If you were stranded on a deserted island, which 10 albums would you take with you, assuming you had time to pack a bag full of all the necessities necessary for that inevitable event? kind’ve a silly question, really; if you knew you were subject to being stranded someplace, you would want to take all precautionary measures to avoid such a thing. Well, HUMOUR ME: You’re stuck on a fucking island in the middle of butt-fuck nowhere, and somehow you have a functioning record player and you have to choose 10 records to take with you… so what’s it gonna be?
Well, if I had to choose (thank you for asking) they would be the following. Some are the greatest records ever made, and some aren’t; that’s not to say that they aren’t good, they are, they are all great in fact. It’s just that if I wanted to remember life back on dry land, I would want to relive the greatest memories that I’ve made, and a lot of these events were set to music, so what better way to relive them? Exactly my point. God willing, it will never come to this, but if I had to choose, I would choose:
This is the record that I mostly play in early spring, usually on the first sunny, hot day of the year. I bought this album when I was vacationing in New Jersey years ago; back home the snow still covered everything as far as the eye could see. But in Jersey, it wasn’t the case. Sure, it was still chilly in March, but my cousin and I walked on the beach barefoot. It wasn’t hot enough to go swimming yet, yet there were still surfers in the water, braving the cold. Plus, it was sunny. SO SUNNY. This album is my escape. I close my eyes and picture myself on a boardwalk. . This record takes me to that sunny place. It’s a wonderful place. A true gem of a record.
In the late 90’s, Montrealwas a wonderful place. It was a place where bohemians and artists alike transformed the city into a mecca of groovy fun times. The Plateau was an unpretentious, laid-back place, full of life and sunshine and harmony; when I listen to this record it reminds me of the simpler times, hanging out in the Old Port, hippies wandering about, the smell of weed in the air, people acting like people, cell phones didn’t exist, I was the only person who was buying vinyl records. Oh, if I could only turn back time. Hipstersdidn’t exist back then, the food revolution was only just beginning. *hit the pause button* This is probably the record that I cherish most. It’s a reminder of happier times and that yesteryear that was actually worth living.
The perfect autumn record. Strange that I would pick an autumn record to take with me to a deserted island where it’s probably sweltering and unbearably hot, but what can I say? This is the soundtrack to a good chuck of my high school days. I’d spend hours playing SNESwhile listening to this album. There isn’t a weak track on this record. Definitely gonna pack this one..
The other perfect autumn record. I don’t listen to it much anymore, maybe because I love it so much and think it’s so special that I save it for special occasions. It’s Tori’s most unique record I think. The beautiful arrangements, the harpsichorddominating many of the tracks, there is swearing throughout, it’s sultry, crude, delicate, beautiful, timeless, yet so timely. Another snapshot of yesteryear set to music. Thinking about listening to it now….
In the winter of 2000 I discovered Jeff Buckley. He died after making just one record but it was such a great record that millions of artist will probably never be able to achieve what he did in his short life. His rendition of Halleluja alone will forever be remembered. It’s a haunting record that gets better with every listen. There will never be an artist like Jeff Buckley and I wish I had gotten to see him live. An artist that was taken away from us too soon, and in a really sad way too, not from drugs or alcohol, but by being swept away at sea while taking a late night swim, of all things. Taken by the sea, perhaps fitting that his memory would live on this way.
Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, a record that I absolutely adore may arguably be considered their magnum opus, but their true masterpiece in my opinion is Siamese Dream. This record, unlike Mellon Collie, is track after track of stellar songwriting; no filler, no instrumentals, just pure unabashed unforgiving rock. Its the type of record that you play front to back and then you’re tempted to flip it over and play it again. WOW. My favorite tracks are all the tracks. That’s how good it is. If I ever forget to pack this record I may be tempted to swim back to land to go get it, and risk drowning in the process.
The greatest album of all time. If you haven’t hear OK Computer then I feel sorry for you. Not that I pity you, although I do, but it’s such an important piece of music and you should do yourself a favor and listen to it. There’s nothing more to say about this record, if I have to explain why I would take this with me it’s only because you haven’t heard it yet. So do so. Tonight, if possible.
