March 8, 2007

Please don’t let that song come on the radio; it’s ruined music

Every time I visit the Ruined Music site I find writing that resonates somehow with me — a fresh illumination of the ways that music inseparably intertwines with life and often gets messy.

There’s a wonderful new piece about Bob Dylan’s quintessential summer night song (which, okay, may also be about death), “Not Dark Yet“:

As spring came and the weather got warmer, I sent her a Bob Dylan song called “Not Dark Yet,” from his album Time Out of Mind. I had listened to this song on many a summer night since I was twelve. The way the music flowed, creating an atmosphere of heat and darkness, was more cathartic than most songs I’d ever known. When she first listened to the song (with her eyes closed, the way we always listened to the important songs) she said, soon as it ended, “It makes me think of a summer night.”

It’s an aching and beautiful piece about an achingly beautiful song. Read it here.

Not Dark Yet – Bob Dylan

I also enjoyed the recent reflections about Sloan, unreleased Ryan Adams, and The Rolling Stones’ “Waiting On A Friend.” Man, I love that site.


  • Holy Crap!! Some rare Pearl Jam, some Stone Roses and then a write-up on Ruined Music and Not Dark Yet? That is such a great song. Maybe my favorite Dylan song actually. I love the line “It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there.” Thanks for all the great posts. I check you out everyday! And you can take that any way you like. : )

    Michael — March 8, 2007 @ 10:24 am

  • A summer night’s song ? That’s some serious misreading/mishearing you have got going on there!

    Anonymous — March 8, 2007 @ 4:01 pm

  • Anon, odd comment.
    The first verse of the song is:

    “Shadows are falling and I’ve been here all day
    It’s too hot to sleep time is running away
    Feel like my soul has turned into steel
    I’ve still got the scars that the sun didn’t heal
    There’s not even room enough to be anywhere
    It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there”

    So, hot = summer
    getting dark = night

    Yeah, it’s not a happy song, but that’s not what I meant when I said a summer night song, like not beers and beach, but a different kind of summer night song. I don’t think I misread or misheard anything. That’s what it feels like to me.

    So there.

    heather — March 8, 2007 @ 4:10 pm

  • That’s funny. I wrote that Sloan entry and I think I was inspired by one of your Sloan postings. Small (blog) world.

    Anonymous — March 8, 2007 @ 5:21 pm

  • I just spent well over an hour reading the stories from this site. It’s an ingenious concept, and will fill my time well during spring break. The Toad the Wet Sprocket entry is my favorite so far.

    Bryce — March 8, 2007 @ 7:53 pm

  • I really liked this post. I have also ‘enjoyed’ Ruined Music for a while now. There is some strangely uncomfortable feeling of voyeurism when reading about such intimate moments put to music. Then again, music is our soundtrack.

    Anonymous — March 8, 2007 @ 10:07 pm

  • i never would have thought a post about “coin operated boy” would make me bawl my eyes out.

    Don't Need Anything — March 8, 2007 @ 11:09 pm

  • Me too, Don’t Need Anything. That entry just slayed me. Makes me teary now just thinking of it.

    heather — March 9, 2007 @ 5:41 am

  • Sorry if the comment seemed odd, I just cannot see how the intensifier ‘quintessential’ can be applied to the song.I wonder what people think are the qintessential summer night songs – or is that unquantifiable, more about the place than the music?
    I aslo found the idea of a twelve year old listening to ‘not dark yet’ odd and disturbing although that may be my prejudice, as I see the song as being anguished beyond the realms of most normal youthful experience other than Holden C like grief, which would make sense.Anyway,we are probably both agreed that it is an almighty piece of music;brave,honest and vulnerable without an ounce of conceit.

    You’re probaly right about the heat and the night – I had just viewed that fairly existenially.

    Anonymous — March 9, 2007 @ 1:22 pm

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

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