wwsp albums on bandcamp!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Musical Legacy of the Purple One!

Prince. Nothing compares to "the Purple One." This week's Sound Opinions is a must-listen experience. Jim Derogotis and Greg Kot focus on Prince's musical legacy. You can listen to the podcast here: Show #544 - Remembering Prince.

Brilliant show. It's like listening to two really close, musically-obsessed friends who take all things Pop and Music, as seriously as you do. Plus, they basically listen to everything in the musical universe. And they invest their time and intelligence deeply into Pop Culture & Rock & Roll. They treat these subjects as if they are life and death. Which of course is exactly right.

I don't always agree with these two strongly-opinionated characters, and they don't always agree with each other either, but on this show, no doubt, everyone is in agreement. Prince! Unlike anyone else. He will be dearly missed. He left us an amazing, over-flowing treasure chest of music. Amazing!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Selling the Revolution!

Selling the con. Yes, I think Kevin Drum nails it.  I like Bernie Sanders too. But I've never really felt "the Bern." Never believed in the Revolution that Bernie was selling. I mean, we could use a revolution, but we are far from a revolutionary state. And Bernie can't conjure it all by himself. He can't even conjure it with a bunch of fired-up followers. Just not enough revolutionaries in the land.

This seemed so obvious from the start. We live in a divided country. We live in the middle of political stalemate. The last 8 years of Obama's presidency has shown that to get anything done is a hard slog. It would be great if the poor and disenfranchised would rise up and shake it all up, but the poor and disenfranchised are too poor and disenfranchised to participate in our politics. And this big old Empire is just not that easy to shake up.

Revolution takes pretty extreme circumstances. And well, we just aren't there. Obama has shown us the way this works - slow, pragmatic, incremental changes - battling with the forces of inaction and backward thinking.

We need more hard-working Democrats. We need more progressive people in the House and Senate. We need a tough-minded progressive spirit. Evolution not Revolution. Not as sexy. But that is the reality of our political environment.

And that woman playing the "woman's card," (see previous post) is the logical choice for November. The Short-Fingered Vulgarian will go down in a historic defeat. If he gets that far. Hillary 2016!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

She is a Woman!


The Short-Fingered Vulgarian has accused Hillary of "playing the woman's card," in her campaign for President. Hilarious! I do think that Hillary should probably run as a woman. I mean, it's really her best bet. Why?! I mean, well...of course... she is a woman!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

He Died Alone, Slumped in an Elevator on the First Floor...

I didn't realize how much of a Prince fan I really was/am. The New York Times listed the 5 must-have Prince albums, I realized I at one time owned 4 of them - Dirty Mind, Sign of the Times, Purple Rain, and Musicology.

I just listened to Musicology again and thought to myself - this is one of the greatest Soul/Funk/R&B records I've ever heard with a totally kickass band. I found myself reading the liner notes, turns out Prince played every instrument on the record.

Astonishing. Even though Prince has left us with a "towering legacy," at the same time, it's probably safe to say that he is somewhat, "underrated." Because he was unlike any one else, it was always hard to rate him at all.

He was Prince. Just being Prince. A genre all his own.

Why am I obsessed with how and why he died? Not sure. I guess it was a total surprise. And the Prince I thought I "knew," is obviously not the Prince that lived. He was an extraordinarily complex character. That probably made him what he became - a boundary-crosser, a hybrid, a contradiction - deeply sexual, deeply religious, deeply conflicted, deeply obsessive. 

All these swirling stories are strange, weird, disturbing. I suppose they also remind me of one of my basic theories of human beings - we are very odd, weird, strange, contradictory. Capable of extraordinary beauty, kindness, over-flowing with love and creativity, and at the same time, capable of terrible things too.

Seems what ever terrible things in Prince's life were directed primarily at himself. His extraordinaryness also seems to have isolated him. So he was wrapped up in his own genius. With no way out.  He died alone, slumped in an elevator. You thought the man lived in some kind of musical/creative paradise. But of course there was pain, sickness, heart-break, unhappiness, and maybe some madness mixed in too.

