Legendary folkster Bob Dylan returns with his 37th studio album, Fallen Angels, on May 20th. The album serves as a follow-up to 2015’s Shadows In The Night, which sees Dylan covering some of the lesser-known songs of Frank Sinatra’s catalog. The new release continues down that trend, with Dylan picking out favorites from The Great American Songbook for the release. Dylan’s voice has never been perfect, and at 74-years-old, it’s more about his ability to tell a story than actually sing. Still, he captures the essence of these forgotten songs with an enthusiasm, reeling in a listener and teaching some sort of folk lesson.In advance of the new release, Fallen Angels is streaming in full via NPR’s First Listen. Tune in below:Dylan is also featured on the Desert Trip lineup, with The Who, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, and Roger Waters. Check out the latest update on that festival here.
Matthew Weiner is a talker. He admits it. In answering questions — about his writing process, about the hit AMC drama he created, “Mad Men,” which will end its seven-season run next month — his mind meanders away from simple truths, often to a story and a place in the past where the writer and director felt shunned and downtrodden, not unlike his show’s protagonist, Don Draper.Like Draper, Weiner struggled to build the life he wanted. He once stopped writing altogether because he found it impossible to break into show business. Finally he landed gigs writing for sitcoms. It was during that time that Weiner had an idea, a story about a man from meager beginnings who lands it all — success, looks, women — and in despite of it, is miserable.“‘Is this it?’ and ‘What’s wrong with me?’ These two questions are at the heart of the show,” Weiner told a Harvard audience Monday at Sever Hall.Fans preoccupied with the approaching finale were offered no clues on Draper’s fate during a conversation between Weiner and Bret Anthony Johnston, the director of creative writing at Harvard. The event was the keynote in Harvard LITFest, a week of workshops and talks now in its second year.Instead of focusing on the end of the series, Weiner talked stories — the events that shape us, whether we realize it or not, and the necessity of persistence in life and in art.Weiner’s pilot script earned him the attention of “Sopranos” writer and producer David Chase, who cleared a space on his writing team for Weiner. After “The Sopranos” ended in 2007, Weiner began shopping his period piece around. It was nabbed by AMC, a network that had never delved into original programming. Before too long “Mad Men” had gained a passionate following.Weiner said that he’s driven by mortality and finds himself always scripting “some version of ‘Rip Van Winkle’ … someone does something they shouldn’t have done and they’ve missed their whole life,” he said.He admitted he has occasionally weaved in tidbits from his own life. While working on “Signal 30,” an episode from Season 5 that included a fight between Pete Campbell and Lane Pryce, Weiner was “the most depressed I’d ever been in my life.“I don’t know what it was: the permanence of time passing, success, my relationship,” he said.The characters fell victim to the same unnamable malaise.“It’s a cliché. Suburban woe. Middle-age crisis. Frustrated art. Waning sexual powers,” Weiner said. “But to have a third person express it … I hope it means something to other people.”The episode also featured something unique: a poem, written by the character Ken Cosgrove. Weiner did his college thesis in poetry, and said he was crushed when a professor he let read it ripped it to shreds. But for all the heartbreak and rejection that comes with the territory, Weiner said, it’s essential that the developing writer take heart in compliments and words of encouragement and keep going.“I want to be known as someone who takes a lot of risks,” he said. “Writing-wise I’m constantly at war … I’m embarrassed to repeat myself unless I feel it’s a thematic underscoring. There’s a lot of stuff and it’s like, ‘Will that work?’ Well, we’ll see.”Dispelling the idea that he’s the show’s main author, calling it “some commercial construction,” Weiner spoke often about having a team of writers, “which creates safety.”“The story comes from a lot of people, and I pick and choose and consume it and do a lot of rewriting and dialogue,” he said. “But we’re all very emboldened as a group to walk to the brink of failure all the time and not know the difference. And you really can’t know the difference.”True writers, he said, will endure that doubt and fear and move past it — because they have to.But to be a writer is to be a good observer, said Weiner, and an even better listener. “People ask me what I’m doing next and I say that I’m returning to my first love — eavesdropping.”
“The findings of the 25 x ‘25 committeeechoes the recommendations of the Governor’s Commission on ClimateChange,” added George Crombie, Secretary of the Agency of NaturalResources. “We need to keep our forests and farmlands working, both forVermonters’ well being and the overall health of our environment.” Next steps detailed in the report include: Governor Releases Report on Meeting Renewable EnergyGoalAdministration seeks 25% RenewableEnergy from Farms, Forests by 2025 Public Service Commissioner David O’Brien said there iswidespread public support for this effort. “In 2007, almost 1,000Vermonters participated in a public engagement process on energy. During thosediscussions, Vermonters expressed a strong desire to meet future energy demandsthrough renewable sources of energy. The use of biofuels and sources such aswood are a natural solution for our state”, O’Brien said. “In Vermontwe have many natural resources that can be converted into renewable and responsibleenergy options,” Governor Douglas said. “Working toward, andmeeting, our renewable energy goals will present Vermont new opportunities for economicgrowth and job creation,” said Governor Douglas. “This report laysthe groundwork for Vermontto be a leader in the expanding farm, forest and field-based energy industries.” Ø Prioritizing strategies and implementation processØ Setting a timelineØ Identifying partners, collaborators and stakeholdersØ Developing a resource assessment and planØ Developing a communication planØ Identifying and procuring administrative support The committee’s report suggests using crop-based technologies,agricultural power sources such as anaerobic digesters, wood-basedtechnologies, farm-scale wind power, and biodiesel, solar, hydro and geothermaltechnologies. Jason GibbsGovernor’sCommunications Director109 State Street ¨ The Pavilion ¨ Montpelier,VT 05609-0101 ¨ www.vermont.gov/governor(link is external)Telephone: 802.828.3333 ¨ Fax: 802.828.3339 ¨ TDD: 802.828.3345 “I appreciate the collaborative effortof the members of this committee and the work they have done to put into placerecommendations that have the potential to positively impact Vermont’s economy and our environment,”Governor Douglas said. “It is important for Vermont to make continued progress in theseareas.” The 25 x ‘25 steering committee conducting the work, firstlaunched by Governor Douglas and later approved by the Legislature in 2006, iscomprised of a broad coalition of agricultural, energy and policy professionalswhose goal is to develop a plan to meet the 25 X ’25 objective. Thisreport shows that that is indeed feasible. David Lane, Deputy Secretary ofAgriculture, chairs the committee in 2008. Under Governor Douglas’ direction, Vermontbecame the 14th state to join the 25 X ’25 Alliance in 2006, a coalition of more than330 agricultural, forestry, businesses, labor, environmental and civicorganizations working to advance renewable energy solutions originating fromfarms, forestry and other working lands nationally. The Vermont 25 X ’25 Initiativepreliminary findings and goals can be downloaded from www.vermontagriculture.com(link is external). The report, funded by the Department of Public Service, is acompilation of the work the committee has accomplished over the past year inits consideration of all possible opportunities for renewable energy sources inVermont. Atthe Governor’s request, it offers one of many scenarios in which Vermont could achievethe 25 X ‘25 goal. ### “Agriculture will play a key role in ensuring Vermont’s energy independence.Renewable energy offers many opportunities for our farmers, our economy and ourenvironment,” said Roger Allbee, Secretary of Agriculture. “Thisreport underscores the opportunities we have to produce energy whilemaintaining our working landscape.” Montpelier, Vt.– Governor Jim Douglas on March 6, 2008, released an advisory report showing that Vermont can meet thegoal of generating 25 percent of its total energy from renewable sources,principally from farms and forests, by 2025.