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Tag: Bob Dylan (41-50 of 52)

Bob Dylan's 'Must Be Santa': New Christmas classic, or 'Animaniacs' homage?

So, while reveling in the supreme weirdness that is Bob Dylan’s “Must Be Santa” — the video is non-embeddable, but you can watch it if you click on these pretty colored words right here — we somehow managed to overlook the creepy basement rec room and the fact that Dylan has decided to start sporting “The Rachel,” and instead focused in on one peculiar fact: Uh, why does this old Hal Moore and Bill Fredricks carol suddenly sound like an Animaniacs song?

Here is Dylan’s take on “Must Be Santa”:

Here is the International Friendship Song, a.k.a. “Schnitzelbank,” from Animaniacs:

What do you think, Mixers? Did the folks behind Animaniacs totally rip off this Christmas chestnut and we didn’t notice until now, or is it just the crazy-making tempo that sounds so similar? You tell us in the comments. And: Which do you like better? (Me, I’m going Wakko.)

Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.

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Bob Dylan Does Christmas: Hark, the wheezing geezer sings

Over the years, Christmas-themed horror films have fruitlessly tried to imbue the altruistic joy of the holidays with terror and discomfort.

Santa chopping off a tobogganer’s head with an axe in 1984’s Silent Night, Deadly Night? That’s just a reindeer game. A wheezy, 68-year-old Bob Dylan recording an album of Christmas standards? Backed by singers whose overt enthusiasm makes the Andrews Sisters sound moody? That’s not how you deck the halls:

The proceeds of Christmas in the Heart will go to food charities, which makes one want to say something nice about the whole affair. And to be honest, there is something fascinating about hearing the perennially dour Dylan let go and sing silly Holiday carols with casual glee.

His loose approach to singing is also what gives this yuletide offering its most bone-chilling moments, however—hearing Bob hack out the words “With angelic host proclaim/Christ is born in Bethlehem” reminds one of grandpa clearing his throat after finishing a glass of eggnog.

Is the whole album a Christopher Guest-esque self-parody? Is this just Dylan doing whatever the hell he wants? Most importantly, will you listen to Zimmer-Claus when you’re decorating your Christmas tree? Weigh in below.

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'NCIS' soundtrack promises unreleased tracks from Bob Dylan, Norah Jones, Joss Stone and more

In February, CBS’s top-rated crime procedural NCIS released a soundtrack with previously unreleased new material from, among others, Jakob Dylan, Oasis and Dashboard Confessional.

Now comes news of  NCIS: The Official TV Soundtrack, Vol. 2, featuring a never-before-heard song from Papa Dylan himself (his 1999 Oscar winner “Things Have Changed” appeared on Volume 1).

The album will reportedly contain the Bob original “California,” dating from his 1965 Bringing It All Back Home sessions and has been “locked in the vaults” ever since (where exactly are these mysterious vaults? Somewhere deep beneath the waters of Blood-On-the-Tracks-istan?  Sounds like a job for … the Naval Criminal Investigative Service!).

Anyway, see the full track listing after the jump to see who else contributes (hint: a mid-century soul legend and an NCIS cast member are among them. But not together.)


Drive-By Truckers, 'Mama Bake A Pie': A Music Mix exclusive stream

DriveByTruckers_lDo the Drive-By Truckers know something we don’t? Over the past few months the southern rockers been releasing CDs like the format is not only going out of style but is about to be made illegal. In April, they backed Booker T. on his Potato Hole album. In June, DBT singer Patterson Hood put out his long awaited, and rather great, second solo collection Murdering Oscar (And Other Love Songs), and, the following month, the band unleashed their excellent Live From Austin TX CD/DVD set.

Too much DBT? Not for this citizen. Which is good, as next week arrives a collection of Truckers “oddities and rarities” called The Fine Print. In addition to a raft of top notch, self-penned, tracks the set includes covers of Tom Petty’s “Rebels,” Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone,” and Warren Zevon’s “Play It All Night Long.” They also tackle Tom T. Hall’s bleakly comic tale of a crippled army vet “Mama Bake A Pie,” which is as tragically relevant now as it was when Hall recorded the track at the height of the Vietnam War, and which you can hear below.

What do you think of the song? And are you looking forward to the next, new, DBT album which is slated for release early next year Wait, it’s not coming out until next year??? Those slackers!

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Bob Dylan's Christmas album artwork unveiled

bob-dylan-christmas_lIt may be still only August, but Bob Dylan has released the album artwork for his forthcoming Yuletide collection Christmas in the Heart. The album is set for an October 13 release with profits going to the hunger-relief charity Feeding America. You can see the artwork on the left. To be honest, it’s not exactly what I expected. But then, I’m not sure what I did expect. Bob dressed as Santa? Bob pouring Jakob Dylan a nice glass of eggnog? Bob looking disappointed that everyone got him socks as a present?

In other Bob news, the New York Times is reporting that the great man said on his radio show that he’s been “talking to a couple of car companies about being the voice of their GPS system.” Need I point out that’s a looooong way from “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues”? I need not. Mind you, I’d still buy a GPS system that featured Dylan’s gloriously weathered tones. And I haven’t even got a car.

What do you think about the Dylan album cover? And would you like the Voice of a Generation to tell you which path to take in literal, rather than a metaphysical, sense?

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Don Was on his new 'Outlaw Country' radio show, having Brando for a neighbor, and touring with Paula Abdul. An EW Exclusive!

