To say that Bob Dylan, of all people, is "culturally irrelevant", requires an immense amount of ignorance. I am a longtime, ardent fan of Dylan. I have heard every song he has released, and I can tell you authoritatively that the subject matter of his work reaches far beyond fatalism and an obsession over his own mortality. If we currently live in a culture where wisdom, and aphoristic insight into the human condition and matters of the heart have no value, perhaps it is the culture itself which has become irrelevant.
@JackFrost I agree that Dylan is still making some very listenable albums. The argument isn't whether his music is good; it's whether he's relevant to modern culture -- e.g. being able to look at society at large and see how he's effected things in the last few years. Which he hasn't. In the 60s and early 70s he changed fashion, politics, drug-culture and, perhaps most of all, songwriting. Today people like Obama, Justin Bieber, Joel Osteen, Jon Stewart and Mark Zuckerberg affect mass culture. For good or ill, that's the way it is.
@Josiah.Hesse @JackFrost We'll have to agree to disagree here. If by, "modern culture", you mean youth culture, then you might have a valid point, although with current bands like Blitzen Trapper and The War on Drugs, (just to name a couple) who's music is so transparently derivative of Dylan's, being so popular among today's hip crowd, it's hard to agree. Furthermore, Tempest peaked at # 3 on the Billboard charts just a few months ago. Not bad for a guy who is culturally irrelevant Another thing I'd like to mention is that culture relevance is not qualified by what the youngest members of our society dig. It is both linear and cyclical, and the amassed influence of the past is the very foundation upon which current trends rest. Culture is by definition, collective. I could go on and on, but I hear that Duquesne Whistle blowin' and I must be goin'. Besides, you know what they say about opinions, right?