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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
If your life is a leaf / that that the seasons tear off and condemn They will bind you with love / that is graceful and green as a stem
— Leonard Cohen, Sisters of Mercy
October 22, 2012

Finding Bob Dylan: Bob Dylan & Mark Knopfler at Rogers Arena

I think everybody finds Bob Dylan eventually. Some may find him inscrutable, unintelligible and frustrating but it’s hard to deny the singer songwriter’s influence and role in the growth of that most American form of music—Rock and Roll (or is it Country?) His lyrics are complex (a friend recorded a cover that got some traction online once, but he told me he wasn’t performing it live because it had “Too many words to remember”) and his nasally voice can make them hard to understand, but the legend of the man has its roots in a legacy that’s hard to ignore or avoid.

I’d never seen Dylan live. I came to the man late. I’ll readily admit to having horrible taste in music as a teenager, though the first concert I ever attended was Steve Earle’s Copperhead Road tour so I have that my credit. I had an uncle whose taste crossed to Steve Earle but tended towards Willie Nelson and not to the Townes Van Zandt and Dylan side of that particular mix. There was no way I was going to listen to Country as an angst ridden 16 year old and that’s a shame because if I’d gone from Steve to Willie I might have found my way to Bob some other way.

It was the bootleg releases that got me, and specifically Vol. 4: Bob Dylan Live, 1966 the “Royal Albert Hall” Concert. It was officially released in 1998 and one of my daily Internet check ins gave the album a rating of 100 out of a 100, calling it the “greatest rock and roll record ever recorded.” With a review like that, I figured there wasn’t much to lose buying it. It’s an album that transcends its recorded media to be something more like a musical time capsule. It’s famous “Judas!” moment seems to capture the transition from the hopeful, wistful, acoustic sixties to the more electric (and sadly disco infused) 70s; the version of Visions of Johanna at that album is about as perfect as will ever see the light of day, recorded by a man at his prime; the snarling angry rendition of Like a Rolling Stone at the end (with it’s “Play fucking loud” intro seems to define the end of an era, an impression that’s emphasized by the subsequent disappearance of the man after the infamous motorcycle accident that came shortly after.

I was pretty hooked, and that album stayed in the CD player of my Jeep for a very long time after that. A couple of years later the music of Dylan played a central role in High Fidelity, which remains one of my favourite films to this day. The book isn’t bad either, but I got to the movie first and in this case it’s a pretty even balance so I stick with the film.

It took 12 years, but I finally saw Dylan live. The occasion was a tour with Mark Knopfler, and that seemed like a double bill that I couldn’t miss. I managed to snag a pair of floor tickets in the thirteenth row for about $100 each. That’s not bad for a lineup like this.

Continue reading "Finding Bob Dylan: Bob Dylan & Mark Knopfler at Rogers Arena "

Posted by skooter at 8:54 PM This entry is filed under Music.
Tags: Bob Dylan, Live Nation, Mark Knopfler, Richard Charteris, Rogers Arena

October 16, 2012

Sixto Rodriguez at Zulu Records


Sixto Rodriguez—the man whose story is told in the film Searching for Sugar Man Zulu Records for an in store interview with Charles Brownstein of Northern Transmissions. I stopped by to film it.

The event saw the store literally packed to the rafters: there were more people in it than I’ve sen for any previous events. After the interview Sixto headed to Venue for a concert which sold out in a matter of minutes after being announced.

Posted by skooter at 8:24 PM This entry is filed under Music.
Tags: Charles Brownstein, Nicolas Bragg, Northern Transmissions, Sixto Rodriguez, Zulu Records