Pure – Simple – Blues

I once had the honor to see this man in a club for a 3 dollar cover charge during a big snowstorm when the place was almost empty. It did not matter if it was 20 people or 50,000 to Mr. Johnny Copeland. He  went to work.

Stays with me today.

Brilliance personified.

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

 

T-Rex and T-Rex and (what the hell) Photo Challenge and (double what the hell) an almost poem.

T-rex-WP

On Top

Top of the food chain

Top of the heap

I was a big deal

I roared – I ate you up

Now- I am an exhibit

A quiet dry relic

Time goes fast

Grab you some before it’s gone

 

On vacation in the nation’s capital this week and took a ton of pictures (wish I took more). This one fits the photo challenge of “on top”. For someone like me that loves history, words and great images- D.C. is like crack cocaine flowing directly to my cerebral cortex. And coincidentally there are tons of great places to buy the aforementioned drug, if you choose, in the District of Columbia.

I was in awe at every turn- even in the biggest house of bones ever assembled known as the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.

I still have a blog about Rock n’Roll relics- here is Marc Bolan and the boys, Tyrannosaurus Rex with a classic. T-Rex may have started glam rock but this does not sound too dry and historical yet.

Enjoy and cheers from the cave!

Jimi

fathers-day-2013-fb

This is a picture of me with my son on the site of the original Woodstock stage where Jimi once famously played the Star Spangled Banner. We were swept up in the moment. What better place for a jumping air guitar salute? “None more better place” is the answer.

Starting a series on icons of rock- I am starting with Jimi Hendrix.

There were guitars that screamed and guitars that jangled. And then came Jimi and the guitar would speak clearly of pain and of joy…..huh?….what?

Jimi and the guitar were one-he slept with his guitar because he was his guitar. When he had nothing as a small boy-he had a broom that he pretended was his guitar and it was his only friend.

Like Tom Hanks in Castaway with Wilson-unnatural bond of person to object.

And I forgot to mention-the best rock guitarist ever to walk the face of the earth. Period. No discussion needed.

[Since this is a blog –allow me to go on a bit more]

Especially for you kids that are new to rock music.

Rock is blues based.

This is a basic timeline.jimi-3

For purists only-this can sound a little rough as we cannot go back to the 1930’s and imagine how it would feel.  We can’t walk on those dusty roads and hitch a ride to the next town with 12 cents in our pocket.

Robert Johnson arrived and let the world know that something was going on in the delta. The best blues music is always someone going on a rant with their guitar about how things are in their world. You could say that about the best rock music, the best country music or the best hip hop music.

The truth thrown out there in a compelling way.

T-bone Walker added some fire to the guitar- he started doing things that no one else could.

“They call it stormy Monday, but Tuesday is just as bad.”

There are other songs that I should pick to show off the virtuoso in action—-but this is sooooo smooooooth.  It just dances and tickles the music palette before seeping gently into your soul.

Jimi ran all that energy and inspiration in one big liftoff that reached orbit. We got great guitar players now-we don’t have a name that I can place next .

Jack White is close if you make me force a choice. Close still does not fit. Like a giant stone used in the pyramids-it has to ease in there perfectly. I am still waiting.

And here is where we finish for now.

I am going for less fire and more heart in these tunes and want to end with one of the greats in that next group to follow. SVR spent his whole career chasing down Hendrix-he even carried one of the master’s wah wah pedals on this journey. I am not going to throw a link here-but I do write about a show where I was lucky to catch him with his boots on this pedal early in my blogging days.

Maybe lucky is not the right word- Let’s try blessed.

Gone Country

Country music that makes me feel better

My last post was very emotional and it took my blog to places that I never take it- The traffic was overwhelming. I went from my usual 10 or 20 visits a day to 2,700 in an afternoon. This is bittersweet because I wrote it for my own sanity. I awoke at 2am, unable to sleep, and it was a post an hour or so later.  I thank those high school kids for lifting me up and giving me the courage to speak my mind.

But I want to get back to the music- I enjoy writing about music.

You have to deal with things – and I am learning you live the best way you can no matter what situation you are in. You have to start up that beat-up pickup truck  of life and just keep driving-a smile on your face and a song on the radio don’t hurt either.

This sounds like country music.

This rock guy will go out of genre  in order to find solace. If you limit music  because of prejudice; you are only hurting yourself. Worse than that-you are closing your mind and that is never a good thing.

Rosanne Cash. Seven Year Ache

I love Rosanne Cash because she is authentic- Authentic to me is a feeling that goes from the heart out into the world with no alteration. Like when you see a coyote on the side of the road just looking back at you with no fear. He is in his time and his place and he could give a damn what you think. And I got to say-he sure looks cool.

Rosanne Cash is an authentic cool heroine in her own right- this women just reeks of suave country sophistication.

Montgomery Gentry.Roll With Me

Maybe this is what would be considered light pop country with more than a splash of holy water gospel, but it makes me feel better. I am not going to search for music that makes me look better-I am going to give you songs that make me feel better!

And this is one.