I know there are folks who just want to remember the good parts. But the whole story is actually the real story. And the real story is probably, or maybe, important to know. By denying or burying the parts we don't want to know, I think we do a disservice to an understanding of the full human thing. We may never know the truth, the whole truth. There are probably a multiplicity of truths about the man and some of these truths just collide. Living and dying it's a strange, ephemeral thing. Human beings are supremely weird. Prince certainly did his own thing, his own way, all the way to the end.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

"Remorse-less Work Ethic!"

Lots of weird rumors swirling around Prince.

"Remorse-less work ethic?" I don't think so. If it's true that Prince "worked 154 hours straight before his death," that is just plain crazy. I can't think of another person who had less reason to push himself to such an extreme extent. Really.

And how good could the work be if you were in this extreme state? There is something to be said for balance, wholeness, being well-rested, doing the good work.

This sounds like self-imposed slavery. Insanity. 

Is it another case where someone has so much money, power, time, autonomy - an individual so gifted, talented, creative - a boundary-crosser with an incredible body of work - with no one around him to say "no." 

No peer. No genuine collaborators. You flash on other world-class, supremely gifted weirdos - Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley...

A man unto himself... and then, what? ... Madness? The madness doesn't diminish the work, but it certainly can diminish the man. Extremely.

Update: And if you are taking massive doses of pain-killers, opioids (!), no, you are not clean and sober... even if you are not taking them "recreationally," but instead for pain management. Drug-taking is drug-taking... when is enough, not enough, or more than enough?! Sometimes it's too late to know...

Monday, April 25, 2016

Until the Next Pizza Party!

You eat very, very clean. You live by the code that food is medicine. So no fast food. No sugar. No salty or sugary snacks.

So, how do you "go off the ranch?" You know, we all need to let loose once in awhile. Around here we toss around the magic words: "Pizza Party!"

For longer than is probably rational, we have been talking about having a Pizza Party when something really good happens, when we have something really exciting to celebrate.

That day still hasn't come. 

So, it was really just a series of odd occurrences, dead ends and wrong turns that we found ourselves in an Italian restaurant that specializes in those little open-fire, thin-crust pizzas.

And we took the plunge. "Pizza Party!" And well, it was good. It was great. It was everything you'd want in a Pizza. And well, what can I say, we were satisfied!

Afterwards we were talking about "what now?" What can we look forward to now? How to carry on? What to shoot for? All we could come up with was... Another "Pizza Party!"

Some time. Some place. In an imaginary future.

You live for what you want to live for... that's the way to do it...

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Bodhisattva of Happy Valley!

We love binge-watching these long-form cable series. They seem to be the premier art-form of the last decade or so. We've seen some amazing work. Great stories, cinematic filming. You end up living with these characters for long stretches of time. Sort of like those long, dense novels of an earlier era. Only multiplied many times over with sound and vision.

Our favorite series include: Deadwood, Mad Men, The Knick, Boardwalk Empire, Rome, The Killing, True Detective (both seasons).

We just finished up the first two seasons of Happy Valley. A wise and funny show.  If I were to sum it up in one convoluted line: "A Boddhisattva resides in a powerhouse of a woman named Sarah Lancashire, who channels her deep existential anger and sadness into amazing torrents of empathy and compassion for all beings."


Or something like that. 

Great opening credits too. I love the song. It's by a kid named Jake Bugg...


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Crucified on the Cross of Science vs. Religion?

This is pure speculation. A thought experiment. No relation to any current events...

What if you were a very beloved Pop star? And you were "sexually audacious," and provocative and that was a big part of your Pop Persona? And somewhere, sometime, in the 90's you had sex with the wrong person at the wrong time. Just a chance encounter. And you came up "unlucky?"

You were diagnosed as HIV+. 

But, luckily you had good, up to date Doctors, who prescribed "antiretroviral therapy" and this regimen kept you happy, healthy and alive.

