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 can’t 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!

Reflections on “Bad”

“The great thing about being music insane instead of regular insane is that you hear songs in your head instead of voices”

Yeah—I said that in another post which I may or may not have published-

Anyway, it’s 3:07 in the morning and I am wide awake-“Wide Awake, I’m not Sleeping’—to quote a line from Sir Bono. Maybe it’s that super moon outside which has us all a little wired-the werewolves are just a little more hairy and track you down a little faster!

“Bad” is playing in my head as I shift positions and filter through all my 99 problems until I decide they will dissipate to solutions and I will get up and write a blog post.

It is “leave this hollow place and break away into the half-light…through the flame” that makes the trouble all run from me.

The power in that line and the power in this song has me in a trance.

I have never been to Ireland so forgive me if my vision of a place where Christianity and mysticism combine with rain to keep the land green and Guinness flows naturally to fill a pint glass are a little off. (That is my feeling and I hope to check that with an actual visit in the not too distant future)

This song could only have been made by an Irish band-it has all of that in it and more.

“Bad” was an anthem in the much maligned decade of the 1980’s. We forget about the quality.

“If I could, If I could, I would let it go”

You can interpret this classic anyway you want.

I see it as the never ending struggle to escape the bonds that bind us to whatever we struggle with—being wide awake gives us a chance to look at them clearly for what they are—they are temporary-the permanent is still being formed.

Hey, that is just me.

Just a guy who writes about rock music and is wide awake under this big bright moon.

moon-5

 

Rainbow in the Dark Deconstructed

rainbow-in-the-dark-22234

 

1983- This is heavy metal

Before we argue over clean and dirty vocals-before we get into speed metal or death metal or black metal.

If you reached for the pure stuff back then- you reached for Ronnie James Dio

The keyboards sound like trumpets to usher in the new age.

“When there’s lightning – you know it always bring me down
Cause it’s free and I see that it’s me
Who’s lost and never found”

From Zeus to Thor to the Almighty himself-lightning has been used to signify a supreme deity in all cultures since the beginning of time.

The special relevance we put on this force of nature does speak volumes about what is rejected in this song. He is alone in the dark and wants to keep it that way.

Well…almost alone…

“Do your demons – do they ever let you go
When you’ve tried – do they hide – deep inside
Is it someone that you know”

He knows his demons and knows he can’t escape them. (I hold out hope in the belief that everyone can get to a place where the hounds of hell will stop their pursuit and give each person some peace-it goes beyond the scope of this post and they don’t ever stop until we make a choice to face them down—-but I digress…)

 

“There’s no sign of the morning coming
You’ve been left on your own
Like a Rainbow in the Dark
A Rainbow in the Dark”

Rainbows need light to exist or more accurately they need light to appear to exist since they are more optical illusion that actual entity.

Often seen as a sign of hope and renewed spirit after a storm has passed.

There must be some light in Dio’s dark place to make a rainbow-even if it is just the light of creative energy——-that wonderful thing that happens when pain and struggle produces an artistic array of spirit.

The force that turns inspiration into magic.

A power so great that it can take depression and form a wave that a whole crowd can be swept up in.

Power to take many who feel alone and connect all the dots to bring them together with one voice.

This music seems to emanate from depression and anger.

Emotional anguish turned and polished until it shines clean.

Dio makes metal out of rock.

 

We need a hero

Heroes fail to do anything amazing-they just do what is needed.

Right time –right place-right action.

Every time you see one on TV-they all same the same thing.

“I am not a hero-I just did what anyone else would do.”

Not exactly

Have you been paying attention? We humans have a large capacity for doing the wrong things-In fact there is a good chance that someone doing the wrong thing created a situation that required a hero.  A hero to do what is required and bring an elegant solution to an inelegant situation.

Heroes spend time being prepared to step in-they are trained and they are compassionate. They are ready, willing and able.

There is a mindset about them that makes them feel part of the world-knowing that they can make a difference.

If you feel that way – you are a hero sitting latent and sooner or later you will get a chance to prove it.

It may be a small or big contribution- you may have already done it and not even realized it.

Doing the right thing in the right time and right place brings a certain lining up of the power in the universe that is bigger than all of us.

Maybe that is why heroes don’t even comprehend what they have done-they just see it as playing a small part in the general scheme of things. They see the action as a simple yes or no to answering the call of humanity.

We need more heroes.

This quirky song by the Crash Test Dummies sums it up for me.

And it also makes me think of this Little Feat classic.

Just doing what is necessary without complaint.

[mini rant ahead]”Little Feat’ without Lowell George should be called “Tiny Feat” and “Queen” without Freddie should maybe be called “Princess”–you can not remove the heart and soul of a band and pretend it is the same. [end of rant]

I am still willin’ to keep on bloggin”

Cheers from the cave!

[this is not the post I am writing-I am finishing up an illustration for a piece on Ronnie James Dio and “Rainbow in the Dark” that is wearing me out….I don’t mind writing on some of the dark in our souls but this song has taken me for a bit of a ride—it should be my next post—-this one is just to let you guys know that I am still out here]

 

 

Righteous Jam #1. Cortez the Killer

Righteous Jam #1. Cortez the Killer

I love this song

It makes scenes play in my head-not like a movie-more like memories back flowing into my brain, memories from inspiration instead of experience.

