Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wild Dogs As Acoustic Holdouts

By 1965, Bob Dylan had achieved the status of leading songwriter of the American folk music revival. The response to his albums The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan and The Times They Are a-Changin' had led to Dylan being labelled as the "spokesman of a generation" by the media. In March 1965, Dylan released his fifth album, Bringing It All Back Home. Side One featured Dylan backed by an electric band. Side Two featured Dylan accompanying himself on acoustic guitar. On July 20, 1965, Dylan released his single, "Like a Rolling Stone", featuring a rock sound. On July 25, 1965, Dylan performed with a rock band at the Newport Folk Festival. Some sections of the audience booed Dylan's performance. Leading members of the folk movement, including Irwin Silber and Ewan MacColl criticised Dylan for moving away from political songwriting, and performing with an electric band.

Wild dogs cry out in the night
As they grow restless
Longing for some solitary company
I know that I must do what’s right
Sure as Kilimanjaro rises
Like Olympus above the Serengeti

“Africa,” Toto
quoted in Makeup, Jazz And Wild Dogs

Hmmm. The wild dogs should digitize their howls.
Then they could clean up the sound in ProTools,
punch up the cold echo and amplify
the signal with retro tube ambiance.

Kilimanjaro is a big mountain.
And the night itself around the mountain
is so large even the mountain seems small.

Wild dogs cry out in the night and the dogs
are much smaller than Kilimanjaro
and the mountain is small against the night.

Wild dogs cry out, howling, barking, like song.
They are small things singing among large things.

Wild dogs unplugged. They’re acoustic holdouts.

Even Dylan didn’t get really big
until he went electric. The wild dogs
of the Serengeti have to get wired.

There’s more to the world than mountain and night.

The dance clubs need a sound that has a beat.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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