Saturday, March 28, 2015

Listening to Music (Not Facing It)

I'm listening to Led Zeppelin's first album.

The imaginatively named one. Later they got pretty
lazy with the names.
I love me some Led Zeppelin. My history with this band is lengthy and complicated and will in fact be featured in my book, because it says a lot about my evolution as a person.

But forget all of that right now.

We'll cover that in another session.
I'm listening to the first Led Zeppelin album on headphones, which is my favorite way to listen to music. Radios suck at reproducing music, and even the best speakers can't give you the intimate experience of hearing all the nuances of a song. Headphones are solitary and immediate, which is how I prefer to absorb life as a whole. You know, like some kind of emo sponge.

Google image search never ever lets me down.
I didn't grow up listening to Led Zep on headphones, as I did the Beatles and David Bowie and Bob Dylan. I know every note and echo of those artists, but I'm a virgin when it comes to Zeppelin. It's a pretty overwhelming experience, and I'm digging the hell out of it.

Listening to music on headphones also has the ancillary effect of shutting out everything happening around me. I think I was subconsciously aware of that as a teenager, and right now I'm deliberately taking advantage of it. There are toxic elements in my environment that are soothed, if not eliminated, by being immersed in the privacy of headphones.

I never realized that "You Shook Me" had such an awesome Hammond organ solo in it.

I never realized how much overdubbing occurred in Led Zeppelin's music (after all, even Jimmy Page can play only one guitar at a time), yet it sounds utterly raw and live.

It makes me think there are many things in my life that I've overlooked, taken for granted, dismissed without knowing what I was missing.

I should prick up my ears and listen to what my life is trying to tell me.

It's a little more dissonant than "Your Time Is Gonna Come," but no less heavy.

Honestly, I'd rather just listen to Led Zeppelin on headphones and ignore everything else.

But I've got to face the other music sometime, right?


Thursday, March 26, 2015

This Post Has (Almost) Everything I Love


Remember in 2012, when the remains of King Richard III were found under a freaking parking lot?

He looks rather peeved about being dumped unceremoniously
in the ground, as well a freaking King of England should.
Well, today he got a royal re-burying. Check this out: His remains were positively identified thanks to DNA from a living descendant. But this relative isn't just any relative: He's a cabinet-maker, so he made the goddamn coffin Richard finally got to have after 530 years.

How cool is that?

And then, something happened that I now demand be duplicated at my own funeral (in approximately 80 years): Benedict Cumberbatch read a poem written specially for the occasion.

It would totally be worth it to be an unnoticed heap of bones for 500 years if Benedict Cumberbatch showed up to read me a poem at the end of it all.

The poem, by the way, is gorgeous. It was written by Britain's poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, who turns out to be pretty good at this kind of thing.

Have you ever read/seen Shakespeare's Richard III? You know: "Now is the winter of our discontent," "A horse, my kingdom for a horse," and my personal favorite, "Dispute not with her; she is lunatic."

Seriously, if you've never read it or it's been a while, go here and have at it.

Oh yeah, and watch this about 50 times.

I love everything about this story. Someone should write a play about it. Or at least a sonnet. Or an episode of "Sherlock."

Definitely going to watch the video a few more times.