Happy Thanksgiving 2018 - Via The Last Waltz (And Big Pink)



Go out yonder, peace in the valley
Come downtown, have to rumble in the alley
Oh, you don't know the shape I'm in.

Doesn't get much better than that song, right?  Go ahead...hit 'play',  then keep reading the rest of the post.  

Those of you who have been following along at home over the years know about our Thanksgiving tradition of watching a little bit of The Band play live for their last show.  

(Note:  I say "our" tradition, but Nat has made it *very* clear that this is *my* tradition alone...)

I've been posting about it since 2004 here on the blog with a few years skipped.  Turns out, this is the 12th postin the series over the years.

Here's my post from 2017 on The Last Waltz.
Here's my post from 2016 on The Last Waltz.
Here's my post from 2015 on The Last Waltz.
Here's my post from 2014 on The Last Waltz.
Here's my post from 2013 on The Last Waltz.
Here's my post from 2012 on The Last Waltz.
Here's my post from 2011 on The Last Waltz.
Here's my post from 2010 on The Last Waltz.
Here's my post from 2007 on The Last Waltz.
Here's my post from 2005 on The Last Waltz.
Here's my post from 2004 on The Last Waltz.

But this year, I'll certainly put the movie on (or at least watch some YouTube clips) this am, but I'm also going to listen to Music from Big Pink - the recently released remastered version.  

I found this version this fall (released in late August) and was drawn in.  There's some not-so-great edits (the studio chatter) and a lot to love like how you can hear so much more of the individual vocals.  Rolling Stone calls it "brighter" and "sharper" - which I think is right.  My buddy Neil has, seemingly swooned over it and I think I'm in the same camp as he is now.  It is good stuff.

Not everyone - especially music critics - are going to fall in line, but the coverage of this re-release has been interesting to read.  

...Music From Big Pink is often called the place where Americana starts even though every member, save drummer Levon Helm, hails from Canada.

...What’s harder to parse is how Music From Big Pink gets conflated with The Basement Tapes, the collection of homemade recordings Dylan cut with the Band during the summer of 1967.

...Similarly, the very title of Music From Big Pink suggests that the album itself is a product of The Basement Tapes, which is true as far as its sensibility and many of its songs originate in the music Dylan and the Band made when nobody was listening during 1967.

...Music From Big Pink, in contrast, was very much made with an audience in mind. Because of their months of woodshedding with Dylan, the Band—who at that point were lacking even their plain Jane name—were a hot commodity within the music industry. They signed a deal with Capitol who put the group into high-end recording studios in Manhattan and Los Angeles with producer John Simon.


...While it’s true that the 11 individual songs on Music From Big Pink are steeped in tradition, the album itself is resolutely modern, a studio concoction meant to expand the mind.
Was it all an act?  Kinda.  (I think.)


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