March 6, 2009

Bob Dylan//Talking World War III Blues, Subterranean Homesick Blues

I’m going to Minneapolis today, thank the good lord. It’s been a hard girlfriend-less month!

Maybe this seems obvious, but I thought I would put up some tracks from one of the most famous America singer-songwriters, from Minnesota or otherwise. You may have heard of him. His name is Bob Dylan.

Bob Dylan inspires extreme reactions from people. There’s either a lot of love or a lot of hate. I really enjoy certain songs (here’s two, obvs) and certain albums (Freewheelin’ is my absolute fave), although I can definitely understand some people’s dislike. At his best, he is a profound and prolific songwriter. At his worst, he is a repetitive and high-and-mighty jerk. This love/hate even extends into my feelings about the ’67 Pennebaker documentary Don’t Look Back, where Dylan comes off as one part fascinating, one part repulsive asshole—although the scene with the older British woman and her two sons inviting him to stay at their manor house is priceless and one of my favorites.

This first song is one that my dad used to sing a lot, which is part of why I love it. I always hear him saying “In my Cadillac/Good car drive after the war” and, “It was Rocka-de-Johnny singing/Tell your Ma/Tell your Pa/Our love’s a-gonna grow/Ouh Ah Ouh Ah.” But it’s also it’s just a really good song. It’s about a weird dream/psychotherapy/end of the world. It’s funny! Not to mention that the recordings (this and others on that album) are so raw and real. It’s all very endearing.

The second song is just a jam and will always elicit the thought of those opening images from the infamous Pennebaker film:

Talking World War III Blues.mp3

Subterranean Homesick Blues.mp3

Ah get born, keep warm,
Short pants, romance, learn to dance,
Get dressed, get blessed,
Try to be a success.
Please her, please him, buy gifts,
Don't steal, don't lift--
Twenty years of school
And they put you on the day shift.

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