Catcher in the Rye- What a load of Pretentious Crap- & U2 new record

catcher-U2-2

What is with Apple adding a U2 record to my iTunes library?-I hate it when stuff like that happens, it just depresses me- I feel like smacking my computer-I really do –maybe I will give this girl that I once hated a buzz and we can dance to it-I hated her but she was a really good dancer—I mean-she was as good as my kid sister and all-you never had to worry about if she danced wrong-she followed you all over the place-I hated her but I loved the way she danced—This is really depressing me-I think I will move out west and work in a gas station-Why did they put a U2 record in my library?

Forgive me for that “Catcher” moment-and if you never read the book- please don’t. I just finished it and do not feel good about it—-kind of like the dollar specials at Taco Bell- you know that you made a bad decision.

[Danger---rant ahead]

This was my attempt at a review in the style of J.D. Salinger, who, I had mistakenly thought was a great writer. Then I read “Catcher in the Rye” and it all evaporated—I don’t get it—-And before you say-“well, Mr. Cave guy- if you were a teenager in the 1950’s, you would totally get it”———I say-I was not on the Greek Islands around 800 BC and the “Iliad” still moved me to tears. And-I was not hanging out with John Milton in 1667, but he took me to hell and back with “Paradise Lost”—And-And, I have not been strolling around after the end of the world but “The Road” floored me- Cormac McCarthy can write—  That is literature-And great work remains great work while crap is crap-it just smells a little different in different seasons—-no wonder Mr. Salinger holed himself up in the New Hampshire woods—I can’t believe I read that book!

[end of rant]

Now to U2

I tried to listen to it but could not- I felt like I was given an assignment to complete.

The great god Apple said- “We have a new watch, you no longer need a wallet or a mind, everything is on your iWatch-just sell your soul to us and we will give you everything—–for starters, here is Bono and the boys who we own…., not own…exactly—-because that would be wrong—-but we bought them and just changed the whole music game—take that Spotify and shove that Sony—-We own the world”

That is how this seems to me and I have a ton of respect for both U2 and Apple.

Way back in the early 80’s when punk burned out and this barge floated by on MTV with Bono preaching behind The Edge’s edgy guitar. I was hooked. This band has been relevant for their entire run. I am still smitten.

But as a music fan that used to pride himself in searching down good music-in separating the good from the bad.

This new thing of simply adding it to my library has a strange feel to it.

Like I am in North Korea and have just been sent the State sponsored soundtrack that I will learn to love in time-that time is now. Here is your music comrade-you will like it or you will be sent to the work camps.

Cheers from the cave- next up is the completion of my top ten, which coincidentally has a U2 record on it.

I will get over this in time and see it as a good thing….maybe.

Blogging Philosophy, a perfect mojito, and cup face me.

photo-cup face-11

I told my supportive group of music bloggers that I would join the CUPFACE Revolution -this revolution is not televised—and it started with http://caughtmegaming.wordpress.com/

Here I am with the perfect drink for the end of summer—there is nothing like a fresh mojito with mint leaves mashed in lime juice and a splash of rum and soda with a little simple syrup—-this is made for hot weather!

There is nothing like the perfect “end of summer song” to go with it—-

Out there naked to the world…kind of like blogging….I ran into a post on http://herladypinkrose.wordpress.com/ and we had a chat about blogging philosophy —-

 

Which made me think—“Hey—I need to write one up so the world will know where I stand, then turn it into a page-so future visitors to the cave will know how I feel!”—-So here it is:

 

My Blogging Philosophy  

 Rock Music-I started out with the crazy idea of a rock n roll history site full of good music. You can still see the remnants of that if you fumble around here—-BUT-it has evolved to something beyond-it has become my sanctuary and my sounding board. I write to get things out more than to inform or educate. Rock history is a noble pursuit and at times I feel bad for treating it like I do. But on the other hand—I love to take photos-I love Photoshop-I love digital art and I love all kinds of music (so I am jamming all that in as well). If you are looking for a “pure” music blog——then sadly —you have landed on inconsistent ground.

