Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Monday, September 29, 2014

I'm Not There 1956


1967 West Saugerties, New York


Note: 1956 is part of the title, not the date it was created or recorded.

 I'm Not There by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark
"Perhaps the most mythical of all Dylan’s unreleased gems, “I’m Not There” is an absolute mystery. A long, extended meditation built around a four-chord acoustic-guitar strum, it was recorded only once by Dylan and never finished or revisited. Lyrics and lines float by, some discernible, others elusive. Among Dylan fanatics, it’s a kind of Rosetta stone because it seems to capture the artist in the midst of his creative process. The magic of “I’m Not There” is its lack of definition. Critic Greil Marcus devotes five pages of The Old, Weird America to the song, writing that “?‘I’m Not There’ is barely written at all. Words are floated together in a dyslexia that is music itself, a dyslexia that seems meant to prove the claims of music over words, to see just how little words can do.”

True, but what’s most engaging about the song is the revelation it provides about Dylan’s creative process. Unlike many outtakes and bootlegged tracks, “I’m Not There” feels like someone channeling, speaking in tongues, handling snakes, conjuring out of the mist the blueprint of a song." Randall Roberts  
The above article is excerpted from Bob Dylan's Most Mysterious Recording by Randall Roberts in LA Weekly



Friday, September 26, 2014

God and Music



Read What Life Means To Einstein by George Sylvester Viereck, Saturday Evening Post, Oct. 26,1929
(and don't miss the very interesting and funny Hanes underwear ad.)

“If… I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music. I cannot tell if I would have done any creative work of importance in music, but I do know that I get most joy in life out of my violin.”








Oh what dear daughter ’neath the sun


Tell me, my daughters … which of you shall we say doth love us most?”, King Lear, W. Shakespeare. (Cordelia Disinherited by John Rogers Herbert. - See more at: http://blog.oup.com/2014/09/question-religion-rationality/#sthash.8EZRdVCj.dpuf
Tell me, my daughters … which of you shall we say doth love us most?”, King Lear, W. Shakespeare. (Cordelia Disinherited by John Rogers Herbert. - See more at: http://blog.oup.com/2014/09/question-religion-rationality/#sthash.8EZRdVCj.dpuf
Cordelia Disinherited by John Rogers Herbert
Tell me, my daughters … which of you shall we say doth love us most?”, King Lear, W. Shakespeare. (Cordelia Disinherited by John Rogers Herbert. - See more at: http://blog.oup.com/2014/09/question-religion-rationality/#sthash.8EZRdVCj.dpuf





We carried you in our arms
On Independence Day
And now you’d throw us all aside
And put us on our way
Oh what dear daughter ’neath the sun
Would treat a father so
To wait upon him hand and foot
And always tell him, “No?”
Tears of rage, tears of grief
Why must I always be the thief?
Come to me now, you know
We’re so alone
And life is brief

We pointed out the way to go
And scratched your name in sand
Though you just thought it was nothing more
Than a place for you to stand
Now, I want you to know that while we watched
You discover there was no one true
Most ev’rybody really thought
It was a childish thing to do
Tears of rage, tears of grief
Must I always be the thief?
Come to me now, you know
We’re so low
And life is brief

It was all very painless
When you went out to receive
All that false instruction
Which we never could believe
And now the heart is filled with gold
As if it was a purse
But, oh, what kind of love is this
Which goes from bad to worse?
Tears of rage, tears of grief
Must I always be the thief?
Come to me now, you know
We’re so low
And life is brief
Lyrics, bob Dylan; Melody, Richard Manuel 
 
Andy Gill likens the song to King Lear's soliloquy on the blasted heath in Shakespeare's tragedy: "Wracked with bitterness and regret, its narrator reflects upon promises broken and truths ignored, on how greed has poisoned the well of best intentions, and how even daughters can deny their father's wishes." He suggests that Dylan is linking the anguish of Lear’s soliloquy to the divisions in American society apparent in 1967, as the Vietnam War escalated: "In its narrowest and most contemporaneous interpretation, the song could be the first to register the pain of betrayal felt by many of America’s Vietnam war veterans . … In a wider interpretation [it] harks back to what anti-war protesters and critics of American materialism in general felt was a more fundamental betrayal of the American Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights."  Wikipedia
"A strong Biblical theme runs through the song, according to Sid Griffin, who also notes that "life is brief" is a recurrent message in the Old Testament books Psalms and Isaiah.  As a father, Dylan realizes now that "no broken heart hurts more than the broken heart of a distraught parent." Griffin calls the four minutes of this song "as representative of community, ageless truths and the unbreakable bonds of family as anything in The Band's canon—or anyone else's canon." Wikipedia
 
Greil Marcus suggests that the "famous beginning"—"We carried you/In our arms/On Independence Day"—evokes a naming ceremony not just for a child but also for a whole nation. He writes that "in Dylan's singing—an ache from deep in the chest, a voice thick with care in the first recording of the song—the song is from the start a sermon and an elegy, a Kaddish."  Wikipedia
Robbie Robertson
"You know the punky attitude that had to do with music - hate your mother and stab your father. It’s kind of a trend of some sort, and this
(the next of kin photo)was a statement that we weren’t there. We don’t hate our mothers and fathers. It (Tears of Rage)’s from a parent’s point of view. So what if your parents did you wrong? Maybe they did, but so what? Everybody’s doing what they can do, right or wrong. I’m just tired of hearing all this - that little girl, Janis Ian. You know, Jim Morrison and all those people. I just think that they’re a drag. Even if that is their situation, who cares?"
 Read more opinions and interpretations:  excellent notes and commentary  


Wednesday, September 24, 2014