Monday, November 20, 2006

So those who tune in on a regular basis will know took about a three week vacation from posting. Without getting deep into the specifics we'll list the reason for this as: file hosting issues, general malaise and laziness, as well as intangibles.

But we're back. Refreshed and with that fighting glimmer in our eyes.

Getting things rolling. I've always loved a good bootleg. Something about hearing a live show from one of your favourite artists immediately brings you back to the memories you have of seeing them live. Boots are the lesser known sister of live albums. The Live album is an official release and the quality is infinitely better. She looks good and all the boys at school know who she is. You're enamoured for a little while, but eventually start noticing that cute little thing hanging out back at the edge of the sister's shadow. Sure, they look kinda alike but she's a little edgier, as comfortable throwing rocks at walls as she is in a prom dress. While popular sister says exactly what you'd expect her to say, lesser known sis goes off on tangents. She says crazy things about souls, gets real intense when you talk about the stars, and just unexpectledly turns her head and kisses you.

Bob Dylan is easily one of the most bootlegged artists ever. His rabid fans have documented his live shows and non-released recorded output since his early beginnings. Playing them all end to end (provided you tracked them all down) would ensure you spent years with the headphones on. Today's post is all about Electric Black Nite Crash.
This a recording of a live concert Dylan gave on September 3, 1965 at The Hollywood Bowl in California. A few months back he'd (in)famously gone electric. This was only his second show post-Newport, a warmup gig before he kicked off his 65/66 tour that crossed North America, Australia, and eventually the UK, where he'd be play to audience's less than receptive to his electric material. The night is split into two. It starts with an acoustic set, intermission, and then concludes with Dylan returning with a full backing band playing material from Bringing It Back Home and Highway 61 Revisited. This format would continue throughout the tour. On this night, Bob is backed by Levon Helm and Robbie Robertson of the Hawks, as well as Al Kooper and Harvey Brooks.
The concert feels a bit restrained. The shows from later on in the tour, especially the famed Manchester "Judas" gig, are powerful and venomous. Kooper and Brooks had both played on the Highway 61 record (Kooper on the undeniably iconic organ part of Like A Rolling Stone) while Robertson and Helm were 2/5 of an incredibly tight backing band that had cut their teeth in hundreds of shows behind Ronnie Hawkins. When the tour really took off in October, Dylan had dropped Kooper and Brooks and added the rest of the Hawks. This lineup (minus slight drummer replacements) would perform behind Dylan for the remainder of the tour. In one of those rock and roll moments that just clicked, Dylan and The Hawks completely gelled. On this show you find Dylan feeling out the musicians as well as the material. Tentative though he is, nonetheless, the concert serves as an artifact of rock and roll in an evolutionary state. Enjoy.
When Electric Black Nite crash originally surfaced it did not include tracks 8 and 13. They were edited off the bootleg due to space constraints. I've added them here to complete things, although the entire show will not fit onto one cd.
Apparently there was a few bugs with the first upload of the show. Tracks cutting off, etc. This should be fixed now. If anyone runs into any more problems let me know.


Dale said...

Hey hawker, listened to the album last night, about time you had an addition to the blog...haha. Love hearing the young dylan. Speaking of that there is a new movie coming out with Dylan in it, well Dylan's name is changed, its called Factory Girl, its about Edie Sedgwick and Warhol. Anyway, keep the posts coming for the few of us that still read.

Anonymous said...

Great posting! A fabulous, if relatively restrained, concert of the formative electric Dylan before the explosion that was the '66 tour. Only one thing - 'Desolation Row' cuts off after (only) 7 minutes? Is there not a full recording of this version?

Pinball said...

I think I accidentally cut off the uploading in progress. my bad. Should be fixed now. i'm experimenting with a few different new file hosting services. Any more probs now or in the future let me know. otherwise i tend not to notice. Great fucking show though. I dig the '66 stuff for the anger that bubbles up but the warmup round is a nice opposite side of the coin