The Empyrean Revisited

It’s been a very long month and a half.

It’s been the longest month and half I have ever had.  That isn’t to say its been all bad either.  It has had it’s bad points surely. And clearly.  But it’s had its good points as well.  I have spent a lot of time thinking and a lot of time doing and a lot of time listening to music.

It was just last weekend when Yosomono and I were having a whiskey and a cigar and listening to music at the lair here and discussing what is; Music had its voice heard well in this conversation.

“Re-enter The Empyrean”

It’s been 3 years, 3 months and 17 days since I first listened to John Frusciante’s apex ultra masterpiece “The Empyrean”.

It’s been widely talked about here on GJS.  It seems like a total waste of time to go back over the hard facts regarding its  development and production.  Things like the impressive array of musical heavy weight talents such as Flea, Josh Klinghoffer and Johnny Marr. We won’t talk about that.  It’s been talked about.

What made me sit down and write this is really two-fold and both are important things that need to be discussed in some forum or another.

“Why not here?” You ask.

“Exactly.” I reply.

First, is the durability of quality, genuinely good, music.  It’s like all other things that age well; good wines, fine whiskeys, great art, well written books and Japanese (and often Korean) women.  Music that matters simply does not get old.  “The Empyrean” is just as good, just as intense today, as it was on that cold, bleak January day I first turned it up over three years ago.  I can say honestly, that all the music I have and give a damn about is time beatable.  One can listen to it tonight with a whiskey, and dust it off in ten years and play it while the kids open Christmas presents and destroy the living room.

That’s GOOD MUSIC.  Mind your tongue next time you say “Oh, Lady Gaga is so good!” when you just finished telling me how “tired” you are of her other album.  That kind of drivel isn’t music.  It’s fast food for your ears.  Possibly necessary for the average person on an average day, but let’s at least call it what it is.  Crap.

The Second thing that need’s to be put out here is the concept of this absolutely sublime album.  “The Empyrean” actually refers to the apex, the highest place, one can ascend to within heaven.   The “story” on the album is just the progression of a person from birth all the way to death and beyond.  Fitting if you think about things lately.

The only issue I take here is that I don’t necessarily feel sold on there being an “after life”.  It seems that one should covet what we have here; the chances, the moments, the tastes, the opportunities, the orgasms, the experiences, the sensations, the connections and the journey.  Moving as close as we possibly can to our Empyrean right here, in the place we’ve found ourselves.

The song on this album-from-the-beyond that most insists on being set on constant repeat is “Unreachable”.

Not only does it have possibly the greatest guitar solo I have heard; on the same level as “Free Bird”, “Stairway to Heaven”, “November Rain” and “Before the Beginning” (also from this album); but the message and energy of the song is literally me, now, and tomorrow, and the day after.  Until I’m all done and my tank has gone empty and I go out frozen on the side of a mountain someplace with an empty bottle of Jameson clutched in an old, icy paw.   Play this at my Funeral.

Reach into the darkness for what you can find;

Travel great distance in your mind;

The world gets stronger as you start trying things;

Turn around towards being born away from dying;

That is Good Music.

To finish up I want to  say Happy Mother’s Day to, well, my Mother.  I didn’t realize it had come and gone until this morning because I am a jackass like that.  She is a tough lady and despite us not always getting along she’s a good Mother.  Cheers for that; hat tip to my Mother.  Lastly I would like to give a “shout out” to Big Ross.  He’s in the Hospital with some crazy illness and has been dealing with a lot of bullshit and pain.  People are thinking about you brother, and I’ve got a pint for you when you’re back on your feet.  Stay hard.

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