"Last Man Standing: The Quiet Genius of Willie Nelson"

Next week Willie's 73rd studio album drops.

“Willie invites almost universal love from hippies and rednecks, liberals and conservatives — everyone except the professional pot-stirrers,” R. G. Ratcliffe wrote in Texas Monthly last year. He’s right. It’s a wildly impressive achievement. The world of Willie Nelson fandom, thank goodness, is largely a politics-free zone. We need more of that in our country, not less.

"Behind the Masterpiece: Van Morrison's Astral Weeks at 50"

How influential was it? This influential:

“Bruce Springsteen’s obsession with the record led him to tap Richard Davis to play bass on his 1973 debut and on Born to Run in 1975,” Walsh writes. “Martin Scorsese claims the first 15 minutes of Taxi Driver are based on it. Philip Seymour Hoffman quoted it in his Oscar acceptance speech. Elvis Costello called it ‘the most adventurous record made in the rock medium’; part of the late Jeff Buckley’s own myth is tied with his choice to cover ‘The Way Young Lovers Do.’ Joni Mitchell was so taken aback by the album that she badgered one of Van’s guitarists for information about him.”

"Inside the booming black market for Spotify playlists"

Link courtesy of Michael Greenspan, who quotes Willie Nelson: "Payola ain't dead. It ain't even sick."

I'll add two others: "The more things change, the more they stay the same" and Show me some rules and I'll show you some people trying to game them.

(I'll also note that I never understood why payola--not supported by force--is supposed to be so bad.)