band, Butterglory. While they provided by-the-book Pavement low-fi ethos, White Whale actually embraces the recording studio as another member.
I’ve got to give Merge records credit for finding a worthy follow-up to the surprise that was the Arcade Fire. Comparisons are inevitable, but White Whale are distinctly unique in their approach. In fact, the only comparison to the Arcade Fire should be: how will these bands be able to improve on debut albums this good.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Tight & Shiny: Remembering The Jesus Lizard

One of the biggest disappointments I have this year is not finding enough initiative to prioritize Touch & Go Records’ 25th Anniversary shows in Chicago as a destination. It should have been and I didn’t react selfishly enough when I heard about the line ups (Scratch Acid reunited! Big Black reunited!) and immediately book a hotel room for the event. Damn me and this domestication!
This prompted me to grab a Jesus Lizard cd the other day and remember those times when I had a chance to see them perform live when they were still a working unit. These shows are permanently embedded in my mind and they remain some of the most intense performances I’ve ever had the opportunity to witness.

I’d been a big fan of Scratch Acid, vocalist David Yow and bassist Davis Sims former band, and even had a chance to see them live. It goes without saying that it was a great performance. It also goes without saying that it was a drag to read about their breakup before anyone had a chance to hear and fully appreciate them.
But fate is a curious thing, and when the news that Sims and Yow had relocated to Chicago and formed another band called The Jesus Lizard, well, you tend to forget about what could have been and focus on what will become.
What they initially became was a real disappointment; part of the appeal of Scratch Acid was the rhythm section as Sims had a great drummer, Rey Washam, to play off of. The Jesus Lizard, on the other hand, started without a drummer and it undercuts the power of their first e.p. “Pure.” I mean, Big Black tried this approach first and they perfected it, so why bother replicating it?
Thankfully, they added a real drummer, Mac McNeilly, and then the real fireworks began. Their Touch & Go albums were perfectly recorded by Steve Albini and they do a great job of capturing the Jesus Lizard’s fury.
At the same time, the best way to appreciate this fury was to see them live. I don’t know what prompted me to travel on a weeknight to see them live with the knowledge that the show would end well past Midnight and the 90 minute drive home wouldn’t help my job performance at work the following day.
But I did. And I’m better for it.
I noticed David, a small man, standing by the soundboard before the show drinking a beer and failed to strike up a conversation. He looked approachable, but when their set began, he transformed into a lunatic.
Within thirty seconds, Yow was leaning into the front row of the tightly packed crowd of this infamous Iowa venue. Within 1 minute, Yow was on top of the crowd, the microphone chord his only connection with the stage. For well over an hour, David spent most of the performance either being passed over the heads of the audience, in the obligatory push ‘n pull of the crowd, or somewhere underneath a sea of sweaty concert-goers. Because I didn’t know any better, I found myself in the middle of all this. Yow’s boots kicked my head on a few occasions, his sweat dripped on my body, and he screamed unintelligible words every time I passed him overhead. It was glorious.

It’s easy to write about his drunken shenanigans, but it’s harder to express at how good the, essentially, power trio on stage was throughout this intense ordeal. They were more dangerous than Yow. Literally. Sims maintained his section of the stage by chugging out incessant rhythms on his bass while occasionally welding the headstock of his Fender like a baseball bat. I do remember the pegs of his instrument connecting with the head of an audience member who thought he would use Sims’ area as his own stage diving platform. The connection served as notice; nobody used that section of the stage to dive off of again.
On stage right, Duane Denison turned out creepy chord structures with his Travis Bean(!) guitar that belied their complexity. Seriously. Try to learn a few J.L. chord progressions and you’ll see that what he’s doing ain’t normal for your stereotypical band fronted by a small drunk dude.
And then there’s Mac McNeilly, who’s most lengthy appendage is more certainly his arms, bashing out the entire drive-by-shooting with stellar precision.
It was a twisted, beautiful racket that I simply cannot efficiently describe.
The Lizard was my savior. I vowed to attend church again.
That time came a few months later. Same venue, more people.
About thirty miles into trip, and unbelievable racket sounded from the engine of my Ford Ranger pickup. Like the aluminum headstock of a Travis Bean guitar, the sound was the undeniable noise of metal upon metal. And you don’t need to be a service technician at the filling station to understand that, when you hear the sound of metal on metal in a vehicle, it is not a good thing. Understanding that I was most certainly faced with completely ruining the engine if I continued onward, I had to make a decision: proceed to the show or pull over and call a tow truck. The truck was moving forward, so I steered it towards the show, which was well over an hour away, with my fingers crossed that I would make it.
Same venue. More people. The place was packed, hot and sweaty, but I was happy that the Ford brought me to the service. For some reason, I brought a gift for David Yow: an airline bottle of Absolut vodka. I pushed my way to the front and got situated between two tame looking indie rockers who had no idea what they were in for that close to the stage.
Most of the fear that the Jesus Lizard produces comes from the unsettling music along with the drunken unpredictability of Yow; you never know what to expect with a man who’s had too much to drink and with relatively little to lose.
Again, before the minute mark of the first song of their set, David was leaning into the audience, sweating, barking, and clearly loving his ability to shock the first timers like the ones next to me. He sprayed his beer into the crowd, and I thought that would be a good time to give him the little bottle of Absolut. He examined my gift as I handed it to him. He continued to scream into the microphone while he opened the bottle and, without a taste, he immediately sprayed the crowd with the liquor. I was a little put off that he didn’t drink it, but any good drunk will tell you not to mix your poisons.
Some of the more vocal members of the crowd continually berated David with profanity, a strange form of flattery that also served as a way to pry a primitive response from him. Being a veteran of the punk rock circuit and being used to probably more eloquent forms of verbal harassment, Yow ignored most of the verbal volleys. One did manage to catch his ear, and hey yelled back “Hey shitmouth!” to appease the baiter’s request for attention.
Another show, another life-affirming experience. That’s batting a thousand for you baseball fans and it placed the Jesus Lizard into the category of “must see” shows for me. The rapture overtook my reality and, for 90 minutes, I completely forgot about the late-model pickup with the barely working engine that sat in the parking lot of a friend’s apartment building.
The Ford dealership questioned why I didn’t bring the truck to them sooner, explaining that not enough oil was reaching all of the cylinders, thereby creating the unbelievable racket from the engine compartment. I didn’t hear a lot of the scolding, my ears were still ringing from the show, but I did hear that the costs of the repairs were all covered under the factory warranty.

