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I can't complain but sometimes I still do

Friday, June 09, 2006

Bob Dylan's 1,397th Dream

When it was announced that Bob Dylan was hosting an hour-long radio show on XM, I thought long and hard about signing up for the satellite radio service. Which, of course, makes no sense because I already have Sirius, and I wonder whether I listen to THAT enough to justify the subscription. (Dating someone in a different state has definitely made it more worthwhile during those long car trips.)

Anyway, I decided against getting XM. But I was dying to hear those Dylan shows. Fortunately, I came across a Web site recently where the shows are available for download. As was the case with "The Eraser," I won't tell you where because the XM folks wouldn't be pleased. But if you cruise Dylan fan sites like Expecting Rain (cough, cough) you might get lucky.

Each radio show is centered on a theme, like the weather, alcohol or baseball. Dylan (I think) picks the songs and gives some background on the mostly obscure tracks. As an unadulterated Dylan fan boy, it's great to hear the man share his wide-ranging taste and musical knowledge. (The show has researchers, so much of it is probably handed to him, but still.) It's amazing how after his book "Chronicles" and the Scorsese doc "No Direction Home" Dylan seems so loose, warm and funny when he often is so stone-faced on stage.

There's a musical quality to the way he talks on the radio. The words tumble at odd intervals, flowing in and out of each other almost like rapping. (No surprise he digs LL Cool J, as evidenced by him playing "Mama Said Knock You Out" during the "Mothers" episode.) Dylan is quite the aging hipster.

Another favorite moment: During the "Mothers" show, Dylan reads a letter from an obviously unhinged fan complaining about his mother-in-law. The way Dylan delivers it, the insane screed sounds a lot like "It's Alright, Ma."


Blogger mark said...

i liked this post. i'll have to check that page out. i'm interested to hear the man speak. more.

4:35 PM  

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