Monday, April 21, 2008

Gearing Up For Summer

Spring brings out the adolescent in me. When the snow melts and the sap starts flowing in the trees, I pull out the old albums I listened to in the carpeted basement rec-rooms of my friends. In the past I've washed windows and waxed the car to the strains of RUSH, Pink Floyd and the ever-present Zep. This year the soundtrack is Billion Dollar Babies (Amazon), continuing my renewed delight in all things Alice. And thanks to Yahmdallah I've reconnected with April Wine. Whenever I think my grade 9 soundtrack has run its course, someone comes along and reminds me of an album that fell behind the stereo. Very nice.

My reading habits experience a similar shift. My daughters have become curious about the Batman storyline, so I stopped by a comic shop and picked up Hush. Of course, I can't help but giggle when, after sharing a rooftop smooch with Catwoman, Batman monologs: "Can't you see that our relationship allows for the possibility that I may someday find you ... killed by The Joker?" But I don't want to be too ironic about the pleasure I find in the book. Jim Lee's artwork is dynamite, fun-house material, and Jeph Loeb's storyline parades the usual Arkham Asylum inmates through the pages until Batman figures out "who's behind it all."

Moving up the ladder of taste a rung or two, spring usually motivates me to pick up a travel book. On The Road was typical of my younger day, as was Zen & The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance. The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin was another such. This year I'm returning to Sam Shepard's Rolling Thunder Logbook, a collection of notes and reminiscences of his time on Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Tour. The pieces are short and evocative, easy to read between chores or while waiting for my daughter to emerge from her basketball practice. Is there a rock 'n' roll tour like this anymore? After reading Bill Flanagan's tedious account of U2's Zoo TV tour, I suspect the answer is a resounding "No."

And finally television: when I'm not watching hockey, I'll be catching up on Dr. Who, just to keep my geek bona fides up to snuff.

And you?


dan h. said...

I finally read On The Road while on vacation. My son has been bugging me to read it for years. Definitely a good summer read.

DarkoV said...

April Wine
What a past-blast that is. I saw these guys as the opening act for Mr. B.B. King at an old theater in Montreal, back in the late '70's.

They were fabulous and they worked their tails off, so much so, that Mr. King complemented them for a good 2-3 minutes, even inviting them on stage for one last bow.

They were one of those bands that had decent records that never captured the strength of their live acts, IMHO. Rory Gallagher was another performer from those days with the same problem; he was one of the best live acts I ever saw but even his best known live recording, Irish Tour, failed to serve his live rep well.

April Wine, great name form the past.