WWSP's Shadow of th Marigold

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Accidentally Alternative!


"I guess my life has been a series of flukes in the record business. The first thing I ever did was the biggest record that I'll ever have." - Alex Chilton

Terry Flamm over at Broken Hearted Toy did a majestic three-part review of "A Man Called Destruction," a biography of Alex Chilton.  I just got my copy of the book. I've moved on from The Smiths & Morrissey, and am now immersed in the amazing and confounding r&r journey of Alex Chilton.

There is some kind of odd continuum. The Smiths were always in the spotlight, whereas Alex's career was birthed in a blaze, and then he seemed to spend the rest of his life on the margins, in the shadows. 

I've just started the journey and it's a totally captivating read. I'm in the middle of the early years in Memphis and the wild ride of "The Letter." At 16, a young Alex Chilton & the Box Tops topped the charts with "The Letter." An almost "accidental" hit. I remember listening to the song on my little transistor radio. I knew it was a hit, but had no clue how massive (over 4 million copies sold) it really was at the time.

And here's maybe the best definition of real "alternative" rock: 

"Somewhere along the line I figured out that if you only press up a hundred copies of a record, then eventually it will find its way to the hundred people in the world who want it the most." - Alex Chilton

Friday, May 30, 2014

Hello Radio!

Yes, my band, whitewolfsonicprincess  is working with Danie Cortese Entertainment on an international radio promotion.  As I wrote yesterday in our r&r diary:

Today we are releasing "Inner Light" as the first official single from our record 10+1. The single is being launched out into the international radio universe by Danie Cortese Entertainment. The full album is available as a limited-edition CD, or high-quality digital download, on bandcamp! We are so excited to be working with Danie and DCE. "Inner Light," features just the four of us: Carla, Tim, Rich and I. The song is near and dear to our hearts. It's a little message in a bottle. Wonder where it lands? What's the sound of "one hand waving free?" 


Most of the world, and most of the people in it, have no clue we have a band, a record, and have never heard any of our music. So we are hoping Danie can get us a little more "visibility" in the radio world.  We shall see. It's kind of exciting, not sure what to expect. I guess you can say I have "high hopes" and "no expectations." My emotions are bounded by quotation marks.

Why did we pick "Inner Light?" It was actually our second pick, but Danie and her crew thought it crossed lots of genres, and it's "got a good beat," and if Dick Clark was still around, well, I don't expect he'd dance to it, but you never know. It's also just our core band. No special guests. It's all just us. That's my "white beauty" Stratocaster in the instrumental break.  Love that sound.

We would have loved to do a double A-sided single, but the matter of $ kind of makes that untenable. But in the ideal world (which is what my blog is all about) we would be releasing "Shadow Boxing" too.  Our band really is kind of yin/yang collective. This one sounds a little bit like Rolling Thunder Revue, with the amazing Steve Gibons on violin.



Thursday, May 29, 2014

Mistakes!

Barack Obama: "Some of America's Most Costly Mistakes Come from Relying Too Much on the Military."

That's the President. Saying it. A most obvious and glaring understatement. So glad he verbalized it. In my lifetime, I think of the human wreckage on all sides from Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan. Long, grinding, demoralizing wars.  At least two of them probably illegal, and certainly unnecessary and trumped up.

Just because we have the largest military mammoth ever conceived by man, doesn't mean we really have to use it. Sometimes wreaking death and destruction really doesn't solve a damn thing.  That's worth keeping in mind.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Driving Dream

You took a wrong turn on the highway. You missed your exit. You ended up in the wrong place, far away from where you were supposed to be. And you were supposed to be some place. People were waiting for you, you had things you were supposed to do. You had responsibilities. Responsibilities which you were now blowing off. People were gonna be upset and disappointed in you. There was nothing you could do about it, nothing to do but drive. Drive down streets you didn't know. Streets you didn't want to be on. And really you were basically lost. You had no idea where you were. But you didn't want to admit it. You just drove. And you knew you had a long way to go.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Living in the Analog!

