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PostPosted: Fri August 10th, 2012, 00:06 GMT 
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I'm aware of that, it's why I cited Jesse James, first recorded in the 20s but going back to the 19th century if I remember correctly, and Woody's Pretty Boy Floyd, from the 30s.


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PostPosted: Fri August 10th, 2012, 00:10 GMT 
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I know you are, but sometimes the vibe around here is everything Bob's done up until rather recently was completely innovative.


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PostPosted: Fri August 10th, 2012, 00:13 GMT 
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Johanna, I think you need a special hat to prevent you from feeling those vibes!

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PostPosted: Fri August 10th, 2012, 00:25 GMT 
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Johanna Parker wrote:
I know you are, but sometimes the vibe around here is everything Bob's done up until rather recently was completely innovative.

I don't get that feeling. Most people here know their music. Anyway, BD has been greatly innovative.


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PostPosted: Fri August 10th, 2012, 01:15 GMT 
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the_revelator wrote:
Thanks for the memory jog, Belle, and to toilandblood for the insight about unreliable narration.




MMD wrote:
^^
See. This is what a thread can do. Thanks rev, belle, et al.


Some of you are on a whole different level of intellect.
But my pleasure. Additionally, it looks like I'll be bringing the taco salad.


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PostPosted: Fri August 10th, 2012, 02:07 GMT 
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Giada wrote:
Btw, whoever said that Joey's dishonesty is grating, do you feel the same way about 'Jesse James' & 'Pretty Boy Floyd'? Because those 2 songs also took their characters out of their historical contexts and romanticized them. It's the outlaw ballad tradition. BD did the same thing with John Wesley Hardin.


I don't know if you're thinking of my post, G, but I said it was naive, and I'd add cloying.

I'm about to make an argument, but I am only thinking it through now. So, take it as a hypothesis.

I can see your point in contextualizing Joey in the way you did. And, yes, Jesse James in his soundtrack is persecuted for hard to swallow reasons (sounds a lot like GWB: his freedom... Billy they don't like you to be so free). But those are legends, long before Dylan's time and you can say that he is playing in the outlaw ballad form. It's a strong cultural form, at the heart of American identity. I can't say too much about the Floyd myth and songs. But, the James myth, in particular, lives in a world where order meant the will of those with bigger gangs/armies or the money to buy them. The difference between James and the law is not clear. He is equal to every other armed man. Joey is not a legendary figure whose real personality and deeds are buried in the oral tradition and its vagaries. And while Joey Gallo captured the popular imagination, it was more tawdry (based on what I've read). And so, Dylan's mythologizing (which sounds very clumsy to my untutored ears) comes off as goofy. And childish. What's the difference, really? Maybe just the irresponsibility permitted by being a singer of inherited songs rather than making them up yourself?

Well, a try anyway.


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PostPosted: Fri August 10th, 2012, 02:12 GMT 
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Johanna Parker wrote:
MMD wrote:
^^ I disagree JP. It's darker than that. It's grimly smiling in carnage. It's not life affirming in any contemporary sort of way. It's far darker and more pessimistic that the ars moriendi tradition or the danse macabre. It seems more like a dark acceptance of the inherent ineradicable evil in the hearts of all -- one's own not excepted. Always on the verge of turning wrong.


Last edited by MMD on Fri August 10th, 2012, 02:14 GMT, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri August 10th, 2012, 02:13 GMT 
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Johanna Parker wrote:
MMD wrote:
^^ I disagree JP. It's darker than that. It's grimly smiling in carnage. It's not life affirming in any contemporary sort of way. It's far darker and more pessimistic that the ars moriendi tradition or the danse macabre. It seems more like a dark acceptance of the inherent ineradicable evil in the hearts of all -- one's own not excepted. Always on the verge of turning wrong.


Bob's not in a contemporary sort of way - hasn't been since GAIBTY at least. Of course, with an apocalyptic world view, he's always aware of the element of Cain inside everyone. You need to look no further than the first song on "LAT" and it's right there, both Cain and Abel, except that they are both the same person trying to divide into the dark and the less dark side. Or Summer Days, which ends right on an affirmative statement, as opposed to R&T on the next album. It's a fighting for light album, as opposed to the dying of light in TOOM.


JP, I am not sure what you mean in a number of places here. But I think the main problem for me is your use of the word 'apocalyptic' when I think you mean pessimistic or rooted in original sin. 'Apocalyptic' means the impending end of the world rendering all contemporary life either irrelevant (thus cults dropping out and even committing suicide) or a sign of the end of times. I don't know what you mean either by "a fighting for light" album. And the "dying of the light" is a phrase that is usually understood to be what one rages against, fights against in favor of life.

If you are inclined to clarify, I'll be back later and try again.


