The Best Album of All Time

Bob Dylan, Blood on the Tracks, 1975

“Everyone one of them words rang true/and glowed like burning coal/pouring off of every page/ like it was written in my soul from me to you” (Tangled Up in Blue)

I can answer the “what’s your favorite album” question (if anyone really asks that question of normal people that aren’t famous musicians) without any hesitation. It’s a forgone conclusion that it would have to be Bob Dylan record, and Blood on the Tracks, to me, stands out amongst Dylan’s many other great albums. I know it’s Bob’s “break up album”, but that doesn’t really concern me. To me, it’s Bob’s most vulnerable recording. I don’t care if they’re all autobiographical songs, or all based on stories by Chekov (like Bob would later claim), but there is something so relatable and heart breaking to most of the songs on this album.  I think it’s Dylan wrestling with his own mortality, the fact that time passes and things change, whether we like them or not. Sure, ten years previously, Dylan wrote “the times they are a-changin’”, but that was a broad sense of time, of a new generation (of which he was a part) gaining the ascendency. But in songs like “You’re A Big Girl Now” Dylan sings, “time is a jet plane/it moves too fast/oh but what a shame that all we shared can’t last/I can change I swear”. It is a mournful recognition of the passage of time.

It’s hard for me to pick out stand out tracks on this album, because the order in which they are played contributes so much to the atmosphere of the album. Has there ever been a better opening four songs than Tangled up in Blue, Simple Twist of Fate, You’re A Big Girl Now, and Idiot Wind? But for me, the two songs I could listen to forever are Simple Twist of Fate (my all-time favorite song) and Shelter From the Storm. Maybe I connect more with their resigned, introspective flavor vs. the vindictive and angry (but still amazing) Idiot Wind or the film-like Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts.

Dylan singing a slightly different than the album version of Simple Twist of Fate

Shelter from the Storm from the Hard Rain Concert



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Song of the Day

In contrast to the blatant materialism of most of this blog, here’s today’s song of the day (ignore the video, it’s a weird use of stock photos).

Simple Gifts, traditional Shaker song.

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New Year’s Dresses

I’m hoping to be in NYC over New Year’s, so I’ve been looking online for some options. Obviously Forever21 is the limit of my budget.

I like this dress in theory, but I’m not sure of where the top layer would hit on me. Potentially at my widest point aka not cute.

Semi-cute. But like the majority of items on F21, there’s just something a little off. In this case, the sequins. I wish it was all-over instead of the weird squiggly pattern that reminds me of germs under the microscope. Science! (and it’s $32 which is a little more than I’m willing to spend at Forevs for cheaply made clothing)

My favorite part of this dress is that it’s $11.50. Sorry child workers! Plus, I think I could accessorize it to make it more over-the-top new years-y.

This dress combines my two favorite things in the world: leopard print and velvet.

Of course, this would be my coat for the night.

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Song of the Day

I know it’s not cutting edge or anything to be into this song, but I can’t help it. The beat is sick. #onrepeat

N***** in Paris, Kanye West and Jay-Z, from Watch the Throne

What’s that jacket, Margiela?

I love Jay’s dance in this video.

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Random Bob Dylan Picture of the Day

Found these on the Dylan fansite expectingrain. I’ve been digging 1966 era Bob recently. 

Look at The HAIR! The striped pants! Even Bobby can’t help checking himself out.

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I was just in Arizona (my first time out west outside of a couple visits to California and one time in Denver) and the harsh beauty of the desert really took me by surprise. I’m so used to seeing the green, tall trees of the midwest, and the changing colors of this time of year, but the dusty reds and pinks of the mountains around Phoenix, and the rarity of the green cacti was so unlike what I’m used to. That landscape brought to mind what it must have been like for the first settlers out there, how everything felt like it was on a much larger scale.

The colors and history of the west reminded me of how much I love the native american patterns that Pendleton uses. I thought I’d share a few of my favorite pieces.

Classic wool blanket.

I wish this came in women’s sizes. I love the American-ness (if that’s a word) of the denim jacket combined with the Chief Joseph print.

The silver dollar buttons are my favorite part of this jacket. I just wish it was a little more fitted, then it would be perfect for fall.

Perfect. This is the duster length coat of this print. You would have to feel like a trailblazer in this coat. It’s a go anywhere and do anything kind of piece.

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Song of the Day

Ahh…The Name is Bootsy, Baby by Bootsy Collins

Heading home soon…this song always reminds me of the ‘nati.

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Song of the Day

The quintessential performance of this song. Also, how adorable is Rick Danko?

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, The Band, from The Last Waltz (which if you haven’t seen you need to literally go watch it this very minute).

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Denim Shirts

I’ve been really wanting another denim/chambray shirt recently. I think there’s something so American about them. I want to dress like the 99%. I have a short sleeved one I got from the Gap a couple of summers ago, but I want a long-sleeved one that I can wear during the winter.

Madewell has several options that I love (I’ll have to check them out when I’m home over T-giving, they’re opening up a Madewell at the mall near my house!). The one above is so classic.

I like the light wash better, gotta fake that worn in look.

This might be my favorite. Perfect for winter layering, over/under a cardigan.

My inspiration.

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Song of the Day

I wanted to mix it up a little bit, all my recent posts have been about folk, singer-songwriter-y music, and I just got out of my American history class, so I thought this song was fitting.

Titus Andronicus’ “A More Perfect Union” from their 2010 album The Monitor.

And a video of a shortened version of the song that I just realized existed.