  1. YouTube-Videos I post from YouTube are not owned by me and are not put there to steal-they are posted to give an example of what I am talking about.
  2. Copyright-I am working on making this 100% original content (except for YouTube)-which means all photos and illustrations are done by me and my staff—ok, there is no staff—just me… I am about 85% there…some of the older posts use Wikipedia images and such which I am working on removing. I want this blog to be awesome or totally suck due to me.
  3. Comments-I encourage comments but also don’t mind creepers just creeping my site-I understand that many people like to creep around the web and not be known.
  4. Follow backs-I have followed back a ton of blogs, which means I follow a ton of blogs— I am slowing down on this because there is no way I can visit all these blogs—I do try!!!! I am now instituting a policy of just following who I want and not worrying if I get a follow back. So, if I follow you and you do not find me interesting and engaging enough to follow—-please don’t follow me—I am cool with that. And if this new direction makes anyone unfollow me—I am cool with that as well.
  5. Writing-I expected to get better at writing and illustrating if I kept a blog going—and that is happening. I also hoped to become a more confident person if I kept putting myself on the line….that is also going on. What I did not expect: making friends with other likeminded souls who also find this need to vent their insights to the world- the most rewarding part by far!
  6. Awards-I love the idea and the forced interaction that takes place especially in the early stages of blogging-Doing the A.B.C award helped take me from being “a sort of” blogger to an “actual” blogger-And the “Dragon Award made me draw a nice little picture—I have two awards on deck right now that will turn into posts of some kind—-I am genuinely flattered every time an award comes my way. Having said that-I have seen many get completely side tracked and have a very nice award blog—where all they do is talk nice things to and from award givers and takers—they even make their own awards—awards-awards-awards!!! That is too much-so I choose to be careful with them.
  7. Anonymity- I believe that I am the most uninteresting and boring person you could ever meet in real life—if you walked by me on the dog walk- you might grunt a halfhearted hello and pull your dobie mix a safe distance from my huskie mix to avoid any conflict. The more you know about me, the less significant I become. Since the world is made up of about 6.8 billion insignificant people (versus 0.2 billion important people) and of those 6.8 billion—-about half a billion of us have blogs—it does not make sense to me that knowing my name and face would make me a target—-For what end? And as J J Cale famously said in “The Breeze” –I ain’t hiding from nobody and nobody’s hidin from me” ——- I could , however be totally wrong on this so I get it if you choose to go the other way—-but to quote another of my hero’s “I’m out there Jerry and lovin’ it”!

The world needs more of that Kramer attitude and Cheers from the Cave!

 

Zen Fish

zen-fish-22

 

Koi fish are cool – I was out taking photos last night and the location had some of these Zen puppies swimming around- It makes a dude like me just stop and drink it in-something in the way they make their way around is relaxing to me.

So- the unremarkable picture on the bottom is the original and the one on the top has been through a couple rinse cycles in Photoshop—I messed with color saturation- I slapped a watercolor filter on it -and a couple other little things like cropping and light paint over of some unwanted fluff—-a quick blow dry on a bad hair cut and out the door sort of deal.

I only took the one quick shot of the fish with no plans to do anything with it—just the “have a koi on hand in case I need one so I won’t have to steal one off the internet” kind of thing.

And instead of mowing the lawn- I am sending it out for a swim.

I love koi fish!

 

 

 

 

zen-fish-original

Long Tall Texan-slow sizzle to perfection

After a kind of lackluster start of my top ten (it has been my worst received post in a year-that is ok-not all these little firecrackers that I throw out from the cave go boom——I am alright with that…..really….this is not about response and like buttons—–this is about getting out in the warm gentle rain of the blogosphere and dancing a little….right?—-yes right!)

If you read that post –you will find that one of my favorite records is by Lyle Lovett, yes… that troubadour of swag country swing and a writer beyond compare—and I guess— a long, tall Texan.

This got me going on a little Spotify Lovett kick, listening to all the music I had missed—guess what?—it is all good….every single friggin’ drop…. every note….every slightly sarcastic jab that make up the twists and turns of these wonderful meandering masterpieces.

This guy is good.

#1 Fanboy this week is me.

I kept replaying this song “Long Tall Texan” that I found on “Road to Ensenada” – The version included Randy Newman—so I thought he might have wrote it—-and then I thought Lyle might have wrote it—

Fast-forward- After a little goggling:

This was written in the 50’s by Murry Kellum

And The Beach Boys made it popular with a hit in the 60’s

And…And…everybody…everybody-(some with their mother in law playing the bongos) have covered this song.

But none give it the [I don’t know to explain the excellence in that certain something this guy brings to the music-to make it a magical experience]

At least for me.

Because this song without it is just a cheesy little ditty.

Which illustrates the genius of this artist

If he can slow-bake and blues-fry this forgetful Cheeto of a song, so.., instead of making your tongue go orange-it makes you laugh, and makes you feel better about the life you are living.

I got nothing else to say.

I will be getting back to my top ten after my little Lovett kick is over.

It could be a while

Y’all stay tuned

Yee-hah from the cave!

 

Johnny Cash – The original conflicted badass and friend.

This song has been hounding me all week—I have seen it performed live a couple times (both great!). It sneaked on a Pandora feed when I picked Coldplay to start. (Hey, Coldplay is great to matt and frame to-you need to be in a zen state while slicing those boards to perfection!)

I have this on-and-off-fling-thing going with country music. I love the passion and the traditional “common man struggling against the odds” mixed with the drinking and facing down trouble. It cuts right to the heart of the American dream.

Maybe it’s all the time at the county fair this week—I’ll just say it—The Washing County Fair in Greenwich N.Y. — Full of bad food, rides, and….of course…cows, pigs and people of all shapes, sizes and attitudes.

It brings you back to earth.

I need to be brought back to earth.

