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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Johnny Cash: Ain’t No Grave ...2:28 pm

The daily article at “On the Square” over at First Things today is by Yours Truly, and it’s on the new Johnny Cash album, which is titled Ain’t No Grave.

Even by itself, “I Corinthians 15:55” will make most listeners grateful for the album’s existence. With months left to live, and in the shadow of the death of his wife, June, this sweetly melodic composition, played like a chamber-piece from the hills, is simultaneously his faithful testament and urgent prayer, and so asserts a spirit that was never very far from his work during his half-century in show business. (… continue reading …)








Sunday, March 28, 2010

A big week ...5:46 pm

Best wishes to all observing Passover this week, and to all observing Holy Week and Easter (which this year both the Western and Orthodox churches are doing simultaneously). (… continue reading …)








Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dignity ...1:50 pm

Thanks to John T. who simply e-mailed the Bob Dylan line, “the soul of a nation is under the knife.” That line has resonance in more ways than one, taking stock of the meaning of what has gone down in the United States these past couple of days.

The line is from the song Dignity, and in particular from the piano-demo version that can be heard on the Tell Tale Signs album, or below via YouTube. (… continue reading …)








Sunday, March 21, 2010

Daily Verse ...8:46 am

So I’m on one of those “Daily Bible Verse” e-mail lists, and yesterday got this one:

Daniel prayed and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king’s matter.

Daniel 2:20-23 (King James Version)

That would naturally remind one of this, a song Dylan wrote and performed in some shows in 1979 and 1980 but never recorded and released: (… continue reading …)








Saturday, March 20, 2010

A reader? ...11:25 pm

John Boehner some hours ago: It’s “Armageddon,” Health Care Bill Will “Ruin our Country”. (Nah. Just another poet and patriot, I would guess.)








Friday, March 19, 2010

Health-care Armageddon ...2:32 pm

My mood: It’s not NEARLY over.








Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Come home, Bob! ...7:51 pm

That’s the name of a campaign to get Bob Dylan to go home to Hibbing, and play a gig on the Iron Range. Interesting timing for the roll-out, with Bob about as far away as he can get, in Japan. From Fox21Online:

HIBBING – Bob Dylan has made no secret of the fact that he didn’t feel accepted as he grew up on the Iron Range. (… continue reading …)








Sunday, March 14, 2010

Here comes the rain again ...2:08 pm

I know I’ve noted it before, and it’s a pretty obvious thing to note, but the set list from the first night of Bob Dylan’s tour of Japan is another reminder of how often Dylan uses water as an image and/or metaphor in his songs. (The fact that it’s been raining heavily in my locality for the past few days adds to the timeliness of this observation.) (… continue reading …)








Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bob Dylan’s first show in Osaka, Japan ...8:37 am

Tonight in Osaka, Japan, Bob Dylan will kick off his show with Watching the River Flow, end the set with Ballad of a Thin Man, and round off the encore with All Along the Watchtower. Nothing bizarre or unprecedented in the song selections in between. Bob will be on keyboard except for Girl of the North Country, where he will play guitar. The full set list is at Bob Links.








Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Dylan’s tour of Japan set to begin ...12:45 pm

The first show of Bob Dylan’s new tour, in Japan, is scheduled for Thursday at 7 p.m. local time. Japan is, I believe, 14 hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Time, and therefore 9 hours ahead of London, and 17 hours ahead of California. (… continue reading …)








Oh, mama ...10:13 am

I think this is a killer cover version of Bob Dylan’s song Mama You’ve Been On My Mind, recently uploaded to YouTube. And the slide-show consists of some quite tastefully chosen pictures of silent-movie-era actresses.








Sunday, March 7, 2010

Caribbean Wind ...7:32 pm

Caribbean Wind is a song which Bob Dylan first performed live on November 12th, 1980, and that also currently stands as the song’s final live performance. He took it into the studio with him the following year when preparing for the album to follow Saved, which turned out to be Shot of Love. However, although at least two studio recordings are known to fans, the song was not included on that album. One version was released in 1985 on the Biograph collection. It doesn’t sound anything like Shot of Love, so that may be one reason it didn’t end up on that album. It’s quite polished and poppy-sounding; in fact, if it had come along at the right time and been released as a single, I bet it could have been that rarest of species: a Bob Dylan hit from the 1980s. But it wasn’t to be. (… continue reading …)







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