Bob Dylan's Super Bowl ad: Selling out, or sign of the times?

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The decades-old debate about what constitutes "selling out" in music has grown to become a tired one. The music industry itself has irrevocably changed. Music has become so ubiquitous in advertising, movies, TV, and video games, that drawing any type of line in the taste-making sand over what selling out truly means in this day and age is ultimately a futile and foolish endeavor.

Yet Bob Dylan's appearance in a Chrysler ad during the Super Bowl last night proves that there are still plenty of fans with their pitchforks (and clever hashtags) ready to skewer any musician that they believe has crossed over that illusory line from respectable artist to corporate shill.

See Also: Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'" turns 50: How much has actually changed?


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Watch Bob Dylan, Prince, Bruno Mars, and a bear on Super Bowl Sunday

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Music fans who are put off by the endless hype surrounding the Super Bowl and the gratuitous violence of football still have a reason to tune into the big game on Sunday. From the opera star singing the National Anthem to the spectacle of the halftime show, there is something to draw in music lovers.

Throw in two Super Bowl ads featuring Bob Dylan (including "I Want You" playing in a yogurt spot!?) and an unprecedented sitcom cameo for Prince, and you have some can't-miss -- or must-dismiss, depending on your thoughts on advertising and sitcoms -- TV no matter what is happening in the game.

See Also: Prince to join Zooey Deschanel on New Girl's Super Bowl episode


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Bob Dylan's oft-slighted '80s output gets new life on covers album

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Photo by Tony Nelson
Craig Finn is just one of the artists featured on the new compilation of Dylan covers

The music of Bob Dylan has always set up well to be reinterpreted and reworked by other bands and artists. Some of the most beloved Dylan songs of all time are actually cover versions, made indelible by musicians (Peter, Paul and Mary, the Byrds, Jimi Hendrix, Manfred Mann, George Harrison, PJ Harvey, etc...) who all came by the music second hand. It speaks to the depth and breadth of Dylan's timeless catalog that each new generation continues to draw inspiration from the Bard from the North Country.

On March 25, an entire album of covers will be released that will shine a spotlight on Dylan's oft-disparaged decade of the '80s, with a series of new interpretations of Bob's songs by modern artists like Built to Spill (hear their version of "Jokerman" below), Blitzen Trapper, Deer Tick, Elvis Perkins, Glen Hansard, Bonnie "Prince Billy," Aaron Freeman of Ween & Slash (!!), and many others, including two musicians with local ties, Craig Finn and Chastity Brown.

See Also: Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'" turns 50: How much has actually changed?

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Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'" turns 50: How much has actually changed?

Categories: Bob Dylan
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Fifty years ago this week, Bob Dylan released what many view as the most overtly political album of his legendary career, The Times They Are A-Changin'. Although The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan -- released a scant seven months prior -- contained quite a few turbulent anthems of protest and dissent ("Masters of War" and "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" chief among them), a 22-year-old Dylan approached his third album inspired to speak out acerbically after performing the previous August at the March on Washington shortly before Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

There was historic social and political upheaval taking place in the United States at the time, and the defiant songs Dylan released on The Times They Are A-Changin' gave a poetic, assured voice to those important issues and concerns -- none more so than the legendary title track itself. And now, 50 years later, the bold, determined lyrics of Dylan's iconic anthem ring as true today as they did back then. Here's a look back at one of the greatest protest songs in music history and why it still resonates.


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Inside Llewyn Davis: A near-perfect mix of music and message

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Photo By Alison Rosa

Any time Oscar-winning St. Louis Park filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen announce that they are releasing a new film, there is going to be plenty of local interest. When they decided to set their new one, Inside Llewyn Davis, in the early-'60s folk music scene of New York City that would eventually embrace a young Bob Dylan, Minnesota moviegoers became even more intrigued.

Last night, I was fortunate to attend an early screening of the Coen brothers' new film -- which opens in an exclusive early engagement at the Uptown Theatre this Thursday night -- and came away impressed with the focus and care that was shown to folk music throughout the film, as well as the knowing attention given to the insecure struggle of the creative life.


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Danny Brown is in the new Bob Dylan video

Categories: Bob Dylan
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From Bob Dylan's 2013 "Like a Rolling Stone" video
Somehow, Bob Dylan has done it again. His 48-year-old song "Like a Rolling Stone" finally has a music video today, and it's by far one of the best music videos ever created.