Third show. Bigger venue. The legendary First Avenue in Minneapolis was full of the Lizard brethren and it was nice to see them in a larger setting, although it was offsetting to lose some of the intimacy. It’s hard to smell Yow from a distance and you miss the impact of assisting him scale the club as he passes above you.
Nonetheless, the band started the set with my favorite J.L. song of all time, “Glamorous.”
Denison crunched out the familiar chords while “Mac” counted off with his hi-hat. Yow stalked around the drum riser, mush-mouthing the first few verses before parking himself directly next to the bass cabinet.
“Smoke it down to the filter! And put it out on your hand!”
With the microphone still in his hand, he ran, full speed, towards the audience and completely cleared the first five rows before landing on the top of outstretched hands of the (literally) supportive audience.
First Avenue can hold a few people. So appreciate the distance that Yow covered while out in the crowd; the apparent goal was to try and take him back towards the doors to the bar area, and by-God, he nearly made it on a few tries.
“Shitmouth, I love you.” David muttered at one point while back on stage. Apparently Yow had seemingly come to terms with the loud audience member who kept yelling a request for “Seasick.”
A chance to see the Lizard for a fourth time in Peoria came and went thanks to some unsuccessful detective work on the part of my cousin who could find no mention of a Jesus Lizard show in his hometown and found it hard to believe that a band would even be playing at the local V.F.W. hall there. But it was true: a concert review in the next issue of Rolling Stone documented the performance and it mentioned that Yow had unveiled his “tight and shiny” routine for the crowd their. This trick consisted of David pulling out his sweaty testicles and displaying them under the bright stage lights for the attendees. It goes without saying that I was very disappointed with my cousin’s lack of drive in trying to find tickets.
Their next album, “Down,” was their final on Touch & Go and the band’s final work with Steve Albini. It was a bit of a “downer” for me as the band, understanding that they had pretty much run the course of abrasive noise guitar rock, attempted to shore up the chaos in favor for a more scaled down approach. Think of the albums “Goat” and “Liar” as reflections of getting violently drunk; think of “Down” as merely an even-paced way at getting inebriated. There’s a difference, and the Jesus Lizard started to sound like the beer was almost empty.
Curiously, they jumped to the majors. Why the decision to record for Capitol seemed like a good idea was beyond me; the band had limited commercial appeal and I didn’t think that the label’s better distribution could expand their audience much.
Albini didn’t like it either. He wasn’t present for the last two records and much of their fan base wasn’t present either. This included me.
It had nothing to do with “selling out,” again, there was no way the band could have been accused of that. It had everything to do with changing out of those sweat and beer-soaked jeans into a new pair of Levi’s off the rack. There was nothing wrong with that old pair. They may have been a little stained and smelly, but hey shitmouth, they fit just fine.
So the mention of “Touch & Go” records’ 25th anniversary show has got me reminiscing a little, and it’s made me realize that a band like the Jesus Lizard was fairly uncommon back in the day and even more so today. There was no video budget, no myspace street team, no video game tie-in that demonstrated their supposed street-cred. There was just a little man with total disregard for his own health and safety and a hammering trio that drove him to the edge of the stage night after night.
And there was us, a few thousand rock ‘n roll revival converts that were sure that was the face of God on stages some nights. On others, it was just the reflection of a middle-aged man’s testicles.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Tapes 'n Tapes-The Loon

