Biscuits, Triscuits…


Make new friends but keep the old
June 25, 2009, 8:00 pm
Filed under: music and musings

I’ve been listening to a lot of Dylan recently. I guess trying to really get it, though I’ve always been one to love poetry and in my own songwriting simplicity is key, but I’ve always dealt with people who dislike Dylan for one reason or another. And I don’t get it. So I watched Scorsese’s No Direction Home, in a span of three days because that movie is quite lofty, and realized there’s no way to minimize or get cliff notes on Bob Dylan; it’s either all or nothing.  So I’ve been listening to him a lot and reading some writing on him and somewhere I started thinking about how I’ve heard about people being compared to him, being called “The next Bob Dylan.” So I googled it because it bothers me, I don’t think there is a way to be the next Bob Dylan in any way shape or form. That type of craftsmanship and originality is no longer really available, everything now is a copy of a copy (Heidegger style) and even Dylan admits to that. But how one could be called “The next Dylan” really got on my nerves so I found some articles.

One article I found mentioned several musicians who could be called or in line for being the next Dylan:

http://folkmusic.about.com/od/toptens/tp/NextBobDylan.htm

It mentions Ben Kweller, Conor Oberst, Dan Bern, Jeff Tweedy, John Prine, Langhorne Slim, Loudon Wainwright III, and Willy Mason.

Now this isn’t to say that none of these musicians aren’t excellent at their craft but it seems trite and unnecessary to place them on this particular pedestal. I don’t think we should be looking for the next Bob Dylan; we should be looking for the next NEW sound, the next inventor of a style or a philosophy of music, the next mover and shaker. Because from where I stand, there is tons of good music out there, there’s an alright amount of amazing new music out there, but there isn’t much and there aren’t many pivotal people leading the revolution towards something new the way Dylan did, and did it without even realizing it somehow.

The next article I found was a direct comparison between Conor Oberst and Bob Dylan saying that it’s a close call, and Oberst is almost there?

http://crawdaddy.wolfgangsvault.com/Article/Freewheelin-Bob-Dylan-vs-Conor-Oberst.html

Granted the article does take the stance that making this comparison in the first place is somewhat absurd but she still takes it on and thinks there is actually a basis for it.  And my thoughts came flooding out, that I absolutely disagree, I think Conor Oberst has some merit but is nowhere along any lines as Dylan other than the fact that he started his career very young and did well. I then read this article by Zac Pennington

http://www.portlandmercury.com/portland/Content?oid=33063&category=22153

and it said everything that I was thinking and wished to say. At first I thought he was going to go the way of the previous pieces but it was right on par with how I felt about the issue. Who needs another Bob Dylan? We have him, we love him and always will but if we are going to search for something it shouldn’t be to make comparisons it should be something we can’t compare to anything else. And that’s damn hard. I have trouble finding music that is original, and I lose a little bit of faith every once in a while wondering when some originality will trickle back into our music culture but I do find glimpses of it, even in twisted resurrections of music that has already been done, but it’s still there, lurking behind the speakers.

Recently for me it’s Headlights from Champaign, IL whom I have written about countless times for different publications, and wake up to every morning. I find their music (mainly their last album Some Racing, Some Stopping) stunning and beautiful melding of old-time phil spector-esque recordings with a fresh, upbeat indie rock style attached. Hopefully they have a new album coming out soon because I am super excited to hear what’s next. http://www.myspace.com/headlights

I’m still searching for more though, and when I think about it, remember it or find it, you can read about it here.

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1 Comment so far
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So went and listened to Headlights on youtube. Heard TV and was like meh. Then tried Cherry Tulips and was like ehh. I like Cherry, reminded me of happy beatles music. Not bad at all.

Comment by ricky mags




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