Monday, February 24, 2003

Tell Me Something Good:

The weather is ass today and I am recovering slowly from a life-changing weekend with my buddy Jim. For this reason I can't write much today.

Something changed on Saturday afternoon when we were at our friend C's house. We smoked some pot and played three-way DJ in his cavernous living room.

Real psychedelics make music sound better than in really is. This is why I am skeptical of electronica and jam-band shit.

Pot is different. Now, bear in mind, I hate pot in general and am opposed to the "pot lifestyle." The only way I can do it is with the specific purpose of listening to music with a friend. Something about pot is much more honest than those other drugs. It doesn't make music sound better than it really is: It makes it sound more like itself, whatever that may be.

You hear a song you've heard forever and you suddenly understand that you were hearing it wrong forever. The surprise is, the revelation remains even after the drug wears off. For example: The first song was the Cars' "Let the Good Times Roll." I never liked that song until yesterday. First off, we were blown by how T. Rex it is. (I knew "The Dangerous Type" was T. Rexy, but didn't realize it went beyond that.)

So we were all lounging around; I was standing up, and then I felt kind of sad. "Shit--this song is kind of dark, isn't it?" I said. Jim was like, wow, yeah. It's dark.

I suppose that insight is obvious enough to any serious Cars fan, but to me, the more casual Cars-lover, it was a surprise. I never listened to that song before.

It was fun to sit with C. and sing really ridiculous lyrics and laugh at them: "When this kiss is over it will start again/it will not be any different, it will be exactly the same." Or, "He thinks I just became famous and that's what messed me up."

The best parts were when Jim played the Waterboys song that goes, "That was the river, this is the sea...."

Jim is beautiful because he sits back, closes his eyes, and opens every pore to the song, no matter what it is, and he gleans from it whatever good there is.

That's how he lives, too.

So, listen up. I know, the Grammys and all, but I'm sorry, I forgot to watch. It's fun forgetting important shit. Like the time I forgot armed robbery was illegal. :)

I should watch shit like the Grammys and sometimes I get into that kind of entertainment. But right now, blame it on the ions, something like the grammys would make me want to shoot myself and all my neighbors. The Grammys are so far removed from what music actually is, it's kind of like watching Martians trying to put on an Earthling-style TV cooking show. (Can't you just picture them, folding up weird fake wannabe pot stickers and making fake goo-goo eyes when they eat?) It's got its own internal logic but it has no relation to the actual thing. (And yes, I did once see a Martian cooking show, when I was in the future.)

Anyway, so instead of the grammys, last night I listened to real LPs on my brand-new shitty/awesome suitcase record player. It is so hot and sexy, I told Ken I want to go on a date with it. (Take it to a restaurant and sit it across from me, play all my favorite records.) Anyway, I listened to Every Mother's Son ("Come on down to my boat baby..." the naughtiest pop hit since "Shake rattle and Roll"); Paul Revere and the Raiders; Cameo; The Move (proto-ELO); Rufus ("Tell me something good..."); and my new flavor of the week, The Kings, from 1980, produced by Bob Ezrin. They are the most partyingest rock band I've heard in a while, with a great song called "Partyitis." Of course, "Switchin To Glide" was their big hit but they have a couple other OK songs.

Listening to records on Saturday with Jim and C., I kind of realized something that I can't put into words. This is the best way i know how to communicate with music, or to talk about it: Just to play it in the right moment, and let it speak for itself. Jim and I decided we were going to crash the intellectual rock critics' confab at the Experience Music Project this year, where all the Greil-abe's (um, like a wannabe?) and Christgeeks get together and speak in sign language about post-music---we're just going to get onstage and play records.

Haw haw. Actually I haven't been to the conference and a couple good friends of mine like it. I just can't stomach the thought of a bunch of people talking about ideas about music when they should be getting drunk and dancing and making out and playing guitar instead. And talking about music. That's how I'd prefer to commune with the mystery, anyway.



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