Moving a family involves a cast of thousands. catttitude and I (mostly catttitude) put a lot of prep-work into our moving to make it as smooth as possible, because let's face it - it's not. Smooth that is. In fact it sucks. But every time I've moved since leaving the military (they took care of everything) I have enjoyed help. Hell, in moving from drax0r's house in Anna to my own, an entire moving-party showed up to assist. Touching, really.
And when we were loading up to move to STL my wife and I worked a 12-hour day standing alongside that very truck in my avatar. I had five people assist (four if you include my father's "supervision" assisting): My mother (who tackled the child angle), drax0r (who showed up when we were finished), Big Dave, (who can curl small cars like barbells), and celtmanx (who did more visiting than *actual* moving). Nonetheless, when I discovered that he was moving from his 4000-sq/ft house in Fort Worth, 30-minutes Southwest to a 100-year-old Victorian off the town square in Granbury without engaging my assistance, I volunteered.
And this is where my title fits in. First, he plied me with Monster drinks in the garage fridge. Secondly, he presented me with a box of Macanudo tubos - ! - Then he worked me like a beast of burden.
I feel dirty.
My wife deserves half that box of cigars for watching the kids alone for 12 hours!
Eight hours later our 26' U-Haul was loaded and we were in Granbury where he hired a 20-year old college student to unload the truck so I could make my way back home. With it being a holiday and every State, City, Town & Municipality cop on the road trapping speeders, I had to restrain myself from driving 100+ mph across Interstate 20, my usual modus operandi. This decision was just one in a confluence of events which lead me to overwhelming enjoy an unexpected surprise: Redwoods.
Seeing the cover didn't bring back any memories of the entry whatsoever (though I did go back and read it as soon as I got home), and the minimalistic title gave me no clues. A quick check of the track listing wasn't conclusive, as I couldn't tie anything together on my own. Of the 21 tracks I wasn't familiar with fifteen of them. Because there were so many cops out, I simply put my cruise on the speed limit - something I almost never do. And because I wasn't barrel-assing across the Interstate at a hundred miles an hour dodging traffic, I was more relaxed. Finally, because I had been worked like a beast of burden I was exhausted. Everything formed the perfect shell in which to enjoy this very discrete album.
I popped in the disc and was immediately rewarded. swashbuckler332 has a tendency to "set the tone" of the album with the first track. It was a beautiful track. I checked the liner notes. "Wendy Carlos." Huh. I know her from her classical Moog album (the first..classical album to ever go platinum? Anyone? Is that right?) and her later work with Telarc. This sounded very un-Moog like. It was light and angelic. I was smiling. I looked down and was on Track 3. "GODDAMNIT! HE DID IT TO ME AGAIN!" I backed up three tracks and started over. It was even better the second time. I hear something I haven't heard in a very long time - Pleasentville. I've wanted that album since the movie came out - the first thing I ever saw Tobey Maguire in, and the best role he's ever played. He embodied his character and the score embodied him. I close my eyes and get goosebumps. The tree fucking ignites! "HOLY SHIT I'M DRIVING A CAR WHY ARE MY EYES CLOSED!" I don't know why I don't own this movie on DVD. I'm angry about that. I'm also angry I missed this song the first time around - of course...I'm on track four! What happened to Tracks 2 & 3? Mostly, I blame the album on the clarinet. It seems to me that some of the tracks end and begin with the *same* clarinet playing the *same* note. "Incomprehensible!"
Unlike Excelsior! where each theme was selected for its individual properties and woven into a tapestry of similarly oriented themes for an overall purpose, Redwoods appears to try to accomplish perhaps a less difficult task, and in doing so, allows for greater continuity. I'll put it this way: Even of the albums I have, the tracks are made better on this disc than they are in their original setting, because they all compliment each other.
I may have to shelve Excelsior! for awhile, because I've found a new favorite.
Thanks Swash. You're full of surprises.