In music, there is that on-going debate: analog vs. digital...

What about in our lives?

We are seduced by the digital world. It is bigger, bolder, flashier, more colorful, and it's all at our fingertips. It thrills us with it's ability to keep us occupied. Our attention deficit disorder mentality is totally rewarded, one mouse-click at a time. CGI is dazzling, and is only limited by computing power and our imaginations.

Analog - "of, relating to, or being a mechanism in which data is represented by continuously variable physical quantities"

But really the analog world is so much the better world. We don't own it. Or control it. Can't click through it. We can only live in it. Sometimes you forget, but it's our natural world. The only one worth living in. Yes, and it's "represented by continuously variable physical quantities" - that's our lives baby! 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Done with Panache!

Longevity... a long life, a long individual life, there's something to be said for longevity. Although for some reason, we tend to celebrate those who get cut down, or cut themselves down early. Think James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Ian Curtis, Kurt Cobain, David Foster Wallace, Jim Morrison, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Holly, Nick Drake, Heath Ledger, etc.  There's nothing quite like a young dead rock star, or dead young movie star. We remember their youth, we lament their lost potential, we romanticize their short lives, and give them some kind of immortal status, just because we remember them.

But there is something to be said for living a long life. If you are an individual, it's kind of appealing to do your best to maximize your years. Now, maybe longevity is really a matter of good luck, or good genes, or being cautious and timid. Or, well, we really don't know.  Why does someone die early, and someone else live into a ripe old age? I mean, we can come up with a million reasons, stray bullets, cancerous cells, pure bad luck... but does that really explain why someone gets cut short, and someone else doesn't?

And how many of us really want to be old and decrepit? I mean who wants to be frail, lame, creaky, hooked to a ventilator, clinging to a life with all their might?  

There is a guy in our neighborhood, an Asian guy, he's 80 years old. He looks like he could be in his 50's, he's slender as a reed, he has snow-white hair, but he's limber, bright, alert, full of energy. He is a long-distance bike-rider. I was talking to him a couple days ago, we were sitting at a coffee shop, he had just completed a 35 mile bike ride. This guy is my new hero. I mean, hell, he's 80 and he's more fit than people I know in their 20's, 30's or 40's. And he has a style, a grace, a gravity. Yes, longevity, done with panache. It can be done.  Remarkable...!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Other Thing...

This really great guitar player I know, I mean, he's a wizard, a maestro with the instrument, used to play a Les Paul guitar, he was known for, and famous for, playing his Les Paul, and he has said that he always spent his time trying to get it to sound like a Stratocaster guitar.  

Now he plays a Stratocaster, he's famous for, and known for, playing his Stratocaster, and now he says he tries really hard to get it to sound like a Les Paul.  And there is a lesson there, right? You're always going for that other thing... that other sound, that other tone... that other thing in your head, that thing you want to make real, and can't quite make real...

And then also, surprisingly, unaccountably, like any great guitar player (maybe all guitar players, great or not?), he sounds always like himself, no matter the guitar, no matter the effects pedals, no matter the amplifier... and really, no matter what. Can that be true?

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Summing Up, Down to Basics...

Morality.  Well, I never killed anyone.  At least that I can remember...

Everything else is a little bit sketchy...

Still alive. Not dead yet. So I guess that is a sign of optimism. Or maybe just a basic recalcitrance. 

I find that meditation and a daily aspirin can get you through a lot. But not everything. No. Not everything.

I do agree with Morrissey. "Meat is murder." And it's best not eat the flesh of animals. It's a dead-making business. And if we live on dead flesh, we too carry that deadness inside us.

Is my daily morning optimism based on the quality of a cup of coffee? Well, yes, it is... such a slender thread.

Speaking of threads. I do think I'm am hanging by a thread.  Like a spider dangling from one slender silky tendril. 

We just don't know much about luck. Good luck. Bad luck. And how it rules our lives... so much is predicated on a simple roll of the dice...

