Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Magic of the Black Disc

A friend emailed me recently and said that he had just purchased Bob Dylan's Planet Waves. It just so happened that I had been listening to a track from it that morning on my iPod ("Tough Mama"). I told him how those lines "Dark beauty / with a long night's journey in your eyes" and "with the badge of the lonesome road written on your sleeve" get me every time, and the way he sings them! There's something visceral about Bob's songs. In some kind of sub-rational way they just hit ya where ya live! My friend is doing Masters work in multi-modal therapy at the moment, liked my use of "visceral" and told me how his studies were moving him away from "the rational only [not irrational] a total experiencing...visceral is a good havent got into ipods and probably my cd collection too the fussing around with the cd's and ancient cd visceral." Well the use of an iPod hasn't superceded my use of and love for CDs. (Man, I still use vinyl!) Both CDs and vinyl records are objects of beauty in themselves and things I could never replace in my life. It's just that the iPod gives me portability and I love the shuffle function which keeps me guessing about what's coming up next. I've come to the realization that I love these objects because they are magic. When as a child I took a solid black vinyl disc and placed it on a spinning turntable, music came out of it for no reason that I could explain. I didn't understand or need or want to understand the technology behind the magic. The wonder of the music carried its own explanation. The CD revolution gave me the same experience without lessening my love for the magic of the black disc. Ditto for the iPod and the CD.


Ludicrousity said...

I can appreciate Bob's lyrics and his music, but I can't stand his voice! I don't mind other people singing his songs, but I just can't stand Bob Dylan!

Glen O'Brien said...

It's definitely an acquired taste I guess. There's actually a few Bob voices. The high pitched trebly nasal voice most people think of from his early period; the deep crooner voice of his country period (Nashville Skyline, New Morning); and the "sounds like it's been soaking in whisky and cigaretttes for fifty years" voice of his recent albums are just a few of 'em. None of them are always in tune but man are they expressive!

Mr. Imperial said...

I think I enjoy the trebly nasal voice most...but moreso when he's talking, rather than singing. I tried my hardest to like him after that DVD we watched in class, but I find myself content with just really enjoying the DVD and his dodginess with the media :-).

Ludicrousity said...

I just can't get over how horrible his voice sounds. I can't enjoy it, but I can appreciate that he has talent as a songwriter.


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