With several different complete versions filmed, the viewer can create millions of different combinations by "changing channels" throughout their experience. On one network is comedian Mark Maron taping a podcast, on another it's The Price is Right with Drew Carey, and then there's Danny Brown looking completely at home with himself and some dancing cartoon bubbles. And there are sports options, reality TV options, you name it. (I guess there is no option to watch Kanye West and Kim Kardashian writhing on a motorcycle, but that's fine.) Of course there's the network of vintage '60s footage of Dylan himself. Everyone is singing "Like a Rolling Stone," and that's exactly the point.

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First Avenue, Dylan's home, Stinson Roof among Rolling Stone landmarks

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Photo by Anna Gulbrandsen
For rock 'n' roll road-trippers, Rolling Stone has assembled a list of spots around the country that are worth a peek. This is everything from Chess Records in Chicago to Hitsville U.S.A. in Detroit to the Park Hill Houses in Staten Island, where the Wu-Tang Clan formed.

As you might expect, a trio of Minnesota spots are on this grand tour of the lore of popular music. We can gauge your level of obsessiveness by how many you've actually seen in person.

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Bob Dylan is releasing his entire catalog on a harmonica-shaped USB

Categories: Bob Dylan
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How many different copies of Blood On the Tracks can a person rightfully own? Bob Dylan is betting on at least one more with the Bob Dylan Complete Album Collection Vol. One. This is the big one.

Sure, a well-heeled fan can pony up for the CD box featuring his 35 studio albums and countless live records. But for top-tier obsessives of the Duluth-born, Hibbing-raised bard, his longtime label Columbia Records is hoping the release of a harmonica-shaped USB holding all contents will be of interest.

See Also: Bob Dylan's hair: An owner's guide


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Bob Dylan's hair: An owner's guide

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During the course of the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach's messy divorce settlement with his ex-wife Stephanie Gonis, there have been plenty of bitter, personal revelations and accusations thrown around by both parties. But one of the weirdest items revealed throughout the acrimonious process was the fact that in the settlement, Auerbach has agreed to part with an item referred to in court documents as "Bob Dylan Hair."

How much of Dylan's hair was in his possession isn't revealed, nor when, where, or from whom Auerbach obtained the legendary singer's locks, but it now appears like the strands of Bob's unruly mane now belong to Gonis (in addition to the $5 million settlement). Update 1/3/14: Turns out this item was actually a psychedelic poster nicknamed "Bob Dylan's Hair," but Auerbach knows how to get the genuine article if he needs it.

This got us thinking here at Gimme Noise -- not very hard, mind you, because this is just hair we're talking about -- about what era of Dylan's hair would fetch the most money from his die-hard fans and what would be some of the distinguishing characteristics of those particular locks.

See Also:
Bob Dylan at Midway Stadium, 7/10/13
The birth and death of Bob Dylan's Americana dream
Bob Dylan voted into American Academy of Arts and Letters


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Bob Dylan reveals The Bootleg Series, Vol. 10 - Another Self Portrait

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As any die-hard Bob Dylan fan knows, his studio albums represent a fraction of his prolific creative output. Many of Dylan's gems never received an official release until years after they were recorded, whether through the Bootleg Series or the Basement Tapes, but many legendary sessions remain available solely as acclaimed unreleased recordings pored over by collectors -- like Dylan's early radio sessions with both Cynthia Gooding and Studs Terkel, the Minnesota Tapes, and the Blood On The Tracks outtakes, which many claim are better than the versions that eventually made it onto the record.

But Dylan's ongoing Bootleg Series has done a fantastic job of opening up the vault of vaunted unreleased material, combining those treasured unreleased and live songs along with insightful, percipient essays from those involved in the recordings and ensconced in the scene at the time.

On August 27, Dylan is set to release The Bootleg Series, Vol. 10 - Another Self Portrait, which focuses on his divisive period from 1969-71, drawing from unreleased studio sessions and live recordings from the Self Portrait and New Morning era.

See Also:
Bob Dylan at Midway Stadium, 7/10/13
The birth and death of Bob Dylan's Americana dream

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