Friday, May 23, 2014

Catching a Wave in a Tin Cup!


A strobe tuner.  This is kind of an esoteric subject. I mean, if you don't own a guitar, and you don't spend time tuning it, this subject probably means nothing to you. I have tuned guitars for most of my life, I actually once had a job tuning guitars. I tuned for a living!

Being in tune is really the first step to playing a guitar. An out of tune guitar will just sound bad, unmusical. So yes, I have spent lots of my time tuning guitars. Some guitars stay in tune for long stretches, some guitars easily go out of tune. And there are many devices one can use to tune.  I've used tuning forks, and electronic tuners, and sometimes just my ear...

Anyway, I own a strobe tuner, I've owned it for a few years, and I do think this is a device made for crazy people. Or maybe a device made to make people crazy. 

"The problem is that the waveform of a musical instrument is very complex..." 

Yes, and in that simple sentence is the conundrum, and in that complexity is madness. Trying to find that point of "perfectly in tune" doesn't really exist. You can get close, but usually you will also see overtones and harmonics. And the strobe tuner just vividly displays this fact. I mean you can go mad just trying to get that waveform to come to a "steady state." But it's like trying to catch a cloud, or catch a wave in a tin cup. 

I know. I've tried. Over and over again. And if you do the same thing over and over, and never quite get there, I mean, you get so close, so close, just ever so close.  And you do it over and over. Well, that is madness. You can resolve to just trust your ear, "isn't it good enough?" But that little strobe device is flashing, spinning, sort of laughing at you, daring you to try to get to the state of perfection... yes, madness...

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Questlove on Hip-Hop!

I've been reading Questlove's series on Hip-Hop... if I was to sum it up, (which is a sort dumb thing to do, I mean, it's probably best to just read it for yourself), he's exploring how a musical form which started out as kind of a radical, underground voice of the dispossessed, became ubiquitous, and pretty vacant. I always thought the celebration of bling has always been a little bit ridiculous, even if it was intended to be sort of ridiculous. Hip-Hop has become another form of vacuous Pop which equals lots of $. People can't seem to get enough of mindless catchy grooves about bling and partying. I mean it's fun, right?! Once it's ubiquitous, it's basically dead. Anyway, Questlove says it all much better than I, and with a lot more insight and detail...

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Canned Loneliness Around the World!

Yes, Mark Simpson's book on Morrissey is quite the enjoyable read (see previous post). How to convey it's beauty? It's probably best to just quote a passage, you can open the book just about anywhere and find something funny, thought-provoking and insightful...

"Above all, Morrissey's loneliness is quintessentially American: All Americans are strangers in their own land. The Native Americans were wiped out or forced onto unfamiliar reservations not just to steal their land but to make them as rootless as the white man -- to make them "American." The "United States" is a big, drafty, empty place without enough history or public houses or fish and chips shops to go around, and so Americans wrap themselves in the flag, hug the cross, huddle on the sports field, or religiously attend the movies. From time to time, they even invade foreign countries, hoping to make friends with the newly conquered/liberated people. Most famously they invented popular culture and consumerism to keep them company and have very generously exported this form of canned loneliness around the world." - Mark Simpson - "Saint Morrissey"

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Anti-Pop Pop Idol!


I followed Morrissey down the rabbit hole. I mean if you're into the Smiths, you have to take up the Morrissey trail.  I stumbled upon "Saint Morrissey" by Mark Simpson a really strange bird of a book. Simpson calls it a "psycho-bio" and really it does sort of put Morrissey on the analyst's couch. It's a very funny, very insightful little book. It's a perfect companion read to the Smiths biography.

Simpson calls Morrissey the "Anti-Pop Idol" and highlights how Morrissey actually has made high art out of little pop songs. If you really want to know how the Smiths and Morrissey have "changed peoples lives" through their music, and (in the case of Morrissey) through interviews, this is the book for you.

