June 24, 1995 |
Last week's announcement that Bob Dylan would play the Theater of Living Arts was accompanied by an explanation: Dylan, now touring stadiums with the Grateful Dead, was restless. He had days off, and wanted to play. But few in the TLA's capacity crowds Wednesday and Thursday could have been prepared for what they encountered: Dylan was being literal. Not content to stroll through his house blend of hits and back-page obscurities, he wanted to play. As in, play guitar. As in, play guitar solos.
July 21, 1986 |
As the ultimate singer/songwriter of the contemporary folk and progressive rock eras, Bob Dylan has always had his pick of great and worshipful sidemen (and women), from Joan Baez to the Band, Al Kooper & Mike Bloomfield to the Rolling Thunder brigade and Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler. None has ever put Dylan's gritty visions into as sweet and commercial a context, though, as his latest recruits, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, who joined Dylan for two very satisfying shows at the Spectrum, Saturday and last evening.
November 21, 2012 |
Guessing what Bob Dylan might do next - and pondering why he does what he does - has been a time-consuming avocation for amateur Dylanologists for pretty much the entire half-century of his incomparably inscrutable career. On Monday, the mysterious man in the white boater hat played the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia, on a double bill that also featured Mark Knopfler, the former Dire Straits front man who produced Infidels , Dylan's standout album from 1983. This date on the Never Ending Tour had a more compelling raison d'etre than most.
April 12, 2013 |
Angelina Jolie stood up to world leaders Thursday in an address to the G8 foreign ministers meeting in London. She identified wartime rape as one of the most intractable - and ignored - travesties in world affairs. "Hundreds of thousands of women and children have been sexually assaulted in the wars of our generation," Jolie said. "I have heard survivors of rape from Bosnia to [the Congo] say that the world simply does not care about them. " Added Jolie, "But wartime rape is not inevitable.
August 4, 2013 |
Last weekend, instead of hanging around for the XPoNential Music Festival in Camden or the Mad Decent Block Party across the river at Penn's Landing, I headed north more than 300 miles, to the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island. I'd never been. Newport belongs among U.S. music festivals that were 1960s flashpoints, along with Woodstock, Altamont, and, to a lesser extent, Monterey. Joan Baez rose to stardom at Newport in 1959 (the very first year of the fest, born five years after the inaugural Newport Jazz Festival)
April 19, 2012 |
Levon Helm, the Arkansas-born drummer and singer for The Band, the four-fifths Canadian ensemble whose music in the 1960's and '70s, some of it with Bob Dylan, endures as a high-water mark of quintessential American rock and roll, has died of cancer. He was 71. "Levon Helm passed peacefully [Thursday] afternoon," according to an announcement on his official Website. "He was surrounded by family, friends and band mates and will be remembered by all he touched as a brilliant musician and a beautiful soul.
September 26, 2012 |
At 66, Bettye LaVette is celebrating her 50th year in the music business. In 1962, as a Detroit teenager, she had a Top 10 R&B hit with the upbeat "My Man - He's a Lovin' Man. " Three years later, when just 19, LaVette was singing a sadder song - a classic of world-weary heartache called "Let Me Down Easy" - that also made it into the Top 20. The hits did not keep on coming. And as LaVette makes plain in her new memoir A Woman Like Me (Blue Rider Press, $26.95), the decades that followed mostly found one of America's great soul singers struggling in obscurity, victimized by bad record deals, rotten luck, and her own poor decisions.
March 4, 1993 |
Over the last few years, public television has made many hopeful but cautious moves toward rock 'n' roll. Saturday, it takes its most ambitious step yet, kicking off a new series called "In the Spotlight" with a two-part, four-hour film of October's Bob Dylan tribute concert at Madison Square Garden in New York. Part One will air at 8 p.m. Saturday, Part Two at 11 p.m. Wednesday, both on Channel 12. The first part will also be repeated starting at 6:25 p.m. March 13, for those who want to see the whole thing together.
November 3, 2006 |
Joel Gilbert's three-DVD collection on Bob Dylan has almost everything a Dylanophile could want - interviews galore, candid photos, grainy home movies, inside information . . . everything, in fact, except the man himself. Dylan's voice is heard occasionally in this documentary, but not often enough. His music is performed by Gilbert's tribute band, Highway 61 Revisited, which boasts former members of Dylan's various touring bands. And Gilbert, who does most of the films' interviews and visits the troubadour's old haunts, dresses and acts the part quite a bit. But it's just not the same.