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Bob Dylan, Tangentials, and Eephus's Review Thread 2019: The Nobel Poet And A Fine Essayist With A Musical Corpus

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15 hours ago, Eephus said:

GUY - Steve Earle & The Dukes (2019)

I knew Earle had released a tribute to the music of Guy Clark this year but I never got around to listening to it the whole way through.  I'm glad I did because Clark was a special songwriter.  whose voice was adequate for telling his stories.  Earle is a better, more expressive singer although as he hits his mid-sixties his vocals have taken on a gruffness that's reminiscent of Dylan at the same age.

Although Earle has a darker, more politicized worldview than Clark did, their songwriting styles are similar.  The album ends up sounding very much like a Steve Earle album.  He has an obvious affection for Guy and his music which comes through clearly on record.  The selection of Clark's songs is excellent.  "Desperadoes Waiting For a Train" is a great song that any songwriter would be proud to have on his or her resume.

I'll spotlight the album's closer Old Friends where Earle is joined by some of Clark's other friends Rodney Crowell, Emmylou Harris, Jerry Jeff Walker, Terry Allen and Jo Harvey Allen.  I love the contrast between the verse and chorus and the final instrumental section that's both elegiac and hopeful. 

Minor crisis last night when Mrs. Eephus thought Boz had crapped in the house.  It turned out to be a chunk of dried mud that had been tracked in from outside.  Bosley is pretty uninhibited in his old age but we're glad this one is still mostly intact.

 

Emmylou has been on more records in this thread than Dylan has

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Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest - Bill Callahan (2019)

He's not the former Raiders coach but the guy who used to perform under the alias Smog.  The album has topped a number of critics' AOTY lists and it's definitely in the tradition of singer/songwriters so I gave it a spin.

Callahan isn't really a symbolist lke Dylan or a traditional storyteller like Prine or Guy Clark but it's an original point of view that's very literate and occasionally absurd.  He sings in a deep conversational baritone that's similar to Lambchop's Kurt Wagner before he discovered synthesizers.  I don't know if the Lambchop reference is meaningful to anyone but it took me half the album to figure out who Callahan reminded me of. 

I liked Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest but it was too one-note and depressing for me to bond with it.  There's a song called "Black Dog on the Beach" that was right up Bosley's alley since he used to love running on Ocean Beach but my favorite track was 747.  It's one of those songs where I'm ultimately unsurer about the meaning but the imagery is still striking.

Bosley's advancing bladder control problems have highlighted a difference between Mrs. Eephus and me.  She'll keep track of when he wakes her up at night and when and where he pees on the floor.  I on the other hand, have become a co-conspirator with our old dog.  I'll quietly mop up his accidents and won't tell her about it unless specifically asked.  I'm not in denial or anything but I don't see the point in making a bigger deal out of it than it is.

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On our afternoon walk, I started listening to Leonard Cohen's posthumous 2019 release Thanks for the Dance.  But it's not the record I want to ring the old year out with unless clinical depression is one of my resolutions.  But I will mention that Cohen is a clear influence on Bill Callahan.  I should have noticed that yesterday but it became obvious to me about two minutes into Cohen's new one.

I need to listen to something a lot livelier tonight, maybe some Parliament or James Brown since Maceo Parker is playing in the neighborhood.

 

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Huh, it's West Coast time and I'd like to keep with the business but I can't express anything but gratitude for the past year in this thread.

If you've helped curate, commented, suggested, argued, took a passionate stance, liked a post, whatever...just want to wish you and the writer of it all a Happy New Year and may this year bring you peace, prosperity, and, in the words of another famous writer, boundless gladness that knows no stint.

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Thanks for the Dance - Leonard Cohen (2019)

As I teased last year, this is a posthumous release of songs Cohen recorded in 2016, in the six months before the artist's death.  His son Adam took Cohen's demos and brought in a bunch of musicians to overdub parts on top of the original vocal tracks.  It's a nice coda on a truly illustrious career but you have to think Cohen would have developed it further had he been alive and well.