Simpson himself comes across as supremely funny, thought-provoking, audacious, and brilliant. A perfect author to tackle the life and mind of Morrissey. And Morrissey's music and life are the gifts that keep on giving. The more you explore, the more you delve into, the more you discover, the more there really is to enjoy and contemplate.

I have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to the music of Morrissey. I spent most of my time in Smithsville, but Simpson makes the case that if you want to understand Pop, and the importance of Pop, you must study Mr. Anti-Pop!

"Beyond the perimeter of pop music, there was a drop at the edge of the world." - Morrissey - 1981

Monday, May 19, 2014

All You Need

Sometimes the sun is shining, and the day is warm and embracing.  Those kind of days come along, and just sitting on a rock, and looking at the waves slowly lapping up on the sand is just the thing. There's not a lot to think, or to say. You just sit and watch. Let the day sort of pass through you. And it's really all you need.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Lost in Smiths-ville!


So yes, I finally finished Tony Fletcher's great, shimmering, definitive biography of the Smiths. I was a fan before I read the book, and now I'm a hopelessly lost and rabid fan. A tragically lost and rabid Smiths fan. I reside in Smiths-ville now. And am forever lost in that great zone of emotion, intellect and rhythm that is their music. I feel sorry for my neighbors. The last few weeks, it's been all Smiths, all the time. The deeper you go into the music, the deeper you go, the richer it all sounds, the harder you fall, and the more you discover.

Can listening to the Smiths music make you smarter? Deepen your heart further? I believe the answer is yes.  The creative marriage between Morrissey and Marr is profound, enlightening, overwhelming. Their songs are just perfect vehicles. They enter you, they explode inside you. Sometimes in the past, I think, I just glided on the surface of the music, it was always so musical, shimmering, sparkling. I got lost in the beautiful, shimmering surface. 

But the book helped me to go deeper. And there is just so much to the music, Morrissey is such the wonderful lyricist, a modern-day Oscar Wilde, and he always has something, interesting, brilliant and usually subversive to say about what it means to be human - to love, to desire, to fall. And Johnny Marr conjured up such a joyful, shimmering, beautiful noise. Such a great creative collaboration. 

And the band never made a false artistic move. They recorded all this amazing music from 1982-1987. They disbanded still at their peak. There was no diminishment in their brilliance. Yes, like a shooting star... a bright shiny light that never goes out.  And the music stands. It's alive now. Just put a disc on and sink in... joy, pleasure, beauty, intellectual brilliance and subversive wit... it's all there.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Russell Brand the Awakened Man!

Yes, this video montage is quite extraordinary... I don't know a lot about Russell Brand. He's a British comedian, he's appeared in a bunch of movies I'm not really interested in seeing, he was married, briefly, to Katy Perry.

He has a somewhat manic, adrenalized presentation. But you must remember, he's here primarily in the belly of the media beast, speaking to a pretty much hostile or clueless media horde, and he must say what he wants to say quickly. And his message is quite amazing, I mean, it's probably the whole thing. The real thing. What we all need to know. He may be an imperfect vessel, which he isn't afraid to admit, but to me he is charismatic, funny, brilliant and preaching the essential. You should watch it.

I myself, practice meditation, religiously, although I don't really subscribe to a religion. I meditate just about every day. I do know what brand Russell Brand is pitching. I too have felt that powerful connection to everything. It can be glimpsed, it can change you. But you do have to do the work...

Friday, May 16, 2014

Waiting in the Darkness on the Edge of Town

Hey, well, you find pearls of wisdom where you can. This is from Bruce Springsteen via Handsome Dick Manitoba of the Dictators... "Don't spend your life waiting for a moment that just won't come."

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Mercurial Morrissey



Almost done with that Smiths book...

Mercurial. Morrissey. "Having qualities of eloquence, ingenuity." And "characterized by rapid and unpredictable changeableness of mood." You have to give it to Morrissey. He was really true to his character throughout the life of The Smiths.  That was the band where the art transcended everything else. Business and business people were no match. Unmanageable. 

