Joan Baez - Bowery Songs

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Kush
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Joan Baez - Bowery Songs

Post by Kush » Sun Sep 18, 2005 6:01 pm

Bought this new Baez live album and its been a revelation. I havent bought a JB album in awhile so I just listened to this one at B&N yesterday and it took me completely by surprise. The sound and arrangements are markedly contemporary - heavy on percussion and drums and electric and lap steel guitar. The backup band is really fantastic and gives new life to JB. The age in her legendary vocal chords shows a bit - the range does not quite match up with that of yesteryear - but she uses the contemporary arrangements to great effect to makeup for the loss in vocal range. The songs are standard Baez - 3 by Dylan, 2 by Steve Earle, 3 traditional, 1 by Woody Guthrie and a few more. She opens with an a capella version of Finlandia. She has truly reinvented herself with this album. The B&N reviewer calls it "her edgiest and most darkly seductive live album to date". Edgy is not a word one usually associates with a Joan Baez album but I completely agree on this one. Baez of the new millenium.

Miracles bowl me over
And often will they do so
Now I think I was asleep till I heard
The voice of the great Caruso
....

Amidst cellos, harps, and flugelhorns
With the precision of a hummingbird's heart
Was the lord of the monarch butterflies
One-time ruler of the world of art

- Joan Baez' tribute to Enrico Caruso (not on this album)
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lightning
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Older Baez

Post by lightning » Tue Sep 27, 2005 9:57 pm

Thank for the tip Kush. Just saw her in "No Direction Home" and she is in great shape, laughing and joking. There is a picture of her at the Burning Man Festival this year on the Burning Man Website. Her spirit stayed forever young despiter grey hair etc. Is Dylan ever going smile ,joke or break up laughing again? His recent appearances make me wonder.
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Kush
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Post by Kush » Wed Sep 28, 2005 12:19 am

Is Dylan ever going smile ,joke or break up laughing again? His recent appearances make me wonder.
lightning...believe it or not I saw a recent photo of Dylan (less than 5-6 years ago) where he was laughing his head off after receiving some award or other. The oscar for Things Have Changed perhaps????
It felt weird and surreal to see him laughing/smiling - by all accounts it hadnt happened in decades.
If I find it on the web again I'll bring it here.

Hmm...I didnt get to see No Direction Home. I'll have to get hold of the DVD from Blockbuster.
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lightning
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No Direction Home

Post by lightning » Wed Sep 28, 2005 12:33 am

The second part is showing on PBS tonight 9-11PM, ch. 13 in NYC. It's a great documentary and all should see it. Amazon is selling it ddiscounted, I hear. Lots of people are recording it off the air.
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lizzytysh
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Post by lizzytysh » Wed Sep 28, 2005 12:40 am

Yes, I believe it's on PBS, wherever you're at. The channels themselves will vary. The more that get to see this, the better 8) . I guess I'll hold off on ordering it directly from the program. I'm guessing the Amazon copies are legit?
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Post by margaret » Wed Sep 28, 2005 12:52 am

The Scorcese film has just finished on UK television. I think I managed to record it all. :) Is it being broadcast in USA and other countries all at the same time then?

I can see me geting my old vinyl discs of Bob and Joan out again very soon .
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Post by lizzytysh » Wed Sep 28, 2005 7:36 am

By the looks of it, yes, Margaret ~ worldwide[?]/U.S. & Great Britain[?] ~ for sure, at least coordinated in its showings.

Yes, me too, on the vinyls. I got a turntable just in the knick of time :) .
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lightning
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No Direction Home

Post by lightning » Wed Sep 28, 2005 3:59 pm

It was aired on the PBS and BBC networks so every country that gets these will see it. Much of Europe can tune into the BBC or gets rebroadcasts. America gets PBS, I don't know about Canada. The rest of the world can get it from Amazon or their local DVD rental or the library. Praise to Izzy Young, former director of the Folklore Center, for his honesty and the others with appreciative but less than worshipful stories about young Bobby. He laughed briefly ( once) during part 2.
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Post by lizzytysh » Wed Sep 28, 2005 4:34 pm

:lol: I noticed that and thought of you, Lightning, when he did.

I particularly appreciated Joan's comments on how he did not return the favour of bringing her onstage with him, and how their friendship took a new direction during that time. It was clear that she was hurt at the time, but has taken it in stride, looking back. It seems he was quite an enigma personally, as well as professionally.