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PostPosted: Fri August 10th, 2012, 08:16 GMT 
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MMD wrote:
BennyBoy, Rev, Moving_..., GIada, et al.,

Isn't Masked and Anonymous the most explicit statement of Dylan's world view? And isn't it unsatisfying, even cynical? That's the world of Dylan's characters, I think.



Masked & Anonymous is a godawful, pretentious, risible film. Whatever 'philosophy' is espoused seems to be drawn from the grumpy old man school of barstool bollocks, aiming for profundity but drowning in the puddle of delusion.

And Dylan's acting and singing are utterly awful to boot.

Say what you like about 'Renaldo & Clara', but it has some real human warmth and compassion at its heart, and white-hot music pumping through its coked-up veins.

And thats the difference really between Dylan of the 70s and Dylan of post-Oh Mercy. As the retreat into the gnomic bubble intensified, the connection with humanity shrank, the bile rose and the music suffered.

You know - this morning on the way to work, I listened to 'Early Roman Kings' (I keep wanting to type Early Morning Rain for some reason! Ha.) back to back with 'Meet Me In the Morning' (there we go - its a morning thing) and aside from the singing quality differential, the thing that struck me like a lightning bolt was this:

The Dylan of 'Meet Me In The Morning' is in a dynamic subject-object relationship throughout the song. He is singing to the 'honey' he had, who he lost, who still lives in his every pore. He is supplicant to his desire for reunification, for the heat of that relationship to be rekindled. And even though this song is very simple, lyrically, he manages to say more and touch me more in one simple double line repeated verse than he does in the whole of 'Early Morning Kings'.

Meet me in the morning 56th and Wabasha
Meet me in the morning 56th and Wabasha
Honey we could be in Kansas
By time the snow begins to thaw.

They say the darkest hour is right before the dawn
They say the darkest hour is right before the dawn
But you wouldn't know it by me
Every day's been darkness since you been gone.

Little rooster crowing there must be something on his mind
Little rooster crowing there must be something on his mind
Well I feel just like that rooster
Honey ya treat me so unkind.

Well I struggled through barbed wire felt the hail fall from above
Well I struggled through barbed wire felt the hail fall from above
Well you know I even outran the hound dogs
Honey you know I've earned your love.

Look at the sun sinking like a ship
Look at the sun sinking like a ship
Ain't that just like my heart babe
When you kissed my lips?


Even reading the lyrics you get a sense of the despair and - here's a word that strikes me as emininently suitable - truth to the narrator's pleas. We've all been there, right?

Whereas, by contrast, 'Early Roman Kings' uses a lot of words to say, well, who knows? Not much, if you ask me. Certainly not much I can personally relate to. I mean, what does distributing corn, destroying cities, sending people to the house of death have to do with me getting up and going to work every day and struggling to juggle my dreams against the grim reality of paying the rent and eating food to stay alive? Or to my relationship with the beautiful woman who lives with me? I'm not interested in knowing more about cruel people stamping on others - its there everytime I walk outside or switch on TV. What I want is the light and shade of the inner life, something that isn't reductively mean and selfish (in the negative sense), communion with a larger organism of consciousness that is striving towards the light - a prospect, if you like, of healing in the darkness.

Dont get me wrong - I think 'ERK' is a better blues song than he has produced in a while, and the singing and lyrics are a notch above the last couple of albums. But its pretty much a song that is about two perspectives on cruel/benevolent dictatorship welded together in the middle that ultimately doesnt really offer any hooks to hang my emotional coats on.

It's a glib metaphor I know, but like a tempest itself, could the song finally be full of sound and fury, yet signifying nothing?

Pretty much the opposite of 'Meet Me In The Morning' then.

And that, gentlefolk, is the rub, I feel.


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PostPosted: Fri August 10th, 2012, 08:49 GMT 
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Those Early Morning Rainy Day Roman Kings Distributing Corn (# X11 & XXXV):

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PostPosted: Fri August 10th, 2012, 08:55 GMT 
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More like:

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PostPosted: Fri August 10th, 2012, 08:56 GMT 
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Train-I-Ride wrote:
Those Early Morning Rainy Day Roman Kings Distributing Corn (# X11 & XXXV):

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My name is Modernus Bobus, Commander of the Robozombie Cowboy Band, General of the Never Ending Tour, loyal servant to the true emperors Bloody Waters, Scowling Fox and 'Hairy Palms' Horton & His Whistling Kettle, father to who knows how many sons, husband to a wife's home town, and I will have my vengeance -- on this album or the next.


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PostPosted: Fri August 10th, 2012, 09:27 GMT 
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"ON MY COMMAND, UNLEASH HELL!!!!"


