So I’m in a ramblin’ kind of mood this evening. The kids are at their perspective pals abodes, my wife is at work earning some dough, and White Hills’ Stolen Stars Left For No One is spinning at the moment. I gotta say, that was the best $13 I’ve spent in a long time(well, the $8.99 I spent a couple weeks ago at Mi Lindo Acapulco for the Burrito Acapulco was damn worth it, too). But this album is nothing more than three tracks on a vinyl with a blank label. A record they sold at their shows in 2010, nothing fancy at all. But side A is this immense space jam called “Drift Away”, filled with blistering guitar work from Dave W., some hissing and wheezing in the background, and a stoned-out vibe that goes on for 14 minutes. It could go on for another 14 minutes and I’d be cool with it. Side B is “Nothing Less” and “Don’t Touch Me I’m Bleeding”, two ambient tracks that bleed into one another. It’s a freakout for the “freakout on the couch” crowd. Like I said, this was $13 well spent. Speaking of White Hills, I was fortunate enough to get to interview none other than Dave W. himself, by email. He was gracious enough to grant me the honor of him answering some of my geeked out questions. Look for this interview very soon right here.
Over the past weekend I took my two youngest kids to go see Monsters University. I’d scored some tickets for a local production of Hello Dolly from work and asked my wife if she wanted to take our oldest to it. She of course did, so she said I should take the other two to the movies. Well, I jump at the chance to see something at the cinema. Before we had kids we’d see a movie every weekend. We’d see everything. It didn’t matter if it looked just “okay”, we’d still go see it. Why? Because what the hell else is there to do when your 24 and you’ve got money to burn? Smoke crack? Prostitute yourself to dirty truckers at the local rest area? Get blind drunk and then go skinny dip in the town fountain? Sure, all of those are viable options, but only the cinema provides delicious buttered popcorn and Sour Patch Kids. But, as some of you might know, when you have kids those cinema trips become few and far between…that is unless you like sitting through 90 minutes of s**t that involves grown men acting stupid, Disney cartoons, or princesses. The act of going to an adult movie becomes something of a luxury when children come into your life. I can remember back to December of 2000, my oldest daughter was only 7 months old and we had gotten a sitter so we could go to the cinema for my birthday. First movie we’d seen in the theater since I’d made my very pregnant wife sit through 3 hours of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia(sorry dear). So we may or may not have gotten something to eat beforehand, but after we saw M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable. It was magical. It was like I hadn’t been to a movie in a year(which was probably pretty accurate). Anyways, it was a wonderful movie and a wonderful night out. So like I said, seeing a movie at the cinema is a real treat nowadays. Now my first reaction was to take them to see Pacific Rim. That’s what dad wanted to see. But the kids, they were sort of hoping for Monsters University(had it just been my son and I, I think we would’ve gone the non-Pixar route, but I digress). All I can say is I’m glad we saw what we did. What a great flick. Pixar does that magical thing where they make something the kids can laugh at AND the parents can laugh at. They hit so many levels(Up and Ratatouille are my absolute favorites…the first ten minutes of Up are beautiful and heartbreaking). The kids and I laughed pretty regularly during MU, but I think I may have beaten them on the “outloud chuckle” quotient. We had plenty of popcorn, candy, and I had a few moments of regret over those last couple handfuls of popcorn(you hit your mid-30s and things just don’t process like they used to).
I’m currently reading a biography on John Coltrane. Coltrane is probably my all-time favorite musician, regardless of what instrument. He had more passion and need to create than anyone else I’ve ever come across in my nearly 40 years of life. Miles Davis comes in pretty close behind him, at least as far as albums go on the f*****g incredible scale, but passion and instrumental prowess goes to Coltrane. Now, I don’t claim to know a whole hell of a lot about jazz. I know what I like when I hear it. Thelonious Monk’s Monk’s Dream was my gateway drug into the world of jazz back when I was 21 years old. He was complicated enough that you felt you were hearing something deep, yet he was light enough that grandma would say “Oh my, that sounds lovely. Grab grandma’s More’s, would you dear?” My jazz purchases were at a stand still for close to ten years until I heard Eric Dolphy’s Out There and proceeded to hunch into a fetal position and wonder if the dark noises would ever stop. This marked the point in my adult life when I bought my turntable and jazz music suddenly became something very real and beautiful. Wes Montgomery, John Scofield, then Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Joe Henderson, and Ornette Coleman all became my sanctuary known as the “jazz fix”. They inspired me to pick up my guitar and try a little harder. They calm me when I need it. They get me going when I need it.
Oh, I’m waiting for my 180 gram vinyl copy of Whirr’s Around ep. Whirr is one of those bands that can take a genre like shoegaze and make something new out of it. There’s a lot of great shoegaze records I’ve heard come out in the last couple years; Anne, Young Prisms, and Tennis System -just to name a few- have put out some exceptional shoegaze albums. But Whirr. Theyr’e different. They add, or maybe take something away, that ultimately makes their records unique. Around, from what I’ve heard, is much darker and moodier than their full length Pipe Dreams. It almost sounds like Bauhaus, with a touch of Mazzy Starr. If you think that combo would be pretty rad, then check Around out. If not, then get the hell out of here! I mean it! Leave!
All right, I’ve rambled enough. Thanks for listening. Have a great evening.