Singer/Songwriter Stick To Your Songs

If you had not enough with the debate about Bob Dylan literateur,
Ignacio Juliá opens a new one: Bob Dylan painter!

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I’m translating here the gorgeous article I received via email thanks to one of the good and admirable friends I got in the Dylanite community, the well known writer, translator and articulist, Antonio J. Iriarte. Thanks to him for providing me the access to this priceless text and, of course, to Ignacio Juliá, author of the present writing about the pictorial work of the recent Nobel Prize for Literature. The original paper written in Spanish will be found through the following link here supplied:

http://abcdefghijklmn-pqrstuvwxyz.com/cantautor-tus-zapatos/

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Here’s my own translation:

Singer/Songwriter Stick To Your Songs

I have forbidden myself to make a comment, even if only on the fly, regarding the absurd controversy generated around the long-announced Nobel for Literature to Robert Allen Zimmerman. So much nonsense makes me mad as I imagined, deluded, that the imbecilic abyss between high and low culture was definitely forgotten. And I want to make clear that I take the guy by high culture. I will only allow myself an indisputable axiom: the word was prior to literature, it was prior to the invention of printing, and consequently telling stories should never be confined to the occlusive stop caps of a book. And one more thing, come on! How many voices of the last century were more verbally piercing, inspired, playful, socially cathartic, gleaming, fraudulent, in human terms, than those of the so-called Bob Dylan?

It seems that I have always been behind something, anything in motion – a car, a bird, a leaf carried by the wind – anything that would take me to a better place, an unknown land downstream.” That’s what the elusive Nobel writes as an accurate self-portrait in the catalog of his pictorial exhibition The Beaten Path. What … how dares he? In addition to be an award-winning literateur, the simple musician, the rogue singer/songwriter … does he paint pictures? And still he sculpts, welder in hand, metal artefacts from recycled parts! I leave such imaginary comments, typical of the intellectual minds, as I cross the threshold of the exquisite Halcyon Gallery in London’s Mayfair. And I come across a monographic sample that is pure Dylan: pictures of ingenuous chromaticism capturing the secondary landscapes of his own America, the one he has been cruising tirelessly during the Never Ending Tour.

A certain America is visualized while strolling through the very noble rooms of the gallery, neat and empty except for the walls where they hang from large paintings to manageable sketches. It’s an America that the artist wanted to be as real as the one that survives in memory. “Your past begins the day you are born and not taking it into account is to deceive yourself about who you really are,” reflects Bob. Hence he decided, in that naturalistic appearance of his paintings, to hide what did not interest him, which is the modern and the advertising, that ugly commercial world. The framing of a hot dog stand on Coney Island completely omits skyscrapers that “litter the sky” just two blocks away. And the modest fishery in San Francisco’s Chinatown erases everything that came after that Victorian-style neighborhood was built. “These cold and gigantic structures are meaningless to me in the world that I see or choose to see, the world of which I am a part,” he confesses.

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The silent intention of he who spent two years sketching and painting these transitory natures was to contradict the modern world. Facing complex details that his hands could not reproduce the same way as his gaze transmitted to him, he applied the ‘dark camera’ method. He did it using an old Nikon with a wide-angle or else the screen of a small spoiled television. He paints with watercolors and acrylics because of its meager emotional load, although he does not see these materials as necessarily astringent in that sense. He represents reality without idealizing it, working with either universal or easily recognizable objects, framing them in a certain stability. It is necessary to depersonalize the portrayed subject, to strip it of any illusion, looking for common places located in a rationally defined space. Sometimes the focal point is centered, others it is placed in the distance. He longed to create images that could not be misinterpreted, that curse that still bears on him.

Those who accuse him of intrusism should know that he acted as painter and sculptor since the early sixties. There is the front cover of “Music from Big Pink”, debut of The Band, as first glance. The meaningful simplicity of these images – “roads, huts, jetties, cars, streets, marshes, railways, bridges, motels, bus stops, power lines, farms, theater marquees, churches, signs, etc.,” he enumerates – are the work of a curious and honest observer, still amazed by life, its truths and mysteries. What he sees connects with his inner vision of the big country, and it will be intuited by those who live immersed in his music. But what is important – another of his literary traits – is how these paintings neutralize reality, its strangeness. Endless Highway, his largest oil to date, finally symbolizes the endless road Dylan undertook.

