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4/24/2006

Let's Talk

I couldn't ever get into Bob Dylan. Dunno why. In my effort to try to explore critically embarrassing and often psychically liberating bruises in the careers of Famous Musicians (Leonard Cohen's Death of a Ladies Man, The Eagles' The Long Run), I listened to Street Legal last week. The back cover makes him look like Alice Cooper. I thought heroin was slimming, but Karl assured me that quasi-Renaissance leisure wear lends a look of gravity (well, just, "he's not fat. just his shirt"). The only song I really like is "Is Your Love in Vain?," which is horror-rock, in a sense. I guess it's a thorn for Dylan lovers because it's not poetically nuanced enough or something; it's also one of the most wrong-headed and classically selfish sentiments I've ever heard, but he sings it with grotesque conviction (Karl said "I don't want to ever hear that song again"; I couldn't stop thinking about it). It's like he threw up all the worst love letters I write; it's like those ads--"If smoking did to your outside what it did to your insides, would you still do it?"

8 Comments:

Blogger Alfred said...

A most apt summation ("Senor" is also a good entry in the horror-rock category). Street-Legal also has one of the most slovenly mixes of any album by a purported major rock and roller; thanks to the shit production the lyrics, singing, and backing vocals of "Changing of the Guard" sound even more abstruse.

If you're feeling sinister, I can send you the Arthur Baker-produced Empire Burlesque (1985). Disco Dylan. With synth-horns. Worthy of resurrection, I'd say.

10:53 PM  
Blogger Mike Powell said...

That sounds awesome, Alfred! (I'm going to email you just to make sure you hear the sound of me wanting.)

11:40 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

i can't get into dylan so much either. i am certain that my opinion is entirely reactionary.

i can, however, listen to lay lady lay all day long. something about that song...

8:25 PM  
Blogger Anthony Miccio said...

I never got into Dylan until I read Accidental Evolution Of Rock'n'Roll which pointed out that a lot his lyrics are just jokes & make-it-rhymes. When you buy the boomer myth that every line is a pearl, you miss a funny, hooky asshole whose genius surprises you if you're not LOOKING for it.

4:31 PM  
Blogger Anthony Miccio said...

maybe not on Street-Legal, though.

4:32 PM  
Blogger Ian said...

Err, Alfred, any chance I could get in on that sending? Ever since discussing Dylan's lesser works on the subway, I admit I've been curious.

6:26 PM  
Blogger Justin said...

I was a Dylan almost immediately, but Anthony's right on about how you need to hear him.

11:24 AM  
Blogger Justin said...

Um, a Dylan *fan* that is. Never been an actual Dylan.

11:25 AM  

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