But, unluckily, you converted to become a Jehovah's Witness in the early 2000's. And over the years,  folks in the Jehovah's Witness church, folks close to you, convinced you that with belief and the power of prayer, that you were now "miraculously cured" of HIV.

So you stopped taking your "antiretroviral drugs," because you figured that's what "god wanted you to do." And everything seemed to be fine. 

For awhile. 

And then, one day, your body began to morph, and change, and the HIV symptoms came back. And then it was too late, you couldn't stop the progress of the virus, and then you were defenseless to help yourself. And then... you died. 

You might say those Jehovah Witness people really gave you extraordinarily bad medical advice! And you wonder if they feel like total idiots now? And you'd learned a sad lesson that you probably didn't need to learn - sometimes basic biology trumps strange religiosity. 

So your life and death end up being some kind of sad symbol. You have been crucified on the cross of Science vs. Religion.

Friday, April 22, 2016

A Boy Named Prince


Death. Right? It's the subtext to everything we do, everything we know, everything we dream, everything we think. It's the subtext to every moment. Whether we choose to read the subtext or not. Death is always there - behind, underneath and beside us - always. It's the great leveler. No matter how young or old. How rich or poor. Happy or sad. How ready or not.

A boy named Prince. Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 - April 21, 2016). 57 years old. Seems too young to be gone. A shy man. A genre all his own. Combined an audacious sexuality, and a strange religiosity. A consummate musician. A prodigious work ethic. Could do it all. And always, always, did it with a grandly beautiful style.

Prince was always cool. Even when he wasn't cool. He was cool!

BTW - Here's Greg Kot on Prince's "Towering Legacy."

Thursday, April 21, 2016

"Jaded Old!"

I was reading this "post-mortem" on Bernie Sanders' campaign for President...

I sometimes think I am a pragmatist more than I am an idealist, but really, I probably consider myself more of a "pragmatic idealist." I have high, and noble, ideals - "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity," but I want to take concrete steps, and support those who take concrete steps, to make things happen.

So I have been more Hillary, and less Bernie this go-around on the Democratic side of the political coin.

Does this make me the "jaded old?" Jaded = Tired. Uninterested. Apathetic. Dull. 

I don't think so.

Cynical?  No. At bottom, I don't think everyone is dishonest, or selfish. I think it's best to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, but you can't discount people's dishonesty or selfishness either. 

So jaded? Sorry, I refuse to wear that label.

Old. OK. Yes. Probably. Far advanced in years? No doubt.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Caring or Not Pt. 2

We define ourselves by what we don't care about (see previous post), and what we do care about...

There are the grand, over-arching ideas that I care about: Love, Spirit, Social Justice. Or as the French like to say: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.

I also care very deeply about...
Coffee
Daily Meditation
Clear Conciousness
Organic Food
Good Conversation
Creativity
A Good Book
Music of the Spirit
Theater
Poetry
Guitars
Progressivism
Inspiration
Improvisation
Heart
Soul
Keeping Totally Occupied with the next thing

I'm sure there's more, but that will do for this morning...

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Caring and Not!

I felt euphoric (U-For-Ick) yesterday morning. Wings on my shoes. Then by mid-afternoon it felt like I was coming down with a cold. That's how it goes. You don't care? I don't really care if you don't care.

And when you have a cold, you sort of have a veil over your body. Sort of disconnected from yourself and the world. That's what a little germ can do to you. It's not totally disagreeable. Sometimes being a little bit distant from the things around you can be sort of pleasurable. A positive from a negative.

This all got me thinking of things I don't care about... things I don't think about, don't spend any emotional capital upon... for instance...

Cable TV News
Baseball
The Olympics - Winter or Summer
The Kardashians
Our Booze Culture
O.J. Simpson Trial show - lived thru it once, not interested!
Clarence Thomas Hearings show - lived thru it once not interested!
Blockbuster Movies - hell no, especially all those Super-Hero CGI-Infested Extravaganzas. Franchise Movie? Run to the hills.
Pop Divas
Celebrity Chefs
Restaurants People stand in line for
Fast-Food Chains
Rich People

I'm sure there's lots more things I don't care about, but nothing else comes to me at the moment, and really, I just don't care to wrack my brain thinking about it...