It seemed to me that he observed and intuited much that became the fabric of his songs, but did not want the pressure of having to intellectualize about it all. He was clearly uncomfortable during many of those interviews from the past; and may have been interpreted as being intentionally smart alecky in some of his responses, but really didn't seem to necessarily know how to verbalize what it is he did or was doing, or why. He also didn't seem to feel he necessarily should have to.

I really enjoyed the interview with Scorcese at the end. It reenforced even more how much I would love to see him do a similar documentary on Leonard. I wonder if there are hidden caches of footage somewhere on him, as well.

If TV could be like this all the time, I'd invest in one. However, even PBS often saves its 'best' shows for their contribution/fundraising drives :wink: . I thought of that when Steven from Pennsylvania mentioned having seen a program on Harry Chapin.
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lightning
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Post by lightning » Wed Sep 28, 2005 4:44 pm

Bob refused to be obligated to Joan when he felt he no longer needed her for his solo act, and professionally, that made sense as some felt she dragged him down. But from the point of view of love or friendship it was a slight. Too bad because she is a nice lady. But she's no Bob Dylan.
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Kush
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Post by Kush » Wed Sep 28, 2005 5:00 pm

Yeah...His Bobness briefly laughed during part 2. :) I'll hunt for this pic where he is grinning from ear to ear.
Of course I always love hearing Joan Baez incomparable voice but sometimes I think I understand why Bob Dylan treated her as he did. He was/is on a different plane and moving at a different speed. As he said "You can't be wise and be in love at the same time". And I am not sure how wise Joan Baez is. Here she is 40 years later still singing the same old Dylan songs, still 'protesting', and still not having "sold out". All tired old cliches. She is caught in a time capsule whereas Dylan has moved on so far out in his life and music he isnt recognizable from the 1964 version.
Well atleast she has a new backup band. And the voice is still that of an angel. And she is certainly a "nice lady".
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Post by lightning » Wed Sep 28, 2005 5:13 pm

Kush and others,
Protest may be a tired cliche but war is an even more tired cliche we could all live without.
I credit Joan for showing up at the Cindy Sheehan camp and performing for free. Would Bob do a benefit for anyone but Bob?
I credit Joan for being young at heart enough to show up for the Freak Fest -avant garde art event known as the Burning Man Festival.( In the the burning heat of the Nevada desert, they burn an effigy -- " the real ones who are burning, etc."
I credit Joan for sharing her memories and feelings in that documentary.
Wonder why there was no mention of Sara or Bob's family. Did that happen later?
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Post by lizzytysh » Wed Sep 28, 2005 5:32 pm

I didn't hear any mention of Sara or Bob's family, Lightning.

I couldn't possibly agree with you more, Lightning. Protesting a war isn't something that goes out of fashion, unless we just accept it as a way of life and a driving force of our economy. I also don't think she's necessarily just singing Dylan's songs. Certainly, when it comes to a war protest, nothing could be more quintessential on the music sheet than some of Bob's songs! In a specials on Dylan, singing his songs couldn't be any more appropriate. She's had albums since those times that were unrelated to Bob. Her new Bowery cd isn't a compilation of his songs, is it? I think people seeing her Live in concert might do all they could to get her to sing some of his songs, with which she is inextricably linked. But to dismiss her as "Here she is 40 years later still singing the same old Dylan songs" is skewed to the max. Her still not having "sold out" is very admirable, as she has retained her original commitment and passion about the governmental-economic-military complex/machine, and the lives that are sacrificed, merely to keep it oiled. It's not something she did at the time because it was the 'in' thing to do, and then went moved on to yuppiedom. She remained in a higher place rather than become a cliche. I credit Joan with a whole lot. She retained her individuality and ideals.
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Kush
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Post by Kush » Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:27 pm

Sara and Bob's family came after 1966. So the slightly disaapointing thing about this so-called documentary on Dylan was that it was limited to the first 4-5 years of a 40+ years musical career. I guess that might have been becoz Dylan himself may have limited it to that period and also the aim was capture a specific moment in history and Dylan's influence on that. I think he wrote all his 'topical protest' songs within a 3 year period (1962-65) and has not written one since.
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Post by lizzytysh » Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:39 pm

Did you listen to the interview with Scorcese afterward? It sounds like maybe you didn't; however, he said [paraphrased] that there he was with piles of previously-unseen footage, and the task was to find a 'narrative' to Dylan's life through all that he had. He decided that his life took a dramatic turn after his accident [and, not sure on this, the footage may be more limited since then], so that point seemed to be a good 'stopping' point. Now, what do you mean by "this so-called documentary"?
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