Sunday, October 23, 2011

All Hands on Deck

One of the things I try to do in order to avoid getting into a rut in life is listen to new music. It's music I might not look into, left to my own devices, so I'm grateful that my sons, Trevor and Coleman, who love music at least as much as I do, send me links to music they think I'd like. Without fail they're right, because even if it's not what I'd continue to listen to, I like knowing I've at least been introduced. Both of my sons are big fans of a man named Maynard Keenan, the genius behind the group Tool. Yes, genius. He may not be Dylan or Cohen to my age group, but for many in the younger generation, he fits easily into that category.

Although Tool, being a metal band, is not necessarily to my liking music-wise, I do appreciate reading the lyrics and developing an understanding of what this generation is relating to through music. Maybe three years ago now, Coleman and I agreed we'd each buy a CD we knew the other liked in order to discover music through the others eyes and ears. He asked me to buy "10,000 Days," by Tool and I asked him to buy "Modern Times," by Bob Dylan. I listened to it as I drove from Santa Fe to Minnesota in one of my visits home. It was an interesting opportunity for me as a mother to get inside my kid's head and see what was going on there. I was very happy with what I found. And although I did not convert him with the Dylan, I'm glad he gave it a try. He did like several cuts and what mother could ask for more?

Keenan is one of those multi-talented people who has developed a life around his passions. He has two other music projects, which create an interesting mix: A Perfect Circle and Puscifer, both of which are more alternative, rather than metal.  No matter which one he is speaking through, he has some solid ideas around what's happening politically and culturally, as well as some very intriguing thoughts on metaphysics and spirituality. Then, there's his wine company, which I'll get to.

Last week sometime, Coleman sent a youtube video to me from Puscifer's new album, "Conditions of My Parole." The first time I watched and listened to it, I liked it. There's something about it that drew me in and, like many music videos, it has a nice visual payoff at the end, an ending that left me wondering even more about Maynard Keenan and his perspective on life. Sort of a Mad Max meets Noah and the Ark. At least, that's what I saw. I've promised myself I would do better at keeping an open mind and gaining some measure of understanding around those things that mystify me. This man might, at first glance, be dismissed as an odd duck, to say the least, but that would be an injustice. He has a lot to say, has chosen a variety of ways to say it, and I admire that.

Now, the wine.  Keenan has developed a vineyard that has been producing consistently good wines, which have received high ratings from wine connoisseurs. I'm no connoisseur, but I'm thinking about ordering a bottle or two. I love what he's created in his site, Caduceus. Once you enter, you see a "book" that looks like an ancient script. After the introductory pages, you'll find several  pages dedicated to the different wines he offers. Click on the corners and turn the pages. The descriptions are almost poetic and the whole thing is a fun read. It's  accompanied by his song, "Indigo Children."    I think it's just a very cool site.

See, wasn't that fun?   Now, here's "Man Overboard."  May I suggest you click on it and watch it in HD (720p) on youtube itself?  Oh, come on, give it a chance. You never know, you might surprise yourself....


  1. Pretty awesome web . What a clever son you have.

  2. Hey, I like it. Not exactly something I'd listen to all day but as a dancer I only hear beats and it has a great rhythm. I couldn't watch the video with it as it distracted from the great beat but it had the looks of a great creation.
    Even my granddaughter, who has the band and sings, lets lyrics get in the way of the beat of a song.
    Cheers to your sons...

  3. I like to try all out, and have found some real nice alternatives to listen to.I remember my kids making fun of a Beatles lyric wondering what I saw in of my kids laughed at a parental warning on one CD I had, was i warned?

  4. JOAN, I loved the opening with the raven or crow flying into the scene and the sort of Celtic look to it.

    Yes, pretty clever. :) I have two sons who add a great deal to my life.

    MANZANITA, I'm so glad you gav it a try. It's that beat that drew me in and then the metaphors he uses to talk about life made me listen again, and again. I've always been more of a lyrics gal, but I know the music, the beat, is equally important and sometimes carries the song. Music should move us, one way or another.

