scorsese wz a good choice of dylan doc-director for any number of reasons of course, but one might just be the way BE MY BABY kicks off mean streets – seeing as MS has a clear gift for making you rehear songs

not much to say abt the portrait of zimmy hisself (except that he came across more personable than i ever recall before), but one genuinely astonishing little bit of TV clippage = of ODETTA

who i had – unheard and based i guess on something i read years back – filed in my head as “worthy political folkie”: well in the song in question., odetta (beyond rhyme or easy reason ) was punctuating her song with this chilling human dogbark, and it instantly made me think of that phrase g.marcus uses in his basement tapes book, “the old weird america”

similarly the utterly eery wail of john jacob niles:

dylan’s complicated break with acoustic guthrie-land is one of those turns in history which calls down the huge condescension of posterity on the pore catcalling purists — ie it’s reconfigured as a kind of rockism-avant-le-lettre — but since BD’s hung around, ornery and unplaceable as ever, for another 40 years, bobby d gets to re-redefine his “commercial” move as a bid to recover the sheer unbiddable oddness of some of his forebears from the polite gentrification and de-weirdification of folk that he (maybe)* intuited was going on in the mid-60s…

*(forty years is plenty of time to work out a good line in hindsight) (and while i feel sorry for the folkie pol-purists who got left behind, i have to say dear GOD joan baez is a dreadful dreadful singer)