Tuesday, August 29, 2006

stream of consciousness writings about Bob Dylan

An Essay About A Modern Bob In These Ancient Times
As I listened to Jokerman from Groningen, Holland 3-18-1995 and Bob began playing this irascible harp part that was so Bob and yet unlike anything I’d ever heard from him or anyone before I started to think hmmm Modern Times yes it is about time this enigma – this casualty and survivor from the era of bomb shelters and television – issued some kind of a statement about whatever this shit is we continue breathing in all around us. Be it second hand smoke or ether we’re all dying like it or not and some of us perhaps even all of us will not be reborn be it in the body of a goddess with the head of a hyena or some indentured servant condemned to build pyramid after pyramid in the name of Ra or nothing at all.
Or perhaps it was while listening to Dignity from Brighton, England 3-26-1995 and Bob asked the question what’s it gonna take to find dignity that I started to ask myself the same question and became quite saddened by the answer I still will not admit to myself.
Thirty some days and counting before Bob’s first record in five years greets us or gives us the cold shoulder depending on how you see and hear Bob’s work. That is if you are even aware the man is still very much alive and kicking like a mule. A dirty stinking mule ready to light you on fire with his maniacal wit borrowed from nothing so desolate as the iron ore mines of his hometown. All the bedtime stories chocked full of isolation and desperate pleas to be freed from this self exile – this Johnny Ace spin of a roulette wheel where one’s brains have been traded before the bullet entered and exited one’s skull finding no one home not even a cuckoo bird. I’m never letting go and neither is Bob thank God!

Charles Eric Cicirella July 24, 2006 1:59 AM

Just checking out a few songs here and there on some of the 06 European shows before digging in and listening long – I honestly (per usual) do not understand the whining – moaning – bitching and constant complaining about Bob and the band – I don’t hear Bob and think jeez this guy just ain’t hitting it like he used to matter a-fact I feel his wisdom and his age has made his singing even more intuitive and full of real regret and sorrow and even unabashed joy and pure delight --- listening to Every Grain Of Sand right now from Paestum, Italy 7-17-2006 and it sounds like Moses singing straight from Mt. Sinai right after he witnessed the bush burning and heard God’s indomitable voice! Bob’s eyebrows sound like they’ve caught fire and the band is right there with him waiting for him to part the red sea just like Charleston Heston did so long ago!!! This is vintage Bob for these ancient Modern Times - this is Bob with no masks – no dampers – nothing standing between him and his audience except for the audience’s own shortcomings and unwillingness to listen through the blood and the tears and the laughter…. oh that sweet laughter……………………………………….

And that harp playing fuck I wonder when he will put a pail up on stage with him and start spitting blood

Part two

Listening now to Desolation Row Gelsenkirchen, Germany AUD DAT Master [OKM > TCD 100]>CD>EAC>WAV>Soundforge 6.0>CD Wave>FLAC I feel like I am there (if only I had a passport and the guts to go abroad) as Bob tells this Uncle Wiggly tale to all of us who stopped believing in lullabies long before our mothers and fathers proved to us God died a long time ago (please don’t get me wrong because I know God was borne again – Bob proves that on a nightly basis!). The sound is big but not too big – it’s big enough to make you better understand that when Buddy Holly went down in that aeroplane Bob’s inner child was there to pick up the rock and roll pieces making something completely different out of the Chantilly lace and Mexican Rosary beads of another dead soul singer running blue in the blackness of all our most salacious of naughty teenage confessions. My pulp novel could beat up your pulp novel and all of that carp. Skinny girls the height and weight of Duvall before Altman and his 3 Women had their way with her and Popeye was just another stowaway on this or that hijacked cruise ship/limousine/zeppelin. I want to grow up – I want to be a better human being – I want to write Bob another letter and address it to Desolation Row but know it wont make any difference because he moved away a long time ago. The band has Bob’s number though as they cradle his junkyard golden Cantor voice wheeling and dealing like the card sharks they’ve always been and that is precisely why Bob keeps them on for they know exactly when and why the deal is going down as they ask no questions staying out on the road with this freak of nature – this pure Spirit – this magic man.

Part three

An old girlfriend – someone he loved and lost or someone he lost and then realized he loved – either way they are gone so why continue to try and impress this or that apparition – my friend hung himself – his life ended because he decided hope was gone – he stood atop that little garbage can and before he knew it was gasping for a breath he’d never know on a first hand basis again – why do you believe the stories – God your voice gives you away you are such an old man who is still very young at heart – a very old man who wishes he were Twain or Aristotle or anyone other than this myth – this puff of blue smoke – another smokescreen – another bus driver befriended – another dome like a teepee seen in the rearview of this or that consciousness relegated to remembering when you set the world on fire and didn’t think it such a big deal because it wasn’t – because this world has always been too easy to impress especially with an iron ore intellect like yours – badly built – walks on stilts watch out he don’t fall on you – all these midnight cowboy voices reverberating in your Midwestern skull – Tony’s bass like Ratso following you across the lonely graveyard of this or that desolate street and it isn’t the seventies anymore and nothing or no one really cares as much as they once did – your harp a siren sometimes wailing like a spurned harpy other times flexing only a teensy bit of your muscle before you shutdown America for good by showing every one of us just how full of shit we are and that you refuse to make believe any longer – more guts – more blood – more more more I can’t wait till you pick up the guitar again and finally record that Charley Patton record that you have been craving to do since long before you met Sun Pie or left your last wife at the altar – you are still a lamb no matter if you want to be or not..

