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Rock & Roll

May 21, 2014

Sometimes I think that the perfect environment for Rock and Roll is the classic smokey nightclub, or the concert stage at night - so the senses can be blasted with lights and effects and everything else. Maybe I'm the only one who thinks of the Rock & Roll as a Platonic Form but it's the ideal we strive for day after day on tour. And playing in different venues - you check out how hard it is to create that vibration, to create the Experience.

A hard space to Rock in is an empty room. This is essentially the challenge of making a recording, maybe it's just you all alone in a room, you're the only human energy, and all the Mojo must come from your own imagination. But the worst space is a room with a few people who aren't into it or whatever, and they're sucking out all your energy. You get the idea - a club full kids socially lubricated and ready for fun? Well, that's like the ideal, it's a perfect place to party - it's the perfect place to manifest the idealized geometry of pure Bacchanal.

In this typical scenario, with the booze and smoke, well, let's just say health isn't a priority. And it's easy enough to conflate an unhealthy lifestyle with the music it lubricates. But man, I tell ya, I saw a different perspective last weekend at the Rock and Roll 1/2 Marathon. To be honest, we were all dreading the gig - 10 o'clock in the morning? - that's 12 hours away from peak Rock and Roll time! But we know what to do, we put on our fancy shoes and our weekend pants and hit the stage ready to force the quiet morning into that frenzy.

One of the greatest things about this gig is getting up there and feeling a few thousand people vibe with you. It can also be tough in those rare instances when they aren't quite "with you", or they're not ready. You can feel the difference right away. And sometimes these events, well . . . we aren't always the main attraction.

But, whoa yea, I could feel It right away last Saturday morning, despite the cool drizzle that would've put a damper on a normal show. The crowd was warm and soft, loose and moving - ready. So nice, we just had to step on the wave. Oh man, I remember this! Sometimes we work all night to get to this spot for a song or two, the communal vibration and synchronized subconscious - Jung and all that (you know and the Dead 'n stuff) - happening right away. Awesome; that's why Rock & Roll deserves it's own Platonic Ideal. (Ha! I only scanned the paper under the link there, but check it, in the section on Ontology: ". . . transcendent world contains concepts-objects. As "Socrates" and "Peloponnesus" name perceptible objects here, so "justice," "equality," "unity," and "similarity" name intellectually apprehensible (sic) objects there." I would add of course "rock and roll". My Mom would add, "atrocious spelling", I digress.)

So yea, the Runner's High or whatever they're calling it these days, is a fine pathway into the ideal, into the religious state that this whole touring industry is based on. And ultimately all that exercise is about a healthy lifestyle, right? It's heartening, you know, as we grow older, that Rock and health are not mutually exclusive! Anyway, I'm not taking up running, just marveling at the multi-fold path and getting ready for a different trip next weekend at Summer Camp. See y'all up there.

Portland, not sunny yet.