You could not read Morrissey's heart, his head. Except in the songs. Where it really mattered. The life was unfathomable. Follow the art. Follow Morrissey's work. You can understand why Johnny Marr finally gave it up. But it was an incredibly creative collaboration.  A unique body of work that transcended everything else. And that spark, that fire, that blaze can not be contained.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Normal/Ordinary

Repo Man and Morrissey... have something in common... first Repo Man: "Ordinary fucking people, I hate them..."


And here's Morrissey: Q: What are you driven by? A: Hate largely. This will sound almost unpleasant but distaste for normality. I've never really liked normal people and it's true to this day. I don't like normal situations. I get palpitations. I don't know what to do. - Morrissey (1987)



Now, I'm in the camp where I don't think anyone is really normal/ordinary. Normality/Ordinariness is a pose! We are all a little bit twisted. More twisted than we like to let on, although some of us aren't afraid to reveal a bit of the twisted-ness. And then there are those who revel in flaunting their twistedness.  Which can be hideous. Still there are those people who are posing as normal/ordinary and well yes, they are sort of distasteful. And then, alternatively, there are those exotic birds who are just different, they can't help it. Sometimes we make them stars...

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Losing the Narrative

A narrative. A story. What happens when you lose the narrative? What happens when events don't connect? What happens when it all sort of rushes by in a blur? Or it all looks like an unconnected mess? What if you can't really make out a "story" at all? It all becomes a jumble of events? And you can't see yourself in the story at all? Not even sure what "self" is anymore?

The noise machine of our culture is so big, so overwhelming, so dominating. It's easy to get washed away. And you are carried along, and you have no time to make connections. And there's nothing to hold onto.  That is a feeling of being lost. Totally lost. Lost.

Monday, May 12, 2014

War - What is it Good For?

I was reminded that there is a war going on. Maybe there is always a war. There is the battle between the dark and the light. And maybe everything else flows out from there.

I hate to think that conflict undergirds everything. Can it really be that…

Love is War by other means.
Relationships are War by other means.
Business is War by other means.
Politics is War by other means.
Art is War by other means.
Life is War by other means.

Do we embrace the conflict? Or ignore it? And if we ignore it, is that just a secret and covert War? And what of our warring minds, our warring hearts?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Aging. Yes. It's Like That!

Aging. Right. Think of one of those old Xerox machines. You know like an earlier version with lots of mechanical parts, and toner and special paper. A kind of old world machine. Imagine this old, and kind of clunky copier. Not too good. This is all a metaphor… right?

And think of a copy of a copy, of a copy of a copy, etc. A copy of copy over and over and over. With each copy the outlines of the image grow fainter, things sort of smudge around the edges. There are little variations. Specks of dust. The toner sort bleeds out on the image. There is noise. No longer clean edges.  Everything gets a little fainter, and smudgier, and noisier, and finally the image starts to slowly fade and disappear.

Yes, it's like that.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Simple-Minded

I have spent a lot of my time trying to "figure" life. You know, approach it like it's a puzzle that can be solved. Where did I get such an idea? My shelves are filled with books, my head is filled with information, and images, and thoughts, and dreams, and worries, and fears. I have kept up my quest over many, many years, thinking that maybe the next idea, the next novel, the next movie, the next person, the next experience would clarify things. I have had my little moments of enlightenment, but they have been brief and fleeting, and really, I haven't solved or figured out much of anything at all. I don't know if this is a failure on my part, or some kind of well-earned wisdom. I think, maybe, life isn't really meant to be figured, maybe there really is nothing to solve. Life - you can only live it. So simple, it seems simple-minded. And maybe there's some kind of answer, right there.

Friday, May 09, 2014

"Fair-Weather" Runner!

