Hi all! Just had to write today because there’s some exciting new rock music out there on the web for all you Bob Dylan fans — and the best news is that it is FREE new music!
For those that don’t know, Columbia will be releasing the eighth volume in the Bootleg Series, titled Tell Tale Signs. This multi-disc collection will include previously unreleased tracks, alternate versions of previously released songs, and some great packaging options. For the complete low-down, check out Bob Dylan’s official website…
…where you can download a free mp3 of “Dreamin’ of You,” an outtake from the Time Out of Mind sessions!
What I find most interesting and entertaining about the song is that it has echoes of other songs from the album; a fan of Time Out of Mind will notice the lines from other tracks that are in “Dreamin’ of You” in various forms. It’s almost as if he scrapped this song and yet salvaged some key lines from the wreckage. But why wouldn’t the song have been included? From the moment the drums kick in, this is an amazing track and gives me high hopes for the Bootleg Series release on October 7 — if the other tracks are anywhere near this type of quality, then it will certainly be another amazing addition to the series. (It’s hard to believe it’s been almost two decades since the first Bootleg album was released!)
I really can see why the song wouldn’t have made it to the album; it has a different feel to it than much of the other material on his 1997 release. But it is a PRIME candidate for this collection of Dylan tracks — a must-listen, to be sure!
Thank you, Bob Dylan, and thank you, Columbia, for this advance release!
Well, a year sure did go by quickly! Here I am with my girlfriend, Nicole, at what has become an important and fun annual event – the local Bob Dylan concert!
This year, Dylan’s summer 2009 tour has stopped at Rock Cats Stadium in New Britain as part of his ballpark series with Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp.
Somewhat surprisingly, Nelson is opening and is playing as I type — songs like “On the Road Again” and “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys.” Why so soon for the veteran country western singer? Earliest bed time of the bunch? Somehow, I doubt it! Anyway, I’m not a big fan, but his band is very solid and he sounds fantastic!
Okay, it’s back to the music for me, but I’ll be back with up to the minute Dylan set list updates as they come. I may need Nicole’s help to decipher the arrangements of the older songs, but I think she’s up to the task.
Mellencamp’s out now, and thanks to the graciousness of a somewhat tipsy fellow fan, we have much better seats (see above). The outdoor ballpark concerts really are nice, but you’re at the mercy of Mother Nature; thankfully, she was kind today.
Mellencamp opened with a song that we both know – “Ain’t That America.” I find his lyrical content a bit campy for my style, but I plan to reserve judgement until the concert is over. So far, so rockin’!
Upcoming: The Dylan Set List
BOB DYLAN SET LIST – 7/15/2009:
1.) “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35”
2.) “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again”
3.) “The Levee’s Gonna Break”
4.) “Tryin’ to Get to Heaven” – LAPTOP SESSION – CLICK HERE! 5.) “High Water (For Charley Patton)” – LAPTOP SESSION – CLICK HERE!
6.) “I Feel a Change Comin’ On”
7.) “Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum”
8.) “When the Deal Goes Down”
9.) “Highway 61 Revisited”
10.) “Ballad of a Thin Man”
11.) “Thunder on the Mountain”
And welcome one, welcome all to my Laptop Session for this very special Original Wednesday here at your source for the best acoustic cover and original song music videos available on the internet today! (That’s a mouthful…)
You may be wondering, why is this day so special?
Well, for one, this is the birthday of Laptop Sessions series creator Jim Fusco. On behalf of the other contributors and the loyal viewers of this blog, I’d like to wish him a very happy 25th birthday! Only a quarter century in, and he’s accumulated quite a back catalog of music, writing, and side projects. If you haven’t already, you should head on over to jimfusco.com.
Take it from me: the best gift you can get Jim this year is to spend a measely $10 on his brand new album Halfway There. Go ahead, check out the album in streaming audio at his official website, or use the search function at the top of this page to listen to Laptop Sessions of many of the Halfway There tracks, read a full review (another one from Jeff coming soon…), and see the beautiful, custom artwork he used for the cover.
Okay, that’s enough plugging for one post.
Tonight’s session is based on a song that I never recorded for an album. “Keep On Going” is an early track, as you will most likely be able to tell! Although the words are straightforward and the chord progression is simple, I’ve always liked this little tune. I originally wrote this song as a direct statement to my best friend (Jim, if you haven’t made the connection yet), assuring him after a rough week that things really will turn out all right, even though people — particularly high school aged people — can be cruel. I hope he’s seen that to be true, as he’s moved on to college, made many lifelong friends, and become engaged to Becky Daly. For all you former Pine Loft faithfuls: yes, this is indeed the same Becky Daly of Chris, Jim, and Becky fame!