Huh?….What?

I see Montezuma dealing with the conquistadors while they destroy him and his civilization. They wipe a whole people and lifestyle off the face of the earth and then spray a little historical febreze over the land in the name of gold and glory.

I know it was a theme back then.

I know it wasn’t just the Spanish.

But if you write a song like this about almost any other colonial conflict- groups from either side are gonna be all up on you about it.

That would make the song lose its power.

This one just gains strength – this is my favorite version.

An essential Rock song that plays frequently around the cave.

Especially in those times when other genres take me away for a while and I want to remember why I love home so much.

Warren Haynes kills-Dave Matthews brings it back to life and takes it to another level.

Thanks to Neil Young for this song.

Enjoy and cheers from the cave.

 

Dio.Rainbow in the Dark-The religion of anti-religion

Dio.Rainbow in the Dark-The religion of anti-religion

This song is an anthem of metal. It is also a signature song of an artist.

Ronnie James Dio is iconic in the world of metal. If you are a fan of rock music- you know this song–if you are a fan of metal-this song is probably branded to your soul and you are baptized by fire with it.

“That is a little strong Mr. Cave Guy”

Whoa…there!… casual music person that was searching for climbing gear and somehow found my website and then clicked on a couple things because you were intrigued by a Radiohead song.

I am not blaming the song. 

 “When there’s lightning – you know it always bring me down

‘Cause it’s free and I see that it’s me

Who’s lost and never found

I cry out for magic – see it dancing in the light

It was cold – lost my hold

To the shadows of the night.”

Blaming Dio for someone indoctrinating themselves in the world of metal and all it stands for is not what this is about.

It is about us and how we turn everything we like into a religion.

From Star Wars to Marijuana to “My little Pony”—-we as humans have this need for spiritual structure and instead of abandoning it altogether; replace it with anything we find lying around.

Going to church is like going to shows-you meet up with other followers-you throw up your hands in exaltation and you get some more metal religion.

You dress the part – you walk with the other lost souls and convince yourself that the rest of the world just does not get it.

Now –we are getting a little “culty”

In this age of making no money from actual musical product-Bands are forced to market as the whole experience—they have to sell the tickets and the merch in order to make any money.

The music game is becoming like pro wrestling-the W.W.E business model is the future of music. We already have the V.I.P experience and special limited edition boxed sets- Look for action figures and candy bars arriving real soon….can’t wait to bite into a chewy Marilyn Manson!

W.W.E as religion? Farfetched? Have you talked to a 35 year old wrestling fan—-please don’t— and there are plenty of them out there.

I could go on but I am getting off base.

This is a great song-I like this song.

We all have times that we feel abandoned and have lost all hope so we all can relate.

I just don’t think we have to live our lives like that every single day and believe that that is the correct way to view ourselves.

Because-it is a bloody miserable way to go.

\m/ from the cave!

You know I love you metal guys and girls out there- so please tell me how wrong I am with this post-would love to hear from you!

All is connected- A Post-Apocalyptic friendly post.

As I was creeping around the blogosphere– I came across a post about art and spirituality on http://awaywithwordsblog.com/ which got me thinking. Tony usually writes about mental illness as it pertains to faith and his blog is always a fulfilling visit— Although he might veer off with references to music or art if the spirit is willing. Bloggers tend to freestyle and often get off their own narrow track in order to make a point or two.

This got me thinking about writing, music, art and photography—in fact—- all the forms of creative expression and how they are connected.

How they seem to follow the same conduit from artist to spectator.

And more importantly—what happens when they finally hit you.

“When you’ve nothing else construct ceremonies out of the air and breathe upon them.”
― Cormac McCarthyThe Road

Cormac McCarthy just might be our *greatest living author and “The Road” just might be the most perfect book I have ever read. This book brought me all the way to the coastline after the world was gone and left me staring out to sea… He writes about the tangled beauty of violence in a way that sanitizes pain and leaves only awe. I cannot explain it-like a Stevie Ray solo or a note sung by K.D. Lang that dances with you before zapping you to dust.

*this is the opinion of one guy in a cave, as is every other opinion on this site.

It leaves me feeling cool and isolated=but not in a bad way.

Sort of like Peter Gabriel.Redrain

Cool and isolated in an end of the worldy sort of way.

The music is slightly menacing and and red is a warm color-but this is a low temperature song.

Like Edward Hopper Art.

Hopper always gives me this relaxing frosty vibe-It changes the way I feel=not in a bad way=in a slightly strange soul stirring way.

When art can freeze you and make you actually feel the coldness without being cold- that is what we say is  “good stuff”.

And when any creative thing drives right down to your soul to say hello—-that is what we say “has hit you”

Something is being tweaked on a spiritual level here—-isn’t that the whole point?—-isn’t that why concert halls get filled and prints get framed and plastered on walls—chasing this weird feeling,  whether it be cold, heat or comfort—-whatever you are in to…you want to keep hounding it.

I will leave with the king of suave coolness and another post-apocalyptic gem.

Morrissey is cool.

How does music, art and that other creative stuff make you feel?

As Peter Frampton once famously sang with his voice-box-guitar-thingy “Do you feel like I do?”