Music as a Muse: “I’m not There”

I’m Not There is a biographical musical film inspired by the music and many lives of Bob Dylan, among the most quintessential figures of the music world. i'm not there portada Among the key motifs of the film is the idea that Bob Dylan is everyone.  That Bob Dylan is no one.  This is best epitomized though the portrayal of the protagonist through six different actors, including women and small African American children, who all communicate different aspects of his life, personally and musically.  Incidentally, after the caption at the introduction of the film, his name is not mentioned in the entire film. The film narrates the plot with non-traditional techniques, most notably the intercutting of the stories from the six different characters (who are all in their essence Dylan, even though they all sport distinct monikers.)  At several distinct moments, the protagonist is placed at a crossroads, at which point he transforms and becomes a new actor, an innovative cinematographic concept, contributing to the films reputation and the overall exposure.

The film derives its title from an unreleased recording that Dylan made in 1967 from “The Basement Sessions”, “I’m Not There”.  It was not until the release of this film and the accompanying soundtrack that this song was ever published. (

The soundtrack, as the film, is in its vast majority composed of recreations by other artists, sporting artistic contributions from budding artists and superstars alike, including The Million Dollar Bashers, a rock supergroup composed of Sonic Youth members Lee Ranaldo and Steve Shelley, keyboardist John Medeski, guitarist Smoke Hormel, and Wilco guitarist Nels Garnier.  Other artists who contributed to the album include Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, Calexico, Cat Power, Los Lobos, Willie Nelson, Sufjan Stevens, Mason Jennings, and The Black Keys. (

i'm not there cdAlbum cover for the soundtrack

 “I’m not there” was generally very well received by critics, with numerous accolades including Golden Globes and an Oscar nomination for Kate Blanchet’s performance, although the film was widely criticized for its lack of accessibility to the spectator who was not intimately familiar with the life and works of Bob Dylan.  Beyond the opinions of critics, the true test is Dylan’s own opinion.  Dylan was interviewed in Rolling Stone magazine by journalist Mikal Gilmore in the September issue of 2012 about his opinion of the film.  He commented, “Yeah, I thought it was all right. Do you think that the director was worried that people would understand it or not? I don’t think he cared one bit. I just think he wanted to make a good movie. I thought it looked good, and those actors were incredible.” ( Regardless of the film’s critical reception and box office success, the most notable effect that the film brought about was an increased awareness to Bob Dylan as an artist and performer.  After the release of the film, he enjoyed a noteworthy spike in album sales as well as royalties from the soundtrack itself, of which he was the sole composer of all 34 songs on two disks.

The film concludes with a clip of Dylan on the harmonica from a documentary, “Eat the Document” and fades out.

Movies: The Next Direction for Music Promotion?

I never quite understood the appeal of a “triple threat” popstar, Lindsey Lohan and Miley Cyrus were always actors in my sight. I never once considered them musicians or pop stars when they ended up releasing their auto-tuned outside-written money-milkin’ pop records solely because what they were known and (debatably) good for was acting in their movies. Then again, if you’re really enthused by Neil Patrick Harris and Hugh Jackman singing and dancing instead of starring their iconic roles as Barney Stinson and the Wolverine respectively, that’s an opinion we don’t quite share. Granted, it’s always cool to know that your favorite stars are multifaceted.

With this video I believe we’re entering a realm where not only do we promote our music through branding and products, but now we have artists that are moving their album themes to the big screen. Hollywood’s Black Veil Brides announced that their 19 track up and coming thematic concept album would have a spot in theaters.

Now, if this was something that Rihanna or Ke$ha were doing, I would not be too thrilled, solely because their music and image don’t really represent something theatrical to be put on screen. In my opinion, it’s just milking the cash cow if there was no spirit behind it. Here, however, I think there is a creativity as a force behind creating this film. The movie, titled “Legion of the Black” will apparently be based on the concept behind their album: as their new album will be focusing on rebels who are oppressed from a society called “F.E.A.R”. So no, it’s not looking to be like Justin Bieber’s “Never Say Never” or Katy Perry’s “Part of Me”; this movie is looking to be fully based on the creative material within the album.

