Thursday, 27 December 2012

The CAL Curse!

the curse
the CAL curse
i used to think it was about us all getting divorced
if you crunch the numbers
you'll find that there's 15 of us who went through divorces during the onset of CAL
that's a huge percentage
i really thought CAL was responsible
i thought that the cosmos had decided
that the price for musical genius
depended on marriages ending
but i have this kind of egocentric personality
that makes me think that CAL has longer tentacles
than it really does
i realize that i can be idiotic at times
(just read on and you'll find the above statement true)

the CAL curse has to do with note for note
because if it ain't note for note
i freak out a bit
and everything sounds like a big mistake

i remember when we were rehearsing the let it be show
we were doing across the universe
and it wasn't sounding right
everyone was coy
but i kept being demanding and overbearing
because it wasn't sounding right
then mark said that the key of the song was off
that the song was not quite d flat
and not quite d
we had being playing it ind
playing it in d flat would have meant a new grouping of guitars
all tuned down to d flat
a big chore
but i insisted
and d flat it was
and the song came alive
and alex turned to me and said all the difference

last night
i watched led zeppelin receive their kennedy honors awards
led zeppelin sold more records than anyone else
they're the top of the rock
men on the mountain

so there i am
tuned in
all excited
they look great
and happy
but the CAL curse kicked in immediately
jack black's indoctrination was wrong on several fronts
zep were never heavy metal
they were never satanists
and they never sang directly of vikings
the curse!
it's like being a fact checker on CNN after the debates
you just want to grab the speaker and smack some sense into them
i liked jack black in school of rock
but there's nothing else about his career that works
and he does not have the zen of zep depth
needed to stand on such a coveted stage and speak at length

next up was the music
i prayed that the foo fighters would sit this one out
but no
there they were
distorted guitars
bashing instead of sounding the drums
and the singer - who was their drummer - was atonal scared and bland
it was acne

next up
kid rock
i like kid rock
i'd like to see him in concert
i always try to get my daughters to sing the sheryl crow part in that song they did together
but he had no business singing plant
and his band had no business playing zep
it sounded like a chicken coop being built
it was like watching old family inherited decorations falling from the tree
and smashing onto the floor
it took me a couple of vodka and tonics
to set me on my feet again

then the antichrist
lenny kravitz
i know that a lot of people like lenny
but he's a gap ad
style but no substance
he's not rock n roll
he's product placement
and he has no business singing led zeppelin
i can't even remember the song he was singing
it was torture
he should stick to shelling out for pizza hut
or whoever else he's networking for
probably some cologne that reeks of mediocrity
(his guitar player with the big hair was stellar and lives in my neighbourhood in toronto - so he gets a pass!)

the curse
i have the curse!

the saving graceful sisters
they have zep in their dna
and while they steered away from the note for note river
they reworked the song to flow with ease and depth

if you go to see the mona lisa?
would you be disappointed to only find half her face on display
if you look up the CN tower
would you be disappointed to see a partition that blocks the view
of the pod thing at the top?
if you watch goodfellas
would you be disappointed if they cut out the pasta sauce scene? - the 'i amuse you' scene? - the layla dead guy montage? - the dinner at joe pesci's mom's house with a dead guy in the trunk?
you'd be freaking if any of these elements were removed from great works of art

then why in the name of the hammered gods
did heart let them chop a solid 5 minutes out of stairway?
you'd think that the sisters had some clout
it's the kennedy center
a hallowed hall where greatness is meant to prance about in
not be neutered by hipsters in suits with stop watches and demographic charts
i lost it
led zeppelin - edited for television
it's like losing your taste buds

heart performed stairway
the greatest song ever written
they had choirs and strings and orchestras and the vibe
and the lads were smiling and feeling it
sitting cozy in their chairs with their medals on
a historic moment for rock
but a live on air circumcision is too tough for this cursed man to watch
from the get go they cut out half of the recorder intro
i revolted

the curse!

the curse won't let me work past sub par performances
the curse won't let me veer from note for note
the curse won't let me appreciate new arrangements of classic songs
(again - could you imagine citizen kane with a happy ending?)

i'm not alone on this
during the CAL christmas party
i watched des and mark play a perfect note for note rendition
of blue eyes crying in the rain
it was 4:20 am
there was a cab waiting out front
but nothing would deter them from perfection
they'd never played it - nor talked about it prior
but they understood the need and reverence for note for note

could you imagine rob phillips showing up at a jam
and just riffing along to some floyd for fun
it would never happen
you'd get the arched eyebrow of death
he'd bend a gilmour into your forehead before you could say
"let's freestyle comfortably numb"

we're all cursed
there's no point in fighting it
life outside of CAL is a series of mistakes for us

december 27, 2012
tea and mum's homemade shortbread

Sunday, 9 December 2012

5 Crazy Rock Films from the 70s That You've Probably Never Seen But Are Still Pretty Good

I've been researching rock movies
i've seen some really silly ones
and some very cool ones
i'm not talking concert films
i'm talking dramas

i've chosen 5 flicks that you might want to have a peek at
these are less than obvious choices
and in no order

remember that i love the doors movie
and purple rain
and hard days night
and help
and the wall
but these are films you've probably skipped over
and stand up as okay little time wasters

i've coupled each movie with a recommended beverage
snack wise you can't ever go wrong with potato chips

phantom of the paradise
a mad crazy fun film
lots of silly characters
and lots of cool songs
music was mostly written by paul williams
this move has the best screen credits ever made
and one of the greatest / most ridiculous rock stars ever created for film: beef
this is a 70s movie
so don't expect anything slick
you need to suspend belief and soak in some technicolor
will hare always plays songs from this movie during sound checks!
in winnepeg they have a phantom of the paradise festival
that rivals the cult status of the equally great rocky horror
without all the gheyness
recommended drink: brown cows!

david essex takes you on a rock star's journey
from clubs to castles
again - an early 70s movie
so don't expect anything neutered
it comes across as more david bowie than robert plant
there's some great scenes with the late great larry hagman
this movie is dark and sad most of the time
more real than one would expect
it stands the test of time
if you really get into it
it's important to note that stardust is part two
(part one is called that'll be the day
and features ringo starr playing alongside essex)
i used to regard this film as an instructional video
but i was so much older then
i'm younger than that now
recommended drink: tea

a star is born
kris kristofferson and barbara streisand
perhaps the worst pairing in cinema
but somehow it works
the music is a bit lame
but the story is sound
there's a couple great moments that make it
worth weeding through the cheese for
kris is killer
and kool
still - i can't rem
just for the record - i'm not ghey for liking this movie
that said
i'm changing my mind - this movie is pretty bad
best to skip it
recommended drink: beer in a bar

the songwriter
willie nelson and kris kristofferson
love this movie
love it
rip torn plays the best character
if you've ever toured then there's parts of this movie that ring true
and freak you out a bit
more country than rock
but that don't matter none
'cause ol' willie knows how to pen a song or two
it's a behind the scenes look at the inner dealings of songwriting in the 70s
this movie makes me want to drive over to des' at 3 in the morning
and write songs and drink whiskey
recommended drink: jack daniels

the rose
heavy film
another 70s movie
the most cinematically put together of the 5 films mentioned here
bette midler is tragically great
the saddest of tales
the saddest of songs
i was surprised the the title song is only heard over the closing credits
it's a tough movie to find - i think there might be some licensing issues
but it's worth the effort
i loved this movie because the band is really playing
and bette is really singing
leslea could play this role
recommended drink: fresca or shasta cola

december 10, 2012
hagaan das (caramel cone explosion)