I wasn't a runner, then I became a runner, then I became an obsessive runner, then I stopped for awhile, then I became an occasional, "fair-weather" runner. That's where I'm at now. If the weather is good, and I'm feeling up to it, I do like to run for up to an hour.  If you don't run, or if you don't run for very long, it's hard to understand how running can be rewarding. If you watch people run, you see the effort, you see "the pain." But of course, there is an upside. But it's something you just have to experience for yourself. Working up to a distance takes a little work, a little pain, but there is that endorphin kick that makes it all worthwhile. Plus there seems to be those benefits to your body and  mind.

I was one of those "dupes" who tried those Five Finger shoes. I ran in them a couple times, thinking that "barefoot running" was the newest, greatest thing.  But then I put them back on the shelf and never used them again.  They definitely changed the running experience, changed the muscles I used to run, and there were a couple moments where it seemed like a "better" experience. But it also felt like more work.  And whatever benefit there might have been was probably illusory. And now the "evidence" seems to be that the claims for Five Fingers were a bunch of hooey. So I never have to put my toes in those things ever again, they will just gather dust on the shelf. It's regular running shoes for me. And hoping for fair weather!

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Angels Have No Gender!

Yes, still plowing through Tony Fletcher's great book on The Smiths.  There is something interesting on just about every page. Nicely written. What a band. Sometimes the more you know about an artist or band, the less you like them, and sometimes the more you know, the more you like them.  For me, it's the latter. Morrissey and Marr are both really fascinating characters. Very similar backgrounds, totally different personalities. Great complementary talents. And their songwriting collaboration was one of the great wonders of the world. They were both in bands before The Smiths, and it's kind of a lucky thing that those bands never made it.  Love the names. Marr was in White Dice and Freak Party... and Morrissey was in Ed Banger and the Nosebleeds and, get this, absolutely love this one... Angels Have No Gender!

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

To Me Popular Music is...


Well, maybe I will let Morrissey weigh in on "popular music." He is always enlightening and quotable. And isn't it empowering, significant and liberating, if you can define things the way you want to define them?

"To me popular music is still the voice of the working class, collective rage in a way, though seldom angst ridden. But it does really seem like the one sole opportunity for someone from a working class background to step forward and have their say. It's really the last refuge for articulate but penniless humans."- Morrissey (1984)

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

What is the Authentic Voice?

Yes, I'm reading a book about The Smiths. And maybe that's why thoughts of money and class are forefront in my consciousness. And then, I also recently read that article about Elvie Thomas and Geeshie Wiley, and the whole idea of the "authentic voice" kind of resonates. Voices of the poor, the struggling, the under-class, the dismissed, the invisible. Folks. Singing songs about life and love and death and mystery.

What makes some artists more "authentic" than others? We are all human, we all feel pain, we all can love, we all will grow old and die. Pop music sort of encompasses and swallows up the folk. We do like our origin stories... scruffy Liverpool lads rising to pop royalty, young drug dealer rapping about life on the streets becomes an international brand. That is the glory of pop.

We don't begrudge someone who comes from nothing, and then achieves some kind of pop apotheosis. That is the arc of the story we love. But then the money, the success, that becomes the reality. And who really wants to hear about the problems of the rich and the well-heeled?

Can a rich kid sing the blues convincingly? Can a 1%-ter write a song that resonates with us all? Can we separate the art from the artist? What works? And again, in our over-sexed, over-hyped pop world everything seems mixed up, sometimes everything is intentionally artificial, and in some way, everything can seem inauthentic. Can the truly artificial, inauthentic also reveal a resonant truth?

The celebration of bling is pretty ridiculous, tired and stupid. I guess the question you always have to ask, is "what is this music saying to me?" What is "the meaning?" Does this music really, authentically "speak to me?" I think we respond to songs of honesty, of some reality, of some deep humanness. We expect our best artists to know a bit about life.  We want music that feeds the soul... at least I think that's what I want from the best of the music I listen to.


Jeane 

There's ice on the sink where we bathe 

So how can you call this a home 
When you know it's a grave ? 




Monday, May 05, 2014

The Children of the 1% Have the Right to Rock Too!?

