Man in the Long Black Coat

The first thing heard on Bob Dylan’s song “Man in the Long Black Coat” is the sound of crickets chirping. The song is the last track on the first side of Dylan’s 1989 album Oh Mercy. The album was produced by Daniel Lanois, which marked the first time Dylan and Lanois worked together after beingContinue reading “Man in the Long Black Coat”

Acid Westerns

The Recliner Notes posts about “Isis” and “Romance in Durango” allowed me the opportunity to build off of the idea of the film genre Acid Western as a musical genre. There are hundreds of songs which fit into the concept. Below is a Spotify playlist of Acid Western songs. Eventually, songs on this list couldContinue reading “Acid Westerns”

Romance in Durango

The film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum set the parameters for Acid Westerns as a film genre in his review of Jim Jarmusch’s 1995 film Dead Man. Rosenbaum writes in this seminal piece that Acid Westerns “confound much of our mythology about the western — reversing some of its philosophical presuppositions by associating a westward journey withContinue reading “Romance in Durango”

Isis

The idea of the film genre “Acid Western” was created by the film critic Pauline Kael in her 1971 review of the film El Topo in The New Yorker. She wrote: “The avant-garde devices that once fascinated a small bohemian group because they seemed a direct pipeline to the occult and ‘the marvelous’ now reachContinue reading “Isis”

Brownsville Girl

When I first started listening to Dylan, the received wisdom was to ignore his mid-80s music and to focus on the major works in the 60s and 70s. The consensus was that by the mid-80s, he had lost his fastball. Albums such as Empire Burlesque, Knocked Out Loaded, Down in the Groove – the periodContinue reading “Brownsville Girl”

Billy 4

Released in 1973, Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid was a Western directed by Sam Peckinpaugh. Dylan’s involvement in the film apparently started when he ran into novelist and screenwriter Rudy Wurlitzer, who told Dylan that he was writing a screenplay about the relationship between Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett. Hearing about the projectContinue reading “Billy 4”

Ain’t Talkin’

“Ain’t Talkin’” is a supreme work, the last song in the sequence of Modern Times. Released in 2006, it is one of a few songs on our list released in the 21st century and the most recent one in Dylan’s catalog that we will be considering. Modern Times is a mixed bag of a record,Continue reading “Ain’t Talkin’”