I still sing “Keep On Going” when I feel stressed out or begin to think something — a relationship, a professional endeavor, etc. — won’t work out. I hope you like it.
As a final note, stepping back into the present, I just started listening to the new Bob Dylan album, Together Through Life. In case you’re questioning my devotion, there’s only one reason why I didn’t start listening yesterday: I pre-ordered the album on Amazon.com and didn’t spring for any more than Free Super Saver Shipping. So, I’m cheap. What do you want???
Did I mention I’m loving the album? As I type, it’s blaring through my room and probably throughout the condo complex. I may even get a letter in the mail from the condo association condemning me for noise pollution or disturbing the peace or some other such nonsense, but it will be worth it! I spent the day at school today wearing the Best Buy exclusive Together Through Life t-shirt that Mike so graciously passed along to me from his purchase of the album (thanks again, Fusc!!). I made certain to wear a white button down shirt today and a narrow tie, so as to have the Dylan t-shirt show through. Thanks to at least one inquisitive student in each class I taught, I got to talk about the new album at least once every 82 minutes today!
I’ll save my commentary on Together Through Life for the review that will most certainly come, but allow me to share a couple comments. First, this is not what I was expecting after Love & Theft and Modern Times. Then again, that’s pretty much what Dylan himself suggested, so I’m not really surprised. My favorite line thus far is the chorus to track three: “Hell is my wife’s home town.” As if there’s any question as to whether Dylan’s dry sense of humor is still intact, just listen for his chuckling — yes, his chuckling — in the outro of that song. Finally, although it’s a slow album to start, just wait for “Jolene” and “Shake Shake Mama” to really get your foot tapping.
And, with that taste of this new Dylan album, I’ll emphatically suggest you need to buy both Halfway There and Together Through Life and be on my merry way.
And, just like that, I’m back with my second session of the night!
As a follow-up to my previous music video, this is “Please, Mrs. Henry,” also from Bob Dylan’s 1975 release The Basement Tapes. Generally, I am most impressed with complete, clean studio recordings of songs from my favorite bands, yet there are many instances of great music being created when an artist has stripped away at all the usual standards and practices of studio recording. A most recent — and admittedly weird — instance of this is the re-release of Beck’s early nineties indie rock release One Foot in the Grave. While this album really isn’t the kind of music I’ll be showing off to my friends, there is this really raw and unique sound to it. One of the benefits to these types of recordings is the quantity of music usually available — i.e. 24 Basement Tapes tracks and 32 tracks on the aforementioned Beck album. In the first 16 album tracks, songs like “Cyanide Breath Mint,” “Asshole” (later covered by Tom Petty for the She’s the One soundtrack!), and “Painted Eyelids” would never make it anywhere near the radio. I love the lyrics and sound to some of the bonus tracks, as well — “Favorite Nerve,” “Burning Boyfriend,” and, “Feather in Your Cap” to name a few.
Of course, with these types of recordings, there are always going to be throwaway tracks and songs that will make you want to say, “What was he thinking?!” But that’s to be expected…
Getting back to the Laptop Session at hand, “Please, Mrs. Henry” is one of the songs I initially disliked from this album. More specifically, I found it kind of plain. Now that I’ve gone back to it — specifically during my Bob Dylan mp3 marathon earlier this month — I have a newfound appreciation for the lyrics as well as the music. Where else can you get the perspective of a singer/narrator who is not only telling you he is drunk, but actuallly sounds drunk while he’s doing it? Dylan’s inflection aside, how else can you read lyrics like “I’ve been sniffin’ too many eggs…Drinkin’ too many kegs” or “I’m groanin’ in a hallway; pretty soon, I’ll be mad” or, who could forget, “Why don’t you look my way and pump me a few?”
With that, I’ll leave you to watch my interpretation of one of the many songs on The Basement Tapes that have been capturing the attention of fans since it was recorded in 1968. Even before the album was officially released, these tracks became some of the most bootlegged songs in rock music history. (Think: Great White Wonder.) And now you have my version to add to the mix. It certainly doesn’t approach the level that Dylan’s on, but it was a lot of fun to try! (Check out the chords, linked at the top of this post, so you can play, too…)