I am sympathetic to Sean Lennon. I mean, it must be an incredible "double-edged sword" to be the son of a famous rock and roll couple. A great privilege and a heavy burden.

I was surprised at my own reaction to Sean's latest band, I thought, "Children of the 1%!" It's all so well-posed, so perfectly-fashioned.  You think, "so stylish... so precious." Why does it all seem sort of silly?

Sean seems like the little boy in the bubble. Maybe he's trying too hard to be cool? I know it's all unfair, he can't help who he is, he can't help that he comes from money, he can't help that he's got a beautiful, fashion-model type girlfriend. He can't help that his band is perfectly outfitted with snazzy duds and the coolest, most hip instruments...

Why does it all seem so posed, so inauthentic? What does inauthentic even mean in our pop culture world? What is authenticity? Does it matter? Why am I even asking myself these questions?

I don't know. My own thoughts on Sean and his band made me uncomfortable. I mean the children of the 1% have a right to make music too. And they do sort of look cool... right?!

Sunday, May 04, 2014

More About the National!


I wrote a post about the National's show at the Sydney Opera house. I was truly swept up and blown away by the concert. I just watched it again with a friend, and she too was totally bowled over. We both have listened to a few of their records over and over, and we love the records we have, but to be honest, I had my doubts about how well they would come across in a live setting. I didn't realize that many of their songs have an almost "anthem"-like quality.

I mean, they are a serious, somewhat dour band.  Their lyrics are sort elliptical, or maybe just a little complex,  certainly, intelligent, and there are so many good "one-liners" and their songs are unique with odd and astonishing imagery. I guess I was surprised that lots and lots of people would be singing along with them.

And Matt Berninger  looks like a philosophy or an economics professor, or maybe a mathematician or something. He looks and sounds like a guy who actually reads books, and not just comic books and music magazines. And it's just so satisfying and exhilarating to watch him give himself up to the crowd. Not what I expected to see, at all.

And the band, well, they are phenomenal. And they have perfected their live presentation to the point where they can go from a quiet, quirky, moody, piece and then bring it to a massive, cathartic crescendo. And they can bring that kind of dynamic fire to a two hour plus show.  Amazing. Exhilarating. Surprising. Rewarding.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

The Dark Lord of the Bottomless Pit in Oklahoma!

This is pretty funny... and maybe logical too.  If there is to be a monument to the Bible at the Oklahoma Statehouse, how about one dedicated to the Dark Lord of the Bottomless Pit? Let the competing monuments duke it out! I mean we live the dichotomy, why not display it too?  In a way, I suppose the two monuments will sort of cancel each other out... which makes some kind of existential sense, right?!


Friday, May 02, 2014

It's a Revelation!


This true story by John Jeremiah Sullivan has totally enraptured me.  I read it, then re-read it, and hell, maybe will read it again. As they say, "On the trail of the phantom women who changed American music and then vanished without a trace."

It's a story about the country blues, and the people who wrote and sang it, and then about those who recorded the music on old 78's and then later, the people who fell in love with the authenticity and astonishing beauty of the music, and hunted for and collected old records that no one else really considered collectible. It's about life and history, and the human story. It's about myth and legend, and stories and story-telling too. And how people live and disappear. And how just a few people here and there can change the course of history.

It's beautifully written. It's a revelation. You should read it!

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Idiots - Infinite Varieties!

Idiot. Being an idiot crosses all boundaries, all occupations. There are even idiot scientists. Not a lot, but a few, and they are useful tools for the climate change deniers in their campaign to confuse the issue.

Some things are not in doubt... for instance the accumulation of co2 in the atmosphere.  Which can/will cause all kinds of man-made havoc!


"I literally cannot imagine a statement that would be more scientifically incorrect and humiliating than the one Professor Woodcock made," says Ryan Cooper, from whom I learned about this. "It's like saying you don't believe in the existence of cheese....It's no wonder that only six percent of scientists are Republican."

Blog Archive