Bob Dylan has an extensive catalog of meteorological songs — ”Blowin’ in the Wind,” ”A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,” ”Idiot Wind,” ”Rainy Day Women,” ”Shelter from the Storm,” ”Buckets of Rain,” ”Hurricane,” ”Under the Red Sky,” ”Not Dark Yet,” and of course, ”Subterranean Homesick Blues,” with its famous line, ”You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”
But none of these songs makes the playlist of the weather-themed premiere of Dylan’s Theme Time Radio Hour, his new show on XM satellite radio. (It doesn’t debut until May 3, but thanks to these links from USA Today’s Pop Candy, you can read a review of it here and download it here.) Instead, Dylan picks some of his favorite weather tunes by other artists both well-known (Sinatra’s ”Summer Wind,” Jimi Hendrix’s ”The Wind Cries Mary”) and arcane (Lord Beginner’s ”Jamaica Hurricane,” The Prisonaires’ ”Just Walking in the Rain”).
Dylan-ologists will be in heaven, whether picking through the playlist to glean insight into Bob’s taste in influences and his encyclopedic knowledge of American music, or simply deciphering his informed, fascinating hipster commentary about each song. But you don’t have to be a Dylan-ologist to know which way the wind blows; anyone with eclectic taste should enjoy Dylan’s curatorial skills. (You know you want to hear an obscurity like Stevie Wonder singing ”A Place in the Sun” in Italian.)
Is this enough to get you to subscribe to XM? How about the prospect of future shows with such guests as Elvis Costello, Sarah Silverman, and Charlie Sheen? And, while we’re at it, what’s your favorite weather song?