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Bob Dylan, Too ... - The Annals of Young Geoffrey: Hope brings a turtle [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Young Geoffrey

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Bob Dylan, Too ... [Aug. 20th, 2004|08:45 pm]
Young Geoffrey
[music |Dylan - Blonde On Blonde (hell else you expect?)]

... is a fucking god.

"I'm helpless, like a rich man's child" alone should give him at least a bench among the immortals.
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[User Picture]From: offermeescape
2004-08-21 06:28 am (UTC)
*agrees* I missed the poor bastard when he was in Toronto last.. I hope I get to see him live in concert before he dies. :/
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2004-08-21 06:58 am (UTC)
Oh man, I saw him at that amphitheatre by the Lake two summers ago. His entire patter consisted of introducing the band more than half-way through the show and, maybe, saying "Goodnight," when it was over.

Other than that, it was all about the music. And what music!

Most of the songs had been so re-worked I had to hear a couple of verses before I recognized them; he has clearly been influenced by the time he spent touring with the Dead back in the 80s and 90s. The music was a wonderful mix of jam-band, straight-ahead rock-and-roll and jazz, with a hint of blues and bluegrass. The musicians were all first-rate, able to be at once tight as a drum and yet loose and improvisational.

And Dylan's singing has, if anything, gotten even better (give me a minute, I'll get back to that) - he didn't bother making small-talk with the crowd, but he joked with us all the same. Some of his intonation and phrasing had me laughing out loud - and not at him, but with him. What other singer is willing to make a joke through the very quality of his voice (more to the point, out of the image of his own voice), let alone do it in such a way that preserves both his dignity and ours?

God yes, go see him before he dies - if you're lucky you'll see a show that will stay with you for a lifetime.

* * *


No, Dylan does not have - and never did have - a voice traditionally thought of as "good". Dylan's voice is nasal, with an odd, honking tone; age has roughened it and reduced his range.

But singing is only partly about the quality of the instrument; mostly it is about what the singer does with the instrument.

And what Dylan does with his voice is masterful, his phrasing as subtle as anything by Sinatra in his prime. Any musician can sound good playing a Stradivarius; Dylan can strum his Sears guitar of a voice and make it sound sublime.
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[User Picture]From: offermeescape
2004-08-24 05:30 pm (UTC)
Okay, you've just tempted me even more. Thank you so much for your perspective. :)
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2004-08-25 06:01 pm (UTC)
Jesus, I like that response. Usually, when I try to explain Dylan's vocal skills, people just laugh harder.
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[User Picture]From: offermeescape
2004-08-26 02:35 pm (UTC)
Not I. I would never close my mind to any kind of music.. not even hip hop or polka. And I belive it's important to acknowledge the musicians of the past to understand our present.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2004-08-26 03:25 pm (UTC)
A lot of people just can't get past Dylan's voice itself - possibly, many of them are the same people who think Celine Dion is a good singer because she has a big range.
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