Thursday, July 12, 2007

Bob Dylan and Gothic

The juxtaposition below of my mom's show and my own shows is not "random." Now Bob Dylan has revised his persona so that he's a man of the people, a retro musician steeped in hillbilly music and blues. But at his peak (shown below) Dylan was a Rimbaud-reading, gender-bending, dandy and Gothic singer (in fact connecting The Cure with hillbilly music in an intersting way) luxuriating in the artificiality and aestheticism. That is why the Bob Dylan of Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde is so much more interesting than the Bob Dylan of Basement Tapes or anything after.

(Though I think it's pretty much all brilliant, especially the show I caught in Alabama last summer, which in some ways seemed to be a return to mid-60s sensibilities - synth pop carousel music.).


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