Great Canadian Band, Moist! On an indefinite hiatus (although recent Tweets from lead singer David Usher hinting at a possible reunion, yay!), it’s a record typical of records released in the 90’s: It’s REALLY REALLY GOOD! The record I tend to play during the first snowfall of the year. Not sure why. My brain is wired differently than yours. Can’t explain it. I just love Creature.
The last I Mother Earth record to feature Edwin on vocals. It’s filled with great songs, and also with some mediocre ones. Why would I take this with me then? Because it rocks. It’s another great 90’s record from a Canadian band and I would want to remember the country I’m from and the memories I made while this record dominated that period in my life while trying to survive the harsh conditions on this god-forsaken deserted island.
This is the first Manic Street Preachers record I bought, and it’s their best. This started me on the journey to discovering a band that today I call my all time favorite, and its lead singer, James Dean Bradfield, my favorite vocalist. This album is filled with track after track of pure pop bliss, intricate song writing that seems simple when first heard yet in reality quite complex,and each song is filled with such unfulfillable longing; It’s indulgent, it’s heart-wrenching, fun, jovial, and great. It’s just great. Look I’ll prove it, listen to this!:
So, what say you? What’s your top 10 desert island list? I’d love for you to leave a comment. If you don’t want to, that’s ok. If you’re reading this it means that you made it to the end of my post, and what more could I ask for? Thank you for reading my blog. Still, please leave a comment, both because I am interested in what you have to say and also because I hope to discover more wonderful music this way. Thank you and goodnight -This Is Orson Welles.
I was born in 1981. That makes me 31 years old. I was born in a time when the only way you could hear music was to turn on the radio, and sit by that radio for hours hoping that the song you were hoping to listen to would be played. It was a time when you would watch your favorite music channel on TV and hope that the song you wanted to hear would make it to the top 20 of the week, or if not, that it would be played somehow. That’s how it was back that. Not that long ago… I’m talking about the 90’s.
It was a time when I decided on a rule: if an album was released by an artist, I would wait until at least three singles were released from that album; if they were good, then I would buy that album. That’s how it used to be.
That’s how I first fell in love with Aerosmith. It was 1997. I had always known their music, but until Nine Lives was released, I never really paid that much attention to them. Once Pink was released, and after I had fallen in love with Hole in my Soul and Falling In Love I Hard on the Knees , it was decided: I had to buy this album. And by album, I mean the CD.
Enter: Columbia House. Remember them? You would get their pamphlet in the mail; buy 11 CD’s for a dollar, then you were bound to buy another 10 at regular price over the course of two years, or something like that?
I was on a slippery slope: the CD. That expensive, compact, convenient music format that we all bought into. I remember the first CD player I bought cost me almost 150 bucks. It was a slick, thin little Sony CD player. It was that thing you had to buy if you wanted to listen to your music outside of the house.
The exact moment in time when my love of vinyl blossomed is unclear to me. All I remember is that at some point, I wanted to buy the original vinyl records of the very expensive and hard to find CD versions of the Aerosmith album collection I had begun to amass.
So I picked up the phone book (yes, a phonebook) and I called a few places (yes, I used a telephone) and started going around town to the few places (at the time) that still carried vinyl records. The first place I called said that yes, they had a few Aerosmith albums. The person on the other end, after having asked him how much they were, said “They cost 3, 7, and 4.” At first I thought $30, $40, and $70. I knew nothing about records then. To me they were collectibles, relics, prized items. I expected the price to be high… It turned out he meant 3, 4 and 7.. dollars. EACH. Suddenly I was introduced to an affordable and much more fun alternative to CD’s: VINYL RECORDS.
Back then the availability of vinyl records in this city was scarce. If you were lucky, HMV would carry a couple dozen vinyl records, but they were always mixed in with the CD’s. You see, vinyl records never died off in the United Kingdom, but in the rest of the world they had, so the bulk of my collection had to be flown in from overseas. Amazon also carried vinyl records, so they were (and still are) a great source for vinyl. I can’t tell you how many records I bought at $9.99 while their CD counterparts sold for $25. Many of these records sell for $100+ on eBay today since these first issue pressings have now become collectibles. What about those $25 CD’s? You’re lucky if you can get 25 cents for them.
