Blood on the Tracks by Bob Dylan (1975)
Sunday, February 15th, 2015
12 pm – 4 pm
“This is the sound of an artist returning to his strengths, what feels most familiar, as he accepts a traumatic situation, namely the breakdown of his marriage. This is an album alternately bitter, sorrowful, regretful, and peaceful, easily the closest he ever came to wearing his emotions on his sleeve. That’s not to say that it’s an explicitly confessional record, since many songs are riddles or allegories, yet the warmth of the music makes it feel that way… It’s an affecting, unbearably poignant record, not because it’s a glimpse into his soul, but because the songs are remarkably clear-eyed and sentimental, lovely and melancholy at once. And, in a way, it’s best that he was backed with studio musicians here, since the professional, understated backing lets the songs and emotion stand at the forefront. Dylan made albums more influential than this, but he never made one better.”
Let’s spend the afternoon exploring a sliver of downtown Los Angeles. We’ll start with a short trip up the historic Angel’s Flight railway to California Plaza in the Bunker Hill district, grab lunch at Grand Central Market, and finish things off with a visit to The Last Bookstore.