Thursday, May 24, 2007

Bava Book High Resolution Photos Up

Today is one of those days you should check the Bava Book Update blog. See you over there!

Highway 61 Meets Route 66

Bob Dylan turns 66 today.

I've been on a Dylan jag pretty much all year, listening to the albums, his wonderful radio shows, reading the books about him and the books about his music (Paul Williams, Michael Gray's encyclopedia, and above all, Greil Marcus). I've been seeing as many of the films as I can find. A current favorite of mine is the song "Changing of the Guards" from STREET-LEGAL, an album I consider underrated as a collection of songs though I am sometimes annoyed by the producer's handling of the songs. "Changing of the Guards" was one of the songs selected by Patti Smith for her new album of covers, TWELVE, and her version may well redefine the song, much as Jimi Hendrix left his indelible imprint on "All Across the Watchtower." Lenny Kaye's acoustic guitar brings out the song's heroism so full-bloodedly, it's full of juice. Smith's haggard but expressive voice grabs onto the lyrics and wrests out all their medievalism, and the progression from one stanza to the next has all the drama of a series of overturned Tarot cards.

I'm up way too late and it's time for my boot heels to be wanderin' -- but I wish Bob Dylan a happy day and a good show tonight as he entertains the folks in Hershey, PA. On those occasions when I lose touch with what it means to be an artist, he's one of the lights who can always be counted on to bring me back on course, and I'm appreciative.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Read Me, Hear Me

SIGHT & SOUND have updated their webpage with samples of their new June 2007 "Grindhouse" issue, which I mentioned a week or so ago as forthcoming. In addition to posting my usual NoZone column (which this month focuses on Alain Robbe-Grillet's LA BELLE CAPTIVE), they've posted by the complete text of my "10 Picks from the Grindhouse" feature -- though the print edition is much more fully illustrated, having images from all ten feature films covered by the article.

Last week I reviewed Docudrama's new box set reissue of DA Pennebaker's BOB DYLAN DONT LOOK BACK for my next SIGHT & SOUND "NoZone" -- which, incredibly, will be Column # 50. I wrote the first of the columns in April 2003, and it was published a month or two later. My "10 Picks from the Grindhouse" article is, by my count, the 50th piece I've published in the magazine, the first being a short piece related to Joe Dante's MATINEE written about ten years before the column was proposed to me.

Also, Vince Rotolo's website B-Movie Cast has posted the first-ever podcast interview that Donna and I have ever given. I think I threw Vince a curve by suggesting that Donna join us in the interview, but as the publisher of VW and the designer of the Bava book (our two topics of discussion), I knew in advance that she could answer some questions better than I could. The download runs for about 25 minutes and I hope you'll take the time to give it a listen. Our thanks to Vince for the attention.