Thursday, December 11, 2008
I see this unimaginable image floating around, waiting to be recognized. It’s like a yellow, greenish, orangish, silver and pink existence that comes near each of us; longing to be embraced. Some recognize it’s purity right away, realizing that if you grasp and hold onto it, the feeling it returns to you is euphoria mixed with fearlessness. It speaks not too often because once embraced, it fits you like a glove yet never is it an uncomfortable squeeze because it’s a no brainer dimension of life. It’s just there; apart of you... You know it but you need not call it’s name because the euphoria keeps you so much at peace… You walk taller. You’re at ease; suspended in the day to day reality of taking one moment at a time and doing the best you can with it. You greet the world with a peaceful spirit that only goes away momentarily when the twists and turns, bumps and bruises of life present themselves. But in the end, it’s all okay because you’re surrounded by the aura of that unimaginable existence. Sort of like being in a room filled with reassuring concerned, giving individuals that love you for you without a care for what you can do. The sad thing is that many choose to embrace it’s counterpart; holding it up like a badge of invincibility. It’s that heavy set, always needy, always wanting attention; forever needing to be remembered sort of existence that basically keeps them in a state of anxiety because it’s so easy to slip when standing upon the pile that’s created with each calculated self-absorbed step. When it piles up too much, it’s so hard to remember direction. It’s difficult for them to remember what they were supposed to say and do. Things get repeated. To the wiser, they appear incompetent but the badge worn is misleading, blinding; like the sun reflecting against the dirty windshield of an automobile. Sunvisors don’t remove dirt. They just soften the glare of neglect allowed as a representation of self, combined with the weakness which prevents the unimaginable… basic honesty…
Monday, December 08, 2008
I'm shocking myself in that I actually liked this movie a lot... Maybe it's because I love the music so much and a lot of the scenes, the style, the southern influence, the whole vibe of the film took me back...way back to a place and time that I'd much rather be, strangely enough... I dont know. I've just always loved those times, perhaps romanticized in my mind but to me, it just seems like folks valued things, each other a little more... Of course times was rough, prejudice was serious and this movie more than depicted it on several occasions. The movie wasn't really historically correct from a musical standpoint; a lot was left out and a few important people completely left out of the story like Philip Chess(brother of Leonard Chess depicted in movie), Bo Diddley, and countless other musicians that would make the story very long and maybe less entertaining to a general audience. Each musician pretty much deserves a movie all to themselves, telling their story. The best way to describe this particular film, is a fictional account of the Chess Records story. And one thing its not, is an Etta James story... The previews kind of have you thinking that way.. It's not that at all... The characters of Leonard Chess and Muddy Waters dominated the story and also Little Walter was a big part of it as well... They went over the top with his way of hard living but I've read about him definitely having a penchant for getting into fights and basically dying young because of injuries sustained but musically speaking, he was the best harmonica player ever and in real life back in those days, Muddy Waters had the tightest band in all the land... Me being a music fan, a musician and a lover of the blues, I'd more like to hear stories about what was passed over briefly in this film... Stories about this man named Alan Lomax and why, how and what he discovered by traveling to the south to record these various musicians on behalf of the Library Of Congress... Must be some truly fascinating stories and images that he took with him from his travels... And then also why musicians from Mississippi and other areas of the south tended to travel to Chicago to eventually create the incredible music that they did... In the movie, they also touched upon a rivalry between Muddy Waters and Howlin Wolf and they had these two men not liking each other at all. I wonder if that was true. No doubt as musicians there was probably rivalry amongst everyone because of all the great players from Howlin Wolf to Muddy to Little Walter, Jimmy Rodgers, Hubert Sumland, Sonny Boy Williamson, Willie Dixon, John Lee Hooker, Bo Diddley, Elmore James, Jimmy Reed, Chuck Berry, and later on the incredible and often overlooked and appreciated, Buddy Guy who is a living legend right now..... Anyway, it was great to see this movie and I hope that it generates interest in these incredible stories, musicians, artists, people from the past... so many stories left behind and so many forgotten that should be told as often possible.... As a side note, I loved the strength and honest conviction portrayed in "Cadillac Records" by the character of Howlin Wolf. A strong man who took control.. Nice to see on the screen... I'm looking forward to the upcoming film, "Who Do You Love," which is also about Chess Records; sure to be entertaining as well and based upon the title, they haven't forgotten Bo Diddley in that one.