Bob Dylan playing chess in Woodstock, N.Y., 1964. Photo by Daniel Kramer.

Ha! I’ve been on that sidewalk (it’s a small town).


Bob Dylan playing chess in Woodstock, N.Y., 1964. Photo by Daniel Kramer.

Ha! I’ve been on that sidewalk (it’s a small town).

(Source: babeimgonnaleaveu)



"Standing in the Doorway" by Bob Dylan

7:43 for 8/12

You penetrated my whole being 
In the silent mysteriousness of your presence 
Standing in the doorway like a song that we need to sing
That lost it’s beginning
And doesn’t have an end
Oh, my love, my friend.

This album has so many great songs on it, songs which really penetrate. I wish we had more from the team of Dylan and Lanois.

(9 plays)



(Source: thechess)



"Sara" by Bob Dylan

5:30 for 5/30

I can still hear the sounds of those Methodist bells
I’d taken the cure and had just gotten through
Staying up for day in the Chelsea Hotel
Writing “Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands” for you.

After years of burying his personal life in layers of surrealist imagery, Dylan lets the world in to the heartbreak of his life, writing this song for his wife he felt, correctly, was slipping away from him.

(69 plays)





“Not Dark Yet” by Bob Dylan (from Time Out of Mind, 1997)

A finer goodbye was never written, but unlike Dylan, I’m not enough of a sadist to stick this in the middle. Lanois is skilled at drawing out the ambience of his productions, at filling in the shallow details of a song. Generally this trades on instinct and feeling rather than mood, but “Not Dark Yet” isn’t theatrical or broad. It isn’t a love song or a folk song. This is Dylan addressing his mortality and finding dignity in his life lived. The song’s instrumental passages serve as echoes to the verses and it would be natural for Lanois to goose them, to suggest an earthy acoustic guitar or a rousing melody, but he honors Dylan’s songwriting. The production, while retaining Lanois’s sense of studio improvisation, is restrained and dutiful.

My inspiration for this week came earlier this year, while listening to Time Out of Mind. I wondered how old Dylan was when he wrote “Not Dark Yet,” and iIt turned out he was the same age as my dad will turn this year. When I passed this factoid on my dad said it made him feel old, and I think Dylan felt old too. But Dylan, and Lanois as well, have only sounded younger since.

This examination of Daniel Lanois has been outstanding all week. If you haven’t seen it, go back and check it out.



Robyn Hitchcock and John Paul Jones - Tangled Up In Blue (Bob Dylan cover)

And when finally the bottom fell out
I became withdrawn
The only thing I knew how to do
Was to keep on keepin’ on like a bird that flew
Tangled up in blue

The best part of this is everybody walking in front of them like it’s not a pair of legends up there playing one of the best Bob Dylan songs ever. 

How about a couple legends covering some Bob?



The Concert for Bangladesh


"Black Crow Blues" by Bob Dylan

How about some Dylan blues for a snowy Tuesday?

Black crows in the meadow
Sleeping across a broad highway
Black crows in the meadow
Across a broad highway
Though its funny, honey
I just don’t feel much like a
Scarecrow today

(20 plays)



"Desolation Row" by Bob Dylan

Now Ophelia, she’s ‘neath the window
For her I feel so afraid
On her twenty-second birthday
She already is an old maid
To her, death is quite romantic
She wears an iron vest
Her profession’s her religion
Her sin is her lifelessness
And though her eyes are fixed upon
Noah’s great rainbow
She spends her time peeking
Into Desolation Row.

My students just finished Act 4 of Hamlet, and today we discussed Shakespeare’s thoughts on madness. Up to this point, they had been tracking Hamlet’s supposed madness, but Ophelia’s appearance and death challenged many of their perspectives. It seemed as though her actions made Hamlet’s supposed madness seem rather tame and staged by comparison, but then they started wondering whether madness manifested itself in outrageous behavior like Ophelia’s. Since the overarching question was about Shakespeare’s thoughts on madness, they concluded that it needed to be outrageous on stage, but not necessarily in real life. I thought this was a fairly sophisticated conclusion to come to.

They’re still struggling with Hamlet’s visions of his father, though. Especially the fact that the guards see the ghost in the beginning, but Hamlet’s mother doesn’t see him later in the play while Hamlet does. Alas, if literature was a pretty little package, it wouldn’t be nearly as enjoyable as it is when it’s a “loose, baggy monster” (Henry James). 

(90 plays)



"Foot of Pride" by Lou Reed (Dylan cover)

Live from The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration

While many have lumped Lou Reed in with glam acts like David Bowie, punk acts like Iggy Pop, and experimental improv bands like The Doors, I’ve always felt most comfortable looking at Lou Reed in the same category as Bob Dylan. Granted, each category has its claim on Reed, a tribute to the diversity of this legend, but more than anything else, when I think of him I think of a man, a guitar, and street poetry in the same way that I think of Dylan, just replace the street with the road. 

And when it came time for Lou Reed to pay homage to Dylan, of course he would play the longest song of the set and of course it would be a song that had yet to appear on a Dylan album. But not only play it, but make it his. It’s this attitude, this ability to affect everything with his own identity that made Lou Reed a legend that so many genres of music can claim as their idol. 

RIP Lou Reed

(1,251 plays)


Yo, you should vote for one of my Bob Dylan art pieces, please!                                                                      A reblog would be awesome too! 


Yo, you should vote for one of my Bob Dylan art pieces, please!                                                                      A reblog would be awesome too! 

(via dontfragmebro-deactivated201408)


"Maggie’s Farm" by Bob Dylan

Listening to Dylan while my American Lit class is studying the Transcendentalists, I become more aware of the influence people like Emerson and Thoreau had on our nation’s psyche. Living in a nation not yet one hundred years old, they were already aware of the importance of maintaining one’s individuality and challenging the government when necessary. I wonder whether there would be a Dylan if there hadn’t first been Thoreau’s “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience” or Emerson’s “Self-Reliance”. Choosing one’s own path and maintaining one’s individuality is always a challenge when one enters into any kind of social setting or relationship, they made it okay to walk away from a situation that threatened to compromise your ideals instead of surrendering them. 

I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more
I aint gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more
Well, I try my best
To be just like I am
But everybody wants you
To be just like them
They say sing while you slave and I just get bored
I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more

(60 plays)


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