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“Endless Highway,” painting by Bob Dylan

The Beaten Path represents a different theme from the everyday imagery of consumer culture,” he says. “There is nothing to suggest that these paintings have been inspired by the texts of Sigmund Freud or that are based on the mental images that happen in the dreams, there are no fantastic worlds, religious mysticisms or ambiguous thematic. It is not necessary for the viewer to ask himself in front of these pictures if they are real or imagined objects. If anyone visits the place where that image exists, he or she will see the same thing. This is what unites us.

We have forgotten that the true artist is such (an artist) in any project he may undertake. Dylan, who always seemed embarrassed by his abilities and therefore refused to discuss them with anyone or to charge them with presumption, is one of those chosen to transform a press conference into a fight half way between pugilist and Dadaist whose puns continue to be quoted half a century later; Make of a recital a kind of cosmic riddle in which one has to discover what he is really singing, questioning an entire industrial rock mythology; Or end folded to the order of a gallery owner to start painting pictures that redefine the canon of the Americana challenging with impressionist luminosity to the very Hopper.

It’s good that the good man did not heed the call of the Stockholm syndrome, that he “was not there,” as in the famous song. In the end, he did not even show up to pick it up. He must have had to be at work in his workshop. Fleeing forward. There is no other way.

Ignacio Juliá

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The Hypnotist Collector

Bad Day

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Last wednesday was a bad day for me. I like Wednesdays, but it was not a good one, unluckily. Had nothing to do with being Wednesday, though. It was a bad day in itself, one of those starting with foolish actions leading to a huge misunderstanding which ends up causing sorrow.

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Bad Wednesday (Wednesday Addams)

Anyway, it’s already Friday and I know it’s going to be all right, if only cause the week is almost gone and, most of all, because, as The Cure song said, “It’s Friday I’m In Love.” Looking forward to the rest of the weekend, but in the meantime I’m going to share now this song called “Bad Day” to exorcise last Wednesday’s misfortune.

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And it’s true, nothing screws up your Friday more than realizing it’s only Wednesday :lol:, but you know, everything passes, everything changes, and now it’s truly Friday at last. Of course, anyone can have a bad Wednesday, but missing the one you love might be worse than just a bad day. It is not however Wednesday that I wanted to talk about, but just the R.E.M. song below:

Bad Day (R.E.M.)

A public service announcement
followed me home the other day
I paid it nevermind
Go away
Shit’s so thick
You could stir it with a stick
Free Teflon
Whitewashed presidency
We’re sick of being jerked around
Wear that on your sleeve

Broadcast me a joyful noise unto the times, lord
Count your blessings
We’re sick of being jerked around
We all fall down
Have you ever seen the televised
St Vitus subcommittee prize
Investigation dance?
Those ants-in-pants glances
Well, look behind the eyes
It’s a hallowed, hollow anesthesized
“Save my own ass, screw these guys”
Smoke and mirror lock down

Broadcast me a joyful noise unto the times, lord
Count your blessings
The papers wouldn’t lie!
I sigh Not one more
It’s been a bad day
Please dont take a picture
It’s been a bad day
Please

We’re dug in the deep the price is steep
The auctioneer is such a creep
The lights went out, the oil ran dry
We blamed it on the other guy
Sure, all men are created equal
Here’s the church, here’s the steeple
Please stay tuned
We cut to sequel
Ashes, ashes, we all fall down

Broadcast me a joyful noise unto the times, lord
Count your blessings
Ignore the lower fears
Ugh, this means war
It’s been a bad day
Please dont take a picture
It’s been a bad day
Please

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Broadcast me a joyful noise unto the times, lord
Count your blessings
We’re sick of being jerked around
We all fall down
It’s been a bad day
Please dont take a picture
It’s been a bad day
Please

Songwriters
Roth, Asher Paul / Kleinman, Oren Yoel / Appleton, David Anthony

Published by
Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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R.E.M. performs in Madrid, Spain on October 1, 2008 – photo: Alvarez

A great song that reminds a lot the same sheer devastation of another REM’s tune, “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” which seems to have been inspired by the primitive draft of this one.

