Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Radio with SHOES in



As the Christmas and New Year holidays slip away from us as quickly as they arrived slowly - a sad kinda feeling I find (because I love Christmas...not so much New Year...) one thing's been keeping me, well, not just sane, actually - more Feeling Alive, Invigorated, Inspired, Amused, Entertained - and that thing has been Satellite XM's Theme Time Radio Hour With Your Host Bob Dylan which the lovely people at BBC Radio 2 are bringing at last to us British Bobcats.

This may be, without exaggeration, the best radio I have ever listened to in my life so far (possible exception - and maybe joint equal - John Peel shows in my bedroom while my parents watched god-knows-what on the TV downstairs, 1980-1983).

Why?

Because - well let's start with the obvious: this is BOB DYLAN DJing here. I mean, wouldn't you like a night in, chewing the conversational fat with Bob while he plays you some of his favourite records? Of course you would. And you know how funny and wise he can be.

Second - the concept is brilliant and simple: one hour, one 'theme' for all the music (the big ones guys - 'Weather', 'Drinking', 'Mother', 'Devil', 'Radio', 'Coffee') .

Third - THE MUSIC. Whether it's long lost 40s jukejoint R'n'B, blues, gospel, country swing, Southern soul, rap - dammit, even UK post-punk, the man's got it and the man plays it. A playlist that spans eight decades, minimum. The music of Bob's life and he's having a ball with it, you can tell.

A series of programmes to renew your faith in the eternal restorative power of good music.

As inciteful and personal a testimony from and into Dylan as any of his work.

In fact - I sincerely think this needs to be thought of as His Current Work.

Splendid.

UK people can, and really should, 'listen again' here.

From January, BBC Radio 6 Music takes up the baton.

This excellent fan-site has playlists for all the shows.

And finally, anyone out there with even a vague interest in, or affection for, Sir Bob should certainly invest in his marvellous memoir Chronicles - Volume One here.

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