Monday, August 9, 2010
Taken right before the Cloud Giants overstepped the horizon and destroyed mankind for its transgressions.
Mike Oldfield, Hergest Ridge
Jesus, Mike Oldfield... This week is having an auspicious musical start. I played the living shit out of my already played to shit used copy of Tubular Bells in that freshman dorm room circa 1988, not too long after my Beatles Semester and Pink Floyd Month and right before the Year of the Eno. I listened to it so purely and intently that it never occurred to me that it was the music from The Exorcist. I'm not sure how it took me twenty more years to gain any real appreciation for prog-rock with this background. I blame Throbbing Gristle, whom I got heavily into right after the Eno years, and I'm sure Genesis P-Orridge would be happy to know that s/he staved off someone's love of egregiously Baroque, elf dance music for as long as s/he did.
But wowzer, this second Mike Oldfield album, which I've never heard until now is what you get when you ride your unicorn full-gallop down the Road of Excess, desperate to reach the Palace of Wisdom before the Cloud Giants that have you in chase do when suddenly your steed ducks too quickly under a low slung branch of the Tree of Knowledge and you bang your head and are defenestrated from this dream only to land in a somewhat uncomfortable office chair, making comments regarding a reposting of an article about overrated writers and reading a Jonathan Lethem's interview bootlegged from the Paris Review and going, "Huh? He's a science fiction writer? And so is Thomas Pynchon?" and then you realize that David Foster Wallace is too and that everything good and true in the world is science fiction and then you might listen to that Ornette Coleman Science Fiction sessions collection again because you might as well at this point (also because you could never get into Skies of America no matter how much you wanted to) and then The Eye backs away from the chair, through the roof , through the clouds, through the stretches of space and All Is Revealed.