Tuesday, October 13, 2009

return ticket

Steely Dan - Katy Lied (listen)
Santana - Borboletta (listen)
Carlos Santana & John McLaughlin - Love Devotion Surrender (listen)
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble - In Step (listen)

I woke up with Steely Dan in my head. No particular song but the low-level hum of Steely Dan, the static frequency of Steely Dan that hovers between the real thing and the high ideas. I used to be an ardent hater of the Dan but went through a week of exposure therapy and found a lot to love among the stuff I hated. I started writing it up as a short book about the nature of taste, and the Carl Wilson's book about Celine Dion emerged and said everything I had to say but a whole lot better and through an even more contentious popular artist.

Santana, I generally always like. I even liked "Supernatural" the first 365 times I heard it. I've never listened to Boboletta before, it has that feel of hanging on to the straps of an out-of-control streetcar aspect I like in Santana; the thing is staying on the tracks but its still a wild ride. A guitary coworker came in and said he could appreciate Santana but wasn't really digging it, even when I laid Love Devotion Surrender on him.

I found Love Devotion Surrender sitting atop a trash can along with a couple Mahavishnu and Yes albums once around the corner from the first apartment I rented all myself. Some deadbeat tenant's loss was my gain; that record shook me out of a jazz/classical tower in which I'd ensconced myself. Soon somebody played Maggot Brain for me and my heart was opened for hard rock forever.

This co-worker was all "Yeah, but it's no Stevie Ray Vaughan" to which I sighed and tried to argue that SRV is a master technician that plays right up to the county line whereas Santana was on the first bus out of state, albeit always with a return ticket in his pocket. But if I'm gonna be open, be open and I told him to pick the album that will turn me around. I'm pretty sure I've heard all of In Step through osmosis and imitation over the years but we'll see what happens.

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