It's this collection of love songs, laments and tales of a night out that will be remembered as the point where 27-year-old Alex Turner and the Arctic Monkeys ceased becoming "just another band" and became one of the biggest bands on the planet.
On September 11, 2012, Dylan released his 35th studio album, "Tempest." Unlike his work from the '60s and '70s, Dylan does not unleash his scathing wit on rivals, old lovers or enemies here. "Tempest" is a conversation with death.
A few weeks back I posted a blog about singer-songwriter Tristan Prettyman. Not only is she a talented writer and musician, but she is also a growing woman who has embraced love, heartbreak, and life, and she is not afraid to share her experiences with those around her.
I could say no to the song. She would ask me why. I would say that I thought the lyrics were inappropriate. She would ask why, then I would either have to explain the metaphor, or choose NOT to explain, which would then just make her feel confused, and perhaps even ashamed.
When I heard rumors about Jay-Z and Beyonce heading to Cuba, I was feeling pretty confident about my trendy choice to go that way. But then I bagged Cuba, and booked a flight to Vienna, Austria, home of the Lipizzaner stallions and Wienerschnitzel.
"Mistletoe and Holly" is a holiday masterpiece. But I know the biology of those two plants that Mr. Sinatra croons about... and that makes me wonder: Is there more to this song than standard Christmas cheer?
Lyricists, often a forgotten footnote, breathe life and meaning into a melody. It is the lyrics that tie the emotion of both the music and the singer entrusted to it, to deliver a message that can touch our hearts, something few can rarely accomplish.
It is now 2012, and Leonard Cohen is yet again going out on tour. I have not again seen him since that last day, in 1988, in Athens, but I know he remains very much the same man I met, and hung out with, for three days so very long ago, when we were both so very much younger.
In 2003, Jeffrey Cain, formerly of Remy Zero, met one of his music idols, Steve Kilbey. The two subsequently teamed up as "Isidore." Isidore's long-awaited second album, Life Somewhere Else, comes out this week.
Music, in general, might be missing its lyrical heroes. Who are our real poets in 2011? With Occupy Wall Street and the recession and the slipping middle class, it seems like the right time for a new icon to emerge. One that speaks more directly to us, without hiding.