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Music in iso…..

Woke up to a new track from Bob Dylan this morning called “Murder Most Foul“. True to form, he offered no context whatsoever, saying only that “you might find (it) interesting” and that it was recorded a “little while back”.

Interesting dude, this Dylan.

Nominally “about” the Kennedy assassination, it eventually wanders and encompasses….well….everything but the kitchen sink?….name checking the Beatles and the Who and Gerry and the Pacemakers and Altamont and Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, Don Henley and Glenn Frey, Dickey Betts, “Only the Good Die Young, “Nightmare on Elm Street,” Buster Keaton, “Charlie Parker and all that junk,” Nat King Cole, Marilyn Monroe, John Lee Hooker, Wolfman Jack, Patsy Cline, Houdini, “Wake Up Little Suzy,” “Let the Good Times Roll,” “The Old Rugged Cross,” “Down in the Boondocks,” “The Merchant of Venice,” “Memphis in June,” “Moonlight Sonata,” “Play Misty for Me,” “Lonely at the Top” and “Lonely Are the Brave.” Oh, and Wolfman Jack. Did I mention him? Oh, I did. Sorry.

And that’ about half the song…..it’s 17 minutes long and meanders like a dream. To take it all in I’d have to listen about 100 times.

It’s structure-less and crazy and complete genius and slightly ridiculous all at the same time. In other words, it’s exactly what the world needs right now. I really hope the mad bastard lives forever.

The new Pearl Jam record “Gigaton” dropped overnight as well…..and it’s snarling in the background as I type these words. It’s crunchy and loud and conjures up old ghosts (and if I was a betting man I’d say Vedder had the Clash on some recent playlists) and manages to sound sorta modern at the same time (not sure what that means…but whatever..they still ain’t gonna play it on the radio). It ain’t gonna make anybody forget “Ten”, but it’s still pretty damn good. They sound like something is up their ass…..which is the state of mind you need to be in to make great rock and roll these days. Nobody would have blamed them for living off their past catalog. They’ve given plenty and don’t owe anybody shit. But knowing that these old dudes (the same age as me….so….) are willing to re-form and set up the instruments in the garage and howl about the shit we’re in the midst of warms my depressed and miserable cold dead heart.

kittyI don’t know about you….but it’s the music that’s been getting me through this. Music from my friends (including a version of Joe Exotic’s “Here Kitty Kitty” from my friends Wiggy and Stacie that turned them instantly into my new favorite male/female duo of ALL TIME. Sonny and Cher are silly little bitches compared to this, yo) and music from my Spotify account and music through my TV. Rock and roll and soul and folk and blues and all of the hybrids that are out there in their own corner of the virtual record store. The freaks and the outcasts and the kids you that got ignored in high school for unacceptable weirdness. Since we can’t be together, music is the thing that breaks down social distancing and gets in your face…and when it hits Bob Marley reminds us again and again that we “feel no pain”. So we’ve got that going for us. Which is nice.

And that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I keep forgetting what day it is. And since I’m working in a room in the basement I have no windows so I check my phone for the weather. Time drags and then it flies and then it stops completely. I’ve got my guitar down here and my Quadrophenia poster and my phone and an Amazon Echo my daughter let me borrow from her room. I work regular hours and interact with my co-workers as much as I usually do. During downtime I try to keep my mind occupied. I write and I read and watch virtual live gigs from my friends and I try to get out of the house for solo walks at night. I scour Facebook for Joe the Tiger King memes because I’m a true fucking American, yo.

And I think about those out there on the front lines. Fighting. Saving lives. And risking their own. We have to do better. Don’t we?

Surely we can…right?

So that’s it for right now. Keep your head down. Stay home. Try not to cough all over the grocery store produce. NEPA has been in the news enough this week. If somebody needs something and I can help, I will.

Reach out. Folks are there. I’ve seen it. And it’s been pretty life affirming.

In a bit..


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