The trouble with the Midwest is that we tend to ape what each coast squeezes towards us. I’m sure acid wash jeans hit the land-locked midsection several years after the fact and that the hip coastal kids laughed at our delinquencies. But I’m also sure there were a couple of Midwesterners that looked good in those acid wash jeans too.
Tapes ‘N Tapes are those good looking kids, even though the clothes they’re sporting are a little dated and more than a little contrived. It still fits.
Put a blindfold on it and you’d swear that the Pixies reunited, toured, and presented “The Loon” as their comeback album. Hell, by track three (“Insister”), they’re quoting “Harvard Square” like they’re from the Pixies’ stomping grounds and they’re galloping along just as good as Black Frances did in “Vamos.” But singer Josh Grier doesn’t seem to have the sense of humor that Frances does in his songwriting, so all we’re left with really is a lot of head-scratching lyrics (“in Houston/in Oslo/the contracts/they can’t slow/and no sex/and no sleep/it’s hard toe/it’s hard speak”) and a good idea what he and the other fellas did during harsh Minnesotan winters: listen to a lot of records from the Pixies, Pavement, The Shins and maybe even a few Modest Mouse albums.

So honestly, I should be really harsh on ‘em. But I can’t. Not only are the songs on “The Loon” so completely familiar, they’re also earnestly executed. Honestly, a track like “Omaha” is just as good as anything on “Chutes Too Narrow” and if more songs were like the ones on “Chutes Too Narrow” you wouldn’t hear me complaining.
So I know all about the hype machine of this band (and the upcoming backlash, I suppose) and I know how it’s not going to change the world or inspire others, since it essentially mirrors its own inspiration. I also know that I’ve been playing it all summer and have yet to be disappointed with the results. But now the pressure should be surely felt by the members of Tapes ‘n Tapes for their follow-up. Margaret Fairless Barber once said “To look backward for a while is to refresh the eye, to restore it, and to render it the more fit for its prime function of looking forward.” Now is the time for them to figure out who they really want to be, to start building upon their obvious influences and to start looking forward.

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Bob Dylan-Modern Times

Let’s call bullshit on this idea that “Modern Times” is a modern masterpiece that neatly completes a master-stroke trilogy of classic Dylan albums. Two words: it ain’t. So now that we’ve disposed of all of the hype (you think Bobby himself had a say in it, anyway?) it’s time to reveal what “Modern Times” really is: an album that more than anything else mirrors some of Dylan’s AM radio drift as a young boy in Minnesota. That’s concerning to me; I always viewed him as a forward looking artist that’s not interested in revisiting his past. “Modern Times” seems hellbent on nostalgia, both lyrically and musically, as this is surely an album that would please even his own Grandparents.
Let’s call bullshit on the idea that “Modern Times” is supposed to compete with legitimate masterpieces, i.e.: the real classic trilogies, and the entire notion we can even critique recent efforts with the same pen as Bob circa ‘65, ‘75, ‘85, or even ’95. And fans have to get used to the idea that the reason “Modern Times” isn’t a modern masterpiece isn’t because it’s no “Blonde On Blonde,” it’s because it’s not even the same caliber as “Time Out Of Mind” or “Love And Theft.” The truth is, those albums are better, and I would put them closer to essential Dylan than his latest.
This is critical. If you’re looking for a looking-glass into those eras, may I point you in the direction home of something called The Bootleg Series? After all, if you’re going to compare apples to apples, here, then at least keep it in the same orchard. The fruit of “Modern Times” is clearly from an older tree, and that’s why it’s important to judge it with the trees that have a similar number of rings.

Much has been made of Bob’s recent cranking about how most modern-day studio techniques sound like “static” and, to that point, his latest album sounds impeccably under-produced. The music has depth and focus; it’s about as retro sounding that a modern studio could contrive. So the issue isn’t really that Dylan hasn’t attempted to make another “modern” sounding album or that there’s not enough Lanois mystery to hold it together sonically. The problem is that it sounds so utterly pedestrian at times, and I’m not used to seeing Dylan walking down the sidewalk, waxing poetic about Alicia Keys.
“Thunder On The Mountain,” the lead-off track that features the curious Keys reference is one of the better tracks. Actually, it’s one of Dylan’s better tracks, period. We get a glimpse of angry Bob (“Gonna raise me an army, some tough sons-a-bitches”), funny Bob (“I’ve sucked the milk out of a thousand cows”), horny Bob (“I got the pork chop, she got the pie”) and the Bob that wants you to believe he’s nothin’ special anymore (“I’ve already confessed, I don’t need to confess again”), all in the span of six minutes. Of course, by the end of those six minutes, you’re looking for more signs of that lyrical prowess in the rest of the album. You’ll get it, of course, in a nice tepid package that manage to evoke the music bed of an Ipod commercial while being clearly uncommercial at the same time. Only Dylan himself could create such a dichotomy.
So while we’re discussing the 31st album of his career, no doubt that Bob is having a blast working with his band, making music that’s entirely un-modern and surprisingly complacent at the same time.