Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Still Dancing the 'Jig of Life'

My earliest memory of hearing Kate Bush was around 1985. I caught a snippet of the "Running Up That Hill" video (posted below) on MTV. For an eight year old kid, I found her incredibly odd, but interesting. As a teen, she was the only female artist that mattered to me (well she and Siouxsie Sioux, of course)...way before Tori Amos, before Sinéad O'Connor, before Björk, before any of 'em. Her 1983 LP, The Dreaming, is a personal favorite, while The Hounds of Love (1985) and The Sensual World (1989) are equally brilliant. So cheers to Kate Bush a.k.a. K.T., who turns a graceful 50 years old today. BBC News remembered!

Since issuing Aerial in 2005 -- her first recording since 1993's The Red Shoes -- Bush continues to live a normal family life in southwestern England with her son Albert (Bertie) and her husband/guitarist Danny McIntosh.

[Photo by Trevor Leighton]

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

... And what you say about their company

Yes, I am a Rush fan. They remind me of childhood. I have so many fond memories of driving in my family's 1984 Camaro with my Dad as Detroit's own WRIF and WLLZ (R.I.P.) delivered the hard rock hits. I cannot count the times I heard "Subdivisions" and "Tom Sawyer" by Rush. My teen years weren't just about English post-punk, Britpop, and alternative rock radio. I played as much Rush as I did Blur, Ministry, and Joy Division. When I was a college freshman at Michigan State University, I hustled up to Wherehouse Records for the midnight release of Test for Echo. And I finally saw 'em live in summer 2002.

According to CBC News, the Canadian rock trio -- composed of bassist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson, and drummer Neil Peart -- will perform their radio classic "Tom Sawyer" on The Colbert Report Wednesday night (July 16). Rush, who are currently wrapping up their North American tour in support of their latest album, Snakes & Arrows, haven't performed on U.S. television since 1975.

Why are they doing this? Why the hell not! Tune in to Comedy Central tomorrow at 11:30PM EST. Set your TiVo. Yeah!

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Monday, July 07, 2008

I said 39 times that I love you

You have to love Jack White. He keeps it real no matter what. Oddly enough (or is it?), the White Stripes frontman recently (re)professed his love for the Motor City in a poem exclusively for the Detroit Free Press. Say what?

May I ask why? Why the hell not is the question. Since leaving the dirt and grime of that old automotive town behind for Nashville in 2006, some questioned White's loyalty to his former hometown.

Say what you want about Jack White's poetic imagery of the D. He's still the coolest MF in rock'n'roll.

'Courageous Dream's Concern,' by Jack White

I have driven slow,
three miles an hour or so,
through Highland Park, Heidelberg, and the
Cass Corridor.
I've hopped on the Michigan,
and transferred to the Woodward,
and heard the good word blaring from an
a.m. radio.
I love the worn-through tracks of trolley
trains breaking through their
concrete vaults,
As I ride the Fort Street or the Baker,
just making my way home.

I sneak through an iron gate, and fish
rock bass out of the strait,
watching the mail boat with
its tugboat gait,
hauling words I'll never know.
The water letter carrier,
bringing prose to lonely sailors,
treading the big lakes with their trailers,
floats in blue green chopping waters,
above long-lost sunken failures,
awaiting exhumation iron whalers,
holding gold we'll never know.

I've slid on Belle Isle,
and rowed inside of it for miles.
Seeing white deer running alongside
While I glide, in a canoe.
I've walked down Caniff holding a glass
Atlas root beer bottle in my hands
And I've entered closets of coney islands
early in the morning too.
I've taken malt from Stroh's and Sanders,
felt the black powder of abandoned
And smelled the sawdust from wood cut
to rehabilitate the fallen edifice.
I've walked to the rhythm of mariachis,
down junctions and back alleys,
Breathing fresh-baked fumes of culture
nurtured of the Latin and the
Middle East.
I've fallen down on public ice,
and skated in my own delight,
and slid again on metal crutches
into trafficked avenues.

Three motors moved us forward,
Leaving smaller engines to wither,
the aluminum, and torpedo,
Monuments to unclaimed dreaming.
Foundry's piston tempest captured,
Forward pushing workers raptured,
Frescoed families strife fractured,
Encased by factory's glass ceiling.

Detroit, you hold what one's been seeking,
Holding off the coward-armies weakling,
Always rising from the ashes
not returning to the earth.

I so love your heart that burns
That in your people's body yearns
To perpetuate,
and permeate,
the lonely dream that does encapsulate,
Your spirit, that God insulates,
With courageous dream's concern.

(Photo courtesy of Big Matt)

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Thursday, July 03, 2008

Dead Souls

I never understand the urgency to deface, let alone steal, someone's headstone. I mean, what for? You just take away the joy from anyone who chooses to visit such a site and celebrate the life of someone else.

During the week of June 30th, the memorial stone belonging to the late Ian Curtis -- which was inscribed with "Ian Curtis 18 - 5 - 80" and the words "Love Will Tear Us Apart" -- went missing from the grave in Macclesfield Cemetery. The former Joy Division frontman committed suicide on the eve of the band's first-ever U.S. tour. He was just 23.

Curtis' former bandmate and New Order drummer Stephen Morris recently shared his thoughts with, remarking, "You couldn't sell it on eBay - it's ridiculous and very upsetting."

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