© 2015 Josh Door

Rolling Stones – Exile on Main St.

FLAC, vinyl origin, Vox, headphones.  Still missing that subwoofer effect.

My life is very small.   This music feels like it’s from outside somewhere I’ve never been, from a time that’s just gone.  I’ve always kind of felt this way about the Rolling Stones; as good as it is, it’s just elsewhere in relationship to me, and I’ll never be where that is.

I was entertaining fantasies today of just cutting out. Leaving the job selling off everything in my apartment, packing up whatever fits into my trunk, and just hitting the road; drive around from town to town, taking odd jobs, helping old ladies mow their lawns and clean their gutters in exchange for a hot meal.  I’d learn some new skills, spend a lot of time playing guitar and writing, being  hungry.  I feel like I need that. I also feel like I’d listen to the Stones a lot more.

I’ve traveled a lot, only about a third of the places I’ve been in the last five years have ended up on this blog; all those big time-holes are filled with being elsewhere.  I’ve never been a big drug guy, there’s still a lot of narcotics out there I haven’t tried yet, so I probably don’t really get ‘Sweet Virginia’, but so far it’s my favorite.

Sweet Black Angel.  There’s a night I’ve had, I barely remember, spent in upbeat drunken arguments, someone’s kitchen, some apartment somewhere, brick walls, cheap furniture, full of cigarette smoke and incense.  The memory is old and beat up, so everything in it feels shabby, I don’t even remember what we were arguing about; probably deciding for the world what the greatest evil was, or some variation of that old thing.  I want more of those nights.

Happy. It’s not doing a hell of a lot for me, I can hear it, and objectively I know that it’s really good, but It’s not having much of an effect on me. Ventilator blues though, from the first bar I’m on board, adjusted the equalizer a little to bring the mid range up, and that really brought the vocals and the piano front and center, which feels like how it should.

I’m a little meta here, because I’m not so much trying to ‘review’ the albums I listen to, as much as just record the effect that they have on me and see what comes of it.  ‘I Just Want To See His Face’, very primal, tribal, muted and distant, bassy, gospel, there’s a lot going on here, a little interlude I guess before Let it Loose, which is one of the songs I was looking forward to.  I feel like I can relate to this one, I’ve been there.

I’ve heard that Mick Jagger writes his lyrics ‘rhyme first’ because Kieth would just give him the music to write lyrics to. I imagine the two of them, kids in their twenties, sitting down and writing a dozen number one hits in a dirty apartment, drugs and empty liquor bottles everywhere, just consuming life and shitting magic.  This album though, was apparently recorded mostly in the basement of Kieth’s country house, and over time his drug problems kept him from attending the recording sessions going on in his own home.

Stop Breaking Down. Once again, objectively I know it’s a great song, but It’s not moving the needle. When I was listening to Bowie yesterday, I couldn’t concentrate on anything else.  Today with the stones, I feel like it’s just in the background even when I’m trying to focus on it…  Shine a Light, so far this is my favorite song on the album, this and Ventilator Blues.

Soul Survivor, I’m glad it’s last. I’m in, it took 17 tracks to get me here, but I feel like this is the one that does it for me.  I turned up my headphones, I’m trying to drink as much of this in as I can.  I don’t want to listen to it again without listening to the whole album again first.  That one track, holy shit, where did that come from? Was the whole album leading up to that, I guess it was.

Okay, I’m going to have to do this one again.  I may go through it again tonight; at home, through the speakers instead of the headphones.  If I do, I’ll update this post.

Here’s that update.  It’s 3AM now, and I’m back up to Stop Breaking Down. I still don’t know how I feel about the album, but I definitely enjoyed it more on the second playthrough.  I’m still really looking forward to Soul Survivor, which has been hanging out in my head all day. A couple of notable moments, Happy kind of got on my nerves – I don’t know why but it bugged me.  Let it Loose made me pause and really soak it in, I like that song a lot.   I raised the volume during Stop Breaking Down, and it’s beating the crap out of my ears, but there’s so much going on in the song I want to pay attention to.  I’m leaving the volume up for Shine a Light, and I’m going to drive it a little higher for Soul Survivor because I don’t even want to be able to think when that song comes on.

I got a little bit of writing done today, but I’m still not hitting the target I want to.  I sent an email to Henry Rollins, and he replied, that was cool. Neither one of us really said anything; we both just kind of said thanks.

I really wish I could go back a couple decades and do it all over, I know I’ve got some years still, but I really want those early ones back. That’s what I got out of this album.

Tomorrow: Dream Theater, Images and Words.


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