by Sean
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.


monkey with pigeon

Bob Dylan - "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright" ("bootleg" version). I still can't wrap my heart around this song. I get it, I get it, I read about it in a book and now in my head I get it - that this is a mean sort of song, a sarcastic song, a song for a girl after the relationship's bitterly caput. But I knew it for too long, young & foolish, thinking it was just-plain resigned, thinking it was sorry only for itself, thinking - essentially - that it was kind & sad. So now I hear the spur and barb but it doesn't make its way past the familiar kindness. Especially here with the guitar more nostalgically played, something a little softer in the timbre of Dylan's voice. The thing I wonder, in the end, is if Dylan's more forlorn than he lets on. That even if he sat at a desk and scribbled this pretty vitriol, and even if it's true, he wonders if maybe he ought to have stuck around. He calls it a "lonesome road", and it is; and when he says "I gave her my heart but she wanted my soul," I think maybe he wishes, for a fingerpick of a moment, that he had been able to give her what she was waiting for.


Etoile de Dakar - "Xalis". If today was a new year's day, we'd all climb up the fire-escapes and set up our stereos on our roofs. We'd put "Xalis" on our turntables and point our speakers at each other. Youssou N'Dour would sing in Wolof and we'd dance in bird-steps and fox-steps and zebra-steps on the gravel, stucco, tile; we'd wave our cupped hands at our friends across the street, and across the alley, and down the block above the bagel shop; someone would pop a bottle of champagne at 12 noon and we'd all applaud, gracefully, at her ambition; and we'd keep dancing. If this were a new year's day, our lives would be ripe with possibility; if this were a new year's day, we'd be smiling from the joy of it; if this were a new year's day you could all be my friends one day, and join me breaking bread. If this were a new year's day the phased guitar solo at 2:12 would go: "holy crap it's new year's yeah! whoa! what happened to last year! where'd it go! jee-zus! we're already in the next one! whoa!"

To all those for whom this is a new year, today: enjoy it.

[out of print]

Posted by Sean at September 13, 2007 12:14 PM

The Dylan bootleg is great. I think it may even be better than the album version. Thanks for sharing it.

Posted by david at September 13, 2007 3:23 PM

nice photo! saw that earlier today. here's the story if anyone is interested

Posted by george at September 13, 2007 3:26 PM

Reminds me of a description of Absurdism that I never quite got over—the idea that there's nothing left to say and yet we must speak. I've always considered Dylan arrogant, strangely. The claim that he's too hurt to say anything (but he's still singing!). And yet more and more that ambivalence is the only thing I see in music any more. (Except when you find the guileless ones. thanks, Sean)

Posted by kate at September 13, 2007 4:18 PM

who says its not new years?

Posted by sarah at September 13, 2007 5:22 PM

champagne at 6am almost frozen because you left it in the freezer all night and forgot but yes noon goog and impressed by the ambition of it yes i like :)

Posted by Mike at September 13, 2007 8:47 PM

thanks for remembering the holiday! a nice way to start the year.

Posted by jen at September 13, 2007 10:57 PM

A happy new year to you and your cohorts !!
Luv ya !!

Posted by zaidie at September 14, 2007 5:15 PM

a happy rosh hashana to you too!!

Posted by elie at September 15, 2007 10:51 PM

Bit late on this I know.. but that is precisely what the song is; lyrically he saying he doesn't care wbut what the words appear say is exactly the opposite to the feeling of the song and what's written between the lines; that is the beauty of it. See also 10ccs 'I'm Not in Love'.

For Dylan just being plain cruel see Positively 4th Street or She's Your Lover Now..

Posted by Milo at September 29, 2007 6:41 AM

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Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

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