Friday, September 30, 2005

Don't Look Back

If this were 1966, this street sign would probably last as long as the "Abbey Road" one:

(You've heard of Bob Dylan, haven't you? They say he's the Caetano Veloso of the U.S.!)

Yes, yes, of course I watched the PBS broadcast of Martin Scorsese's Dylan bio. How could I not?

And of course I loved it. How could I not? Admittedly, I thought the whole structure was a little wacky (everything's a flashback from the 1966 concerts where the audience was nearly booing him off the stage), and I was very sad that it stopped so abruptly with the motorcycle accident, effectively omitting the next, oh, FORTY YEARS of the man's career (not Scorcese's idea, we learned in the post-show interview with Charlie Rose). But holy smokes, that was some amazing footage. Suzie Rotolo! The '66 British tour! Crazy press-conference sequences with reporters asking Bob to suck his sunglasses! Bob and Joan B, right here in Buffalo, NY! (Bonus low point: ill-advised duet between these 2 on "With God on Our Side" at Newport.) And so on, and so on. Need I say more, when you can read the thoughts of poet Ron Silliman (thanks, Comrade Lampkin, for bringing that to my attention) and the one and only Right-Wing Bob? (I thought I had posted a link to RWB here right after I discovered the site, which is exactly what it sounds like, but maybe I only did that in my mind.)

I had a whole entry planned around the two recent archival releases, Bootleg Vol. 7 and Live at the Gaslight, but I never quite wrote it. Then I was gonna post my actual review of those discs to my website, but I haven't quite done that, either. And I was gonna encourage fellow Dylanologists to pick up the September issue of Mojo, which contains such treasures as a completely random list of the 100 best Dylan songs of his career, a recent interview with the man himself, a review of the aforementioned sort-of-soundtrack-album, and so on, as well as a bonus CD of 15 Dylan covers both sublime (Andrew Bird and Nora O'Connor's "Oh Sister"!) and ridiculous (Nancy Sinatra doing "It Ain't Me,Babe"!) (Also: the Driscoll/Auger version of "This Wheel's on Fire" that served as the title song for AbFab, a typically raw Chris Whitley take on "Spanish Harlem Incident," and a not-great-but-interesting "Girl from the North Country" by Conor Oberst/Bright Eyes, M. Ward, and Jim James of My Morning Jacket.) Good points, bad points--an even mix of both. Perhaps you can still find it somewhere. If not, feel free to blame me for missing out. It's what I'm here for.

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