Monday, April 18, 2016

The Day Caresses!

And then one day, the temperature, the humidity, and the sun conspires together - all the elements are just right, and it's like the day reaches out and caresses you.  Yesterday, Sunday, was that kind of day.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Don't Miss the Silences!


Our band, whitewolfsonicprincess, is decidedly not swimming against the stream. You can easily purchase a digital download, or live-stream, our new album via iTunes, Apple Music and Google Play. But there are some great reasons to order the physical, tangible thing. You can purchase a Limited Edition Compact Disc on Bandcamp, or visit our favorite coffeehouse, Brother's K Coffeehouse in Evanston, Illinois and secure your very own copy.

There are excellent  reasons to purchase a Compact Disc!

Top Five Reasons You Need a Compact Disc of "The Shadow of the Marigold!"


5. At $8.00 per Compact Disc it's a bargain!
4. The packaging is, as many fans have told us, "Gorgeous!"
3. Includes a 12 page booklet with cool photos, song lyrics and production info.
2. Glass Mastered CD sounds great - at home or in the car!
1. Thanks to the legendary Ray Kennedy @ Zen Masters, you experience the "silence between the songs." The flow from track to track - don't miss the silences!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Get the Fricking Pad Thai!

You want Thai food? You don't wait to see what others in the group want. You don't hesitate. You say, "Yes, I'd like some Thai food for lunch - Pad Thai - vegetable Pad Thai. I'm a vegetarian. Have been for most of my life. I love vegetables!"

You don't worry about "peer group pressure." You don't worry if you standout like a sore thumb, or seem like a weirdo, or needy, or different than everyone else. You are happy to be you, and you are you, as much as you can be.

You realize you actually have no peers. And you are only tentatively connected to the group. You just happen to have decided to be in this group for money. But these people don't own you.

I know human beings are "herd" animals. Sometimes it's more comfortable to be in the uncounted masses. But that's a hollow existence. Claim your space. Take a stand. Get the fricking Pad Thai!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Life of Bono!

Don't feel sorry for Bono. I mean, it's hard to feel sorry for Bono. He's a Pop Star who has it all. The fame, the fortune, the amazing catalog of songs he's created with U2. He's smart, funny, committed, engaged. Self-aware. No doubt.

He gets to stand on stages all over the world and absorb the love and attention of millions of enthusiastic fans. He's a great singer, an accomplished song-writer, and he collaborates with some really phenomenal musicians. What a life.

He is also a social and political activist of the first order. He talks the talk, and walks the walk. And he's always on the right side of the issues -  for nuclear disarmament,  against AIDs and landmines, for feeding the poor and hungry, for forgiving Third World Debt. Etc.

I for one love his latest idea - let's have the great comedians of our culture (Chris Rock, Amy Schumer, Sacha Baron Cohen) take on ISIS with humor and ridicule. Let our progressive Pop Culture take on the retrograde, anti-human terrorists. Explode them with laughter!

There are those who will make fun of Bono. They will criticize and pillory and ridicule him. He's a big boy. He can handle it. Hell, he's Bono! Lauded and pilloried in equal measure. That's the life of Bono. 

And how about that Bono hair?! Defies gravity with impunity! Bono!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Politicians Doing Politics!

I think this is funny. A politician talks about the necessity of politics - she actually talks about politics as a positive force.  And it seems sort of "radical!" I mean, our politics, and our politicians are held in such "low esteem" by pretty much everyone, even politicians, that you just don't hear anyone talking about the "good" of political compromise.

Most of us have staked out a position, and we root for our team against the other team. And our solution to all problems would be to stock the government with lots of people who think exactly like us.

So liberals (like me) want more liberals in government. Conservatives want more conservatives. Wackos want more wackos. Etc. But really, that's pretty unrealistic. There will always be lots of people who don't agree on lots of things. That's just the way of democracy.