Things are much different today. Entire walls or even rooms in music stores are now devoted to the supply of vinyl records. In a strange twist of fate, the mp3 has made the CD obsolete, yet created a place for the vinyl record to once again take center stage. Hipsters seem to love the stuff, and even clothing chops like Urban Outfitters carry an impressive collection of vinyl. You can even find record players being sold everywhere, many of them that now connect to computers via USB. This is a sign that the vinyl record is back and here to stay. I couldn’t be happier!
My current quest is to obtain vinyl copies of all the albums I’ve fallen in love with over the years. Thanks to the vinyl renaissance, we are living a period of vinyl reissues. Many artists recognize the importance of the vinyl record, most notably Eddie Vedder and Billy Corgan. I don’t know what’s going on with the Pearl Jam reissues but they are not happening anymore it seems and that makes me very sad, but The Smashing Pumpkins back-catalog is seeing the light of day, and what’s being produced is impressive. Last year alone, along with a new Album, Oceania, we saw the re-issuance of Pisces Iscariot and …. and…. at long last, Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness; The best vinyl reissue in my opinion to date. Housed in a beautiful box, spread out onto four discs and including two full-page color booklets, it had re-affirmed not only my love of vinyl but the importance of the physical musical medium: an album was meant to be heard being played on a turntable, while sprawled out on the floor or couch or bed reading the lyrics as the record plays. Not as an mp3 on your way to work on a noisy bus, and not though a fan made YouTube video. This is not how music was meant to experienced. Music is something that you should be able to pick up, tear the shrink wrap off of, place on a turn table, and devour. Bon appetit! -This Is Orson Welles.
Life. Life is full of loneliness, misery, suffering and unhappiness. This is how Woody Allen opens up his film Annie Hall, and this is my opening too. He is right after all. His character’s neurotic and mistrusting approach to life cost him Annie Hall, the love of his life, or maybe not, maybe he had better and greater loves, it was after all only an hour and a half long movie. There’s a lot we don’t get to see off screen. What we do see is pretty sweet. One of my favorite scenes was when he and Annie were in the bookstore and he suggests to Annie to buy some books “with the word death in the title”, you know, “instead of that cat book”. “That’s pretty serious stuff”. Yes Annie. This is serious stuff…
Today I drove down the street where I grew up. I moved away over 15 years ago and until this day much has remained the same. Occasionally, once every couple of years, or whenever I would get the chance, I’ll bike through the old neighborhood, even though I live so far away from there now. Still the same ol’ street. Heck, even Google street view from this past summer showed that everything was pretty much exactly the same.
WELL… the house next to mine, the one that I have been telling stories about my entire life, the backdrop to most of my childhood stories: GONE. Bulldozed. In its place: a hideous atrocity, an affront to architecture: a bland rectangular pile of bricks so out of place that I had to take a minute to reorient myself and realize that yes, I was on the right street! I wonder what happened. I wonder what happened to the woman who lived there. I wonder what happened to “Susan”…
It’s not really about the stupid house. Who cares about a damned house, it’s just a house. It’s more about something that was such a sure thing all these years suddenly disappearing. But you know, things were probably not as rosy as I remembered them being. When you’re a kid growing up, you usually have fond memories about where you grew up. Then, years later you return only to find out that your house is in a neighborhood colorfully referred to as the Rat’s Nest, and that “great big” backyard you used to play in was just a narrow alley by the train tracks, and that sweet lady who lived across the hall who had all those men over all the time was just a prostitute.
Alfredo told Salvatore just that in Cinema Paradiso: “Living here day by day, you think it’s the center of the world. You believe nothing will ever change. Then you leave: a year, two years. When you come back, everything’s changed. The thread’s broken. What you came to find isn’t there. What was yours is gone.”
When you go poking around in the past, you (fill in the blank) …
The other day I discovered that a friend of mine passed away. He was the very first person that I ever met online… this was back in 1997, when I got my first computer. We met in an Aerosmith newsgroup. We quickly became friends and started trading pictures, bootlegs, posters, and anything and everything Aerosmith-related. I can’t remember just when he and I lost touch, but it was just the other day when I turned on ICQ, which I only did because I was out having dinner with friends and it came up in conversation, that his name showed up, at the top of my list and I thought “Shit, what ever happened to him?”…
A Google search provided the answer. His obituary said he passed away in 2008. How can so many years have gone by since I spoke to the guy? Its’ crazy how quickly time passes and how many people you were close with just slip away, just like that. The whole thing still seems so surreal to me.