Marilyn Manson attempted something like this a few years back, something excited a lot of people due to his shock rock theatrical image. Unfortunately for him, it just did not seem to pan out. Perhaps Black Veil Brides will have a little more luck than Manson in that they’ll be able to successfully deliver this. We’ll just have to wait for the results in 2013.

Do you think it’s a good idea? Personally I think it is. I always wanted to delve into the meaning of an album and why the music is written the way it is, what the lyrics of a song mean, and how the delivery of the overall album depicts its own story. I believe representing it in a movie is the next level from that.

Kenting Music Festival- Spring Scream

Once a year, an epic adventure of art and audio aspiration hits the island and drags everyone to the Kenting Light house for amazing vacation of music and arts and life.

The music festival will be detailedly introduced at the below statement, participants of this major event are not restricted by age or ethnicity. Music lovers fly halfway across the globe just to support local performers in Taiwan. Music bands take advantage of this opportunity to release, promote and exchange their works, and at the same time exhibit their individual styles and affluent creativity. Each year, the organizers invite many foreign composers and independent bands in Taiwan to perform. Artists may also register to perform at the event, making the Spring Scream Festival more universal, diverse and radiant.

Since the first Spring Scream in 1995 up until today, 17 years have passed, making this the longest running major music festival in the history of Taiwan.  Spring Scream is also the largest scale and most widely known international music and arts festival in Taiwan, setting new records time and time again.  With over 200 domestic and international bands performing over the course of a 4 day festival, to this day no one else can compete.  Spring Scream’s roots are planted deep in the heart of Taiwan, and it is praised as an established cultural asset to the region.
Innovation promotes diversity in the local creative music and performance arts scene.
Through support and encouragement, an opportunity to perform and participate, and through independent promotion and a mutual exchange of ideas, Taiwan’s local performers, bands, artists, and a multitude of dedicated fans are challenged to expose their abundant creativity, utilizing the festival to let themselves shine.
Competitions are hosted by the festival for short films, art films, documentaries, and animation. There is a stage dedicated to the broadcasting of music or art films, short films and animations. Various arts and crafts booths are set up for installation art, graffiti, action art, and handcraft market, as well as booths for self-created brands, food and cuisine, sports and leisure, self-designed clothing, handmade products, creative markets, and custom art clothing.

These ideas originate from the event’s founders and their love for art and music. Not only does the event provide a stage for local music bands and artists to perform, many foreign individuals and bands are also given the opportunity to participate in this arts and music feast. Furthermore, music enthusiasts are exposed to a wide range of music genres. This unique southern Taiwan music hall attracts thousands of people each year.

Music lovers from all corners of the earth, embrace the natural environment, share, support each other, create harmony in the surrounding community, encourage and engage in environmental protection, protect those less fortunate and support women and children rights groups, care for homeless animals, and show compassion for community public welfare movements!

[  Origin ]

Spring Scream started small in 1995 by Wade and Jimi… “It’s just gotten bigger and better.”  Last year of the Rabbit 2011 should see over 200 performers on 7 stages.  Emphasis is on music, but we strive to make it a place where art meets life and artists live together in nature for a couple days.If we could go back in time to 1995, Kenting was still a simple and innocent place.  It was the 6th year of the Golden Melody Awards, the best male singer was Jonny Yin, best female singer was Stella.  The best Taiwanese singer was Jacky Wu.Back then, Taiwanese society thought the words “independent band” sounded strange, and had no idea what a “music festival” was.

By 1999, the number of bands applying to play at Spring Scream had increased to over 100 bands.  Nearby restaurants had unlimited business, and other separate festivals using the same name started popping up.  You could say, people started to get mixed up about which was the original Spring Scream Music festival.

Any Berklee Student or their band wanna participate on it?! Just book a ticket to Taiwan for Spring 2013!