So yes, we need people who are good at finding compromise solutions. We need wheeler-dealers, horse-traders, ambassadors, good talkers, and good walkers. People willing to listen, to forge new ideas,  willing to find solutions with input from all corners.

Yes, it's messy. And no one gets everything they want. But this process can lead to great things. Think LBJ and the Civil Rights bill as one example.We need less pure idealists and more pragmatic politicians. Funny.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Day in the Life

Out in the world. Stuck in my head. Loneliness of the long-distance walker. One step at a time. Long, elaborate, unsymmetrical circles. Adds to the feeling that nothing adds up. It's just a life. Lived. Things to do - nothing too important or challenging. Still, I do have some things to do. Each step, each breath, is mine. That's enough. Call it a day in the life.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Without the Baggage!

You hear it. You read it. You know it. But can you live it? How easily to we fall back into old habits. Old patterns. Feelings well up, from deep inside. Didn't know they were there, don't where they came from, almost as if they belong to someone else, but you know, you realize, those feelings are yours, and have always been yours. Kind of like that movie, "You've always been the caretaker..." How to break the pattern? How to start anew? How to leave behind what doesn't work anymore. How to be in the moment. Fully alive. Without the baggage. Free. Or if not free, at least fully you.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Essential Conversations!

Yes, I listened to the David Whyte conversation (see previous post) twice yesterday. And then listened to John O'Donahue's "Ancient Celtic Wisdoms and Modern Longings.

Two brilliant, powerful conversations.

Silence. Mystery. Loneliness. Vulnerability. The landscape. Thresholds. These are our friends. As we get older we get more "real." Our biggest challenge is to be here. Even if being here means facing our demise, our mortality, our own vanishing. We must embrace the mysteries of our existence to be fully alive.

Yes, it was that kind of Sunday...

Sunday, April 10, 2016

"How We Inhabit our Vulnerability" - D. Whyte

Woke up to this conversation with the poet David Whyte. Sometimes the right message, comes at the right time. So powerful, overwhelming, life-affirming. Dare I say miraculous?!

"To run from vulnerability is to run from our nature." - David Whyte

Saturday, April 09, 2016

What Then?

Is the United States of America an "elaborate fraud?" It does seem that the wealthy among us have "cooked the books." Off-shoring cash to evade taxes? I suppose it's not surprising that folks are greedy and will do anything to maximize their wealth at the expense of their fellow citizens. It happens time and time again. In countries all over the world. Maybe it's just human nature? But then, it is incumbent upon us to try to construct societies and governments, that take greed and abuse of power into account. People will game the system. Any system. Not surprising. So yeah, we can't trust each other, we can't trust ourselves, or at least we all know that we can't be trusted either. Everyone want's a bit more than the "other guy." It's not an admirable trait. Once the people lose trust in fair play, or know that the system has been rigged from top to bottom, well what happens then?

Friday, April 08, 2016

The Shadow of the Marigold Launched!

Our marketing campaign is pretty much smoke and mirrors. We put most of our energy, our money, our hearts, souls and inspiration into the work. We were lucky to have some amazing collaborators on this project.

So happy to say that whitewolfsonicprincess' new album, "The Shadow of the Marigold" is now available as a digital download on iTunes, and can be streamed on Apple Music and Google Play!

 iTunes link here: https://itunes.apple.com/album/id1074463960 

You can also purchase your very own limited edition CD with 12 page booklet on BandCamp: https://whitewolfsonicprincess.bandcamp.com/album/the-shadow-of-the-marigold

So happy to have this one out in the world! Photo by Michael Doubrava

Marigold copy

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Different Times!

Yeah, and one other thing. Wyman's article in New City (see 2 previous posts), reminded me just how much I used to love the Chicago Reader. As Wyman tells it: "Back then, the Reader was a huge institution. The paper came out on Thursday, stacked like bricks in walls three-feet high in stores and cafes. “Hitsville” was on the front page of Section Three." 

