Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's BĂȘte Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Friday, June 30, 2006

in the middle of projects, i get 3rd wind around 11 pm and keep going. why would i want to sleep when there's music to hear or play, and words to read or write?

so much to tell you, but i really must sleep, alas.

just this: for reasons i'll get back to in a later post, i was thinking of Dylan & Lennon today, and their psychedelic apex, BD's in '65 - '66, JL's in '67. by which i mean: the extremity and acuteness of consciousness coupled with intensity of musical expression in their best songs of the time.

"Bob Dylan's 115th Dream," the careening, detailed, funny, rolling, seat-of-the-pants comic triumphant bitter satire where the protagonist tweaks the bourgeoisie & gets tweaked in return but with never a personal sense of doom & escapes in the end only to find the historical past in the form of Columbus & his 3 ships heading toward the American port, a snapshot of inevitabilty & freaked-out consciousness-of-fate -- things have always been-to-be this way, there's no alternative.

"Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again" -- bitterer, more personal, equally detailed, surreal, satirical, ending with the protagonist searching for a way out of going "through all of this twice," hopelessly wishing that things could be some other way even though they can't.

"I Am the Walrus" -- freer wordplay, less repetitive and predictable musical composition, less concrete, less externally-observed, and more personally harrowing. Like Smokey Robinson in "Ooh Baby Baby," the protagonist pleads, "I'm crying." And there's no other way to be. I am he as you are he and you are me and we are all together.

"Strawberry Fields Forever" -- acutely conscious dissolution of competent consciousness: "I think, ah no, I mean, ah yes, but you're all wrong, that is I think I disagree." Hippier & dippier than Dylan -- "nothing is real, and nothing to get hung about" -- but still a consciousness at an extreme -- the opposite extreme of Dylan maybe, an extremity near dissolution of meaningful connection with externality, versus Dylan's overstimulated observations so oversatuated that meaningful connection is impossible on this soul-terrain too.

Neither of them ever wrote this way again, and -- tellingly -- neither of them ever made music that sounded like this again. Dylan's kitchen-sink, everybody-play-lead-even-the-tambourine careening rock and roll enthsiasm. As a teen-ager, I adored the sound of his '65 - '66 records and didn't even care about the words. Lennon's kitchen-sink rock-pop-sound-collage, snippets of orchestration and sound effects coming together for a rich tapestry of consciousness afloat in a vaguely hostile sea. For both -- amazing sounding records.

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