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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Up the Road, Around the Bend

Bob Dylan saved the best for last in 2006. At his tour & year ending concert in New York City on Monday, he debuted the album closer from Modern Times, Ain't Talkin'. He even waited until the encores to play it. You can download it here, if you wish...

Sometimes when you hear a live performance of a song you enjoy on an album, it can tend to let you down. Maybe it's underrehearsed, or maybe whatever tricks they use to make it sound good on an album aren't available on stage. This was certainly not the case for this song, it came alive onstage in ways that made it shed it's skin from the original. It was sped up, just a bit, & electric guitars played the parts between, giving it an edge & forcing Dylan's vocals to be much louder. The vocals on the album are more of a singing/talking passive effect, here they are loud & very forceful, employing the growling effect Dylan's used the last few years. Bob's organ even sounds good here, creating an eerie backdrop that suits the lyrics very well. This band sounds better than anything they've ever done, there's a great guitar solo confrontation between Denny Freeman & Stu Kimball, expressing the tension of the song very well.

Pay no attention to what the website says, the second verse goes as follows:

They say prayer has the power to heal
so pray for me mother
in the human heart an evil spirit can dwell
I try to love my neighbor & do good unto others
But, oh mother, things ain't goin' well...

I'm off to hang Christmas lights at Mike's house. I'm on vacation 'til Monday!

Oh, & here's one more Thanksgiving tradition I've stumbled upon for the last five years or so. Every Thanksgiving evening NPR features a short story read by an author whose name escapes me at the moment. The story is read during All Things Considered, which is usually playing on my drive home. I'll provide the link for it tomorrow, it's great.

It's only 11:30, but I can't imagine I'll hear anything that tops these...

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Christmas in Prison-John Prine, Souvenirs

it was Christmas in prison
and the food was real good
we had turkey & pistols
carved out of wood
and I dream of her always
even when I don't dream
her name's on my tongue
and her blood's in my stream

wait awhile, eternity!
old mother nature's got nothing on me
come to me, run to me
come to me now
we're rolling my sweetheart
we're flowing by God

she reminds me of a chess game
with someone I admire
or a picnic in the rain
after a prairie fire
her heart is as big
as this whole goddamn jail
and she's sweeter than saccharine
at a drugstore sale

the search light in the big yard
swings 'round with the gun
and spotlights in the snowflakes
like the dust in the sun
it's Christmas in prison
There'll be music tonight
I'll pro'bly get homesick
I love you. good night.


I love that song. I can't think of a better songwriter who uses the simplest of language than John Prine.

Ain't Talkin'-Bob Dylan, New York City, 11.20.06

who says I can't get heavenly aid?

Souvenirs-John Prine, Souvenirs

Satan, You're Kingdom Must Come Down-Uncle Tupelo, March 16-20, 1992

People Putting People Down-John Prine, Souvenirs

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!



Mary said...

Love your blog and song choices. Thanks for including the lyrics. Picked up two Frank Sinatra albums at an estate sale which Matt and I both like.

See you Thursday

Christie said...

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!! See you soon!

Joyce said...

Download dial-up dilema here. Normally it wouldn't be a big deal, but I can no longer access blogs at work . . . so I'm itchin' to download Dylan's NYC concert version of "Ain't Talkin" but I'll have to set aside some wait and hear time, I know it will be worth the wait. Last time I waited for John Cash and June Carter's "Were You There", it was a treat. I didn't take the time to download Mike's favorite Simpson something or another, but did get the impersonation of Harry Carrey. Not sure that was necessary. It was great to see you yesterday, I'm thinking your back in Grand Haven safe and sound.

andrew! said...

It's an mp3, it would just take a long time for it to download.

andrew! said...

but once you had it downloaded, it'd be on there for good (or bad, depending on what you thought of it).

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Grand Haven, Michigan
the sun shines on a dog's ass every now & then...