Film Reviews

Bob Dylan

Roads Rapidly Changing: In & Out Of The Folk Revival 1961-1965 (Sexy Intellectual/Chrome Dreams)

bob dylan, folk music, folk revival, roads rapidly changing

Nothing new here. We all know how it ends, but Dylan‘s epochal, meteoric evolution from Guthrie acolyte to rock ‘n’ roll’s symbolist spearhead is ever compelling. It’s so compelling to music nerds and lovers of gritty, grainy footage of New York circa 61-65 that even when analyzed, diagnosed, and damn near flogged to extinction by such non-sexy rock intellectuals as Robert Christgau, Anthony DeCurtis, Tom Paxton, Eric Anderson, Maria Muldaur (who is still sexy in a blues-mama way), Izzy Young (owner of the fabled Folklore Center) and their Brit counterparts Patrick Humphries, Nigel Williamson, etc., it’s still compelling.

It’s compelling ‘cos it’s our history too. Never mind “Mr. Tambourine Man” or “Only A Pawn In Their Game.” It’s evidence of where we were and who we’ve become: sentient, un-vigilant. Unconcerned with the blight that bankrupts us. Sure we’ll mass ‘n’ rally, email a petition, “like” a virtual oath. But we’re not on those streets, fighting, anymore; we’ve traded them in for a big screen. We’ve surrendered our schools. We’ve given the barons our backs and our bones. Our cities vanquished, our work devalued. Roads rapidly changing…indeed.

—Mike Jurkovic

Got something to say?

9 Responses

  1. that’s not a film review, that’s a pronouncement, which is fine if you want to sound off, but it is the wrong format. I wanted to read about the film not hear someone on the soap box. Tom Paxton and Eric Anderson are hardly rock intellectuals. I think you needed a period after Decurtis.

  2. […] Dan Bern has been making his slightly askew and irreverent observations in song since 1997. Borrowing heavily from folk and, to a lesser degree, rock and country idioms, he channels the spirit of luminaries such as Johnny Cash, the Beatles, and, especially, the early, flippant and hip Bob Dylan. […]