Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Many words for sore eyes

Wow. It's been a long time.

In the three months since I last posted, I've moved to a different town (and therefore started working at a new place... sorta), had to adjust to living with a dog, celebrated Halloween, ushered friends and family to see my sister get married, and have gone through a few different musical phases.

My special lady and I took a pilgrimage to Memphis, being dazzled by Graceland and disappointed by Beale Street. Unfortunately, so much exposure to Elvis (we actually stayed in the Heartbreak Hotel, where they show Elvis movies 24 hours a day and serve fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches) kinda burned me out on The King. So musically my obsessions took a dive straight into the shark-infested waters of prog-rock.

Ah, progressive rock. Makes perfect sense to go from Elvis to that, right? Well, if you go back to the very first post on this tiny blog you will notice that I started the whole shebang with a picture of Peter Gabriel-era Genesis and the caption "All hail the greatest band of all time," or something to that effect.

I blame my dad, the wonderful and generous man who took it upon himself to educate me in the fine ways of the many off-kilter bands that could be found in his rather massive record collection. As a young child I spent most of my time sitting in front of his stereo with the headphones on listening to 20 minute long songs on scratchy vinyl, which probably made him realize that I was never going to go outside and play baseball. Even though he was good at sports as a youngster (and, from what I hear, a pretty awesome bowler later on), I'm very thankful that he's also a drummer and loves the hell out of rock and roll. If I didn't share one of his interests, so what? I certainly loved the rock and roll.

So thanks, dad. You've been a great influence on me.

Since getting back from Graceland on September 10th, I've been listening to stuff like Nektar, Yes, Van Der Graaf Generator, Genesis, and Rush, among others. Oh yeah, that new Kissology DVD that just came out got me bonkers for KISS again. Not prog, but definitely rock.

I don't know if this is something that happens to some people as they approach 30, but I've started listening to some stuff that I totally rejected in my early 20's. For instance, when I was four years old my favorite band was KISS. Then someone said they were evil and as a young impressionable dude that didn't want to go to Hell I stopped listening to them. Then as I got older they just seemed silly; the fact that the post-makeup KISS was a rather terrible hair-metal band didn't help things either. By the time I got to college the whole KISS reunion tours started happening (you know, with the original guys back in their makeup) and all of the extreme hype surrounding that made me absolutely hate them. In fact, at one time the words "KISS are the second worst band of all time, right behind the Eagles," actually came out of my mouth. Frequently.

Well, I've grown up a little since then and I love KISS again. I guess I'm not waiting to be a drooling elderly person to get back to how I was as a baby. I must give mad props to my friend Scot for making me realize a year ago that KISS is just a great, simple rock band and that it's ok to rock just for fun.

So back to prog rock, which most people would say is not too fun. If I can get on my ass and write some more I'll probably write about some of the stuff I've been listening to lately - including some of the prog bands that I find fun. I've been revisiting albums that I loved when they came out and dismissed when I was in my ultra-judgmental 20's, such as Yes' 90125 and Big Generator and Rush's Power Windows and Hold Your Fire (you know, the poppy 80's albums that these previously arty bands came out with that still draw ire from their most hardcore fans). You know, they're actually pretty good.

Anyway, enough for now. Gotta go rock. Be good.