Saturday, July 20, 2013

Bob Dylan in Toronto: Twelve Gates to the City

Dylan is in fine form last Monday and interacting with the audience. The lyrics from his song are from Revelation 21 where the Apostle John sees a "new heaven and a new earth," writing:

One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Rev. 21: 9-14

At this stop in Toronto Monday night, Bob Dylan invited members of two of his opening acts back on stage - Jeff Tweedy of Wilco and Jim James of My Morning Jacket - for an impromptu rendition of Twelve Gates of the City, with Dylan inviting the audience to sing along. Like old old times.

Here is a video from the performance via cell phone:




Read the article here.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

A relaxed Archbishop of Canterbury relives his unsettling moment of conversion and his wounded past

Fascinating interview! From here:

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.
'It’s such a lovely day, let’s go into the garden,” says the Archbishop of Canterbury. Carrying a tray heavy with coffee cups, he leads us down the wide steps of Lambeth Palace round to its wider lawns. Justin Welby is the fourth Archbishop I have met in this place; though new in the job, he is by far the most relaxed.
He answers everything with the same directness. Since he is an evangelical, I ask him whether he can speak “in tongues” – the “charismatic” spiritual gift recorded in the New Testament. Oh yes, he says, almost as if he had been asked if he plays tennis, “It’s just a routine part of spiritual discipline – you choose to speak and you speak a language that you don’t know. It just comes. Bramble! Go and find Peter [the Welbys’ second son, one of five living children, and brother of Johanna, who died in a car crash as a baby], you idiot!” The last bit of these remarks is addressed to his exuberant six-month-old Clumber spaniel who has rushed up to him.
I am amazed. I first saw this man 40 years ago, when we were both pupils at Eton. Later, I was with him at Trinity College, Cambridge. He was the shyest, most unhappy-looking boy you could imagine. Now he is 105th in the line that began with St Augustine. He seems to be loving it. I remark on the change, and he agrees. “That’s something to do with the Christian faith,” he says.
Is it necessary, I ask, for a true Christian to have had a personal conversion experience? “Absolutely not. There is an incredible range of ways in which the Spirit works. It doesn’t matter how you get there. It really does quite matter where you are.”
Is it like suddenly realising that you love someone and want to marry that person? The Archbishop laughs: “That’s not what happened with Caroline [his wife] and me! And it’s not what happened with Peter, who got engaged to a lovely girl two days ago. That’s been a gradual thing.”
But it did happen to him, in New Court, Trinity College, during the evening of October 12, 1975. At Eton, he had “vaguely assumed there was a God. But I didn’t believe. I wasn’t interested at all.” That night in Cambridge, though, praying with a Christian friend, he suddenly felt “a clear sense of something changing, the presence of something that had not been there before in my life. I said to my friend, 'Please don’t tell anyone about this’, because I was desperately embarrassed that this had happened to me, like getting measles.”
Since then, there have been long periods with “no sense of any presence at all’’, but he has never gone back on that night’s “decision to follow Christ’’. This is not his doing: “It’s grace. Grace is a reality: feelings are ephemeral.”
To understand the change in Justin Welby’s life, you need to know what happened before. 
Read it all here.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Bob Dylan's tour takes him home to Duluth

Bob Dylan was born in Duluth, Minnesota and last night he returned to the stage of his birthplace. From here:

Bob Dylan returns to to his hometown of Duluth, Minnesota.
DULUTH — It was a dramatic and genuinely breathtaking sight Tuesday night around 11 p.m., that of Bob Dylan and his big band on stage at Bayfront Festival Park in Duluth. The 72-year-old music legend stood center stage, American and POW/MIA flags waving in the bug-free breeze at the Lois M. Paulucci Music Pavilion, as the backdrop of the St. Louis Bay behind him reminded all concerned that Dylan’s fracking-free music remains the area’s most vital export to the world.

“Special” and “timeless” barely does this one justice.