When you go poking around in the past, you (fill in the blank)…
Honesty has all but disappeared in our society. It’s amazing to me to what lengths one will go to in order to sugar coat the truth. It’s even more amazing to me that some people prefer to have their truth sugar coated. That’s fine for most, but not for me.
There is of course a difference between honesty and deliberate cruelty. Deliberate derogatory comments passed off as acts of honesty are especially heinous. Such acts come from a much deeper and darker place, a place which I will never understand.
“Deliberate cruelty is not forgivable! It is the one unforgivable thing in my opinion!”
Things may not necessarily be that bad, and most of us will never go mad the way Blanche Dubois did at the hands of Stanley Kowalski, but it may feel like you’re getting close to that point sometimes. In this world of bullies, hot-heads, miscreants, loligaggers and New England School marms, it can be quite a challenge to keep your cool while keeping said ilk at bay.
When you go poking around in the past, you (fill in the blank) …
… you find that life is not all that serious. Yes, it’s ok to feel that you’ll live forever. It’s just a matter of finding the balance between that and understanding that you won’t, so plan ahead.. somewhat. Don’t go all James Dean on yourself and live fast and die young.
Play that record loud sometimes and forget that you’re bothering the neighbors.
Don’t stop doing what you wanna do just because it’s the middle of the week and you have to get up early for work. You kill yourself for your job, you’re entitled to go in while your mind is elsewhere now and then. Hell, call in sick if you feel guilty about it, what do you want me to tell you? Just fucking chill out if that’s what you want.
In this crazy world of ours who knows what’s wrong or right anymore. You do right and it doesn’t work out for you; you see others do what you were taught was wrong and they’re awarded the Pulitzer prize. You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t. What’s important is that you remember where you come from: that place is behind you, and where you are going is BETTER.
Just remember that it’s OK to drift away now and then, but when it comes time to gear up and step up, you have to make sure that you’re ready, because with all that you have to face head-on, there is no way around it: When it comes down to it, this world is filled with loneliness, misery, suffering and unhappiness, so buy all those books with the word “death” in the title, because it’s better to down a pill that is hard to swallow than one that has been coated in sugar; sugar will do you to no good! Sugar will lead you to obesity and diabetes, and then you will wish that you had listened to reason. Reason told you to buy those books. SO buy those books with the word “death” in the title… instead of that cat book.
Someone came to work this week and picked my brain. It was, of course, interesting since I find anything from paint drying to planets exploding interesting.. so I listened. Answered. Participated.
It was little shock to me to find out that I’m exactly the type of person that I am and don’t necessarily want to be. It’s also very shocking that I give a damn since I hate labels and, as I’ve said in the past, the time to make up your mind about people is never so to sum someone’s life and behavior up and label it is quite ridiculous. I was glad to find some supporters in the room. The rest can kiss my grits!
This makes me think of what Woody Allen said in Annie Hall about not “wanting to belong to a club who would have Me as a member.” Am I THAT unpleasant to be around? Or insecure.. or how was it put in the room.. not having any respect for myself?
The funny thing about life is that everyone treads along and deals with shit and nobody knows what, where, how-come and why about any of it, not unless they were there with you living it.. which they weren’t, right?
Certain things in our lives occur and we change because of them. Your first taste of shyster-ism, the realization that what’s in the past, on occasion, will be the best it was and the best it ever will be. A little like Chasing the Dragon the way the lovely and talented Marie-Josée Croze described it in Les Invasions Barbares. Sometimes we have to just shut our traps and enjoy the moment.. you never know, it could be the best moment of this type of moment and the moment you will always try to recapture.
Like most, I think after our first big shaft in life, we have a cynical Richard Blaine-style hard shell reaction to the situation. Like the protagonist in possibly the most famous motion picture of all time, Casablanca, we shut ourselves away from the world and become jaded or something;… but whatever we become it’s to hide the hurt we’re feeling.
Katherine Hepburn called James Stewart out on it in The Philadelphia Story after sneaking off to the nearest library to read his book to see what he was really made of. She had a preconceived notion about him. How wrong she was! Upon reading his literary works, she confronted him, in a loving manner, saying that she believed he “put the toughness on to save his skin”, continuing to say that she knew ” a little about that”.
