The Dead Don’t Dream

‘The Dead Don’t Dream’

This post is inspired by the title of the latest album by Finnish jazz trumpeter Verneri Pohjola,‘The Dead Don’t Dream’.

I have come across Pohjola’s amazing modern music quite recently and have been mightily impressed by what I have heard.

The musician was talking about the making of the album (dreaming it into existence as he termed it) and remarked that “it’s about embracing life in all of its complex emotions, while we still have it … after all, the dead don’t dream”.

He nailed it for me with that statement.

To live is to truly engage, and to dream. You may as well be dead otherwise.

You can listen to the tune behind the thoughts below (via YouTube):

When The Red King Comes

‘When The Red King Comes’

Two small things collided during the week in way that made perfect sense to me:

A lunchtime walk down to Auckland’s city wharves, where the old wrought iron fence sports carved faces of Neptune/Poseidon in a vivid red.

And a major overhaul of my digital music collection that unearthed this psychedelic/jangle gem from cult band Elf Power (an early track of theirs that lends this post its title).YouTube share below.

Enjoy the pairing!

‘Green Guitar’ – R.I.P Peter Green, 1946-2020.

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‘Green Guitar’ – R.I.P Peter Green, 1946 – 2020.

Peter Green, an original member of Fleetwood Mac and legendary blues/rock guitarist, passed away yesterday.

He was an understated stylist possessed of one of the purest, most emotive guitar timbres in the business ,even if he led a life at times troubled by mental illness.

B.B King said of his playing, “he has the sweetest tone I ever heard. He was the only one who gave me the cold sweats.”

YouTube link to one of his best loved tracks, appropriate in remembrance, ‘In The Skies’ is below:

Station To Station

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‘Station To Station’

Auckland’s Britomart Train Station is relatively new and has a sorta alien spaceship, futuristic feel going on.

All the more reason to crib the title of David Bowie’s 1976 song and album as a small homage to that great musical voyager.

His music took me to a few unknown places in my youth.

Youtube link to the song below, if you care for an interesting sonic side trip…

View From The Rotunda

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‘View From The Rotunda’

More of the rotunda (see Band Rotunda ),this time from within the vintage structure in the Auckland Domain.

It’s quiet now, but come summer, come post-Covid (whenever that will be),there will be concerts, bands and music to lift the spirit.

Meantime, there is a pause before the show that hits the right notes for me, right now.

 

Reflection

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‘Reflection’

Peak autumn on the Tamaki River at low tide; the clear blue sky is reflected in the water lying atop the mudflats at low tide. Plenty of time right now for me to likewise do a bit of reflection in the suspended state that is lockdown, whilst out walking.

The perfect mini soundtrack to this all comes from American new age/neo-classical pianist George Winston:

Enjoy !

 

New Day Rising II

20200326_192910‘New Day Rising II’

First light on the Tamaki River yesterday – another day, another beginning, another version…

And a previous blog version is to be found here: New Day Rising .Last time around I shone the light, so to speak, on the album cover of Husker Du’s ‘New Day Rising’. This time you can check out the title track below.

Unlike the serenity of the photo, this is one of the most ferocious slices of rock and roll ever committed to tape, so you stand warned.

But I am happy to start the day either way, really…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night

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It has been a week of vivid and bizarre dreams for me, some nightmarish.

Perhaps coming off antidepressant medication has something to do with it , as that is an apparent side effect.

At any rate, the surreal shit of my dreamland continues apace.

You couldn’t make it up and you certainly can’t control it.

I’ll wake up from one weird episode and then plunge straight into another one, and so it continues till the dawn.

Deep REM sleep is supposed to be beneficial; maybe, but it is bemusing also.

I don’t even try to analyse the nocturnal art house cinema I am being served up involuntarily on a nightly basis.

What would be the point, really?

But I do have the ideal soundtrack to it all:

The Electric Prunes’s “I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night”. A thoroughly groovy 1960’s garage/psychedelic rock classic.

YouTube link below. Stick this in your pipe dream and smoke it, good people!

    “I’m not ready to face the light…I had too much to dream last night”

 

 

Birdland

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This very evocative wood carving/ painting got me thinking of some favourite bird things….

My Avian Awards

  • My Lucky Bird     – Kingfisher
  • Best Song/Call      – Tui (NZ endemic)/Magpie =
  • “I Rule” Strut        – Magpie
  • Coolest in Flight   – Hawk/ Swallow =
  • Beadiest Eye         – Seagull
  • Bird my cat fears – Pukeko (NZ endemic)
  • Best Song with a bird theme – ‘Birdland’,Weather Report (listen below)/’Fly like An Eagle’,Steve Miller Band =

 

A modern jazz classic!

The Strong One

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‘The Strong One’

” ‘Cause isn’t it hard

to be the one who gathers everybody’s tears

isn’t it hard

to be the strong one “

‘ The Strong One’, Bruce Cockburn

Some ruminations:

As to the photo image – the Stonehenge-like sculpture blends almost with the background of trees.

Truly strong people are sometimes unnoticeable.

They are always there – for others, to gather their tears (as Cockburn’s beautiful lyric states); constant and loyal.

Some mistake displays of dynamism, power and muscle-flexing for strong character.

The true strong ones of our world carry burdens without reward and recognition.

Maybe you are one of those that others rely on.

It is hard, to be the strong one.

Take time to take care of yourself too…

 

The Bridge

20191007_122603 (2)  Queensferry Crossing, Scotland

This stunning modern suspension bridge over the Firth of Forth was certainly worth a picture, as we crossed over it late last year( don’t worry, I took this photo from the passenger seat! ).

Serious wires!

As I have been filling my musical boots with vintage sounds of late, may I take you on a  transatlantic leap to the somewhat older but equally stellar Brooklyn Bridge, which I was fortunate to have walked over as a young bloke.

Artwork of it features on the cover of  a 1982 album ‘The Bridge’, by jazz/fusion keyboardist David Sancious. Sancious may be better known to rockers as an early member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band.

A YouTube link to the sublime title track ,an old favourite of mine, is below, if  you have the time to embark on a sprawling aural trip of your own…

 

Not A Christmas Song (Thankfully)

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Over Christmas music yet? Well, may I give some respite from the sheer awfulness of most of it – here is a prime cut from my album of the year, Devendra Banhart’s ‘Ma’.

A  typical offbeat piece of Venezuelan/American Banhart’s warm songcraft, enhanced by a surreal video. Enjoy! If it’s not your cup of tea ,it could be worse (‘Little Drummer Boy’ anyone…?).

(By the way, the recent photo features a community piano in a central London shopping mall . Some outstanding young talent created amazing sounds for free –  I love community pianos for their surprise element!

Link to the DB song below:

 

For The Want Of A Nail

“Everything seems to fail

  And it was all for the want of a nail”

     – Todd Rundgren, “For The Want Of A Nail” (1989)

Genius musician is proved slightly wrong in the form of this stunning traditional wooden Malay house on stilts . Okay, that is a massive lyric/subject non- sequitur,but  I just love both the song and the house, and there really aren’t that many songs about nails…

Or houses without nails  – not a single one was used in its construction, according to the owners. Mainly interlocked timbers, like a gigantic wood jigsaw puzzle. Amazing.

Right near  top of the list of coolest houses I have ever visited.

Hasn’t failed or fallen down yet apparently…

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Rumah Kampung, Langkawi, Malaysia  2010