Hank Williams Jr.Family Tradition

“I have loved some ladies and I have loved Jim Beam and both of them tried to kill me in 1973”

Maybe my favorite line in country music, it never ceases to bring a smile to my face

There is something satisfying about someone admitting that they have lived life with zest the wrong way. Maybe that is because we all make mistakes, so we can all relate. And if someone like  Bocephus can trump you and have fun joking about his-then it makes you feel better about any you have made. This has been going on since the middle ages with court jesters.

Rolling Stones.Memory Motel

This is straight ahead country. It has pickup trucks and drinking. It also has a cheap motel by the ocean and a lady with crooked teeth. What more do you need? I will give you one more…throw in Dave Matthews and make it a buddy song.

Concrete Blond.True

This is a country song trapped in a rock song’s  body.

Again with the pickup trucks-mixed with some cool west coast punk. Punk music and country music are closer than you think.

I feel better—I really do – this one has brought me home.

Thank you Johnette

Oh, what the hell- One more for the road

Bonnie Raitt – This is a “go to” classic. I am not writing-I am just enjoying at this point.

Cheers from the Cave.

And special thanks to http://peacelovegreatcountrymusic.com/2014/03/09/philosophy/  for helping to spur this post.

Spur* get it?

O.K, that was a cheap shot at the genre…:)

Cave Olympics-Indie

olympic-rock-2

Indie Music – The miscellaneous cool file of Rock since…since… The Smiths?

And the only reason this genre goes back this far is they were added in after the fact.

There was no indie music in the early 80’s-all the cool music was thrown into that big “alternative music” pile and sorted out from there.

Listening to this song now-I can see why the indie crowd wants to claim it as their own.

“Hang the D.J- because he does not play anything good.” Is the basic premise of this uplifting little tune.

To get to indie music you have to go under the surface. Like those old movies when you swim underwater to emerge in a secret cave below the depths; another world that only the cool kids know about.

I think of indie music as the new growth of rock music after the big forest fires of excess wiped out all the old guard. The geezers still pretend to hang around with nostalgia tours featuring 2 original members if you are lucky, but it is a joke. Is just a quick stumble from this to the final walk of fame: selling reverse mortgages and walk-in bath tubs to the last few who still remember.

So as I try to finish out my medals category because the stray dogs of this Olympic site are looking at me with an angry growl-I just run out of bones.

Here we go.

The Bronze:

Arctic Monkeys.Do I wanna Know?

The riff is what makes this work. Psychedelic Led Zeppelin with this great high harmony  “Do I wanna know” in the chorus… this puppy works-this puppy will crawl up to you, sneak on the end of the bed and get comfortable in your rock n roll head.

Infectious and Indie.

The Silver:

Silversun Pickups.The Pit

Good Indie music always has this quiet scream to it. It does not yell at you but instead it keeps nudging and nudging until you find yourself getting swept away with it. Silversun getting the Silver [see what I did there?…Do you hipsters?…course you did-you guys are too smart for me]

The Gold:

Bon Iver.Skinny Love

Bon Iver  is French for “Good winter”- This song is so cool that it is below zero cold just like it is going to be again tonight here at the cave.  I don’t know what the French word is for endless brutal winter but I am hearing a ton of non-french words around here to describe it.

I know I have featured this song before….but damn-it is good.

And one more for the road:

The Black Keys may be indie but I can’t call them that anymore because they are too big.1

You can only be indie for a small amount of time- A time when passion for the craft of music does not always equate to success. A time when you do what you love and let the chips fall as they may-a time when struggle is life and life is struggle but so what-Let’s rock anyway.

Cheers from the cave!

Kiss my Ass

kiss-calmed-down

I do not like this band -if they never visit Cleveland to claim their place in Rock n’ Roll history; that is fine with me!

I was O.K. with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame not allowing them in….

BUT…

I know the names:

Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, Paul Stanley and Peter Criss

We all know those names and those are the names that the Hall of Fame accepted for induction.

There are a legion of fans still enlisted in the Kiss Army. They made enough records that you could cover an entire ocean and not let the fishes get any light…They are a raging success and deserve to be in no matter what us “serious” rock music fans think.

I mean, was the Ramones hit with Rock and Roll High School really any deeper than Rock and Roll all Nite?… Oh yeah-they were cool but Kiss was all flash.

They were really good flash-with smoke and make up and all the other stuff that made the kids go crazy.

Even the grown up kids. Even now.

But Kiss can’t get it together for the original four to play a couple songs for fans that have made them gods- Fans that have paid the mortgages on mansions and the insurance on fancy sports cars for years and years.

It is one night and a couple tunes- that will allow you guys to take this little carnival of fantasy on the road and laugh all the way to the bank for the rest of your days. It will allow 4 or 5 generations of your heirs to live like kings if they have any sense at all and not waste this wealth that your followers have bestowed on you.

But no—-Wha, wha wha…Gene Simmons wants everybody that ever pretended to be Ace Frehley and Peter Criss to play and be inducted because they are just as much of the Kiss experience.

And it seems that 3 or 4 fake Aces are too many Aces in the deck for the original Ace.

Whatever.

Could you please just give the fans what they want one more time?

Don’t make us haters right.