This week on the music beat

By Matthew BoyleJeff Jensen and Rob Brunner
Updated February 14, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST

LIKE A ROLLING STONE The man behind ”Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story” and ”Velvet Goldmine” is gearing up for his most ambitious music film yet. Writer-director Todd Haynes — currently bathing in acclaim and Oscar buzz for his ”Far From Heaven” — is planning a movie based on the life of Bob Dylan. ”I don’t have a script yet, but when all this [awards hype] settles down, I’m going to get to work,” he says. ”I have some notes and some very rough things fleshed out, but I’m looking forward to going back into the cave.” The plot is itself rather Dylanesque. ”It will be a fictional drama that will draw from his life, but it will refract who he is into a cluster of characters played by different actors who will be him, but none of them him,” says Haynes. ”It’s probably the most honest way to tell anybody’s story, because we look back on our lives and, hopefully, we occupy different selves that have changed and grown and [been] discarded. He’s a great example of that. It’s the only way to tackle his multiplicity.” Haynes hasn’t spoken to Dylan but says the singer-songwriter has, through his manager, given his go-ahead and permission to use his music. Sounds pretty close to heaven to us.

VOTE THE ROCK You trust their restaurant reviews, but would you go to them for a record recommendation? New York-based husband-and-wife team Tim and Nina Zagat last week launched an online poll to determine the top albums of all time. The survey covers 2,050 discs by artists ranging from Etta James to Eminem (write-ins are welcomed). Reviews will be written in Zagat’s pithy style, with each album graded from 0 to 30 in four categories: overall excellence, songwriting, musicianship, and production value. Offbeat subcategories include the best CDs to play when driving, exercising, or even getting it on. Those who vote at will get a free copy of the book (voting ends April 13), due out this fall. The Zagats recently published a movie guide and have a New York City shopping roundup in the works — which means we’ll soon need a guide to Zagat’s guides.