The Byrds. They were called "The American Beatles" which is the equivalent of calling a young singer-songwriter "The New Bob Dylan." Just not fair. Knowing about the Byrds as long as I can remember, I always regarded that statement as a critic's way of saying, "These guys are good, really good."
Middle ground doesn't exist when it comes to Bob Dylan shows. The response is either, "I can't believe I walked six blocks in the rain for this," or "I have printed set lists from every show he's played in the past five years! Do you want to see them?" I overheard both of those snippets within seconds of standing among the rain-besotted crowd in the Peabody's lobby.
Fed up with being viewed as "the voice of a generation," Bob Dylan once derided "finger-pointing songs" -- and yet, sometimes, those protest songs result in the most enduring, life-changing art.
I thought 2012 was a really strong year for new music releases and I found the same to be true for reissues and compilations.
When asked what music I've liked, usually I can only think of the last thing I happened to have heard that day. But for this list, I did exhaustive research, running down the 200 plus albums which gave me some amount of pleasure in the last 12 months, and deciding which ones were my very favorite releases.
Fall has always been my favorite time of year, and I've tried to explain it in a lot of ways. No one explanation nails it though.
Randy Newman is dreaming of a white
The Mercury Prize 2012 nominees are out. Fact Magazine runs the numbers.