Dark Night

April 1, 2009

So, Paloma and I participated in Earth Hour over the past weekend. For those of you who missed it, ignored it or simply don’t live on Earth, the rules entailed turning off all of the lights for one hour.

(not that the Earth has ever done the same for me, but…)

So, there we were, sitting in near darkness with only the reassuring glow of the television to comfort us through the perils of the unilluminated, nocturnal world.

(much like our ancestors did thousands of years ago)

In a seemingly fortuitous twist of fate, the movie 10,000 B.C. had arrived from Netflix. I hoped to pick up a few coping skills.

Time became meaningless as seconds turned to minutes and minutes turned to more minutes. It could have been the movie which left me with possibly the most vacant feeling a movie ever has. It was kind of like the cinematic experience of eating Chinese food.

(personally, I’ve never found a shred of truth in that cliché)

Even Straight To Hell left me humming some songs and puzzling over what I had just seen.

10,000 B.C. completely flat-lined me.

Stuff happened. More stuff happened. Some cave people wandered a desert. I think that the good guys triumphed.

It was like Quest For Fire without the personality.

(I quite liked Quest For Fire)

I looked up at the clock once to see that we had only doused the lights forty-six minutes earlier. I was certain it had been an hour.

Either it was an incredibly boring flick or sitting in the dark had bent the time space continuum or induced some psychosis due to light deprivation.

I think it was likely the former.

The Jayhawks – Stumbling Through The Dark
During the twenty years or so that they’ve been releasing records, The Jayhawks have hardly reinvented fire, but while they might not be groundbreaking, they certainly do what they do quite well.

Whenever one of their songs pops up on the iPod’s shuffle, I know that I’m likely set for three minutes or so of something quite breath-taking.

The Police – Darkness
The hits of The Police were so effortlessly melodic, it was often easy to miss that much of their lyrical content was quite dark.

Darkness isn’t one of the best tracks on their Ghost In The Machine album (I’d have to go with Spirits In The Material World or Invisible Sun), but it’s hardly filler, either. Stewart Copeland wrote the song and its theme of the drudgery of day to day life makes it a cousin of sorts to Sting’s lyrics for the title track to The Police’s next record, Synchronicity.

The Blasters – Dark Night
I want to like The Blasters. I’ve read wonderful things, they seem like the genuine article, and I have liked the handful of songs I know. Unlike The Jayhawks, when shuffle pulls up a song by The Blasters, I always seem to look at the screen for the title of a song I don’t recognize, see that it’s The Blasters, and hit next.

It simply seems as if each and every time I’m presented with the chance to check them out, I’m not in the mood for their sound.

I loved Dark Night from the first time I heard it during the closing credits of From Dusk ‘Til Dawn. As I was in a theater, I couldn’t fast forward and, besides, the song was perfect for that flick.

Blue Oyster Cult – After Dark
I rarely am able to pass up a chance to post something by Blue Oyster Cult. After Dark was on their Fire Of Unknown Origin. That album might not be noted as a seminal moment in the history of music, but – from the moody title track to the eerie closer Don’t Turn Your Back – it is a fantastic rock record (and the cover artwork is a favorite)

(and doesn’t it seem like everyone knows Burnin’ For You even if they might not know who sings it?)

However, if pressed, I might point a finger at After Dark as the weakest link on Fire Of Unknown Origin. It’s still an engaging track, though.