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PostPosted: Fri August 10th, 2012, 09:29 GMT 
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Check this out!!

http://www.freakingnews.com/Bob-Dylan-w ... -96445.asp

and this

http://behance.vo.llnwd.net/profiles2/9 ... 777199.jpg


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PostPosted: Fri August 10th, 2012, 09:33 GMT 
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It's not as emotionally engaging as Blood on the Tracks...that is what you're saying, Benny?

:shock:


One possiblity when it comes to the increased use of violent imagery is that his songs are more constructs than ever (and they probably have been to a degree since he got his first royalty check) and that Dylan himself, his personal inner life, is not present, or is only present and engaged in a more abstract or cerebral way than back when he was howling about his wife and boinking every 16 year old girl he could get his hands on. The brief reviews have suggested some deeply moving songs on this album, so maybe I'm just talking out my ass...nothing unusual about that.


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PostPosted: Fri August 10th, 2012, 09:57 GMT 
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free image hosting


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PostPosted: Fri August 10th, 2012, 10:09 GMT 
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smoke wrote:
It's not as emotionally engaging as Blood on the Tracks...that is what you're saying, Benny?

:shock:


One possiblity when it comes to the increased use of violent imagery is that his songs are more constructs than ever (and they probably have been to a degree since he got his first royalty check) and that Dylan himself, his personal inner life, is not present, or is only present and engaged in a more abstract or cerebral way than back when he was howling about his wife and boinking every 16 year old girl he could get his hands on. The brief reviews have suggested some deeply moving songs on this album, so maybe I'm just talking out my ass...nothing unusual about that.



No - I'm saying its not as emotionally engaging as 'Meet Me In The Morning' - a much more simple, yet more powerfully painted blues song. I'm not comparing one song with an album.

Emotionally engaging should be the starting blocks for any song. I find the only emotions stirred by 'Early Roman Kings' to be mind bewilderment at the point of the whole thing and raised hackles at the bullyboy posturing.


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PostPosted: Fri August 10th, 2012, 10:13 GMT 

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"Emotionally engaging should be the starting blocks for any song".

No. Not any song.


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PostPosted: Fri August 10th, 2012, 10:43 GMT 
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NZNZNZ wrote:
"Emotionally engaging should be the starting blocks for any song".

No. Not any song.


Yes - any song. Otherwise, why bother? A song for the sake of a song is pointless. Why construct a house, if nobody's going to move in?


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PostPosted: Fri August 10th, 2012, 12:35 GMT 

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To be fair, I've never heard ANY album/song that measures up to the emotional depth of Dylan circa '74!! Beck's Sea Change, maybe. Hopefully, Tempest will have its fair share of introspective lyrics as well.


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PostPosted: Fri August 10th, 2012, 12:36 GMT 
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Bob is right. Madness rules this earth and the insane are regarded as great princes within it. Meanwhile, the sane are ridiculed and their empathy debased as a foolishness.


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PostPosted: Fri August 10th, 2012, 12:39 GMT 

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the_revelator wrote:
I thought maybe the 'ain't afraid to make love to a bitch or a hag' might be like the lenders were willing to say anything to woo unqualified buyers into entering contracts.

I enjoyed your post.
At this part the imagery failed me because 'bitch' and 'hag' both have feminine, rather than Shylock, connotations for me (female dog / old woman).


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PostPosted: Fri August 10th, 2012, 12:50 GMT 

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While I'm not quite as negative about 'ModBob' as the term is apparently used here,as Bennyboy, I do think he has an excellent point about the need for songs to be emotionally engaging. And while songs can be successful on all sorts of levels, the 'did it move me' test is probably the most important.

By the way, Bennyboy, if you're reading this (and/or anyone else) - speaking of songwriters who talk about ' the light and shade of inner life' as you put it... one songwriter (at least for me, your experience may be different) who does that in a disarming, many times 'laugh-out-loud funny but then unexpectedly deep' kind of way is Loudon Wainwright III, particularly his more recent stuff... do you know his stuff (not the one semi-'hit song' he did 'dead skunk' but the stuff he's been doing about families and relationships in the last 20 or 25 years)

oh and that pix with 'I'll make them an offer they won't understand' is hilarious...

all that being said, i'm still enjoying ERK as a cut above the more recent Dylan blues things- but looking forward to the rest of the album, where hopefully there will indeed be more emotional connection...and other riches as well..


Last edited by mikesnyc on Fri August 10th, 2012, 12:52 GMT, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri August 10th, 2012, 12:50 GMT 

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I thought that post by Benny Boy one of the most insightful I've read in a while.


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PostPosted: Fri August 10th, 2012, 12:51 GMT 

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Bennyboy says some ugly things sometimes but his post is spot on. It's a good argument ~ what does ERK say that you can relate too... it's not about anything real. Sound and fury signifying nothing is apt description.


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