Postmodern Conservative

Lovin’ the Ruins

Liel Liebovitz Sings of Dylan and Wilson

Did you know that Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde and The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds were released on the same day, 50 years (and 4 days) ago? Well, Tablet’s Liel Liebovitz knew, and it led him to write a great little essay that concludes with this beautiful paragraph:

Listening to Blonde on Blonde or Pet Sounds today is like strolling through the ruins of a formerly great civilization: never without a tinge of regret for seeing the great pursuits of our ancestors reduced to polite plaques commemorating dates and names half-forgotten, but also never without a spark of hope that great things can be built, done, and recorded once again. At this moment in our collective history, with America’s greatness but a memory fading into a grotesque slogan, we need all the reminders we can get that we are, at core, a nation of religious pulsations and that when allowed an open heart and a few breaths of inconvenient candor we can still make the most beautiful music in the world.

RTWT–Liebovitz is particularly interesting on the quasi-religious character of much 60s rock.  He should check out my Rock Songbook, of course, and particularly it’s (no. 85) explanation of our musical decline.

And when he’s in a more less ruin-lovin’ mood, he might check out my recent review (no. 119) of contemporary artists with a sixties-ish sound.  

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