DON-WAS_lDon Was is not the most obvious choice to host a country radio show. True, the Grammy-winning producer has worked with Willie Nelson, Garth Brooks, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson (whose Was-masterminded album Closer to the Bone is out September 29). But the Detroit-born musician admits that he is “truthfully, an r&b guy” and, in many quarters, he is still best known for his idiosyncratic pop-funk outfit Was (Not Was).

Yet, on Saturday, August 29, at 10pm ET, Was will broadcast the first in a series of weekly shows called The Motor City Hayride for Sirius XM’s Outlaw Country channel. According to host Was, however, this isn’t going to be the most obvious of country showcases. “I’ve got an Iggy Pop song and a Conway Twitty song on the first show, so it’s pretty broad,” he explains. Was also intends the show to highlight Detroit, a city that, he says, is more of a country-loving burg than you might imagine. “It hasn’t spawned a lot of artists that have gone on to national fame in the country and western field,” he admits. “But there’s a huge audience for it. After World War Two, people flocked to Detroit from the south looking for gigs in the auto factories. I just want people to know that the city keeps going. It’s experiencing an economic disaster. But people are having fun and it’s actually a really nice place to live.”

After the jump, Was recalls having Marlon Brando as a neighbor, backing Iggy Pop, and the time Was (Not Was) made the mistake of supporting Milli Vanilli and Paula Abdul.

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Photo Credit: David Goggin


Jim Dickinson: An appreciation of the late, and very great, Memphis musician

If my desert island discs were made up just of music by acts who had worked with Jim Dickinson then I really wouldn’t complain. Never heard of the guy? Don’t feel bad. The Memphis-based session musician and producer, who died yesterday at the age of 67, was hardly a household name and released only a handful of solo albums, none of which were exactly blockbuster hits (though his 1972 solo debut, Dixie Fried, is a terrific collection of idiosyncratic blues whose title nicely summed up this larger-than-life character.) That doesn’t stop Dickinson being a legend, particularly to the many stars of several generations who benefited from his musicianship and his production skills.

This is a man who worked with Sam & Dave and Green On Red; with Bob Dylan and Mudhoney; Aretha Franklin and Big Star. Not impressed yet? Then, it is also worth mentioning that Dickinson played piano on the classic Rolling Stones lament “Wild Horses” (because, so legend has it, the band’s regular pianist, Ian Stewart, refused to play minor chords) and produced the Replacements’ great Pleased To Meet Me album. Meanwhile, the strength of the Dickinson musical genes is evident in the careers of his sons, and North Mississippi Allstars members, Luther and Cody.

Below, you can find a tiny sample of his work, including Bob Dylan’s epic track “Highlands,” on which Dickinson played keyboards. If the clips make you want to find out more, then check out his Zebra Ranch website. Amongst the material to be found there is a quote from producer Daniel Lanois in which he recalls how Dylan once told him, “If you’ve got Dickinson, you don’t need anybody else.” Sadly, the option of “getting Dickinson” has now disappeared, and the world of music is much poorer and less colorful for it.

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Bob Dylan Christmas album: Coming to you this holiday season!

Well, look who’s knock-knock-knockin’ on Santa’s door: Mr. Bob (nee Zimmerman) Dylan.

According to, the rock icon will be joining a long tradition of born-Jewish artists (a mazel tov salute ’round the yuletide tree to you, Neil Diamond, Barbra Streisand, and Phil Spector!) producing albums full of Christmas cheer. reports that at least four songs have already been recorded for the upcoming release at Jackson Browne’s Santa Monica studio, including “Must Be Santa,” “Here Comes Santa Claus,” “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” and “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”

So tell us, dear readers, in the dog days of August: What other holiday classics would you like to hear the great Bob take on? Listen to him rasp his way through a reading of the classic “Twas the Night Before Christmas” like a beat-poet Harvey Fierstein below, and get a hint of what you’re in for:

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Bob Dylan tops the albums chart in a slow week


Pop quiz. How many times has Bob Dylan, celebrated icon of American music for going on five decades, reached the top of the Billboard 200 chart? The answer up until this week was a mere four: 1974’s Planet Waves, 1975’s Blood on the Tracks, 1976’s Desire, and 2006’s Modern Times. His latest, Together Through Life, made it five this week, hitting No. 1 with 125,000 copies sold according to Nielsen SoundScan. That’s not an especially mighty opening number — it’s about 67,000 less than Modern Times, for instance, put up in week one — but Together Through Life was lucky enough to show up during a lull in new releases. Break out the bubbly, Bob!

The next debut to appear on this week’s chart is Black Sabbath spinoff Heaven & Hell’s The Devil You Know, down at No. 8 with 30,000 copies sold. The Playing For Change charity CD/DVD, featuring contributions from musicians around the globe, came in at No. 10 with 26,000. Houston rapper Mike Jones found that 25,000 fans still know who he is; his sophomore album, The Voice, turned up at No. 12. And that was it for Top 20 debuts this week. Any numbers you’re particularly surprised or pleased with?

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Bob Dylan's new video promotes gangs, art photography

Bobdylan_lA video for "Beyond Here Lies Nothin’," the first single from Together Through Life, is now streaming exclusively on Amazon (click here, then look for a small box on the right side of the screen), and it’s worth checking out if you’re into pompadours and/or cool old photographs. The entire video is made up of still photos taken from Bruce Davidson’s 1959 book Brooklyn Gang — shot after shot of greasy-haired, tatooed tough-guys, captured in moody black and white and set to Dylan’s punched-in-the-throat vocals. (Davidson also shot Together‘s cover.) Conceptually, it doesn’t quite fit the new album’s Southwestern vibe (mariachi accordion figures prominently throughout), but somehow it still works.

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