And there you have it, folks. We are all scared little kittens, soft little kittens who are simply full of it, pretending to be people we are not. Maybe I’m wrong (but I know I’m not)…
*CHANGE OF TROPIC*
In the spirit of hippie love and all that lovey dovey crap, we should all listen to Arthur Lee and his Psychedelic Band: LOVE!
It’s a band that I’ve known for a good 10 years or so, but only recently did I begin to explore their other albums. The one I’ve known all this time is Forever Changes, their 1967 master opus. It is a must-have. So go out and get it. you MUST HAVE IT! It turns out that they released other records just as fine, and I’m glad to be alive and kicking, because nothing on this earth is quite like the pepper and salt that flavors the human experience as does music.
Here is possibly the happiest song ever written:
Maybe part of the problem is that we constantly fight to be who we’re not, because of whom we have to be to survive. As Elsa said in The Lady From Shanghai: Human nature is eternal. Therefore, one who follows his nature keeps his original nature, in the end.
It’s funny how nothing changes as you get older. No matter how well you do in life or how many acquaintances you make and how many great rapports you develop with others, there will always be certain people who just don’t jive with ya.
Katharine Hepburn said inThe Philadelphia Story: “The time to make up your mind about people is NEVER.” This is one of the truest most to-the-core things I’ve ever heard in life, maybe THE most to-the-core things I’ve ever heard. I’m no Buddha, I’m no Jesus of Nazareth either. So many people before me have said such great things, all of them help in times of need. I’m not talking about the bible, although I recognize and appreciate the bible like you wouldn’t believe. After all, Orson Welles himself said that all you’ll ever need in the world is to know the Bible and Shakespeare. That’s all the education you’ll ever need. Again, great words spoken by a great man. The problem is that there have been many great men and women who have said great things, too many to know them all and to apply them to my own life. SO, I guess I’ll just learn as these great ones did learn themselves; through trial and error.
The sad thing about life, is that “everybody has their reasons”.
Much like the ‘comedy of manners’ The Rules of the Game, we live in a world of rank, hierarchy, snobbery, tomfoolery… STOP: You know, we’re all going to leave this world one day. I’m saddened by the fact that most of us feel the need to play these games. To betray others. To feel superior to others. To belittle. Small penis-ed men who buy fast cars to impress women, silly-ninny picked-on-when-they-were-youthes CEOs crushing their competitors like ants and pissing on their employees. Lovers who compare you to their past lovers. Friends trading friends for something better. If you’re one of the above, your parents ouught to have their ears BUTTERED for having raised such WICKED children! For Shame!!!
Great worlds come not only from the Bible, from religious figures, war heroes, poets, great presidents and great militants. Great words also come from another source, for me. I’m talking about a show where people with tall blue hair and yellow skin run-a-muck and entertain and fill a void, what a VOID! You so fill that fill ever-so-completely; I speak of course, of the Simpsons!
How very true. When you’re old and frail and way past your prime, and nobody remembers who you are or what you’ve done, in the end, you’ll probably end up alone. Like Bette Davis said in All About Eve when she was stranded in her car on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere while conversing with her co-star Celeste Holm, ” The things you drop on your way up the ladder so you can move faster. You forget you’ll need them when you get back to being a woman.”
In the end you’ll end up disheveled, used-up, just like the parent/legally declared invalid spouse/sibling devoted to caring for you a-la Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. Do you want to be remembered at all? It is egotistical to want to leave behind a legacy? Children, Art, architecture, Political Life, something, anything? I don’t think so. So to all those who are sticking to their jobs just because they want to make some money or prove something to their friends or family, consider this: Think about the “last time” you… whatever. Chances are that “thing” happened months ago. 6 months ago. a year ago! Time flies! I know you think you’ll stay young forever, and you ARE young. But, not as young as you were or as young as you’ll ever be. Once you start saying things like ” I went to bla bla bla 15 years ago” or ” Turn the radio up, I love this song, man I haven’t heard this song bla bla bla years ago”.. . Do something else with your life. Time is ticking out! NOW. GO!!!!
