I went down to the demonstration to get my fair share of abuse, goin’ as much with the river as not:
|15||The Beatles||Rubber Soul||1965||22|
|14||The Band||The Band||1969||3|
|13||Pink Floyd||Wish You Were Here||1975||14|
|12||The Beach Boys||Pet Sounds||1966||15|
|11||The Rolling Stones||Let It Bleed||1969||*|
|14||The Beatles||The Beatles (White Album)||1968||22|
|13||The Doors||The Doors||1967||*|
|12||Genesis||The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway||1974||4|
|11||The Rolling Stones||Let It Bleed||1969||9|
|15||Bob Dylan||Blonde on Blonde||1966||4|
|14||Van Morrison||Veedon Fleece||1974||20|
|12||Van Morrison||Astral Weeks||1968||3|
|11||Pink Floyd||The Dark Side of the Moon||1973||14|
Genre: Folk Jazz Soul
Preceded by: Hard Nose the Highway (1973)
Followed by: A Period of Transition (1977)
Related to: Van Morrison – Astral Weeks
I already ran into him on the first day of my stay, during a short hike around the guest house, the first evening after arriving. It approached me against a background of nightfall and lush broadleaf trees, this bowed silhouette with large, black hat. I politely saluted him ‘Good evening.’ (greeting passers-by is always one of the first social corrections a city dweller makes after leaving his natural habitat), and it grumbled something incomprehensible.
I saw him again the next morning, when he shuffled into the breakfast room. He queued up, decorated with black sunglasses, looked down when the waitress was serving his British delicacies, and growled something when she asked if the gentleman would prefer two or three sausages. He seated at the table next to mine and started the processing of his plate carbohydrates. A short break was inserted halfway, when he took a sip of his coffee and asked me without giving a look: “Here for hiking?”. “Mainly for the pretty women”, I said while nodding towards the table opposite to ours, where a number of devouring creatures had plumped down, whose ancestors were at the time wisely left behind on the island by the Vikings. He looked at me, as far as that was possible from behind the sunglasses, and something that could pass for a smile appeared on his face. “If you would like to make a long hike, I leave one hour after breakfast”, he said.
One hour and eighteen minutes later, I was waiting at the entrance of the guest house in my comfortable hence completely tasteless outfit, when the former shadow appeared. The black hat, dark sunglasses, long coat and black boots passed me by without a word and after a brief moment of astonishment I started to follow him. The glorious woods of the Green Country were reached quickly due to his high pace, and I took the risk of asking a question. Yes, he was indeed well acquainted with the area, already coming here in his youth, lying around the river on cool summer nights. I was still trying to paint that picture in my head, constantly walking one meter behind him, while he deliberately told more. How he kept returning here with friends and women, offering them the perfect setting for endless conversations about literature and poetry. Countless times had he walked these tracks with a girlfriend of that time, who he had met during one of his sparse social escapades at Miss Lucy’s. I’d already read about this place and its notorious binges in the brochure that the owner of the guest house had given me, being mentioned as one of the main attractions in the region. However, she left for the US to pursue a career in show business and he’d never seen her since.
After a while we arrived at a small crossroads, where he decided to have a short break, not fully to my dismay considering the shape I was in. He asked where I was from. “From the city”, I said. He repeated those last two words, but this time accompanied by a cynical undertone, while he offered his whiskey flask. “I also lived in the city for a while. Never liked it. Too many people that I actually didn’t want to get to know, in an environment that is completely constructed on reason and ratio. Never a proper view at the stars, too much light.”… “I always remained a stranger in my own town, got the feeling that I could no longer trust anyone after some affairs. Danish or sandwich?”. I opted for the danish, we carefully ate our lunch in silence, he blew his nose and grumbled “Geronimo” before taking off again.
I was taking in the astonishing nature and asked my guide after the length of our undertaking, initially answered by some silence. “People waste too much time by asking too many stupid questions. Just make sure you reach a point where you learn something you’ll remember the rest of your life. What’s your greatest sin?”, he asked. “A general disappointment in the entire humanity”, I said. The Hat remained silent, while The Boots drudged on through a long mud trail. The next hill (up and down) was also consumed in silence, he just looked behind him once, and like if he was amused by the visibly weary look on my face, he started to whistle while accelerating just a tiny bit.
