Writing Practice 5/5/2019 – Purple dragon

Purple dragon…

Purple Dragon is the psychedelic punk-rock album of 1975, released to much acclaim and fanfare as the third project of much-applauded Canadian trio Head In My Hole. This Junior project (freshman, sophomore, junior) effortlessly combines twisted guitar rhythms, bursting drum solos in almost every track, wicked lyrics tha trepresent the banality of life at every turn, and a series of song titles an themes which take the listener on an epic journey through an acid trip like no other.

The opening number, “set Aside Your Expectations,” is not just the introduction to the album, it sets the stage for the nearly mind-tripped experience to come. Hugh Laurie, vocalist and lead guitar, sets a pulsating, pounding harmony on his g-string, matched with his lyrics delivered in a raspy, sexy, smolders voice that seems a combination of Bob Dylan and Annie Lennox – mature, yet still naive enough to hope for a better future. “Set Aside…” tells of the advice given to our narrator by his older, wiser, more-stoned college roommate, upon his first foray into experiencing the magic and wonder of LSD. “Prepare for a purple dragon,” the narrator says. “It’ll show up when you least expect it.” And that sets the stage for the rest of the lyrics, music, and, in truth, experience of listening to – or, rather, immersing yourself in, Purple Dragon.

Over the next forty-seven minutes, Head In My Hole explores alternative rhythms and fantastical stories as our narrator recounts the multitude of new horizons pursued at the guidance of his leader. Drugs, sex, rebellion, even hard work.

I won’t spoil the ending. I won’t even give away how irrational it seems to say that it has an ending, for, as with much of the drug-rock of that era, Purple Dragon could easily be played on one continuous loop without losing any kind of continuity whatsoever. Start at track 5, go to 9, back to 1-4, and you would have a completely new, completely different, yet utterly coherent and enjoyable experience nonetheless. Thus the beauty of this album. Much more than a conglomeration of unrelated ideas, whatever happened to bubble up to the surface of the stew pot on the day Hugh and band mates were practicing and writing new songs, Purple Dragon is clearly a nuanced, planned, integrative album worthy of a listen. Find it in your local used Vinyl store. If not there, check eBay. I bet you’ll hatred that it’s certainly worth the effort.

To The “Human” Who Sat Next To Me At The Orchestra Concert Yesterday…

Screw you.

That was incredibly rude what you did.

You were texting on your phone during my daughter’s performance. You were sharing messages between yourself and the woman sitting on your other side. Your screen, her screen, didn’t matter. You and your wife shat all over the place with your impropriety.

At least, I presume she was your wife. Maybe she was your mistress, or your $80-an-hour hooker. You might have to pay someone that much just to sit next to you.

I know I sure wouldn’t voluntarily put up with shit like that from you on the regular.

Because if that’s how you treat the performance of a high school orchestra, with even less respect than you give a movie, I’d have to be an idiot to spend any more time with you.

I wanted to tell you to stop. I could see your screen, your swiping, your scrolling, out of the corner of my eye.

I wanted to tell you to Put it away, asshole. You were a distraction to me and you were disrespectful of the orchestra members. I get it, your daughter’s portion was complete. And so you figured you owed nothing else to the boys and girls who’d worked hard over the past months preparing for this experience.

Not to mention the director. And the audience members, like myself, who wished to experience their children or friends without distraction.

But you just coudn’t help yourself. You couldn’t wait ten goddamn minutes until the set was finished and it was time to change the orchestras to pull out your phone during the appropriate time.

And speaking of pulling out, I’m now wishing your dad had the night you were conceived. That would have made last night much better.

Anyway – I wanted to tell you to stop. But I didn’t. Why?

Was it because I respected you too much? Nope. You’ll notice that I put human in quotes in the title of this screed for a reason. It’s because I don’t consider you fully evolved.

Was it because I was afraid you’d get mad at me? No again. I couldn’t give a shit what you think of me. Was I worried you’d escalate and beat me senseless right then and there, or maybe wait for me in the parking lot with a few of your buddies? Ha! As if.

The plain and simple reason I didn’t is this: Because I am better than you.

I didn’t say something to you right then because I express respect for the orchestra members. And their director. I give them the attention they deserve, and I promise to do so when I enter the auditorium. I keep my word.

If I had leaned over to you in the middle of the second movement, I would have been no better than you. I would have sunk down to your level, and I do not wish to wrestle with that pig.

Graciously, you and your “wife” decided to remove yourself from the situation at the next break. Good riddance. Glad to see you go. I enjoyed the rest of the performance immensely. I hope that whatever you were doing was worth it. I know you did your best to ruin my experience.

Joke’s on you, though. I’m better than you, remember, so I still appreciated the the performance and the artistry.

But, next time, think again before pulling out that phone. And just don’t do it.

Better yet, just do us all a favor and just stay home instead. That way, you can text all you want and none of us have to deal with your conceit. Everyone would be better off.