    STEVE, One of the benefits of being a grown-up - we get to decide. :)

  5. Driving to & from Tn, I used the scan on my radio and found all sorts of new tunes that grabbed me. Sometimes it takes something different to get us out of the box we sometimes put ourselves into. Good for you and your boys...

  6. Hi Lynn, Yeah, it's fun to try new things, and what's easier than music?

  7. That was really interesting, Teresa, and something I would not have necessarily listened to had you not linked it in. I liked the beat as well. The video was a little distracting to me, but, closed my eyes and let my imagination do its thing. It was fun.

    Interesting website and I'd like to try the wine.

    Thanks for the introduction to Puscifer, and to a reminder of all we miss when we dismiss the music of others.

  8. Hi Penny, I'm glad you found it interesting. Part of the fun with music is we can make up our own videos in our head if we want to - use our imaginations! This dismissing what we don't understand, or just dismissing out of hand because it's so different, colors all of life. We have things that we consider our taste, but it's good to think outside that box occasionally. Thanks for being willing. :)

    BTW: the ending intrigued me, if you ever give it another go. :)

  9. Very interesting video. I love the vivid imaginations that come across in music videos these days. My nephew is in an alternative band and sometimes the lyrics give me the creeps... but I have to remember my love of Lawrence Ferlingetti's A Coney Island of the Mind (brave stuff in the 50's and 60's) and how distasteful the poems were to my parents.
    I always said that I would keep an open mind while raising my boys and even though it was hard when they were teenagers, it kept the line of communication open.
    You're doing great.

  10. farmlady. Thank you. It is important to keep an open mind, thus the lines of communication, also. Coleman is in a band and the music is not my cup of tea but the lyrics are thoughtful and indicate a real awareness of life, for which I'm grateful. As you said, each generation has their own way of expressing themselves and parents do well to remember that. When music plays an important part of someone's life, it is essential to find some common ground.

    Again, thank you.

  11. Try this oldie "Walk Don't Run" by the Ventures...It will put you in a good place...:-)

  12. Since I am trying lots of new things in my life right now, you remind me I should try some new music too!

    (One of my sons is named Trevor too!)

  13. PAUL, There are so many good oldies. thanks for the reminder of this one.

    BETTY, We never know where we'll find inspiration and new ways of looking at life. Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment.

  14. You are a) very brave, and
    b) highly laudable.

    I just cannot be bothered getting into contemporary music. Sometimes I hear an accidental snippet on the radio and think, hm, that's nice, but most of the time I stick in my boring old groove.

    I need to borrow your sons.

  15. Friko, The payoff makes it all worthwhile: nice communication and a better understanding of them, but thank you for thinking both a and b of me.

  16. Nothing like listening to good music.

  17. Haddock! So good to hear from you again! I trust all is well in your corner of the world and you are getting plenty of good photo opps!

  18. Teresa, you sent me on quite a journey! I haven't followed music for many, many years and have only listened to what is probably called new age instrumentals so I know very little about the music world in any category, really. I may have listened to Iron Butterfly when I was young, but I have never cared for metal, hard rock, or rap since then (from what I have heard of it). But...I gave it a shot. Evocative video. so I checked out the wine site...and read a lot of it...and then checked on Instant Netflix and found Blood To Wine and watched that. I am very, very impressed with this young man!! He follows his own guidance. I think he is probably an Indigo child. :):)
    What a trip!!

  19. Rita! I am so grateful that you went exploring and found it as interesting as I. Yes, I have no doubt he's an Indigo child. I did not want to overstate what he offers our young people, all of us, really, but he has a very, very aware perspective and is reaching the younger generation right where they're at, with some profound ideas. The metaphors he uses in his music are valuable ways to reach people.

    Thank you! What a long strange trip it's been and it's not over yet! :)

  20. Teresa, if we sit still every new thing will stop by for a chat. I seldom turned away from any of this. Here's a great blog where I spend a lot of time remembering but it is a place to visit not to die.

  21. Hi Cletis, so glad you stopped by. What a collection of doo-wop that is! It's interesting to see just how many groups were out there at that time, and even now, so many people making great music. I'm trying to do a lot more visiting of different places, rather than staying stuck in the '60's and '70's. I don't want to die there. :)