Xerjoff Magazine

Masters in quarantine


Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones and Michael Stipe, the former leader of R.E.M., have created new songs that extremely well express the anxiety of the present.

You can’t actually say that the current health crisis and its resulting lockdown have had negative effects on creativity. In the field of music, great masters like Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones are now back after many years with some original songs. Duluth’s Minstrel (his last album with original songs, “Tempest”, dates back to 2012) has already made 3 songs available in digital format. “Murder Most Foul”, “I contain Moltitudes” and “False Phrophet” will be part of his new album “Rough and Rowdy Ways”, expected for June. “Murder Most Foul” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NbQkyvbw18), in particular, whose length is over 17 minutes, is a sorrowful elegy that starts from John Kennedy’s murder in 1963 and recounts moments of the American history and culture, mentioning those celebrities (musicians, actors and writers among others) who, over time, have left an unforgettable trace of their talent in the various fields of creativity. Basically, it’s like Dylan looks back to the past to find “protective Deities” who can guide us in the obscurity and uncertainty of the present moment.

This contemporary waste is also the core subject of “Living in a ghost town” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNNPNweSbp8), the new song by The Rolling Stones, recorded during the lockdown period between London and Los Angeles. Mick Jagger sings: “You can look for me But I can’t be found You can search for me I had to go underground Life was so beautiful Then we all got locked down Feel like a ghost Living in a ghost town, yeah”. Also Michael Stipe, former leader of R.E.M., in a recent song titled “No time for Love like now”, composed in cooperation with Aaron Dessner of National, captures the actual mood with these words: “ There’s no time for dancing  there’s no time for undecideds no time for love like now where did this all begin to change  the lockdown memories can’t sustain  this glistening, hanging free fall”. The song will probably be included in a solo album Stipe is working on, whose release date hasn’t been announced yet.

Above: The Rolling Stones