Before I respond to Train-I-Ride, I should say that I do not recognize this poster as being a particularly bad offender in terms of derogating Bob. A lot of what I'm saying is in regard to the forum in general and this only directed at Train-I-Ride because of his or her participation in this thread.
Second, my entire argument assumes that Train-I-Ride, harmonica albert, etc. are absolutely correct in their assessment of Bob's performances. Many objections, therefore, should not be directed towards my argument, metaphors/analogies, etc. but toward their assessment of the situation.
You're likening kids to adults, likening walking up to kids outside Santa's Grotto and telling them Santa's a lie, to countering adult fans of Bob Dylan who whoop and holler that he sings and puts on a great show when clearly he doesn't. I wouldn't dream of doing the former, but I certainly would the latter (youtube evidence of the current tour would ensure that)
Well, the first thing is that this analogy (thank you, I tend to use the word metaphor in a sort of general, colloquial sense...although the concepts of analogy and metaphor are related in a more nuanced way than you suggest) isn't meant to work from every conceivable angle. In other words, don't read too deeply into the kids v. adults thing.
you tell the kids that Santa's a lie? Because it would ruin the experience for them? Why on earth would you feel any different just because the people in question are adults?
Remember, most of the kids are just as smart, aware, etc. as the adults. Actually, if you insist that this analogy must work on every level possible, we can think about it like this. We'll say there are two groups of adults. One group is standing in the Santa line with the kids, enjoying the whole experience, while the other group is standing to the side, saying things like “Santa isn't real!” and “Look at his fake beard!” and “Clearly this Santa is much slimmer than he's supposed to be!” The kids are the people who earnestly think Bob's performances are great, the adults standing with them are the “We know this is crap but we don't cares” and the other adults are, naturally, posters like you.
Why is it wrong to compare people who earnestly like Bob's music to innocents, if we take what you, harmonica albert, etc. say as being true? They are people who earnestly enjoy and find great musical merit in performances that are, in your words, “travesties” and “clearly [not great]”. Why shouldn't their attitude toward Bob's performances be thought of as childlike? This is not to say that these people are childlike in general. Perhaps they are, in every other respect, very adult. You might wonder what this might look like in the flesh. One of the biggest Bob fans I know is a 60-something middle school teacher, a lovely woman with a nice career, family, home, etc. For whatever reason (again, from your point of view) she happens to love listening to late NET shows. She loves how Bob's voice sounds now. She thinks he's only getting better with age. When she gets together with her Bob fan friends, the gathering has the feel of an church potluck. She doesn't swear and she dirty jokes make her uncomfortable. She's a pretty typical grandma.
The truth is, Bob appeals to a very wide variety of people. Not just narcissistic hipsters, you know!
It's a drag, coming here and having to wade through all of this "truth".
I take it you don't require a serious answer to this rant:
But, really guys, keep up the good work. It takes a rare talent and an unwavering commitment to The Truth to see Bob's show for what it is. You brave spelunkers have made it to the surface and bathed in the sun...now back down into the cave to unlock some shackles, right? Oh wait, the people who are in shackles seem to be having a great time. But let's keep trying to "free" them, right?
Why not? I've said a mouthful there.
Except, you need pulling up on that last bit. I'm a Bob Dylan fan, too, but it's not my job (job???
) to enjoy him and think he's great today.
I obviously didn't mean “job” in a literal sense. I meant it's their job to like everything Bob does the same way it's a rock job to be a rock. It had an existential undertone. You're just doing your job, too. And I'm doing mine.
By the way, you may have noticed that a number of those fans who think 'It's their job to enjoy him and think he's great' today, don't seem to think he was great when he really, truly was great. Incredible that, wouldn't you say?
What's your point?
Now, as for harmonica albert's post...
