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The moans on Dylan's latest aren't exactly of the morbid death-rattle variety

Don't expect deathbed martyrdom from Dylan's Modern Times.
Don't expect deathbed martyrdom from Dylan's Modern Times.

Consider "Day After Tomorrow," off Waits's last record, 2004's Real Gone, hiding amid perhaps a few too many corny carnival barker nightmares (titles like "Don't Go into the Barn" etc.) with a shockingly vivid soldier's plea for survival, a whole other world of Holy Shit I'm Dying, painted in quiet tones gorgeous and mournful and beyond belief. I wish Bob Dylan still wrote songs like that. He undoubtedly can. If he'd written that particular one it would've triggered laudatory press orders of magnitude greater than any half-assed paean to Alicia Keys. It's ridiculous to expect him to play along with my bizarre deathbed-lament fetish, but for a guy who ascended to greatness by violently accosting the gllllrrrrrhhhhh of the world, we sure could use his opinion on it now. He's our link with history.

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