A Reckoning

I am kind of in a transitional period right now. I don’t think I am fully aware of that fact yet, but until I know for sure, I have been doing some assessments.

Tonight I decided to start assessing my formidable CD collection, by listening to it in more or less alphabetical order, by band. I could decide on a whim to go in a different order, and I probably will base my subsequent picks off the current ones. But my CDs are arranged more or less alphabetically, so that is at least a logical way to start. That said, I am not feeling very logical. I am feeling musical, which is why I am assessing my CD collection in a big way right now.

I am hoping it will give me some inspiration for writing songs for FAWM 2014. I have written five mediocre songs for this year’s FAWM already. I have to write nine more, and I am officially behind schedule now, given that it is February 14th and I am supposed to be writing a song every two days (I should be at 7 songs…but if I manage to pound out three this weekend, I will be temporarily back on track).

With the introduction of SPOTIFY in my life, I have really turned away from physical CDs and vinyl records. But I still have quite a few of them and they deserve to be re-visited now and then.

So, anyway, the first pick off my CD rack was Best Psychedelic Hits of the 13th Floor Elevators, or something like that. I am not reading the CD jewel cases too closely. There’s not enough time to do that, if I am going to hope to make a dent in the collection this weekend. I don’t know how far I will get, but I will definitely keep you apprised.

I can’t remember how I ended up with this CD of esoteric psychedelia. It consists of a lot of raw and underproduced, yet energetic and dynamic, acid rock. I like raw music like this because it illustrates that good music doesn’t require a lot of fancy production the way today’s crappy pop music does. It kind of reminds me of impressionist art. This old 60s rock is meant to impress itself on you, but it’s not supposed to be super realistic. I think acid rock gives the impression it is supposed to give, sonically. It creates kind of a musical haze that is elusive and at times hard to follow, the way a mind ripped apart by LSD kind of is.

Lately, I have been nostalgic for the 60s. That’s always an odd sensation, because I was born in 1968 and only spent two years in that decade, which I largely do not remember. It should be noted, however, that there are probably a lot of aging hipsters today who were young adults in the 60s and who also don’t remember much of that decade, because they were too busy surfing the psychological cosmos during that time.

So anyway, I am not sure why I get nostalgic for it. Perhaps watching too much Mad Men? But then that begs the question, why am I into Mad Men and the whole historical context of it. I feel compelled to immerse myself in the whole vibe of it, good and bad. It was such a dynamic and prosperous time, both economically and culturally, before the fall of the American Empire that began in the late 60s and early 70s, due to corrupt politicians and buzz killers. Maybe in my prior life, I was a hippy or a soldier in Vietnam or a Black Panther, who met his or her end just as the time came for a soul to be administered to my developing fetus in my mother’s womb. OK, that was deep. Must be the acid rock getting into my head.

I’d like to be a scholar of the 60s the way some people are scholars of the Bible. That is, I wasn’t there (very long) but I love the history and lore from that age, and I am fascinated to learn everything I can about it. At risk of rambling now, I shall draw this screed to a close. But stay tuned for periodic updates on my journey to the center (roughly) of my CD collection.

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About Cactus Joe

Cactus Joe is a songwriter, producer, performing musician, and free agent in Madison, WI. http://www.cactusjoeproductions.com

Posted on February 14, 2014, in How To Become a Songwriter, Music, Psychedelic Acid Rock and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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