Cohen's voice has been reduced to a croaky whisper but it retains the gravitas that is Cohen's hallmark as a singer.  Even in their unfinished state, the songs are unmistakably Cohen.  I've never been good at discerning poetic meter but the lyrics seem to be characteristic of Cohen's work.  We listen to dead artists all the time but it's a bit unquieting to listen to a man who is dying.  In that respect, it's kind of a tough album but a worthwhile one.

I'll spotlight the title tune Thanks for the Dance which Cohen co-wrote with his longtime girlfriend Anjani Thomas.  Her version from 2006 is a jazzy waltz.  Cohen sings it with a weariness that's really moving.  He'd be proud of his son for the lovely arrangement that gives it a bit of Weimar cabaret flavor.

We had to take Boz to the vet today.  He's developed an abscess on the left side of his mouth.  They gave him some antibiotics which will hopefully clear things up.  He also got some labs done due to his recent weight loss and cognitive decline.  It wouldn't be a Bosley post without a urinary reference.  The vet assistant wasn't able to get a urine sample so I took Boz outside while Mrs. Eephus dealt with paperwork.  Bosley didn't make it though and peed in the elevator and on my hand when I tried getting some in the specimen jar.  It's the SPCA so they're used to it but still.  I'll tr again tomorrow and ride the sample over on my bike.  Good times.

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Has Boz tried medical mj? 🤔

It works wonders for me. 

I once invented a bong for Slappy, but his thumbs were too small to cover the carb. 

I'm working on a bowl slide carb for him now. I think it will work. 

Update after trials.

 

 

I love Cohen. 👍

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On 1/3/2020 at 6:01 PM, Man of Constant Sorrow said:

Has Boz tried medical mj? 🤔

It works wonders for me. 

Don't think that'll fly with Mrs. Eephus.

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Renegade - Dylan LeBlanc (2019)

American Songwriter finally posted their best of 2019 list the other day and this album was on it.  I couldn't pass on a guy named Dylan even though I wasn't blown away by the couple of tracks I'd listened to when it was released.  I think I had a hard time reconciling LeBlanc's high pitched voice with the guy in the black hat on the album cover.

I'm glad I came back to the record because it's a grower.  Except for his given name, he's not particularly (Bob) Dylanesque at all.  It has more of a 1970s Classic Rock sound.  The title track has a guitar riff lifted from Christopher Cross and I also hear a bit of Lindsey Buckingham without Buckingham's idiosyncrasies and picking.  LeBlanc is coming to town next month and I'm thinking about going because I'm interested in what he sounds like with some of the studio smoothness removed.  I'll spotlight Lone Rider because it reminds me of the softer side of Strand of Oaks which FFA music draft people know is one of my favorites. 

Good news/bad news about Bosley.  The antibiotics have significantly reduced the swelling around his gums and he no longer seems to be in pain.  But the vet called on Friday with his lab results and they indicate some kidney problems.  Our daughter took the news really hard as she tends to do.  I'm glad he's still with us and in relatively good shape for an old dog.  We'll continue to enjoy his warm and goofy presence for as long as practical.

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Posted (edited)

Figured I'd send this out on the right note and bump it one last time today and Monday for anybody else's thoughts. Peace to you all. Eephus has his new thread here, and I'd encourage you all to leave current thoughts there. Let's remember this Dylan-inspired one fondly and put it to bed for posterity:

https://forums.footballguys.com/forum/topic/783211-frank-sinatra-a-man-his-music-my-2020-music-and-dog-walking-thread/?do=reportComment&comment=22420200

Edited by rockaction
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Don't :IBTL: it.  I'll jump back in if Bob does something new.  I wouldn't be shocked if Dylan has some new recordings in him.  If not, there are always the annual Bootleg Series copyright dumps.

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11 minutes ago, Eephus said:

Don't :IBTL: it.  I'll jump back in if Bob does something new.  I wouldn't be shocked if Dylan has some new recordings in him.  If not, there are always the annual Bootleg Series copyright dumps.

Oh, I hope not. Mods, pls don't. Just helping steer traffic and sort of acknowledging this particular contribution to the board. Peace.

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