Each and Every Door is an educational podcast about Bob Dylan, Religion and Spirituality. Arguably the most influential singer/songwriter of our era, Dylan has been making music, in the words of some English folk, for "donkey's years." That means a very long time. During his long, unpredictable career, he has exhibited a fascinating relationship with religion and spirituality, one that extends far beyond his "gospel years." On this podcast, Malcolm Gold, a sociologist of religion at Messiah College and Jay Case, a professor of American religious history at Malone University, explore everything from what Dylan may or may not have believed, to the ways spirituality emerges in his songs and music, to the shifting religious context framing his life, and much more. (Artwork by David Everett. firstname.lastname@example.org)
Episode 18: Thinking about Mortality
Right of the bat, Jay demonstrates why his brother is the mathematician, since Jay says this is Episode 19 and is a continuation of Episode 18. Don't let his absent-minded professor schtick fool you: this is really Episode 18, which is a continuation of Episode 17. On this one (Episode 18, not 19, nor 17) Mal and Jay compare reviews of Dylan's latest tour to reviews of several 70s bands also on tour. They also discuss songs from his "Rough and Rowdy Ways" album, what they think Dylan is up to and, yes, mortality. Let's face it: when one goofs up basic tasks on a regular basis, thoughts of mortality lurk just below the surface.
Episode 17: Dylan Freaks and Dylan First-Timers
With Bob Dylan out on tour once again (that old guy just won't stop) Mal and Jay present a couple of tour-related themes. First, we have a "Stump the Dylan Freak" segment, involving reviews of concerts from old 70s bands. Is it a Dylan concert or not? You can play at along at home. Second, we bring on a special guest who attended the very first Dylan concert of her life. She also happens to be Elisa Case, Jay's wife. Mal finds out what the experience was like for her.
Episode 16: Shadow Kingdom, The Early Weeks
Mal and Jay discuss Dylan's 2021 summer event (?), concert (?), music video (?), performance (?), thingy-ma-jig, called "Shadow Kingdom." It came, it went. Maybe it will return some today, but for now, you can hear them talk about it in the weeks after it was released.
Episode 15: The Spirit of Idiocy, Part 2
More explorations here into what is going on with Bob Dylan's song, "Idiot Wind." Mal and Jay dive into "alternative tunings" and ancient Jewish scholars, but don't let that discourage you -- there are real treasures here! (How is that for a pitch? "Here is some stuff that doesn't sound appealing at all, but stick with it anyway." It sounds like I'm trying to teach a history class. Or sociology. Oh, well. This is what daily life is like for us professors.) At least you get to hear some interesting Dylan clips to help you see why so many people consider this to be a great song.
Episode 14: The Spirit of Idiocy, Part 1
No, the title does not describe the conversation Mal and Jay have on this episode. Well, it's not supposed to. It does, however, refer to one of Bob Dylan's most notable songs, "Idiot Wind," which they discuss here. And it is an important enough song that it will take two episodes!
Episode 13: Long and Not-So Wasted Years of Lyric Tinkering
Bob Dylan turned 80 this week and Dylan aficionados held an online academic conference in honor of the event. Mal and Jay, who attended the conference (of course they did) talk about how Dylan freaks respond to online frustrations. Our hosts also examine the revisions that Dylan made in dozens of concerts to just two lines from "Long and Wasted Years." This just might represent a spiritual struggle common to all of us.