1) This is another odds n’ ends sort of post. Let’s begin with Dylan and the most music-heady of the bloggers over at an interesting Christian site called Mockingbird, David Zahl. Zahl takes the recent Rolling Stone interview and highlights some of Dylan’s more religious language. Fish around on Mockingbird for some other Zahl stuff while you’re there. Here’s also a piece on Mockingbird by a different writer, Ken Wilson, reviewing the new Bible-haunted album Tempest for you.
2) I know a few of our readers are into Southern Rock, so what do they make of this band? Not exactly Southern Rock, sure, and not exactly my regular cup of tea, but impressive. The singer’s name, incidentally, is Brittany Howard…as you can see and hear, her parents sure got that naming wrong! She’s going be a chick to dig, so long as she ignores the Janis Joplin comparison-compliments. Janis had her moments, but blew it by thinking the more intense blues moments should become part of her regular walking-and-breathing musical persona…which probably exacerbated her own personal demons, and which also led to a whole lotta screamin’. Embarrassing. No, I will not inflict a link upon you to make my case.
3) My favorite rock discovery of late is Cate Le Bon, a folk-ish psychedelic-ish singer from Wales, and who has even done an E.P. in Welsh. The most obvious comparison is to Nico, but, I hasten to add, a Nico with soul. The next most obvious reference is Syd Barrett, but Le Bon has balanced out that sort of weirdness with a certain grounded nature-girl sensibility. She apparently grew up on a farm, and insofar as I can make sense of her lyrics, not a few reflections on things rural and wild are present. The first link gives you a bit of a taste of how hard hitting, in a good way, her current band can be—saw them a few nights ago in C-ville. That’s something you wouldn’t necessarily gather from her videos, which play up, in addition to the soft side of her music, its twee late-60s strangeness, as in this number. But ultimately, whether in rock or folkie mode, her music is quite addictive and potent.
Of course, perhaps it’s unfair to set the Valentina duel on Chopin’s ground, when Miss(?) Lisitsa would prefer that of Liszt. Unreal, but I am happy to report that you witness the same thing in person.