Sign of the times. So yeah the music biz in 1994 was still a powerhouse, and so was the publishing biz. As they say, the internet changed it all. The old business model that worked so well, doesn't quite work so well any more.

But, yes, it's true, back then The Chicago Reader, in it's peak years, was a totally must-read phenomenon. A thing of beauty. Big, fold-out format. 4 hefty sections. An impressive, tangible thing. Chock-full of great writing. 

Today the printed version of The Chicago Reader is a pale copy, of a copy, of a copy, of a shadow. A little, flimsy thing. The on-line version just emphasizes how much the thing is no longer the glorious thing it used to be. I mean there's still some good writing - Ben Joravsky on Chicago politics and Mike Sula on Chicago food, but they seem to be residing on shrinking icebergs.

Probably no one's fault. Different times, different worlds.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Don't Forget - It Was All Personal Too!

Although the writing is quite good, the Chicago Music Kerfuffle (see previous post), isn't as high-minded as it might seem at first glance. I mean, there were some grand, overarching issues, and disagreements about aesthetics and definitions, and ethics, but there was heat and bad blood between most of the players (Wyman, Albini, Liz Phair, Urge Overkill, Billy Corgan). The Chicago scene was  small and incestuous. These people crossed paths, in some cases did business together, hung out, etc. There were jealousies, and upsets, and grudges and they all spilled out across the pages of the Reader.

Anyway, I did some more reading over the last few days, found Philip Montoro's article, taking Albini's side in this old feud. Montoro, the current music Editor at the Reader resides in the very determined underground scene, and specializes in writing about groups you don't know, and probably don't really want to know. Still, he has a very specific and crystalline point of view and very strong opinions, he is impressive, insular, uncompromising.

I also found Bill Wyman's great article in Salon on Kurt Cobain, and the alternative music scene. I'd say it's essential reading if you're interested in that kind of thing. Wyman is a smart, funny, thoughtful writer, and he takes music seriously. Some great insight on Cobain, Nirvana and what it all says about pop culture. Great stuff, indeed.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

1993 Chicago Music Kerfuffle!

I wasn't a huge fan of any of the "Pandering Sluts," although I did  buy and enjoy Smashing Pumpkin's first record, "Gish," I do remember avidly reading the music-press "Stooge," and I have some sympathy for him. I mean, I never had a problem with him as a writer, or a person, or a critic. I didn't always agree with him, but  I kind of understood where he was coming from, which is good enough.

There's a great article in the latest New City by former Reader Music Critic - (Hitsville!) -   Bill Wyman writes about the Chicago music scene in 1993. Bill finally addresses one of the great Chicago Music Biz kerfuffles. 

He brings up great, and maybe, significant issues, certainly quite interesting questions like: how do you define "alternative" music, vs. "underground" music? What is "commercial" music? Does the methodology of the creation of the music, the motives of the music-makers count when we try to evaluate music? Who has "artistic integrity," and "street credibility?" Who is pandering, and who is doing good work? Who is making records of value, that should be listened to?

Or does none of that really matter? Do we like a record? Does it rock? Or whatever? Wyman tries to navigate all of this with humor, intelligence and grace. On the other side of the kerfuffle is Steve Albini: a legendary character, writer, Producer, music-maker, who is all about method, and a strict aesthetic code. Sort of a "Stalinist" when it comes to the rules of how to make a record, how to live your life, and how to interact with the music biz.

This all goes back to Wyman's "Notes from the Undergound: 1993 in Review/Hitsville Top Ten."  Albini objected to the inclusion of Urge Overkill, the Smashing Pumpkins and Liz Phair to Wyman's 1993 Top Ten list.  Albini's response was a letter to the editor: "Three Pandering Sluts and their Music-Press Stooge."

It's all sort of entertaining. A long-ago feud, a collision between definitions and aesthetics - what's good and valid, and whats not good and valid. Now all these borders, and lines in the sand, seem pretty irrelevant. But then, maybe, it seemed important. And there are issues to think through. And I'd like to expand the horizon a bit by broadening the question beyond Chicago's scene. Are you a cooler person, a better music fan if you like bands that are found in a book like Michael Azerrad's "Our Band Could Be Your Life," (Black Flag, Minutemen, Big Black, Fugazi) or Chuck Klosterman's "Fargo City Rock?" - (the Pandering Sluts of Hair Metal)!?!

