Thursday, October 26, 2006
I was 18 the last time a WHO cd came out. In fact, the last time a who recording came out it was purchased in vinyl format! 24 years is a long time to wait for something and not be a little let down by expectations. After a few listens, I have not been letdown.
This is not "Who's Next" type who music. Yes, there are hints of the classic sound of The WHO ( Its not enough, Mike Post Theme), this is a much more understated affair. Only 2 of the original lineup is left , Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey. For 2 men in their 60's, they show a surprising amount of energy and yes, vitality.
The first 9 tracks of this CD are original Townshend songs. The last 10 comprise a Mini Opera called Wire and Glass. On first listen, this Cd seemed to be a unorganized mess. The "mini opera" really does not hold together in any real linear narrative . The "story" is about 3 young kids from different social and religious backgrounds that form a band......the story gets more convoluted from there. But as in a lot of Who songs....its the music that saves the day...and the lyrics are subject to interpretation. Highlights from the opera are
Sound round- full of energy...are these guys really 60? cant wait to hear this in concert
Mirror Door- great song about departed rockstars.....even better music....
We got a hit- pure pop...pure WHO
Of the 9 other tracks.....Easily my favorite is
Its Not Enough- This has been getting some radio play and really is the strongest song of the set. Great snarling guitar ( man, I have missed a great Pete Townshend snarling for a long time!) and angry vocal from Roger. The lyric is all about trying to please a woman and never feeling like "its enough". Like my favorite Who songs...its a song about release, self doubt and self knowledge. Great stuff.
Black Widows Eyes- This is a weird and yet beautiful song. Its about love at first sight with a woman in a train station. Eyes meet from across the station and its love. Only problem is......the woman is a terrorist, who blows up people at the station. Yes,,,, its not a song Sinatra or Celine would pull off, but a compelling listen!
This is a strong CD. My hope is that they at least take this as a great beginning for a couple of other recording projects. These guys are still on top of their game..and it would be shame to stop now.
7 out of 10 stars.
Click on the link to hear song samples
Of course its easy to see what kind of frame of mind I am in by what kind of music I am listening to. I have always been a lyrics type of person, and am prone to liking a song that reflects what I am feeling. However, "Mr. Chemical Free" will often venture into music that is very drug influenced and really enjoy that for some reason. I guess its the closest I will ever get to being "messed up" so its ok if its done "by proxy"! I also will listen to music that was recorded many years before my birth and really feel connected to that. Nothing is always logical when it comes to music. I may like a song for what I was doing when I first heard it, or it might remind me of a person or it might just be a release for something that is bugging me....or it just might be fun and stupid!
So what has these last 2 paragraphs have to do with the title of this blog entry? Two of my favorite bands are coming to town in December, in fact they are going to be here within 2 days of each other.
Gov't Mule - December 6th http://www.mule.net
This is a band that is really on my radar this year. They began as a offshoot of the Allman Brothers. Warren Haynes is the lead guitarist, vocalist, and primary songwriter. He is extremely talented and very underrated as a singer. If you love soul music ( 1960's-70's), blues, jazz that wont put you asleep, and straight ahead rock, mixed into blender for a unpredictable 3 hour show.....these guys will grab you. I have always been a fan of guitar music and Mr. Haynes is one of the best. You will never see him in a list of the 10 most handsome men in the world. But, his lyrics and ability makes this guy one of the best. Most of his songs reflect broken love, triumph over adversity, and determination in something you believe in. I have 7th row seats for this show. I am very excited to see this concert. They are showing up at a time where I am totally into them, and ready to see them live! Plus.....they record all of their concerts and you can buy a copy online ! NICE!
The Who w/The Pretenders - December 8th - http://www.petetownshend.co.uk
The Who have long been my favorite band. The perfect combination of lyric and aggression. Seeing them brings out a lot of emotion. You cannot go to a Who concert and just sit there. I have seen them two times previous. 1982 ( row 2 left side) and 2002(row 12 left side). Both were in my top 10 of concerts I have attended.
This show will probably be my fave of all time. I can say this because.... I have 1st row seats!!! In front of my all time favorite guitarist, Pete Townshend!!!! To top this off, I will have my son Steven standing by my side! It will be his first real rock concert! Boy has he started off on the "top of the mountain'!!!! I am so excited to share this experience with him!
Counting the days!!!!!
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
What I am most proud of my Fathers "journey" is the fact he has not only stopped drinking, but has also gone through a deep amount of self "discovery". He has found out what makes him tick and why he decided he needed to drink. His AA group, his program, his belief in a higher power, and this knowledge of self, is what saved his life.
Today, my Dad helps others with his sobriety. He sponsors many new people to the program, and helps many others with his story. A once broken man is now a symbol of hope.
Life is journey. Not a destination.
Thanks for being you. Good and bad. I have learned lessons from both sides.
I love you.
Your son, Mike