Life Lessons From Bob Dylan, In Illustrated Form

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Jena Ardell

What contains more than 960 pages, weighs 13.5 pounds, and will sell for $200? Answer: The Lyrics: Since 1962, a book that catalogs every lyric Bob Dylan has ever recorded. The publisher dubbed it "the biggest, most expensive book we've ever published". The book is slated to be released in November. Keep an eye out for very limited, signed copies which will sell for $5,000.

The Recording Academy recently named Dylan as its MusiCares Person of the Year for 2015. Among those slated to perform to honor Dylan include: Beck, the Black Keys, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Norah Jones, Tom Jones, Los Lobos, John Mellencamp, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Eddie Vedder, Jack White, Neil Young and John Doe.

Bob Dylan will be performing three consecutive nights at L.A.'s Dolby Theatre October 24-26.

Here are some life lessons we've learned from the poetic pessimist. Quotation above via cbsnews.com.


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Let's Be Honest: Sonic Youth Are Really Boring

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By: Paul T. Bradley

In the annals of rock there are many bands that people pretend to like, bands with fandoms consisting entirely of people desperately wanting to appear interesting by proxy. Royal Trux is a good example, as are Ween. Basically any Burzum fan who isn't a corpse paint-wearing, basement-dwelling Nazi from the hinter regions of Norway fits neatly in this category. King among bands that no one actually likes, however, is Sonic Youth.

I remember the first time I heard Sonic Youth. I was about 13 and somehow acquired a copy of the tape on SST that runs backward on one side and forward on another. I know, right? How creative. After about 10 minutes of atonal moaning and swirling noise, I went back to my Black Flag and Black Sabbath records. How pedestrian of me, right?

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Celebrating an Album's Anniversary Is Pointless

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Arcade Fire's Funeral celebrates its 10th anniversary next week. If you think this is a big deal, you are wrong. Don't worry, it's not your fault.

It's something we've come to expect now: making a big to do about an album turning a nice, round number. That's because, given the pace at which media now has to churn out content, pieces about an album's anniversary have become commonplace. There were, as this NME slideshow of 55 Incredible Albums Celebrating Anniversaries in 2014 helpfully points out, quite a few album that got the anniversary treatment this year. We've been guilty of it ourselves. But it should stop. Because no one needs two oral histories of Interpol's Turn on the Bright Lights to celebrate its 10th anniversary.

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Anthony Bourdain Thinks You're a Douche For Liking EDM

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Courtesy of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
By: Sean Pajot

We are all quite aware that food celebrity, television host, prolific author, and hilarious asshole Anthony Bourdain is basically a rock 'n' roll guy.

On the tube, he can often be seen palling around with Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme, another funny, prickly professional shit-talker. And the theme song for his latest TV show, CNN's Parts Unknown, is a woozy rocker from Homme and ex-Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan.

But did you know that Bourdain is also a big fan of magic?

Also, he hates "electronic dance music."


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10 Signs You're Too Old For Coachella

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Chris Victorio/OC Weekly
You tell 'em, Grandpa!
Age, of course, is a state of mind. But it's easy to feel like you've aged 30 years after three busy days at Coachella. Whether you've gone to the festival since the first year in 1999 or just started going a few years ago, the festival can feel a bit, well, different than when you were in your teens and 20s. If so, you might want to check and see if you just might be getting too old for this shit.

See also: Coachella 2014: The Band and Drugs Pairings Guide

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Why Your Band Shouldn't Play Longer Than 20 Minutes

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Tom Coates/Flickr
Imagine you're on a date and you're telling a story. It's a long one, but you know it's a winner. Everyone always loves this story. Three quarters of the way to the punch line, you notice a shift in your date's behavior. She's glancing at the door, bouncing her leg or messing with her hair. Does she want a cigarette? Does she need another drink to quell the anxiety?

Moments like these separate perceptive and considerate people from torturous, self-indulgent-asshole ones. The first will recognize the proper social cues and say something like, "Hey, let's grab another drink, and I'll finish this in a minute." The latter, however, will continue endlessly flapping their tight red gums, concentrating on themselves and their immediate needs.

See also: Six Reasons Why Employers Should Hire Touring Musicians

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Stop Using These Clichés When Writing About Music

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Cloud Nothings' Here and Nowhere Else: "Powerfully utilitarian."
By: Luke Winkie
On Monday, I read the following sentence on a popular music website about the new Cloud Nothings album: "The band continues to make powerfully utilitarian music for people who don't seek out this type of music just to be told what to think." I read it over and over again until my eyes rolled back into my head. It is perhaps the most inscrutable piece of music writing ever published, because not only does it imply that some people turn to a band like Cloud Nothings to "be told what to think," it also makes the claim that Cloud Nothings somehow subvert that expectation. I'm fairly certain when Dylan Baldi was playing back his new album, he wasn't thinking "Yeah, fuck all those people who want me to tell them what to think!" It's the kind of sentence you only write after spending far too much time in tight, circular critic-logic that gets more and more abstracted from reality over time. We've all been there, and we will all pay for our sins, so consider this devotional. The following clichés should be forever eradicated from music discourse. It's not too late to save our souls.


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Irvine City Council is Scared of the Big Bad Vans Warped Tour

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This is a place for families, not a haven for the great unwashed!
Just days before the Vans Warped Tour steamrolls into the Great Park, Irvine City Council members are jumping up to say "not in my backyard!"

Following Tuesday's council meeting, it was reported that council members representing the safest city in America are having some serious objections to the festival, held on June 21. Councilman Jeffrey Lalloway apparently used his ace Googling skills to look up festival headliners like Anti-Flag, and found the band's songs like "Fuck Police Brutality" to be offensive. 

"That's crossing the line," Lalloway says. "We need to have a family friendly venue out there."


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Bon Iver's Grammy: Worst Idea Ever

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Chad Sengstock/OC Weekly
Not because Justin Vernon and company don't deserve recognition (he does, their songs are beautiful), but because all the awards have done is give us more fodder for the hipster morass.

Sure, a bunch of people couldn't pronounce it right and even more ignorant folks thought the band name was "Bonny Bear," but should we really be subject to more wannabe-viral videos that aren't even funny? OK, it's a little funny. But maybe the actors should really figure out how the band name is pronounced (Bohn eee-vair) before they go live. See what I mean after the jump.

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Bob Dylan's Birthday: Who Cares?

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So it's Bob Dylan's 70th birthday. For some, it's one of those annual affairs on a par with the great holy days of the year: Christmas, Easter, MLK's Birthday, Ramadan. Don't act like it isn't. For decades Robert Zimmerman has been looked upon as a deity.  Most fans of rock & roll (at least the ones I meet) seem to be card carrying congregants in the church of Dylan. But just call me a non-believer.  More »
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