Bob Dylan has seen fit after 48 years to create a music video for his brilliant song, ‘Like a Rolling Stone.’ He’s made an interactive television channel-surfing nightmare of an interactive video that takes you into the basement den to slouch on the couch and watch hours of scintillating daytime television. It’s the perfect thing for anyone driven to insanity by daily app updates and 24 hour breaking news.
The producers of Dylan’s video, Interlude, have built the interactive piece with Flash. The interface is simple and effective. You may get into trouble with the heavy video streaming if you start pausing and restarting. If you do, reload the page and start again. Flash won’t play on Apple mobile devices, but Interlude has a free iPad app that will play the video… sort of. In reality, the iPad app is unusable and presents the user with no intelligible interface whatsoever. So if you are trying to watch Dylan’s bombshell of a music video on an iPad, you’re just out of luck.
I appreciate this because it’s been an obnoxious few years of listening to idiots whine about the bugs of Flash while hearing scant mention of how the powerful animation and coding environment empowered many young people with small or no budget to produce incredible visual stories, some of which spawned television shows. In the history of the web there has been no piece of software that even comes close to the creative explosion set off by Flash.
Dylan’s video gives us many channels on what appears to be daytime television that we can hop between while watching every anchor, actor, athlete, reality TV moron, pundit or spokesperson lip-synch to his song. It’s as if some maniacal hacker got into the airwaves and plastered Dylan’s song on top of every broadcast. Or perhaps the viewer is simply distracted and the multiple inputs of song and television merge into one general dream impression. It’s depressingly brilliant. It turns the TV into the internet.
Bob Dylan has always been in the enviable position of being taken seriously even when he is just messing around. God he must be fun to hang out with. I think he is one of the funniest human beings I have ever seen. He carries on here as if beginning an interview but he’s really drawing the interviewer with total focus and determination. He then proudly holds up one of the worst drawings I’ve ever seen in the long history art. But have you ever seen someone answer questions this way? I like the way in part 2 he predicts the sudden change in music about to happen when the kids who don’t like all the machine music of the eighties make something new in four or five years. He was predicting the emergence of the alternative scene and bands like Nirvana I think.
Krystal Cannon (PersonTV) made this short documentary about the Beat Generation in which she not only narrates as Queen Elizabeth, but also plays various roles including Allen Ginsberg, Joan Vollmer, Bob Dylan, Jack Kerouac, John Lennon, Edie Sedgwick and Abbie Hoffman. She gives a clear account of the Beat movement then moves into the general social reaction. She also makes some very interesting points about how women were sidelined even though many of them made great contributions to Beat culture. I think that what the Beats were working on is in very fine hands indeed with Ms. Cannon at work.
I love Bob Dylan’s recent album, Christmas in the Heart. Listened to it many times on Christmas day. This is his video for Little Drummer Boy. The people do seem awfully pink but maybe it’s just my eyes playing tricks on me.
Three great things have happened in American music: the blues, jazz and Bob Dylan. I just spent my morning listening to Dylan’s new album of Christmas songs, Christmas in the Heart. Christmas is here now. Mr. Dylan has given the world a present. He and his band play these songs like they mean something. They sound like they are having so much fun, like Christmas came early for them this year. Dylan is not afraid to throw choruses in that sound just the way they might have sounded in the forties or fifties. His music is blending folk, blues, rock, pop, big band and country all in a great happy jumping celebration of Christmas and all its familiar symbols. Dylan’s voice is more expressive than any other in music today. Not a word slips by without getting his twist, his little humor, his wry idea about why the word is even there in the first place. This is my very favorite Christmas album of all time. I will play this thing in August when it’s 106 degrees under my pear tree. Simply magnificent. Mr. Dylan has brought Christmas in, shining and dancing in the snow.
Dylan is giving all his royalties from the album to Feeding America, an organization that supports food banks across the U.S.
Now you’ve got to look at this wonderful video for Dylan’s version of Must be Santa. I’d go to his party any night of any week. Look at Dylan popping up all over the house like a slightly bad Santa. And if you look carefully, you will notice that about two-thirds of the way through, the party-goers chase out a Wall Street guy in a suit. Santa and his people kick the crap out of a Wall Street suit. Looks like fun, doesn’t it?
I didn’t realize that Bob Dylan meant his exhaust fumes were blowin’ in the wind. Check out this ridiculous Cadillac commercial featuring a leather-fetishist ersatz-cowboy Bob Dylan driving a huge honking stinky earth-eating Cadillac Escalade right through the big red heart of America. Sometimes a guy does something so damned dumb that you just have to say a few words about it. Look, if you need ten bucks for a cab ride, Mr. Dylan, come on over to the house and I’ll give it to you. Get out of the bloody Escalade and drop the silly cowboy costume. Escalades are for short people who can’t read.
Honestly, I really can’t stand finding out how dumb famous people are.