The Oddities of SILVER BROWN

The Man Of My Dreams

I roamed the Canadian wilderness for three years. In a location that’s at least a four hours’ drive from what the modern descendants of the colonists who plundered Turtle Island laughingly refer to as civilization. During that time, I gave burnt offerings to the seasonal solar energies and baptized myself weekly in waters sanctified by beaver urine, and slept under a dreamcatcher. One I created myself. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of it, because its strong cosmick aura frustrated my ability to capture it photographically in a manner that would adequately do it justice. But I do have this picture of an artifact from a makeshift temple I constructed somewhere in a nameless corner of the taiga. I had to burn Deep Woods Off for the incense and enclose it in mesh to keep out the skeeters, but it performed its function as a sanctuary…


20170806_070855
Form is emptiness. Emptiness is form.

Then I got bored with all that and moved to London. Not the London, though. A city in Canada, which shares its name with a certain British metropolis. You can tell they didn’t put a lot of thought into the name. They could’ve derived a really badass name that hasn’t been used yet from the native languages spoken in the area. Like Chicago did, or Winnipeg. But no, they had to be all imperialist-snoblike and name it for their beloved capital across the pond. It’s now the fifteenth-largest city in Canada, and probably stuck with the name permanently. I give you a picture of its filthiest street…


20180911_135534


I like to think the dreamcatcher sucked something out of me in those three years. I sensed it when I saw my student card…


20190425_152540


I don’t know if it was the lighting, or the particular way I had my facial hair trimmed at the time, or the fact that I spent the first six months in this unimaginatively-named city living in a Zen commune run by my fairy ganjamother (one of the sweetest women I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting in my life). But there was definitely an aura in the picture. My first thought was: Holy shit! I look like a rock star! A certain rock star with vocal abilities that are either angelic or annoying depending on which critics you believe, who is well known for his pre-performance ritual of meditating in tipis with dreamcatchers. Specifically, this guy…


jon-anderson-makes-me-happy

Advertisements
The Soundtrack of SILVER BROWN

The New Jazz [Part III]: ZZ Top

That Little Ol’ Band from Texas! Okay, so not exactly “new” per se. They’ve been recording and touring since before I was freaking born. No lineup changes or anything. Same three guys, for half a century. Or tres hombres, if you will. Two of them famously bearded long before it became cool to be so, the third never having any use for a Beard because that’s already his name. A band I have always liked. They experienced their heyday during my formative years; I was about eight or nine years old when Eliminator came out, which wasn’t even their best album. Before I had even heard of prog or jazz fusion or Frank Zappa, or even before high school when I was heavily into Queen, I looked on ZZ Top as one of the greatest bands on the planet.

It was was more than just their wild and woolly mountain-man image, one that was lamentably underused and underrepresented in clean-cut Reaganite America’s rock output. It was those distinctive guitar lines. That tone! What timbre! Nobody else can make a Gibson sound the way Billy Gibbons can; the man truly has a masterful control over his instrument. Even when ZZ Top went through that weird phase in their career when they really started overdoing it with the synthesizers and drum machines, the guitar stylings of The Reverend Willie G have never failed to impress. He always makes his solos longer than they need to be, often throwing in two or three solos a song. He’s a student of the blues and that’s just the way he rolls.

Since we’ve all heard songs like “Legs”, “Tush” and “La Grange” a zillion times over on classic rock radio, I wanted to focus here on the more underrated and lesser-known musical gems on offer from this band. Like their ahead-of-its-time meditation on drunk driving…



…or a few of the countless tracks they’ve dropped over the years that would be considered politically incorrect by today’s standards but are still great…





…or this, which is probably the greatest song you’ve never heard. Even greater, it’s a live version…



Finally, I give you this. Remember that episode of Seinfeld where Elaine was dating that guy who froze into some kind of hypnotic trance whenever he heard the song “Desperado” by the Eagles? Well, whatever “Desperado” was to that guy is what this song is to me. Especially after a bong hit or two.



I am oft inspired to spontaneously tweet grandiose proclamations whenever this tune fills my eardrums. I leave you with a couple of my greatest hits…



 

The Green Grass of SILVER BROWN

Her Majesty

I am pleased to announce that Her Majesty (my bong) has delivered her throne speech at the official state opening of patio season. Her Lords were most impressed. Especially when the Speaker of the House recited the Heart Sutra mantra 108 times and then belted out some old blues tune at the top of his lungs.