Orson Welles was a very interesting character with a very intriguing outlook on life. He once said that the hardest thing one will ever do is to find out what is their heart’s desire… something that sounds so easy, yet who among us has actually done it? He meant for us to REALLY look deep inside ourselves, to find out what that thing is, and then once found, to pursue it! I’m still trying to find out what that is. Maybe you are as well.
I sure as hell never pictured having to play these games the way I do on a daily basis. You’d think that working hard would pay off, and that you wouldn’t end up back where you started one day. What’s the point of it all? Trapped in a cyclone of lies, fake smiles, back-scratching, stories that don’t go anywhere, people who should go missing, others who become more present, like a goiter or a canker soar, just go away already! How much ointment does one have to smear on! It’s official: This world is being run by imbeciles.
Interesting fact; due to the lousy times we live in, coupled with the absolutely beastly governments that are in power at this time, job insecurity and a lack of opportunities have swelled the ranks of the self-employed. So you see? When the “man” shuts a door, a window opens! If you have nothing to offer the world ( a.k.a you do not know that which is your heart’s desire) you can use that window as a window into a new world or self-discovery!!… OR (ahem) you can use it as a window to jump out of to end your life. It’s your choice.
You said it Joni. But this isn’t the 60’s, and as talented as one is or one hopes to be, one can’t just head West and “see, or they’ll never know at all”. Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe we ought to take more risks! Why is it that, although we’re living longer and we’re making more money and we are planning better for our futures do we feel that we all have to have it figured out by the time we’re 30? That might be the problem. We’re not our parents, we don’t have to find a job and raise a family and stick with it for 40 years just because we don’t have options. If we’re living longer then we should actually get the change to LIVE a little, don’t you agree? We would’nt want to be stuck in a dead-end job, day in, day out, just because we have to be, until.. until what, until we go mad? Mad, like Charlie Chaplin did in Modern Times?
There he was, working, another slave during the industrial revolution, chain work. How degrading.What a way to lose one’s soul…
Then, one day, it all becomes too much. ENTER: MADNESS:
In a fit of desperation, he throws himself into the machine. He is devoured by gears, yet, miraculously survives:
Of course, things end well for him. Yes, he goes to prison a few times, he meets a woman, he loses his money, but he does well.. and then, he’s back out on his ass. This time with a companion… and they walk out into the sunset together. Poor as hell, but, poor together. Poor, yet happy…
So I guess it doesn’t matter where you work, or how much money you make, but how happy you are and that you share that happiness with someone. Although, being single is OK TOO! You don’t need to be with someone else to be happy! Oh boy… This is going into a whole other direction. Let’s just end this here… for now. Until next time, This Is Orson Welles.
I’ve been away all week because I just didn’t know what to say. My wish : to write a song about everything that’s gone down. It was going to be an incredibly beautiful song that would just floor everyone, an instant classic! Yeap. Guess what? I couldn’t fucking write it. Maybe too much is going on inside my crazy head, can’t seem to slow down and concentrate and get it all down on paper. Maybe I need a little INSPIRATION to get me going. HA!
Happy Birthday Orson Welles ! (no no, not me, the real Orson):
The followup movie to Citizen Kane was The Magnificent Ambersons. Though not starring in it, Orson narrated it, and directed many of his Kane actors in this Booth Tarkington adaption. Here is the opening sequence:
It’s a great film. I don’t know why it hasn’t been restored and released on DVD or Blu Ray yet, fucking shame really. I have a worn-out VHS copy. This is the film Orson said was BETTER than Kane, if only it were not edited and changed while Orson was out of town, and were a new ending not shot and the edited portions of film not destroyed, leaving the rest of the world never to know what this movie really was like when it was finished, it would have surpassed Kane’s greatness. A fractured masterpiece.
You really should see this movie. GREAT movie. The story is great, the acting is great, the music is great, also great, the ending: One of the greatest endings to a movie ever, ahead of its time, never done before, here is it, the funhouse mirrors ending where all the main characters meet and shoot at each other with GUNS!:
Wasn’t that such great FUN! They don’t make movies like they used to. Happy 97th birthday Orson, hope you’re enjoying the Spanish sun while the rest of us are freezing our balls off here in Canada. Don’t forget to make a wish! (don’t tell anyone what is it or it won’t come true!)