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Bob Dylan at Americanarama: The Never Ending Tour Lives On

18 Jul
Bob Dylan Americanarama 7-12-13 at Toyota Park2

The man himself.
Photo taken by Joshua Mellin


“Tell Bob…I’ve given him a lot of money over the years,” my dad said, wishing me well just hours before my first Dylan concert. Last Friday, I followed in my dad’s footsteps, dropping a good chunk of change to see a legend in the flesh. Fresh off my intensive Dylan research, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Would he be hiding behind a hat and wig? Would he mumblingly phone it in? Will all his songs be unrecognizable to me? Continue reading

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The Bloody Beast in Its Tracks: Divorce Through The Eyes of Bob Dylan and Josh Ritter

1 Jun
Bob Dylan "Blood on the Tracks" vs. Josh Ritter's "The Beast in Its Tracks"

Two Men. Two Divorces. Two Albums.


Nearly 40 years separates the release of Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks and Josh Ritter’s The Beast in Its Tracks, but the themes are still familiar: divorce, heartbreak, introspection, and cautious optimism about new love.

I was raised on a timeless mishmash of Dylan’s greatest hits, so it wasn’t until recently digesting his discography that I heard Blood on the Tracks in its entirety. It’s a phenomenal album, but I couldn’t stop comparing it to Ritter’s The Beast in Its Tracks, which came out only a few months ago. The two albums portray men at roughly the same age (Dylan at 35; Ritter at 36) reacting to their crumbling marriages and starting their lives anew. Continue reading

Authenticity is a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan Defines Hip for a Generation

9 May
1960s Bob Dylan Embodies Cool

“He has a visionary’s eyeball that could x-ray all that was corrupt and phony, and who knows what he sees when he looks at you.” -Dalton
Image from soundonsound.com


“He has to have the oldest, most authentic songs. He begins a rabid, quasi-spiritual quest for the obscure, the rare, the core sound.” -David Dalton

“This was the Beat ideal—a community of intellectual outsiders. But it was an ideal that the mass bohemianism of the ‘60s would blow up and wreck because, for one thing, it wasn’t going to be a secret too much longer, and it wasn’t the small elite group of insiders anymore. Two, three, years, it would all be gone. And Bob would be one of the major causes of its demise.” -David Dalton

If anyone embodied authenticity or the ephemeral concept of “IT” in the 1960s, it was Bob Dylan. David Dalton shines a light on Dylan’s hipster persona (among his many others) in Who is that Man? In Search of the Real Bob Dylan. He reveals Dylan as a vehicle for the pop-culturification of the Beat movement (frequently comparing him to Kerouac, both in literary style and lifestyle), and also exposes, yet again, the sheer unsustainability of Beat ideals. Continue reading

Who is that Man? David Dalton Explores the Many Faces of Bob Dylan

5 May
David Dalton Who is That Man Book Cover

Book Cover
Image from thenervousbreakdown.com


I just couldn’t get through Chronicles.  As a high-schooler and burgeoning Dylan fan, I was just looking for a true story behind the music. But I was quick to learn that when it comes to Dylan, there will never be a concrete truth, and the story you’re looking for is not going to be the story you’re going to get.

Enter David Dalton with Who is That Man? In Search of the Real Bob Dylan. This comprehensive Dylanography gave me many of the truths I sought as it taught me which truths to give up searching for. Continue reading