Episode 7. Triplicate. Bunker. April 13, 2017.

This is a special episode of Sign on the Window, if only because it’s our first episode in present day with present Dylan. After a varied collection of tracks over the past 50 years, how did this feel? Kelly liked it a lot while Daniel… not so much. He understood the mood Bob was going for, the thematic ties with Fallen Angels and Shadows in the Night.

From Rolling Stone:

When Dylan issued his first set of Sinatra-related songs, 2015’s Shadows in the Night, the project reflected the history of American music’s oldest cultural war; the songs Dylan chose for that album, and a follow-up volume, last year’s Fallen Angels, showed how well he understood Sinatra and the rarefied Great American Songbook” era of Tin Pan Alley and Broadway musicals. When the rise of outsider forms country music, rhythm & blues, rockabilly displaced all that in the 1950s, some reacted as if barbarians had stormed the gates. Sinatra was among them. Rock & roll smells phony and false,” he said. Dylan, though, had done something even more radical maybe worse and he knew it. Tin Pan Alley is gone,” he said in 1985. I put an end to it. People can record their own songs now.”

From NOW:

Dylan, his ace band, a horn section and arranger James Harper imbue new mystery into these old songs, captured live off the floor and organized into three thematic 10-song sequences. Moody and alluring, the album can be enjoyed by just about anyone, anywhere. But for a Dylan fan, it’s the next piece in the perplexing puzzle that is his recent discography.

Before we begin, Daniel posed as Dylan to answer questions (7:15) from the incredible interview Bob did with Bill Flanagan at bobdylan.com. In it, we expand on Dylan’s feelings about the ’60s, the idea that there’s enough of my personality in the songs,” and nostalgia (followed by Frank Turner’s “I Am Disappeared”).

Then we dive into the songs (17:00): We each have our songs we ride for but, in general, Kelly loves this style of music and music history. In fact, Kelly takes us down a brief history of music beginning with Scott Joplin, ragtime, sheet music to phonographs and wax cylinders. We sampled a recording of Thai music in Berlin in 1900. We talked about the era of great orchestras – and how everyone seemed to have one: Glenn Miller, Kid Ory, King Oliver, Kid Rock!

This became our first opportunity to directly compare Dylan’s versions with classic renditions from Frank Sinatra, Billy Holiday, etc. Pulling from No Direction Home, Dylan notes how he feels like he was born at the wrong time, and his influences are strange.

Daniel’s favorite tracks included: “I Guess I’ll Have to Change My Plan,” “September of my Years,” “I Could Have Told You,” “P.S. I Love You,” “The Best Is Yet to Come,” “Day In Day Out” and “Stardust.”

Kelly’s favorite tracks included: “Stormy Weather,” “This Nearly Was Mine,” “When the World Was Young,” “You Go to My Head” and “Best Is Yet to Come.” But it was hard because it was so enthralling:

It’s like an alien singing songs to me.

But we also lived in in the world and have recommendations (44:00). Kelly, inspired by Triplicate, recommended Blossom Dearie.

Daniel spent the week washing the cool Triplicate out with Mastodon’s Emperor of Sand and watching the incredible documentary series on Netflix Five Came Back.

Endings (47:40): Kelly guessed #132, “On A Night Like This” off Planet Wavesbut it was #93 “King of France” from The Basement Tapes, our first and, perhaps, one of Dylan’s most obscure.




Published by Daniel

Occasional writer, persistent nomad; restless, moving, changing. Currently in Portland, Oregon.

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