Throughout the six-hour stop on Dylan’s so-called Americanarama tour, the smell of fresh water and crisp northern air melded with that of hops, grains, weed and cigarettes, and provided an almost otherworldly idyllic setting for the sublime and timeless roots-based rock of The Richard Thompson Band, My Morning Jacket, Wilco, and Dylan.

Read it all here.

Here is his set list:


1.Things Have Changed
(Bob center stage, Donnie on pedal steel, Stu on acoustic guitar, Charlie Sexton on lead guitar)
2.Love Sick
(Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on electric mandolin, Charlie on lead guitar)
3.High Water (For Charley Patton)
(Bob center stage, Donnie on banjo, Tony on standup bass, Charlie on lead guitar)
4.Soon After Midnight
(Bob on grand piano, Donnie on pedal steel, Stu on acoustic guitar, Charlie on lead guitar)
5.Early Roman Kings (Bob on grand piano, Donnie on lap steel ,
Stu on acoustic guitar, Tony on standup bass, Charlie on lead guitar)
6.Tangled Up In Blue
(Bob on grand piano, Donnie on pedal steel, Stu on acoustic guitar, Charlie on lead guitar)
7.Duquesne Whistle
(Bob on grand piano, Donnie on lap steel, Tony on standup bass, Charlie on lead guitar)
8.She Belongs To Me
(Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on pedal steel, Charlie on lead guitar)
9.Beyond Here Lies Nothin'
(Bob on grand piano, Donnie on electric mandolin, Charlie on lead guitar)
10.A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall (Bob on grand piano,
Donnie on electric mandolin, Stu on acoustic guitar, Tony on standup bass,
Charlie on lead guitar)
11.Blind Willie McTell (Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on banjo,
Stu on acoustic guitar, Tony on standup bass, Charlie on lead guitar)
12.Simple Twist Of Fate (Bob on grand piano with harp, Donnie on pedal steel,
Stu on acoustic guitar, Charlie on lead guitar)
13.Summer Days
(Bob on grand piano, Donnie on pedal steel, Tony on standup bass, Charlie on lead guitar)
14.All Along the Watchtower
(Bob on grand piano, Donnie on lap steel, Stu on acoustic guitar, Charlie on lead guitar)
(encore)
15.Blowin' In The Wind (Bob on grand piano with harp then center stage with harp,
Donnie on violin, Stu on acoustic guitar, Charlie on lead guitar)

More from here:

Bob Dylan in Duluth Tuesday night.
DULUTH – Whether there were any homesick blues on his part remained a mystery, but Bob Dylan generated an extra level of excitement from Minnesota fans by finally performing in his native city again — and by bringing a trio of exceptional opening acts with him.

Headed to Midway Stadium in St. Paul on Wednesday for a sold-out date on his so-called Americanarama tour, Dylan stopped in at Duluth’s Bayfront Festival Park with the same impressive entourage on Tuesday.

Twang-rooted rockers My Morning Jacket, Richard Thompson and Wilco rounded out the five-hour music marathon. The last band already had a special relationship with Duluth, having played Bayfront twice before and even been given the key to the city last summer.

Of course, no musician unlocks more stories and mixed emotions around northern Minnesota than Dylan.

“How cool is it that a neighbor of ours went on to change the world?” said Ely native Cindy Stene, 52, who drove from Grand Rapids to attend her first Dylan concert. “I’m not a huge fan, but this may be the last chance to see him up here.”

His last time in Duluth was in 1999, with Paul Simon at the same scenic outdoor venue. Given Dylan’s age, 72, another 14-year wait indeed seems unlikely.

“I was born up the hill there,” he told fans in ’99, referring to either to St. Mary’s Hospital or the house where his family lived until moving to Hibbing when Bob was 6.

On Tuesday, he made no comment about the homecoming, nor did he drop any special tunes for the occasion. The first half of the 90-minute set was filled with recent songs such as “Duquesne Whistle” and “Things Have Changed.” Most of the oldies came later, including “All Along the Watchtower” and “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall.”

At least for fans, some of the classic lyrics resonated a little stronger given the bard’s local roots, i.e., “All the people we used to know / They’re an illusion to me now.”