Klosterman has been writing about this subject his whole career. Think of a kid growing up in Fargo North Dakota, listening to, and loving KISS and Motley Crue, and Poison and Cinderella, and then later becoming a hip, New York, music writer, digging Radiohead and Wilco and then trying to defend how he could both love Motley Crue and or Guns N Roses vs. Radiohead and Nirvana, and try to explain why that's totally possible and coherent and maybe even logical. Cultural dissonance!

Anyway, Klosterman has written about Albini too. He has a great little essay about Nirvana's "In Utero" in his "Eating the Dinosaur,"  it's all about Kurt Cobain's patented "Guilt Rock," how he was an alternative kid, who became rich and famous, and felt terrible about it, and tried to make an "uncommercial" record with Steve Albini - Cobain was in the ridiculous position of trying to make a record people wouldn't like and wouldn't buy. Cobain was crucified on the cross of Alternative Nation vs. Commercial Success. He embodied the contradictions. And suffered for it all. He tried to recoil from the success of "Nevermind."  It didn't really work. "In Utero" sold well too, not nearly as well as "Nevermind," but no matter, Cobain was a successful rock and roller, whether he wanted to be or not. And did that invalidate what he was doing?  Was his music any less valid because his record was on a major label, and lots of people bought, listened to it, loved it? Even totally "un-cool" people that Cobain basically hated?!

Anyway, I will give Klosterman the last word, because, he is the funniest writer of the bunch, and in my mind, his funny trumps all:

"The vortex of the controversy stemmed from Cobain's selection of Steve Albini as the In Utero producer - an abrasive, ethical man whose legacy is built on crafting sonically authentic records that normal people hate." 

Monday, April 04, 2016

Amazing Aretha!

I stumbled across David Remnick's profile of Aretha Franklin this morning. Beautifully written. Amazing character. Amazing voice. Amazing...

Let's give Billy Preston the last word - “I don’t care what they say about Aretha,” Billy Preston, who died in 2006, once said. “She can be hiding out in her house in Detroit for years. She can go decades without taking a plane or flying off to Europe. She can cancel half her gigs and infuriate every producer and promoter in the country. She can sing all kinds of jive-ass songs that are beneath her. She can go into her diva act and turn off the world. But on any given night, when that lady sits down at the piano and gets her body and soul all over some righteous song, she’ll scare the shit out of you. And you’ll know—you’ll swear—that she’s still the best fuckin’ singer this fucked-up country has ever produced.” 


Sunday, April 03, 2016

No and Yes!

Maybe it goes without saying...

What you choose NOT to do, is just as important as what you choose to do... saying "no," saying "yes," totally defines us and accounts for our time too.

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Save Your Life!

A dear friend tipped me to this TED talk. It's a head-opener. It's funny we had a pretty intense conversation a week or so ago, about this same subject. Does consciousness exist outside of our bodies? Are we more than we know? Is there more to our existence? 

Do we see thru a glass darkly? How to live? 

Live with love and without fear. Live with laughter, humor and joy. Life is a gift, not a chore. Always be yourself, shine your light! This woman died so she could live... cancer saved her life... check it out. Maybe if we listen, take in her message, we can be saved to live a full, happy, healthy, loving life too? Maybe?!

Friday, April 01, 2016

Not Like Everybody Else!

I am on a major Raymond Douglas Davies kick. First I read "Americana" and now I'm deep into "X-Ray." RDD is a writer of distinction!

I love his take about songwriting in 1968: 

"While everybody else thought that the hip thing to do was to drop acid, do as many drugs as possible and listen to music in a coma, the Kinks were singing songs about lost friends, draught beer, motorbike riders, wicked witches and flying cats." - Raymond Douglas Davies

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