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The Immortal Bob Dylan

May 4, 2009

I’ve been working a lot recently. So much so that I have been pretty worn out by the time I actually could write or update this thought catalog. During this time though I have not stopped thinking of posts or subjects. But, with that being said, this post is not one of the thoughts that I had during this hiatus.

Bob Dylan will probably live forever. I don’t know if he realizes this, but I’m sure that he does by now. Never has there been an artist that has been covered by so many other artists and musicians. And more importantly, it’s not just a generational fad—it spans every decade. Even if you don’t like Dylan, I bet that one of your favorite bands does and I also bet that at one point they have at least considered covering one of his songs. Therefore, you might like Dylan and not even know it.

Just recently, Paste Magazine did an article where they listed the top 50 Dylan covers, along with “runner-ups” for each of the songs. It was a fun read. I was happy to have such a good resource for finding new music with such an iconic prestige to them. There was one song in particular that caught my attention more than the rest. Coming in at number 13 was Jim James and Calexico covering “Goin’ To Acapulco” from the movie about Bob Dylan, “I’m Not There”. The song is written beautifully. Interpret it as you will, but to me it’s a very sad song that tries to hide behind facade of the singers would-be high spirited emotions. At some point, everyone experiences this same sad mood and tries to fake a smile to make it go away. One of the largest criticisms about Dylan is his lack of emotion in his songs, but here Jim James puts it all out there. No matter what he’s saying, he is broken and he can’t hide it. It took me a long time to finish the rest of the article because I was so hung up on this one song. Eventually, after twenty or thirty minutes, I got back to the read the rest of the top 50. It ended well. Since then though, I can’t stop listening to this song. Here is the clip from the film and the full length track from the soundtrack.

Why I sing…

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Nathan permalink
    May 4, 2009 8:55 pm

    This post was great. I haven’t watched that film in a while, but this reminded me of how much I loved that scene. Speaking of Dylan covers, have you seen this:

    Pure bliss.

  2. May 4, 2009 10:51 pm

    “Pure bliss” sums it up quite nicely. I had seen this but had forgotten about too. Thanks for the reminder.

    It’s hard for me to imagine a better combo than Wilco and Fleet Foxes. I know that on Wilco’s up-coming summer release there’s a collaboration with Feist… perhaps in the future there will be something done in the studio with Fleet Foxes on a few tracks. For the time being, just seeing both of them live and together is probably the closest to musical nirvana that anyone in that audience will ever achieve.

  3. May 10, 2009 5:38 pm

    Both of those songs remind me of after-party music nights with everybody dressed up around a campfire until the wee hours. Mmm…

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