Do you have a block of one to there free hours today? Because that's about the amount of time you'll really need to watch, absorb, ask yourself WTF? about, and appreciate Bob Dylan's newest music video (that's right) for arguably his most iconic song, "Like a Rolling Stone." The video is an interactive experience (along the lines of Arcade Fire's "Reflektor," but after watching Dylan's video, I don't think "Reflektor" stands up anymore). Released by Interlude Media, the video simulates channel-surfing (which is almost an anachronism now in the age of HBO Go and Netflix), featuring 16 channels of shows that include a cooking show, Drew Carey on The Price is Right, The Bachelor, Marc Maron hosting a podcast, and a news channel.
At first I thought it would just be dubbed, but no, this is beautiful lip-syncing, making the video extra surreal. It reminds me of being sick with a mild cold, in a DayQuil haze, on the couch under a blanket, looking for something, anything to watch to pass the time. (At least, when I consider "how does it feel," that's how it feels.)
The video also includes a channel of Bob Dylan himself performing "Rolling Stone" way back when, the only appearance he makes in the video. The message is fairly obvious — Dylan is, as always, providing a mirror that shows us a not-so-flattering portrait of our mindless consumer culture. But it doesn't seem actively critical, honestly; the video and the song together ring more with a content resignation. We're already doomed, so why not watch another episode of Pawn Stars?
The director of the video, Vania Heymann told Mashable: "I'm using the medium of television to look back right at us — you're flipping yourself to death with switching channels [in real life]." Which is, oddly, the only way to truly enjoy this video — it's near impossible to catch all of the small moments, giving it infinite rewatchablity. Dylan's turning us all into zombies, or maybe we already are.
The video was released by Interlude Media along with The Complete Album Collection Volume 1, a 47-disc box set that includes 35 studio albums, six live albums, a two-CD collection made up of non-album singles, and other compilations.
You can watch the video (forever) at BobDylan.com.