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The Band, sort of; Dylan maybe « Previous | |Next »
December 13, 2007

I've returned from my brief holiday in Wilsons Promontory to find that the comments function has been closed by my hosting company because of heavy comment spam. They are being battered by waves of spam, and so I will have to upgrade the MT publishing system this week so I can throttle the comment spam and turn off old comments.

A musical interlude:

I always had a soft spot for The Band--‘the 'sprung quality’ of the music, the Americana feel of the brown album and the historical songs.This video is a reunion of some members in 1983--long after they had broken up as a working ensemble in the mid 70s signified by The Last Waltz. It is the reformed Band.

The death of Richard Manuel in 1986 cast a dark pall on any future reunions of the post-Robertson Band. I do not know any of the post Robertson Band albums with their call back to the past. However, Levon Helm's recent Poor Old Dirt Farmer resonates with the rural present.

I'd been listening to Dylan's gritty Time Out of Mind (1998) with producer Daniel Lanois and the latter Love and Theft off and on before I went on holidays. These albums are held to herald a return to form by Dylan, and they are the first albums I've listened to since Blood on the Tracks in 1975. I've never viewed Dylan as a 20th-century literary icon that tries to legitimize Dylan as a poet or celebrated his once mythic celebrity stature. Dylan, however, deserves a place in academia concerned with the masterworks in Dylan’s canon.

Dylan had spent seven years without a record and two decades without one of consequence before:


\I'm in two minds about this new material. Once I'd adjusted to contemporary Dylan---my first introduction to the modern Dylan was with 'Love Sick' and had put aside the memories of the music of his heyday I noticed the excellent production on Time Out of Mind has rather than being thick and suffocating, the dark, swirling atmospherics expresses Dylan's negativity--all that pain, weariness and longing.

The world-weary delivery and overall feeling of decay is attractive, as Dylan was on the musical cultural fringe confronting his advancing years and the prospects of failing health and irrelevance-- somewhere between a joke and a relic.You know Dylan Sings Streisand. Though some of the songs are strong ---eg., 'Love Sick', 'Not Dark Yet'-- some of the other material is pedestrian--eg., the 12-bar blues ditties that often sound as if Dylan is making ’em up as he goes--- and I skip them.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 01:35 AM | | Comments (0)
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