November 17, 2006
Hear This, Robert Zimmerman
The All The Same Tour rolls into town, and attention must be paid. The Raconteurs open Saturday night at the Spectrum for Mr. Robert Zimmerman and his seasoned band of brothers. We devote the whole Weekend Tunes to the return of the sage, the reluctant prophet, with the voice like sand and glue.
Philebrity's sipped the most Bob Aid on this one, devoting much promotional space to pushing the show. Haven't seen commercialism so startling since Dylan's own Victoria's Secret turn a few years back. I bet Phileb's got a cushioned seat in the press box. He's linked all sorts of YouTube moments and odd-ball cover versions of Bobby Z's canon. Philebrity's Dylanology page is an essential stop on the tour.
But there's lots of low-hanging fruit left for us to share.
Being outsiders, we can link the good stuff, like The Big O, a Singapore Mp3 magazine that's posted most of The Rolling Thunder Review's Oct. 31, 1975 show at the War Memorial Auditorium in Plymouth, Mass. (I've listened to all of the Desire-era concert. Might want to start at the start to hearing the troupe, from Joan Baez to Roger McGuinn to T-Bone Burnett, Ronee Blakely, Mick Ronson, etc.... find its groove.)
Something to read while you're listening? Ever see the Dylan Pool's closer look at the 1965 press conference in San Francisco where the cranky one was promoting five shows? Great exchange over his affect. This page dips deep, from pictures and newspaper clippings to features on the press of the day, with their tacked ties and hair tonic. Then there's Allen Ginsburg. And a pre-"WKRP in Cincinnati" Howard 'Dr. Johnny Fever' Hesseman from the Committee.
Philadelphia blogger Pound for Pound puts up a variety of "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall" performances, as he builds his ark. We wish Jack the best.
Maybe some Dylan and Johnny Cash outtakes from a 1969 ABC special?
Speaking of rarities, Stereogum stops by Wolfgang's Vault to raid a 1975 sing-a-long featuring Dylan and Neil Young with the Band and the Stray Gators backing up, singing "Knockin' On Dragon's Door." (What do you want, it was 1975, Stereogum writes of the altered lyric. Son, I remember 1975. We were out in the streets, but to protest tuition increases. It wasn't that freaky.)
No longer a total rarity, just history on tape -- Bob Dylan and the Hawks, "Like a Rolling Stone," from the Royal Albert Hall, (The real Albert Hall show of May 26, 1966, not the Manchester show that's just called the Albert Hall show. Locust Street got it right.)
As the man says, wearily, "They're all poets, you understand?"
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Hey Dan - Dylan and Philadelphia is an excellent fit just ask Tom Rush and some of the other old Cambridge folkies who found audiences in Philadelphia. My first Dylan show was in 1978/79 in Baton Rouge. It sticks out in my mind because one of the people I went with was crushed he didn't do his usual folk/guitar troubadour shtick think live at Budokan. He changed up all the songs and rocked them out. I mean obliterated all the cadences and it was awesome. The last Dylan show I went to was at the NORVA (you know where) two years ago. The sound man was yelling at the crowd around him to shut up! It was laughable, crazy, people were so psyched to be there. I mean come on Bob Dylan in a tiny club (1500 people) and on a Friday night it was a yak fest. It felt almost like a cocktail party where all the beautiful people were and Dylan was just background noise. It was amazing as if those yakking it up thought the rest of us paid all that money to hear them talk a bunch of sh**. My advise to the Spectrum crowd (er ahh Wachovia) is shut up - be excited but shut up. There's a stream of lyrics (and consciousness) here and unless you are intimately familiar with each and every obscure song, cover or even classic - you are going to be wondering - what the hell is he singing about. Bob still has that same old problem. His enunciation hasn’t improved that much. There will be thousands of people straining to catch the words. So remember its fun and exciting and cheer like crazy after the songs but catch up with old friends out in the hallway. His back up band is always top notch and it will be a great show. However, there will be some people actually trying to hear what the man is singing about and what it was that drew him to perform in the first place.
Posted by: Paul Burke | Nov 17, 2006 9:35:02 AM
Saw Dylan last month here in LA. He's in fine form with a very energetic backing band keeping pace.
Lots of great stuff from the new album, but there were some gems from the past too. One of the amazing things about Dylan is that he's never been shy about reworking his past standards. The results when I saw him showed very well in very alternate takes on Maggie's Farm, Watchtower and Tangled Up In Blue.
Didn't see Raconteurs with him as Kings Of Leon opened, but did catch their set in September at ACL Fest in Austin. Nice performance if not memorable. Appears that Jack and the boys are making concerted effort to keep this project as far away from White Stripes as possible.
Enjoy the show, Philly.
Posted by: CalDevil | Nov 17, 2006 10:18:15 AM
Dylan = snoozefest.
Posted by: marty | Nov 17, 2006 11:21:13 AM
Nice round-up, but the Never-Ending Tour is anything but "all the same."
It's just the opposite.
Posted by: Ryan Cormier | Nov 18, 2006 1:29:26 AM
I'm just using the man's own words. He objects to the Never Ending Tour tag.
Posted by: Daniel Rubin | Nov 18, 2006 7:58:07 AM
I saw Dylan with the Band at the Spectrum...can't remember the date but they say it was one of his best shows ever...also saw Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Janis Joplin, Allman Brother twice with Duane Allman...not to mention Bruce about a 1000 times and others....Electric factory had great shows too
Posted by: phillymark | Nov 18, 2006 11:07:22 AM
About eight hours until showtime...
Posted by: Ryan Cormier | Nov 18, 2006 12:00:41 PM
if you think Dylan has trouble with enunciation, try this - Ain't Talkin' from NYC on the 20th November - this is so good it's scary
Posted by: anita | Nov 21, 2006 7:27:57 PM
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