The song criticizes the shameless corruption seen all over our current world in the same breakneck pace of overwhelming news coming from our TV sets. Extreme differences between rich and poor, people being jerked around, greedy politicians and disgusting power abuse are reflected in the same unassimilable way TV news come to us.

Anyway, didn’t like to end this post in such a discouraging way, so I am sharing also this much more optimistic vision by the same band, with blessings to you all, Shiny Happy People of the WP community (the video I included here was blocked due to copyright issues, so I have changed it now for “The One I Love,” another beautiful uplifting song by R.E.M.) Happy Weekend.

R.E.M. line up is: Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Michael Stipe. I will mention as a curious fact that Bill Berry, one of its members, was born in Duluth, Minnesota, just like the recent Nobel Prize, Bob Dylan.

The Hypnotist Collector

‘It Is Not The Artists Who Speaks, But Life Within The Artist Who Has Much To Say’ (19)

You should all read and share this brilliant article about the life within the artists that actually speaks by themselves, because it talks about the real meaning of art itself in the most insightful way one could imagine.

Big Art Theory Blog

‘The highest purpose of art is to inspire. What else can you do for anyone but inspire them?’Bob Dylan

Few days ago, trying to chase away the ‘fall blues’, while having my morning coffee I have noticed that finally the sun was rising above the sky, which faintly promised for a pleasant weather for the rest of the week. Taking another sip of my latte – still feeling quite uninspired- I said to myself – ‘I wish something spectacular has happened’.

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When I opened my mailbox,  I’ve noticed that there was something  waiting for me there. It turned out that my blog had few new ‘followers’ which, of course, made me very happy. Among them there was an alert about a writer called Kim (author of  a very nice online read called ‘Peace, Love and Patchouli’).

As a faithful believer in low of attraction (‘ask, believe, receive and…

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Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (w/Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers)

As an homage to Bob Dylan on his Nobel Prize award I’m bringing here a sample of what Dylan can do with his own stuff when he feels inspired:

That magic moment in the beginning when he takes the harmonica and blows out the audience’s minds, it’s unbelievable. Something out of this world. How he feels into the music and makes that sign to the drummer with his arm, his hand asking him to stop and wait ’til he’s done with his mouth harp solo, that’s simply amazing. It sure exemplifies the versatility of his talent, the greatness of a genius.

Here’s the link to a sequence of Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid movie with Bob Dylan on it in his Alias role.

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Another sequence of the same movie here, where the song “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” is sounding in the background. Of course, the original song was recorded in February 1973 on Burbank Studios at Burbank, California, released on Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid soundtrack.

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Enjoy, if you like Bob Dylan… if not, don’t worry, nobody cares. But still a pity someone is missing the privilege of such a pleasure to our senses. Happy weekend to all of you, dear readers.

The Hypnotist Collector

Bob Dylan Nobel Prize in Literature 2016

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The news just broke up this afternoon at 13:00 hours my local time. I couldn’t believe it, even if I knew he’s been nominated for the Nobel prize year after year since 1997. But it’s true. Here, through the link provided on the newspaper name, you can read the news as published in The Guardian, including live updates and reactions. I am still leaving another link, this one to the CNBC news from Reuters agency. Many people don’t even think he deserved such a prize. Most of us, Dylan followers thought it was the Nobel Prize who didn’t deserve Dylan figure in the list of the awarded persons 😆

Anyway, these are really great news. He’s the first singer/songwriter to be awarded with such a prestigious prize. From now on they will have to consider that poetry and music (song’s lyrics) are intimately linked and have a common goal: To reach the souls, to make other people feel emotions and think deeply about their lives and the human condition.

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Long life to Bob Dylan. God bless him, God bless you all.

The Hypnotist Collector