All Things Robert Zimmerman, Err, Bob Dylan

Discussion in 'General Music and Vinyl' started by DavidA, Sep 23, 2015.

  1. DavidA

    DavidA The sun's not yellow, it's chicken

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    So, this guy makes music with a guitar and a harmonica and it's good.

    I'll skip the hagiography. He's the best.

    Here's a 24 minute documentary that was created upon the release of The Bootleg Series, Vol. 11 which consisted of the entire Basement Tapes.



    Also, it looks like a treasure trove of session material from 1965-1966 is about to get released:

    http://pitchfork.com/news/61338-bob...-installment-featuring-rarities-from-1965-66/
     
  2. Aron

    Aron Well-Known Member

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    I've got mixed feelings about that latest Bootleg Series installment you referenced in your post. I just read a bit of info on Pitchfork about it. Obviously, it was a very successful period for him musically and culturally, so it certainly won't be bad. I guess I just feel like we've heard a lot of the best outtakes from that period already. So we're likely looking at more alternate takes here. Over the years, there have been some really interesting alternate takes pop up on these Bootleg Series collections, but I just have a feeling this one is going to feel somewhat redundant. Particularly with some of the expanded versions they are going to release. I don't know that I need 10 different alternate takes of "Maggie's Farm" or whatever. I'm also slightly disappointed that they aren't covering the "Blood On The Tracks" period on this one. I had read last year that the next installment was likely going to cover that period. I really dig 70's Dylan, and that is my favorite record of all time, so I'm interested to hear official versions of those early stripped down recordings. I have a true bootleg of some of those initial versions, but I'm certain Columbia would release better quality versions.

    Still, the period they are going to cover with this is a truly classic period in the history of pop/rock music, so, it should be another solid collection. It just probably won't be as revelatory at the one covering the "Self Portrait" period. That was like discovering you had an original Picasso hiding behind that picture of the dogs playing pool.
     
  3. Melt Face Molly Drop

    Melt Face Molly Drop Well-Known Member

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    My first memories of ol' Bobby included playing beer pong in my friend's (now girlfriend's) parents' basement in high school. I want to say we were playing hookie, because otherwise I can't remember for the life of me why her parents weren't home.

    Just a couple solid hours with friends, while my other buddy's iPod (on an original iHome, mind you) chewed through some of Dylan's catalog. Some would have preferred party music, but for those few moments in time, it was inexplicably perfect. I can really only remember the highlights of what was played (Idiot Wind, Hurricane, Tangled Up In Blue), but it eventually led me down a path which proved to be rather rewarding. I still think about it to this day.

    The night ended at the local Taco Bell with my friend passed out in the bathroom, knees bent on a vomit soaked floor.
     
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  4. Aron

    Aron Well-Known Member

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    Some vivid memories there @Melt Face Molly Drop
     
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  5. Mitchell

    Mitchell Well-Known Member

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    This is one of the most beautiful things I've ever read... I think.
     
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  6. Aron

    Aron Well-Known Member

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    I got into Dylan my Sophomore or Junior year in high school. We were given an assignment in my AP English class where we had to give a speech about a non-conformist. There was this really long list of people to choose from, and, being the music nerd I was/am, I went with Dylan. I knew some of his big classic radio songs, but it was interesting reading up on him. That led me to checking out some of his albums, and then I was totally hooked. I like words, and Dylan certainly knows words. I feel like I've learned so much, just from the lyrics to his songs.

    I also think it is incredibly cool that he is still such an enigma. Sure, he benefitted from not blowing up in the social media age, but it is really remarkable how little we really know about the guy. Even after a biopic, countless biographies and his own autobiographical entry. That he has been able to maintain that cloak of secrecy about his personal life and true self is pretty amazing to me. I'll read things about him, even things he says in interviews, and I always take it with a grain of salt. Because he's a professional storyteller, he's always kind of got a built in out clause. That could be frustrating for some, but, for some reason, I totally embrace it with Dylan.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2015
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  7. DavidA

    DavidA The sun's not yellow, it's chicken

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    Sounds like a moment out of Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues.
     
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  8. DavidA

    DavidA The sun's not yellow, it's chicken

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    It was the Starbucks on 49th street here in Hialeah. The year was 2007 and I was luxuriating in that bubble between the end of my senior year of college and the start of my freshman year at Florida International University.

