3 pack of music journalism/story-telling (Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Alex Chilton)

* First, a dispatch comes from Paul save her up David Letterman/SNL fame (and a fellow Canadian) riffing about poet/singer/everything Bob Dylan with anecdotes laden with name-drops in context here in Vanity Fair in 2009 (with David Ritz).

Bob Dylan’s Band Camp The legendary maestro remembers a soul-rattling moment with his musical—and religious—guru.

* Next up in a series of dispatch about music/journalism/stories comes connective tissue – so to speak – between Paul Schaffer and Bob Dylan (ha ha, I know)…

Neil Young has transformed himself from album to album, decade to decade, always managing to stay relevant, yet often playing for the future rather than the present.

The most salient example of this is his early 1980s album “Trans” in which he experimented with synthesizers and voice-coders and all of these electro-tools, along with his usual clever song writing and occasional guitars…

I bought the album as a young fella and was a bit confused at first expecting something more like “rust never sleeps”, but soon I understood the importance of experimentation and being true to the sounds you wanted to create (in this case, connecting with his sensory disabled son).

This article by Richard McKenna in We Are Mutants unpacks the project in nuanced detail.

“More Than Just a Number”: Defending Neil Young’s ‘Trans’

* Completing a trifecta, this dispatch chronicles the life and career (as it were) of an under-appreciated talent, Alex Chilton (see: Big Star, Boxtops and others).

You can “blame“ his erstwhile under-appreciation on poor performing record label promotion departments, being in wrong place wrong time, the usual addictions and malcontents etc. but no mistaking his influence on future musicians who combined his dedication to craft and go-for-broke skills into music which was influenced by, or about, him.

Lindsay Zoladz’s article is also a good reminder to support your local up-and-comers as any of them could be the next Alex Chilton, or rather the first themselves.

December Boy: On Alex Chilton
The late lead singer of Big Star and the Box Tops had a trove of unreleased music unearthed. What can we learn from the gifted, self-destructive genius?