Think “pastoral.”  Admit it, you’ve got that image of some gently rolling hills covered in deep green grass under mildly cloudy English skies.  Yet you’ve never been to England either, have you?  How come we get this image in our heads when that word comes to mind?  Furthermore, how come some music, like XTC, conjures that word and with it those images?

The moment “Just You” springs to life on Dog Eared Moonlight, with its gentle guitar, piano and simple flutes, those are the images you get – clouds drifting by, laying on the grass on a cool spring day, etc.  Things I don’t recall ever doing myself, actually, now that I think about it.  Sounds nice, though, doesn’t it? (more…)


Acoustic Rush. Wait, wait! Come back. You really have to hear this. Especially you naysayers who rip on the band. Listen and tell me this song doesn’t just plain work in the acoustic medium. I think this is friggin’ awesome and that’s not just as a huge Rush fan:

In search of “Arizona’s Thriftiest Family,” AZ Central’s contest singled out this family as the cheapest of the cheap.  It’s not all washing laundry on off-peak hours or driving your cars into the ground, no it takes more dedication than that: “this Gilbert mother of three was known for digging plastic silverware and cups out of the trash after a party to reuse, rescuing bulk trash from her streets — and didn’t she once use the dog trimmers to cut her son’s hair?”

What’s nice is they accompany the article with a photo of the family, so if we see them out and about, we can point and say, “Hey, there’s the family that eats with stuff out of the garbage!”

I’m trying to imagine being 18 and listening to Ten for the first time like I did when I was 18 when it came out in 1991.  I can’t.  I can only imagine listening to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon, which I must have heard as an album for the first time somewhere around that time.  That album, which would also be 18 years old at that time, as Ten is today, didn’t feel like an epic to me yet but a bunch of well-worn songs that I was already well-familiar with, songs that had been saturated into culture by radio and TV.  I imagine that the songs of Ten may feel that way to many younger listeners today.  The album, as a whole, may lack the impact it had on us when it struck in August of 1991.  Time has embedded many of these songs into our collective soundtrack of the 90s. (more…)

A day spent Twittering is . . . weird.  It’s entertaining, but definitely requires thinking a bit differently.  If you haven’t noticed, I have a tendency to, ahem, expound at length upon things and this forces me to tighten up considerably.  But the nice thing is that it gives me a route to vent random things in my mind, not that everyone else will understand everything.  But that’s part of the fun, I suppose.

My biggest problem with writing on the site is simply a lack of desire to write.  I am tired, man, and finding time to actually focus on writing pieces about the albums I’m listening to, well, it’s not happening.  I have a some partially-written things that eventually get trashed, but that’s all that comes of it.  I am simply too worn out to strike, as they say, “the iron is hot,” and by the time I get back to it, I have lost most of the interesting things I might have had to say about things.  Even right now, I’m thinking, “Can I end this?  Can I go lay down?”  Yes, yes I can, and I will soon.

And I just stalled right there for about 5 minutes.  Mind went to sleep while I played with a crumb on the desk.  That is the warning sign on the brain that it’s time to hang it up for the day.   So never mind that – I’m done.  I’ve been up for 17 freakin’ hours, man.

Thanks for the warning

(sigh) I waited and waited and waited, and finally UPS shows up at 10 minutes ’til 9 pm tonight. I had two packages from Amazon, one bought purely for convenience, the other out of necessity. The “convenience” package contained the 2-CD, 1 DVD deluxe edition of Pearl Jam’s classic debut album, Ten, while the other contained, well, this:

Difficult music

Under normal circumstances, it would be a CD, but in this case, it’s a very simple puzzle. The puzzle goes together to produce Charles Spearin’s The Happiness Project, a CD I’m having a hard time finding locally. I’m sure someone has it, but I don’t have a lot of free time to go driving around to find it, so I ordered it yesterday to save the hassle. Worked out well, didn’t it?