He sipped another time in the valley and he actually started to talk again. “When distrust becomes destructive, it manifests itself as the impossibility to appreciate anything at all. Those people end up as collector’s items in museums that nobody visits.” We walked on and I hoped for another short break when he opened up his bag again, but that proved to be wishful thinking when he handed over a last snack while carrying on. “Always remember that you’re part of humanity yourself too, so there must be something good about it.”, he said while our path met the river again. He stopped and spoke: “We’re at your point. To get back home again, you just keep walking alongside the water for about four miles. It’s not the shortest way, but the river doesn’t mind.” He shook my hand, tipped his hat and wandered back into the woods.
Be it sight, sound, smell or touch, still marching with the soldier boy behind:
20. (7) The Beatles – Abbey Road (1969)
19. (24) Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (1975)
18. (13) Paul Simon – Graceland (1986)
17. (14) Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995)
16. (9) Paul McCartney & Wings – Band on the Run (1973)
““I yelled for joy, we passed the bottle, the great blazing stars came out, the far receding hills got dim. I felt like an arrow that could shoot out all the way.”
20. (*) Van Morrison – Veedon Fleece (1974)
19. (7) The Beatles – Abbey Road (1969)
18. (19) Fleetwood Mac – Bare Trees (1972)
17. (21) The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967)
16. (22) Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin II (1969)
“Read out loud: Heks. Heks. Heks. Heks. Heks. Heks. Heks. Heks. Heks. Heks.”
This is an ode to the shuffle. How better to get a good insight in your digitized album collection than by a classic shuffle? Finally discover the albums you never got into, finally throw the ones away you will never get into and worship those classics that never grow old again. The Shuffle of this week:
1. Arcade Fire – No Cars Go (Neon Bible, 2007)
Exciting start with the fourth single of Arcade Fire’s second studio album. First album still is one of the greatest debuts from the past twenty years and this album met his expectations as a good follow-up. The characterizing full sound shows up again next to the clear vocals, probably due to the fact that it was recorded in a renovated church which served as their studio.
2. Monster Magnet – Goliath and the Vampires (Powertrip, 1998)
Talking about a prevailing instrumental strength. This fourth album from Jersey’s stoner rock band was entirely written by Wyndorf while residing in Las Vegas. I don’t know exactly which role Goliath and the vampires had during that stay, but this instrumental song exactly describes the atmosphere at the moment some Goliath is about to have vampires for breakfast.
3. Creedence Clearwater Revival – Cotton Fields (Willy and the Poor Boys, 1969)
Country rock cover from CCR of Lead Belly’s blues classic. This makes it the only song on this great album that wasn’t written by John Fogerty.
4. Frank Zappa – Mom & Dad (We’re Only in It For the Money, 1968)
An album I really discovered only a few months ago and which perfectly succeeds to let cynicism tango with humor in an isolated room full of strange sounds. This song somehow reminds of Alice Cooper’s ‘Dead Babies’.
5. Van Morrison – Bulbs (Veedon Fleece, 1974)
Single from Morrison’s eight album. One of his best albums and this song is another one of his definite classics, on which he uses his voice once again as full-fledged instrument, making lyrics redundant during the chorus. Time to review one of his works to fill up another artist hiatus.
6. The Move – The Last Thing on My Mind (Shazam, 1970)
Here we are again with one of my all-time favorite albums (and vinyl showpiece) , more specifically with the magnificent final piece this time. It’s a cover of an original 1964 Tom Paxton song, which is covered by numerous other artists. Although I certainly didn’t hear all of them, this must be one of the best.
7. Death Cab for Cutie – Scientist Studies (We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes, 2000)
I have to admit that I got to know this band only after seeing Magical Mystery Tour. Unfortunately the music on this album and 2003’s Transatlanticism didn’t really raise my curiosity. Maybe it’s time to get rid of it. This song however is not bad at all.
8. Belle & Sebastian – Get Me Away From Here, I’m Dying (If You’re Feeling Sinister, 1996)
Another indie band not heard in a long time, being the second album from these Scots. Perhaps I should give this one another try, but the needless long titles are starting to annoy me.
9. Neil Young – Here for You (Prairie Wind, 2005)
Father Neil knows what i mean, although we might say that he wrote better songs during his impressive career. The album to the contrary is hands down one of Young’s better works from the past 15 years. Best served on the Heart of Gold documentary.
10. Guided By Voices – My Son Cool (Alien Lanes, 1995)
Robert Pollard once again comes around to close the door, performing one of the last songs from his best album.