Thursday, January 20, 2005

bob dylan chronicles volume one

being terminally unemployed, when i am not chasing down a job thru the want ads or going to time wasting interviews, i am sitting around the apartment trying to get some reading done.
as i get older i find it harder to be impressed and even harder to be inspired. i don't think the last 10 books that i've read made any lasting impression at all. this is not true of bob dylan's autobiography-chronicles volume one.
this book is the real deal. after decades of hearing every possible perspective & critical analysis but his own dylan dishes the dirt.
when i was 17 the two biggies for me were bob dylan & the minutemen. every few months (maybe every six) i'd go dylan crazy all over. what can i say, i share a kinship w/the man being from the midwest & sharing the same birthday- may24th. but the last five years or so, dylan didn't have the same appeal that he once had.
the critics and record geek friends urging me to check out time out of mind and dylan's newer albums.their message being is you don't love this stuff-you're an idiot. sorry folks, but it just wasn't doing it for me. his voice that once had alot of "character" is totally wasted. he sounds like a frog w/throat cancer.
last year though the man really dazzled me w/his movie-masked and anonymous. here he was in a whole new genre, making something revelant and downright exciting. michael corcoran from the austin american statesman named it one of the worst "rock" films of the year (or maybe of all time I can't remember) but what does he know? he thinks toni price can sing and spoon is a great "new" band.
masked and anonymous is way more than a rock film w/so many layers and levels to it. even if you're not a dylan fan, you'd probably find something to like there (directed by larry charles of seinfeld fame) and if you are a dylan fan this movie is essential (more so than time out of mind)
chronicles volume one is the first (i hope more is forthcoming) installment of dylan's autobiography. it skips around and focuses mostly on his arrival in NYC, his dropping out of the woodstock nation, and strangely enough the new orleans recording sessions for the OH Mercy! lp. so many insights and revelations contained in these pages. he tells the reader who he was reading, what he was listening too, and what he was thinking. and he proves to the world he is a true artist whether it is songwriting, film making, poetry (you gotta read tarantula), or as a writer of philosophical memoirs, bob dylan is still the man, and more than just a moldy living legend. what will he do next?

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