The Beat Spirit Within Llewyn Davis: A Film Rumination

Inside Llewyn Davis poster (detail)

A film about a struggling artist could be many things: arty, pretentious, too ambitious and above all unfocused. For all its many cinematographic achievements and clever performances, the absurdity of I’m Not There (Todd Haynes, 2007) fell to the weight of its lofty hopes. That film gave a highly-stylized rumination of the six lives, or […]

Bob Dylan reads “The Night Before Christmas”

Happy Christmas from Santa and Empty Mirror!

Bob Dylan reads “The Night Before Christmas” for us. Happy Christmas Eve, everyone.

Bob Dylan – It Must Be Santa

Bob Dylan - It Must be Santa

Today’s Christmas tune is “It Must Be Santa” by Bob Dylan. It’s from his Christmas album, Christmas in the Heart (which is a while lot of fun).

20+ book gifts for hip kids – and adults, too!

Books for cool kids

Got a kid on your holiday shopping list? Wanna introduce them to the Beats, modern design, the ’60s, jazz, folk, or rock & roll? Or, just give ‘em something fun? Check these way cool tomes for tots (and grown-ups, too). Most of these are picture books; a few are available for Kindle, too. Click on […]

Review – How Hip Was My Alley by Kenton Crowther

How Hip Was My Alley by Kenton Crowther

[Editor's note: 5/21/2014: How Hip Was My Alley has been re-titled Dad, the Times We Had: Baby Boomers in Paradise.] Kenton Crowther’s previous volume, Alleycats and Beatsters, collected the author’s writings built on the Beat Generation and the essence of “hip.” This time out, he casts a wider net; How Hip Was My Alley gathers […]

Bob Dylan, John Tams and the Commissionaire

Bob Dylan, John Tams and the Commissionaire

Whenever Bob Dylan’s 1966 UK Tour is discussed, all we ever hear about is the infamous “Judas” incident from the Free Trade Hall, Manchester. But there were several other dates on the tour and on May 16 (just one day before the Manchester show) Dylan played a concert 30-odd miles away across the Pennines in […]

5 Recurring Themes In Early Bob Dylan Songs

Dylan's Dream LP

One of the most important people in music history, Mr. Bob Dylan still stuns music lovers worldwide with his witty rhymes and colorful guitar sound. With his music being the definition of timelessness, now is the perfect time to revisit his early albums and enjoy the raw melodic expression of Dylan’s unchained stream of consciousness. […]

Review – Jimi Hendrix FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the Voodoo Child

Jimi Hendrix FAQ

Jimi Hendrix FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the Voodoo Child / Gary J. Jucha Backbeat Books / 978-1617130953 / 363 pages I’ve been a listener of Jimi Hendrix’s music for several decades. However, anything beyond the bare basics of his life and career – just facts picked up here and there – remained […]

Who was Neal Cassady?

Neal Cassady

Neal Cassady: a brief biographical sketch Born on February 8, 1926, Neal Cassady grew up in Denver, Colorado. He was the son of a barber who moved the family from cheap hotel to cheap hotel. As a young man, Neal was usually a truant, hanging out in pool halls, hitchhiking, stealing cars, and, finally, landing […]

Bob Dylan’s TEMPEST Out Now!

Bob Dylan - Tempest

Bob Dylan’s new album, Tempest, was released on September 11, 2012. Featuring ten new and original Bob Dylan songs, the release of Tempest coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the artist’s eponymous debut album, which was released by Columbia in March 1962. Tempest is available for pre-order now on iTunes and Amazon. The new album, […]