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Tag: blood on the tracks

They’re Playing Our Song

There is a lovely piece by Matt Zoller Seitz over at Salon about the music and movies he shared with his wife, who died at 35:

I’m listening to Jen’s favorite album, Bob Dylan’s “Blood on the Tracks,” as I write this, for the first time since 2006…

When I met Jen, I respected but didn’t like Dylan. She could quote the lyrics to many of his best-known songs the way a preacher quotes the Bible. The first time she put on “Blood on the Tracks” in her dorm room — on the evening of our first date, after eating Chinese food and then going to see “Eat a Bowl of Tea,” a film I have not yet revisited — she moseyed around the room singing along with the first song on the album, “Tangled Up in Blue.”

When she saw me trying not to wince, she said, “What, you don’t like this?”

“I like his lyrics, but I’m not sure they’re as deep as people say, and I don’t like his voice,” I said. “He can’t sing. He sounds like a Muppet.”

“You don’t listen to Dylan because you want to rate his technique or pick out holes in his argument or figure out what the message is,” she said, caressing the air with her piano hands. “It’s about the words he uses and how he sings them, and the rhythm. It’s him saying, ‘All right, let’s go here now,’ and you saying, ‘OK, fine, let’s.’ He’s just a guy with a guitar talking to you. Bob Dylan can sing. He just doesn’t sing the way you think a singer is supposed to sound. The title isn’t about a train. The tracks are the album tracks. He’s spilling his blood here.”

There was a knock on the door — a roommate returning a book. Jen moved to answer it, touching my shoulder as she passed.

“Just clear your head and listen to the music,” she said, “and see what happens.”

[Photo Credit: Nathan Makan]

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