    You've gotta understand something about Hialeah; it's a city of 100,000+ people, the majority of them being Cuban immigrants. Although, as of late, we've seen a surge of individuals from Venezuela. It's a working class community, see. Working class folks who would drive to Miami to work. Hialeah is to Miami like New Jersey is to New York City. Nary a chain restaurant was to be found in this area save for a Chilli's and the standard fast-food fare. And then emerges this Starbucks, an oasis in this sea of fritanga and Cuban restaurants. My friends and I clung to that place like it was a salon in Paris in 1700's. And we'd foolishly discuss Marx and Rousseu. As if our opinions really mattered. We were so young.

    So I went to order a Passion Ice Tea Lemonade from the counter and, well, there sat a copy of Dylan, a single disc compilation of Dylan's hits and various tracks. And I'm not sure what compelled me to make the impulse purchase. I think I had a quick flashback to my eighth grade English teacher, Mr. Cruz, who'd been instrumental in sewing the seeds of my interest in writing. Cruz was a Gen-X'er but he really wanted to be a hippy. He wore John Lennon glasses and he'd play Like A Rolling Stone in class during our pop-quizzes. Six minutes or so to finish up.

    I bought that disc and it had heavy rotation in my car for a couple of months.

    And that's where I stayed with Dylan. Until I broke up with my girlfriend. I was in love with her and I had saved up money to get her a ring. I was 19 and stupid. A google search for "best breakup album" brought Blood on the Tracks into my orbit.
     
  9. DavidA

    DavidA The sun's not yellow, it's chicken

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    TLDR: I could've become a Dylan fan when I was in eight grade but I was stupid.
     
  10. Aron

    Aron Well-Known Member

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    I think one of the things that appealed to me about Dylan, was his sort of outsider status. Sure, he's got millions of fans all over the world, and he was already pretty popular by the time his second album hit. So he hasn't been some hidden secret to discover or anything. But he was rather unique. People that were that popular at that time didn't often sound the way he did. And they weren't necessarily saying the things he was saying them in the manner he was saying them. A song like "Masters Of War" still cuts really hard to this day. That was bold. And it seems like every time people get comfortable with him and what he's doing, or anytime expectations are built up for what he will do next, he defies expectations. Sometimes for good, and sometimes for not so good. I've always found that element of rebellion that he has (some might say contempt) appealing. If he is to be believed, which he isn't, he was a Brando fan. I think he certainly rolled some of that into his "Dylan" persona.

    I personally know few people my age that like him. Some of my friends respect him, but they don't like listening to his music. So, despite knowing there are all those millions of fans out there, being a Dylan fan has always felt more personal for me. I'm not sure if that makes sense or not. I didn't pop in my Dylan tapes or CDs in the cars when friends were with me. I certainly didn't put his stuff on at parties. It was just something I obsessed over on my own time.
     
  11. Aron

    Aron Well-Known Member

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    If ever there was a thread where we could all write really lengthy posts, this one would seem to be really appropriate. May all the posts be Desolation Row-esque!
     
  12. DavidA

    DavidA The sun's not yellow, it's chicken

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    I understand exactly where you're coming from. It's the argument that's been around since the '60's. "He's such a good writer. I just like listening to other people perform his work better." Not like there are a lot of artists covering his work now.

    I think one thing to keep in mind about Dylan is that even though he's constantly touring, his set-lists don't pander to the casual fan. You need to be up to speed with what this guy has been up to. And the themes of his most recent works are not exactly commercial.
     
  13. DavidA

    DavidA The sun's not yellow, it's chicken

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    Helllord, disguised as Dashley
    With hermemories in a trunk
    Passed this way an hour ago
    With her friend, a jealous Severan.
     
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  14. Aron

    Aron Well-Known Member

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    Not sure where I heard or read it, but I remember hearing once about a couple that hosted a costume party where everybody dressed up as a character from a Dylan song. That sounded like such a cool idea, but a person would have to have a lot of cool friends for it to really work well.
     
  15. DavidA

    DavidA The sun's not yellow, it's chicken

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    Cameron Crowe's liner notes for the Biograph boxset.
     
  16. Aron

    Aron Well-Known Member

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    Well, there it is. Been a while since I reviewed those.
     
  17. DavidA

    DavidA The sun's not yellow, it's chicken

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    They're the reason to own that set. Well, that and the version of a You're a Big Girl Now that would've been released on the original version of Blood on the Tracks.
     
  18. Aron

    Aron Well-Known Member

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    I think there are a lot of reasons to own Biograph. "Up To Me" is the number one reason for me. "Abandoned Love" is a nice outtake. The live version of "Visions Of Johanna" was a terrific taste of what was to come later with the "Live 1966" Bootleg Series entry. The liner notes are great too, I just haven't revisited them in years.
     
  19. DavidA

    DavidA The sun's not yellow, it's chicken

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  20. Aron

    Aron Well-Known Member

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