Monday, September 15, 2014

Another Warm Body

Spent last week at home for classes, which is always a nice change of pace. But thanks to being stuck side-by-side with a sick co-worker the previous week, I spent my first four days home in I don't know how many weeks laying in bed, moaning like a freshly neutered cat (and probably smelling like one as well) trying to break a sweat and watching "Rescue Me" on dvd. To call it a disappointing trip home is an understatement.

It was great to see my dog though. Sometimes it's easy to forget why it is you do what you do when you're out in BFE, breaking your back in the elements and coming "home" to an empty motel room that has probably seen more shenanigans than a security camera in a strip club. I just wish I'd been able to be more active with him. You worry about who will be waiting for you when you come home. People come, people go. Such is life, c'est la vie and all that. And with pets, you worry they will not care that you've come home because they've spent so much time with a sitter they think you've abandoned them and are accustomed to their new family. You just hope that somehow they understand why you are not there, and you lie to yourself and try to justify it everyday.

My dog is my child. And it breaks my heart that I am unable to bring him with me on this venture into classified territory. And he is getting old. I am terrified that one day my sitter will call me up and say he's gone to age (or worse) and it will have been weeks or even months since I'd seen him. You hope all is well, and you carry on, always aware that life (concerning pets as well as people) is very much going on without you. And you can either deal with that, or you can't.

But I recovered in time to pick up my Pelican album from the store where it's been waiting for me for eons. There was literally a layer of dust on it that needed wiped off when I picked it up from the clerk, along with the comment of: "We thought this order was a prank.". 'What We All Come To Need' was well worth the wait though. I've not enjoyed a record this much since Beyond Fear's self-titled. You do not get radio singles with a band like Pelican or Russian Circles. What you get are very well written songs that are very well arranged. And played excellently by stellar musicians. And where most bands that do an instrumental song or album would just let the guitar player veer off and do 7 minute guitar solos that make no sense and don't fit the overall context, a truly excellent musician will know when it is time to shut up, and let the melodies take lead. THAT is what you get with Pelican and Russian Circles. They know when to not have a wank-fest, and just let it groove. And that is why both bands will forever be "damned" to no more than cult-followings. Which is a damn shame.

Also had my yearly physical while in town, which is always amusing. A lady sticks a needle in my arm to check for aids, HIV, diabetes and whatnot, tells me to stop smoking, eat healthier, then tells me I am the perfect weight for someone of my height. Far be it for me to say "She's fucking clueless", but c'mon lady? Did you LOOK at me? I'm not overweight by any means, the exact opposite in fact. And I do try to put on weight, but I just can't.

Made the drive back to Oklahoma on sunday listening to Pelican and Russian Circles, as well as The Who's 'It's Hard' (terrible record), UFO's best of, and Halford's 'Resurrection'. Say what you will about the thus far un-musically-eventful return of Halford to Priest, but you can not deny his solo career. He never sounds better, his band is solid, and the songs are much more listenable than post 2001 Priest. Great stuff.  And it's easy to laugh off and forget how good UFO were. I've not kept up with them in years, but their first three records were just as good as anything Deep Purple did back in their heyday, just not as musicianaly sound or disciplined.

Pelican's "Glimmer"...

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