Friday, December 14, 2007

Kirtan Plugged

What do you get when you cross indian/sanskrit chant/kirtan (ala Krishna Das) and jammy guitar-based '90s Brit rock?

Kula Shaker's "Govinda" (live).

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Adventure and the Hero's Quest

Last year while watching Peter Jackson's retelling of KING KONG (starring Naomi Watts, Jack Black, etc.) I had a revelation: I love adventure movies.

In fact, if you recall, King Kong is broken into 2 main parts: the traveling to the island and discovery of all that lived there and then, later, the taking of King Kong back to the States. I found myself entranced with the first half and bored with the second. Star Wars, Indiana Jones, The Goonies, The Lord of the Rings, The Fisher King, 2001 - all stories that steal us away on an adventure.

There's something about discovery, magical lands, long journeys, and the process of uncovering the veiled that I find both primal and fascinating. Alan Watts talks about the zen concept of Yugen: "To watch the sun sink behind a flower-clad hill, to wander on and on in a huge forest without thought of return, to stand upon the shore and gaze after a boat that disappears behind distant islands, to contemplate the flight of wild geese seen and lost among the clouds."

And though I'm not always in this mindset, I've had fun in the past "playing" my day as though it were an adventure story: seeing each person I came in contact with as a fascinating character that would change the course of the story, looking on my environment as a magical place, taking on apathy, temptation or other distractions as dragons to be slain, and treating goals as if they were grails to attain.

It is for this reason that I've finally picked up Joseph Campbell's "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" (though I've read plenty of other of Campbell's work) and have begun making my way through it.

"A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man." (Joseph Campbell)

Now playing on Trev's iTunes: Sting - I Was Brought To My Senses
via FoxyTunes

Friday, December 07, 2007


"If I were to begin life again, I would devote it to music. It is the only cheap and unpunished rapture upon earth."
[Sydney Smith]

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Life-Altering Music

While at a stoplight in my wife's car earlier this week, I began fumbling through our CD stash and stumbled upon Jeff Buckley's album Grace.

I've listened to this album plenty in the past, but something really struck me this time. The CD rolled over to Track 4 - "Lilac Wine" - and, maybe it was the mood I was in, but I was quite literally blown to smithereens with tears in my eyes. I realize this isn't his original composition, but it might well be the most moving piece of music I've ever heard in my life.

In an age of overproduced, computer-tweaked, soul-less pop shit-music, I found myself engulfed in Buckely's raw emotion, musical simplicity and extraordinary talent. I had it up so loud I could hear every breath and subtlety in his voice. Listen to that vocal control throughout, but especially in the last line. Completely breathtaking.

The lyrical poetry is amazing and the arrangement is sweet and heart-felt. A thousand churches don't contain the depth of spirit that's in those four and a half minutes.

Now playing on Trev's iTunes: Jeff Buckley - Lilac Wine
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, December 05, 2007