The issue is a little more complicated when the music itself, rather than what anyone "feels" about the music, is the topic. In my experience, including reading ER posts, close examination of the music happens rarely relative to claims made about the music (and I don't mean interpreting the lyrics absent their musical delivery). For example, someone will praise Dylan's singing for its "inventive phrasing"--often in songs where there's no longer discernable melody and accurate pitch--without closely examining the details of his habits of phrasing musically. When I go to Youtube, what I find is often dreadfully predictable phrasing in song after song, trademark whines on words that need no emphasis, melodramatic pauses every one or two bars for verse after verse that kill the potential emotional drama in a lyric, rushed syllables that crowd the words into a few bars and leave the band wondering what to do until the next attempt to sing. Here's one of innumerable examples:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8doi2UH_UR8
is She Belongs to Me (starts mid song I think). Almost every line is delivered as Bow down to her on Sunday (pause) salute her (pause) when her birthday comes. Singing each line the same way, with the same disruptions no matter what the words mean, is not "inventive" phrasing, but exactly the opposite, betraying a failure of invention and a lack of attention to the details of music in favor of self-parody that establishes the brand of the commodity for its intended market. It's the sound of business, not art. It's interesting to hear a few instances of his "upsinging" trademark applied to this song, but weakly because presumably his voice can no longer negotiate the half-octave or so with any control.
...thus begins a sterile, efficient, and thorough dissection of what is already thought of, by the examiner, as an old, half rotted corpse!
Seriously, if Bob's performances are this bad, why burn so much time and language up on them? I almost get the impression that you enjoy and even savor the description, classification, and diagnosis of every pathetic grunt and moan. Why?
Do you understand that when people hear musical greatness where there is none, they are innocents, and registering arguments against them is no different than arguing with children about the reality of Santa Claus? Once again, I'm assuming everything you guys say is true! MY argument is only valid if YOUR ideas about Bob's performances are!
The phrasing on the original recording is some of Dylan's best recorded singing, very legato, with a richness of tone that has been absent for decades--the above line is is delivered with almost no rests because the -day note is held a bit. This is natural, intimately human, and emotionally clear as well as musically superior on an objective level to the dismembering of the lines in the contemporary recording. 2012 Dylan should not aspire to sound like a 24-year old, but barking out this song while the band plays tepid folk rock behind him has little musical value if much commercial value. It obviously has emotional significance for listeners who don't pay attention much to music itself and are more concerned with their own emotional responses to the song as historical artifact (including an artifact of their personal history) and the legend of the artist. There's nothing wrong with this subjective response way of appreciating music, and much to be gained from it.
My, albert, how generous
you are in describing the decline of this man. How exceedingly accurate
you are in chronicling his deterioration. How skillfully you dissect this man, as if he were not a man at all, but a frog in a biology classroom. Really, great job. You've really made a nice contribution to this forum.
I assume just about everyone here has the same attitude, right? Bob isn't a person, he doesn't have grandchildren, daughters-in-law, nephews, etc. He doesn't add real meaning to anyone's life. He's just a toy to be played with and enjoyed until one day we grow bored with it and decide to take a knife/match/garbage disposal to it...just because we're bored, spiteful scientists. That's a pretty accurate description of your experience with Bob, right, albert?
An objective rebuttal to my critique of the 2012 She Belongs To Me ought to include musical examples of such phrasing as I have described, in other songs by other singers that have achieved great success and acclaim, to demonstrate that this represents a positive achievment in the singing arts and not a failure to sustain achievment. Simply saying "no, it's great, and you're an old poopy head" is not a rebuttal, however old and poopy-headed I may be. It's just a demonstration of one's taste. The great difficulty for most people is connecting their personal taste to some rigorous critical apparatus. It's a life-long process of self-questioning, at least for me. Not just "do I like this?" but "why do I like this?" and "how do I like this?" and "what is it that I'm liking?
I find it laughable that you claim to live such an examined aesthetic life when then end result is you spending your time writing this garbage. Talk about missing the point.
I belong to the community of human beings. I'm not sympathetic to communities that build fortresses around their idols and demand everyone bow or leave.
Oh, brother! The stakes are obviously not that high. People who come here and spend most of their time bashing Bob—and enjoying it, apparently—are not different from children peeing in a sandbox. And to think you see it as this noble battle over idols, fortresses, servitude...I mean, it's laughable.