Part four

Cold Irons Bound Cardiff, Wales June 27, 2006 twenty miles out of town I wish he were still here – right here – we could hang out together – break some hearts – go roller skating – paint the town red white and blue – catch a movie and eat some Sushi afterwards – right on the mark these guys totally know what they’re doing – operating under the most intensive of circumstances – the winds in Chicago have torn Bob to shreds – pieces of this Shakespeare troubadour everywhere – listen to that bass and what I believe is electric mandolin Tony and Donnie really making this song something completely different than what it once was and I love the changes and I’m completely torn to shreds as well – reality most certainly has too many heads on this very night GO MAN GO!


Charles Cicirella August 4, 2006

Eating pork rinds and listening to your rebalancing act 11-13-2003!
Senor begins – the bass treacherous and tremendous – the Navy Seals are going in to reclaim some territory that was never even ours in the first place – in the first place my knees are shaking – some of these pork rinds are too dangerous to eat – they give me gas – this music will surely keep me up all night – Bob’s voice a championship bout – a King Kong valentine to some backup singer he used to love in the seventies or was it the eighties or maybe it was just last week… forget me not Senor! The man is a carnival at night – Ferris Wheels properly greased so are the politician’s palms it’s Oxford, Mississippi and if you are black and the year is 1963 you better be careful you ain’t lynched.. or 1978… Or 1999…. or 2006. what a sad and malfunctioning statement on what is and should never have been. I thought we were all created equal – I thought Uncle Tom’s Cabin was just some classic literature from a bygone era… I thought and rethought how much I detest freedom gotten at any cost when in truth there ain’t nothing like freedom come down these tracks since around the time of Christ’s reactivation!!!
It’s Bob’s instincts the way he chews up and spits out these songs like they mean everything and nothing – like a road trip way out west and when we stop for gas you better not give me any lip about wanting more sugar – more caffeine – more barbecue – more liberty – more chicken fingers – more more more until we’re both too tired to do anything but fuck and I am sick and tired of another one trick pony! Bob could guess your height and weight – Bob could and does go the distance just about every day of the week and when Ray Charles finally left us for good I knew there was only one soul singer who could still deliver the real goods with an everlasting impression that impresses upon each and every one of us how good anyone of us can truly be if we’d finally just take our guns to town and stop pretending there’s no such thing as Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.
Christ has not and will not forget his Chosen People and Bob has not forgotten us and that’s made ever more apparent as you listen to Paris, France 11-13-2003! Cat’s In The Well and all my pork rinds are gone!!!

Charles Cicirella 7/4/2006 8:44 PM

I believe what he meant was that it wasn’t him and in some sense or another it wasn’t strangely enough – like for instance sometimes he gives the people exactly what they might think they want while other times he goes his own way and gives people something else entirely something they could never have foreseen was even possible to exist like have you ever tried a food you’d never tasted before and it is like holy crap a whole new door has opened up utilizing taste buds you’d never even knew you had this is precisely what Dylan’s music quite often does to so many of us and that is why so many who claim to be Dylan fans bitch and complain because they are not willing to accept some new taste not when they’ve hardly gotten used to or sick of the one that came before it that fits so perfectly like a glove or gas mask onto their stodgy and cramped everything is broken lives – ya when he came out at Newport with that getup I believe he was saying you want the Dylan who was booed off this stage in 65 for plugging in well forget that here is what I am going to do instead I am going to be the masked avenger – some anti-hero of sorts who you’ll more than likely not be able to get used to so that the music I give unto you this very day/night will taste tainted almost like rancid oil – thing is the performance he did at Newport 2002 was indelible – a Desolation Row for the ages and beyond to name just one and yet what do so many say well like the red states they more than likely derive from they say the song’s performance was bogus or uninspired or listless when the truth was and will forever be that Desolation Row was qualitative bliss reeking of pure melancholia that so often resides inside us when we are feeling desolate and incomplete almost as if we are this here Cinderella he speaks of so callously and yet still it’s a love that Trojan horses would be envious of as they storm the gates looking for Helen of Troy or a replica that may not be as beautiful but perhaps more acquiescent to the state of the world and how daunting an epic can be when it is your life story that is being told quite statically …… so ya he was hiding in plain view if you will and trying in his own irascible way I believe to give this reviewer (actually I think this is Dylan reviewing himself because that name Austin Scaggs – ya whatever!!!) the heads up that maybe that wasn’t him at all up there on that stage but just some idea or the representation of an idea of what you think Dylan might do or might look like at this or that time in our blighted and violated histories………………………………… Charlespoet in the year of who knows when...

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