Friday, October 9, 2009

Come All Ye Faithful: Dylan's "Christmas in the Heart" Due October 13



Leaks from the forthcoming Bob Dylan "Christmas in the Heart" album are appearing online. The above photo brings back memories -- shortly after arriving in Rome last December, we heard music below our apartment on the Via Del Gambera near the Spanish Steps. Much as in the above photo, a group of young guys dressed in Santa Claus outfits playing musical instruments were parading through the streets and performing a jazzy "Jingle Bells" over and over and over, like an endless loop. Hours later, we had hiked up the Via Del Corso to Piazza Popolo and these guys were still wandering around, vamping on the same tune. In that most Catholic of countries, it appeared that the Italians were still trying to figure out the American secularized, commercial "Xmas" ideal. As a matter of fact, one of the first sights we encountered, getting off of the plane at Fiumicino Airport, was a bevy of lovely young women in Santa outfits with short skirts on roller skates hyping "Christmas in Rome" --as though it needed hyping.

Just as the Italian Catholics are trying to wrestle with the holiday duality -- the sacred and profane of the Christmas season -- it looks like Bob Dylan has taken the leap as well. I pre-ordered and can't wait to get my hands on this one. The preliminary leaked reviews suggest he has taken this project as seriously as any other, including its profits donated in perpetuity to Feeding America, guaranteeing that more than four million meals will be provided to over 1.4 million people in need in this country during this year's holiday season



Below - Bettie Page, left. "Christmas in the Heart" cover, right.



Some other great photos from the package appear above, including the comely Bettie Page and a Christmas Card-ish image that no doubt will be scrutinized for visual secrets, a la the cover of "John Wesley Harding" with its wandering Indian musicians and the Beatles upside down on the tree trunk.

For a preliminary review, check out this Norwegian music magazine and website:[Link here]

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