‘Old age suits him. It suits him the way being young did. It’s a natural fit, for both are the traditional places where wisdom can flower: the fired minds of the young and the dusty, wily utterances of the old. It’s all the time in between that’s the trouble. Dylan, though, survived all the crashes and the madness of his years, and survived well enough to leave himself fully stocked for a fruitful and significant late period.’
If, like me, you have struggled with Bob Dylan post-Blood on the tracks, then you might find this enthusiastic primer by (award-winning critic) Robert Forster useful. It’s one of a series of monthly articles he has been writing for the (Australian) Monthly, which may or may not become available for free after a year to eighteen months. Robert listens with a potential producer’s ear, and writes with a great lyricist’s gift for metaphor. Unless you feel driven to take out a subscription, you’ll have to wait a while before you can find out what Robert makes of Vampire Weekend, but in the meantime there are pieces on the pop genius of the Monkeees, Joe Boyd’s White bicycles, Augie March, and even Nana Mouskouri to enjoy.