3 Baseball Media Members, Craig Calcaterra, Steven Goldman & Mike Ferrin share their thoughts on Bob Dylan's work and legacy.
Episode 11 looks at Bob Dylan's 2001 release "Love and Theft". Craig Calcaterra, Steven Goldman & Mike Ferrin discuss the elements of theft, pretty lovingly.
Episode 10 focuses on Dylan's 1976 follow-up to Blood on the Tracks, Desire. A rare collaborative effort, famous for "Hurricane", it contains 8 other songs. Craig Calcaterra, Steven Goldman & Mike Ferrin, um, discuss the compositions? (If you love this record, we're gonna make you sad)
EPISODE 9-Blood on the Tracks
Craig, Steven & Mike gush lovingly about an album that, well, isn't all that loving. But then again, also is. Here's a good book on the recording of the record as well, called "A Simple Twist of Fate"
EPISODE 8-- The Times They Are a-Changin'
Episode 8 looks at Dylan's final "Protest" Album, 1964's "The Times They Are a-Changin'" We discuss Dylan's work for Civil Rights, what songs still resonate today, and his relationship with Phil Ochs. Steve's compiled an Ochs playlist for your listening pleasure. as well. https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6i9zTXrUuvnGJjBk2vgKDJ
EPISODE 7-World Gone Wrong
Craig Calcaterra, Mike Ferrin & Steven Goldman look at Dylan's Delta Blues inspired, "World Gone Wrong", talk about his new Theme Time Radio Hour episode and his place on the new Rolling Stones Top 500 albums list.
Episode 6--Oh, Mercy
Craig, Mike & Steven look at the Dylan/Lanois collaboration, that capped the 1980's for Dylan while hoping not to fall victim to the disease of conceit
Customer ReviewsSee All
The Stories beyond (un)familiar music
It was great hearing the background on this album and the stories. I love the patience that this three-part panel takes with each other, giving each a pleasant turn to speak in order. Disagreements are handled as curious. It so refreshing and friendly. I like Bob Dylan, but I'm not fan in the same sense I'm a Braves fan. I love music and its creation, so this has been such an enjoyable series. I appreciate all of the context and stories y'all fans bring to this discussion. It's a terrific series, looking forward to more episodes.
A Man Cut In Slices
I discovered Dylan when I was 14 years old. I became familiar with everything from his first album to Nashville Skyline, but became intimately acquainted with Bringing it All Back Home, Blonde on Blonde, The Greatest Hits Vol. 1, and The Royal Albert Bootleg. I would have never found the bootleg had it not been for the good will of my freshmen English teacher who loaned it to me. I use to chew his ear off about Dylan and The Dead after school until the janitors kicked us out of the classroom. He must have sensed I was hungry for content and threw me a bone. I drifted away from Dylan and 60’s rock after that year. Taking a schizophrenic path through jazz, big band, classical, hip hop, and alternative. I wouldn’t return to Dylan until college when I became obsessed with Desire. Around that time one of my uncle’s gave me Dylan’s Unplugged CD, which gave me an inkling of the later Dylan’s capacities, but he again fell out of my orbit until about a year and a half ago.
Until then I had no appreciation for Dylan’s work after 1970. I had heard “Idiot Wind” and “Jokerman,” but I didn’t know where they came from. I knew Dylan had a Christian period, but I didn’t know what came after it (other than showing up on 60 Minutes to confess he sold his soul to the devil). That’s when another uncle turned me on to the podcast Bob Dylan: Album by Album by Ben Burrell. This propaedeutic on Dylan ushered in a period of obsession unrivaled by my youth. Blood on the Tracks, Oh, Mercy, and Time Out of Mind have been in perpetual rotation ever since.
I highly recommend Burrell’s podcast as a primer or refresher course on Dylan. But once you’ve got the basic context, come on over to Everything’s Broken. These guys provide historical context for each album and place it in the arc of Dylan’s career. Personal reflections are matched by keen insights, but their boundless sense of humor is what makes this podcast an addicting joy to listen to. Their method reaches the height of perfection in Episode 4 when they take apart Empire Burlesque. The guys have a hey-day with Dylan at his most shameless, but also show how Dylan’s reduction to ashes was a necessary stage he had to pass through in order to reinvent himself for his late-middle period renaissance. And while I don’t share all of their opinions (The Doors regularly come in for harsh treatment; the low marks given to Desire), these guys know their stuff. I was amazed to learn that music criticism is only a side hustle. Apparently their main squeeze is the history of baseball. This podcast comes highly recommended to Dylan aficionados, but general fans of music history will also find these conversations enlightening.
I use to think that my relationship with Dylan was unique. But the more people I talk to about Dylan, the more I realize that the intimate bond one develops with Dylan is not a bug, but a feature of his appeal. Every fan of Dylan feels like Zimm composed his catalog of songs specifically for him or her; other people are just enjoying the fruits of his labors vicariously. Possibly the most relevant description I have ever heard about Dylan’s work is expressed around the 45 minute mark on the “Oh, Mercy” episode of this podcast:
“Watching him as he ages, watching him go through all the things the rest of us go through, even if it is not autobiographical, at least in terms of thematics, it certainly matters. I think that is one of the reasons [his work] is so accessible, even when he has to deal with the pressure of writing something great, you’re “Bob Freaking Dylan.”
Dylan’s life and work function as a personal allegory for his listeners. The songs are able to articulate emotions and ideas otherwise inchoate in the souls of his partisans. The “Everything’s Broken” guys translate back into their own life experiences the symbols all Dylan fans collectively identify with.
If by chance the authors of the podcast happen to read these reviews I would pose this question to them: Why does Dylan captivate us as no other artist of our time? What accounts for his singular mystique? His unrivaled influence? His monstrous significance? I wonder if Dylan embodies what the Greek philosopher Cornelius Castoriadis called “magmas”. These are the symbols, habits, practices, and tendencies from which a given culture emerge. They operate under the same logic that governs our unconscious; they combine symbols, images, ideas, places, persons, and artifacts from disparate contexts and traditions. Folk traditionals, Delta Blues standards, images from French Symbolism, the automatic writing of the Beats, Nashville Honkey Tonk, Esoteric Travelogues, Christian Revivalism, Reggae Apostasy, English Romanticism: Dylan’s art comprises the dreamwork of America’s 20th century Cultural Unconscious. Perhaps most recent works such as “Murder Most Foul” and “I Contain Multitudes” provide a retrospective account of this tendency that has governed the arc of his career.
exactly what you’d expect of journalists doing a podcast in their basement
gets douchier every week. congrats, gentlemen.