To get out among the huddled masses and connect because I am they and they are me. I can think I am whatever I want..… but in reality –I am just a guy struggling to get by, just like lots of others here in the great Upstate agricultural land of New York.

fair

Which brings me to Johnny Cash. I don’t care how famous or rich he got-I don’t care about the awards and all the other trapping of his historic rise to the top of the music world.

This guy is genuine and down to earth. Accessible to prisoners, punks, senior citizens and [put another group in here-they all work] at the same time.

If he walked by you at the fair-you would think of him as a long lost friend. You would think of him as one of you.

This is a rare and beautiful thing to have.

The ability to connect with everyone.

Who does not love this guy and his music?

Respect from the cave.

flag

My Top 10 (or so) The First Five.

 

sheep-2

While strolling around the county fair yesterday and checking out all the animals (we all got hobbies, right?).

It occurred to me that there is a difference between what is considered a prize animal and what is considered a favorite animal.

Prize animals fit all the limited criteria the judges look for- like: Is the udder on that cow well-greased and not too wrinkly (or just the right wrinkly) —-or: I just don’t know about the height of that bunny’s ears compared to the puffiness of the tail, it just looks off to me—no ribbon for “Snickers”…

You know stuff like that

And then an animal seems to just have that certain something you are drawn to……I got in this staring contest with a goat that border-lined on hysterical —the goat was so intense that I could not look away.

And that brings me to my top 10 records of all time—I decided to go with my favorites and not worry about the relevance or critical acclaim. I will try be honest about the choices, no matter how they make me look.

Warning: We may go over the 10 limit because—this is too hard to do.

Lynynrd Skynyrd.Second Helping      1974

You know “Sweet Home Alabama” …but do you know- “The ballad of Curtis Loew”

Or the great “Working for MCA”  to the cover of the J J Cale’s “Call me the Breeze”

I like the whole damn thing.

For a sophomore album to be this high quality-you know the group is beyond special.

Neil Young.Live Rust

 This guy is pretty good. I did not know that before I got this record.

The Powderfinger to Cortez the Killer combo platter is deliciously intense.

The acoustic/electric versions of “ Hey, Hey, My, My-Out of the Black and into the Blue” are something as honest and poignant as I have ever heard. They still are.

pig-2

Lyle Lovett and his Large Band     1989

This one plays a movie in your head as you go from tune to tune with no filler added. Pure Texas steer sizzled to perfection. It opened my eyes to what country music could be when it is craft-brewed to perfection. (Damn it-I just used up a great beer reference and steak reference on the same record and I am just getting started-Oh well-this one is that good)

If you have not sampled some of this guy’s work-you are missing out on a brilliant plate served correctly every single time.

The Xx      2009

When I first heard “Intro” it washed over me like one of those fans that gently spray water droplets on you on a hot day (they had them at the fair). The cool alienation of this future we now live in hit me—-this is what I call “post rock”. The traditional rock band is gone but kids still get together and want to make music. It is tough to listen to entire albums in this age of instant gratification with iPods churning out a best mix buffet for each mood—But for this record-I make an exception. It is background music for this age that none of us really fit in or know where is going.

Note to self: This is relatively new and many other indie bands should go in this spot—like Arcade Fire or Arctic Monkeys or something—but like that goat at the fair that wanted to stare me down-this one found me and made a connection.

The Pretenders     1979

I don’t know if 1979 was the best year in rock music or if it just happened to be the year that I hit that transitional “coming of age” deal that seems to define you. Music from this time of life gets right down in the DNA. Like a color stain on your soul that refuses to wash out no matter how many rinse cycles life puts you through.

I have no control of where and when I grew up—I also have no control of this friggin’ awesome record that came out at this time. If I was 5 years younger or 5 years older-this list would and should be completely different—but I am what I am and that’s all that I am—I am a guy in a cave telling you what I feel at a clip of about once a week.

This is only half the original lineup (that looks like Martin Chambers on drums?…somebody help me here), this version has so much heart and spunk, I could not resist.

rooster-2

 

When I get through this—it will be a permanent page on this site.

Thanks for reading and —- Cheers from the cave!

The Pretenders

The Pretenders first record is one of my favorite records of all time and a capstone to my collection. I am throwing on a song from it because another blogger was talking about this album and fired me up!

Thanks to stephan1001 over at http://1001albumsin10years.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/the-pretenders-the-pretenders-1980/ for getting me motivated to do a short post

You cannot pick a bad song-even my least favorite “Brass In Pocket” is better than 98% of all commercial rock music produced since 1950- and it is only my least fav because the rest of this record is so damn strong.

The power and energy in this candy coated but bittersweet melodic punk music is unrivaled.

Chrissie Hynde is the Queen of Rock Music.

The Pretenders first record is nothing short of brilliant.

I love it and all it stands for.

It has got me working on a post to unveil my top 10 records ever made (long overdue) and will come out on a blog near you real soon.

And just in case you need to see this song in a softer light to feel the genius of it- I offer you this:

SPOILER ALERT: THIS IS ONE THAT MADE THE LIST

Cheers from the Cave!