Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Oh Mercy (Strike A Pose - There's Nothing To It)

I now know two people who have commented on the Bob Dylan album Oh Mercy - three if you include myself, which I don’t. One of them commented on it because I asked her about a paricular song on the record - “Man In The Long Black Coat” - after I read the liner notes to the Joan Osborne record Relish and discovered that the song by that name on her record was a cover of the Dylan song. A quick Internet search gave me the album name, and I passed the information along to the only person I knew at the time who liked Bob Dylan.

Her response:

“Hey, John. Honestly, I wouldn't even bother with Oh, Mercy unless you've heard pretty much everything else Bob Dylan has done (also included in this unfortunate category--I should warn you--is pretty much everything he did in the 80s. He was in the throes of some scary religious phase. Steer clear).”

There are ten Dylan albums with release dates in the eighties, none of which I know apart from Oh Mercy - I know a handful of the songs from listening to the third greatest hits record, and all of those songs sound like eighties music, but none of them are bad.

Also, Oh Mercy has that dark, pensive feel that anticipates records like World Gone Wrong - which would be Dylan’s third studio record after Oh Mercy - and Time Out Of Mind, a record that is so good that it makes up for all the shit Dylan recorded between Desire and Oh Mercy.

Tonight at work I was listening to a CD I made for Dione which contains selections from Time Out Of Mind and Love And Theft, and when once I heard a knock on the door, I opened it to find Hillary and Katie K standing there, and Katie K asked if I was listening to Bob Dylan, the Love And Theft record. I said I was listening to Time Out Of Mind, and then I asked after her enjoyment of Dylan, and she said she was somewhat obsessed with him (hurray!), so I asked her about the new record, Modern Times, and she said that she liked it better than Love And Theft, and a bit better than Time Out Of Mind (!), but that, either way, it was no Oh Mercy.

This was a delightful thing to hear, as I was having an absolutely wretched day up to then, and desperately needed something to fire the light that had been positively sucked out of my soul before I got to work - the highlight of said day, to that point, was discovering upon arriving at work that I was going to be closing with a delightful group of people - Heather, Ryan, Katie K, Molly, and the bandana-fied Hillary.

I think Katie K is off just a bit - Oh Mercy is a great record, and an underrated one, but it is not better than any of the three most recent Dylan records - but she gets big props for liking Oh Mercy that much.

A bit later, I came back into the office, where Hillary was entering the inventory into the computer, and she had fired up one of those radio stations where the program director has decided it’s better to put an iPod on repeat all night than pay a DJ - and the song playing at the moment I walked into the office was “Vogue,” by Madonna, and I laughed out loud.

That’s a non-sequitur, of course, but applies here because it made me laugh on a day when I was short on laughs - and goes back to a moment during theatre-cleaning a week or so ago when I made a joke that included the line “Strike a pose, there’s nothing to it,” and then tried to explain the way Todd Snider used that line in his song “My Generation (Part 2),” but did not do a very good job with my explanation. Oh well - Todd Snider, I suspect, is an acquired taste.

I came so close to passing on the Landmark job...mostly because of how much fun it was to work with my people at Clearwater. Every other aspect of it sucked out loud...but those cats I worked with were a lot of fun...

The cats I work with now at Landmark are more fun, though, and they have so much more soul than any other staff I have ever worked with...and this post has gotten quite a lot more into me than my posts ordinarlily do.

But like I said...this was a fuck of a day, and it was my people at work that redeemed it for me - nothing else about my day was even remotely cool. Thanks to all of you, for making the idea of going to work fun again...

Strike a pose - there’s nothing to it.

1 comment:

Hillary said...

you knew all the words to "Vogue". i should have done the dance, but the inventory demanded my attention.

also, this comment-thingie recognizes me now..i'm confused, and a bit bewildered, but that is nothing unusual. i'll just go along with it.