Saturday, August 18, 2007

Elvis to the left of me, His Bobness to the right ...

In the Central Market this morning as I shopped for strawberries, they were playing top-end-of-vintage Elvis all morning. And in the car on the way in I caught the whole segment on Andrew Ford's fabulous Music Show of Dylan tragics Imre Salusinszky (with whom I once worked, and a good colleague he was too) and the brilliant Amanda Rose from Flop Eared Mule, talking beautifully about Dylan's Sydney concerts, and his latest album, and all things Dylan in general.

I've almost stopped listening to music (and am still trying to work out what that's about -- something to do with it being too important to do in passing or as background; go figure), so I haven't heard Modern Times at all. But at the end of the segment, Ford played a track from it called 'Spirit on the Water'. Imre had earlier been cursing the Philip Morris Company for what Dylan's voice now sounds like at 66, but although much of what musicality he had in his youth is gone, I noticed something very odd: he is more precisely on pitch than he used to be, and though his notes are no longer resonant nor sustained, he drills a sweet hole straight through the middle of the pitch in a way that sounds new to me.

It was a lovely upbeat track, light years away from the venomous snarl of some of the really early songs -- I still can't listen to 'Positively 4th Street' without feeling a bit sick -- or the tragic edge of Blood on the Tracks, and I wound the window right down to give the crowds of pedestrians the full benefit as I crawled down through the almost-gridlocked Gouger Street.

Amanda reckons His Bobness will come back to Australia maybe one more time, when he's about 70, and will spend the concerts sitting on a stool, alone in a spotlight, with an acoustic guitar and nothing else. I hope she's right. I'll go to that one.


Amanda said...

Hee. Thanks. I sort of forget (or try to) that if its on teh wireless people can hear it.

Bobby's voice has that Audenesque "wedding cake left out in the rain" quality these days tis true but I still can't think of anything I'd rather listen to more. I am trying to swing getting to the Adelaide gig Tues night, depends on if some ticket contacts come through. I don't feel done with him yet for this tour.

Pavlov's Cat said...

' ... if its on teh wireless people can hear it.'

Danged newfangled technology.

ThirdCat said...

I know exactly what you mean about it being too important to have as background, but that means you never listen to it! That happened to me. Just this very week, I have consciously decided to have music on, just on, when I am doing anything except work which requires utmost concentration.

Francis Xavier Holden said...

pav - Saturday night in Melbouren was wonderful - gone is the spit and snarl (or the imagined spit and snarl)- even Thin Man's Mr Jones was a kindly query not an attack and Like A Rolling Stone similarly quizzical not venomous. It's bloody miracle at 64 and after all these years that Bob cares enough to perform but even more so that he cares enough to give us creativity, every night on every song. A gift I'm more than thankful for. Its' pity some other mid 60's leaders didn't care enough about us and themselves. Yes I'm looking at you JWH.

I just can't listen to music as background aside from the odd day on ABC FM Classical. So I have very lean periods for music even though I have a hep cats collection of most of what I could wish for a more. I can't ever listen to music while I work - it's all talk radio or RN while I work.

Music for me is mainly active listening and that means (relatively) loud and focussed.

I have droughts where I don't get space to listen and the urge even seems to dissipate. It's worserer for me I think because peopel I know seem to load me with expectations - "you've got shitloads plus obscure stuff plus bootlegs - you must listen all the time"

No I don't. Because I can't. Tonight I'll cook then watch Kath n Kim and Midsumers, then I'll write to an old friend (sigh)in USA, then I'll get read for tomorrow - no time to listen. Teh only music I've heard all day was the Gospel Show on PBS at breakfast - a Sunday ritual I try to observe.

It will come back.

Make sure you have good speakers and sit down in the stereo position and turn it up loud

Francis Xavier Holden said...

Tonight I'll cook then watch Kath n Kim and Midsumers, then I'll write to an old friend (sigh)in USA, then I'll get read for tomorrow -

I lied. I snuck out to see the second bob concert at the last minute.

Suse said...

Janet over at Muppinstuff (a blog I think you would enjoy) wrote beautifully about the Dylan concert on Saturday night.

susoz said...

I mainly listen to music while I'm cooking (our stereo's in the kitchen/dining room) and recommend it.