Well, I’m ready to “talk” about Dragonslayer, fo’ reals, yo. How you ask? It’s been less than 24 hours? You say? First, yesterday, I listened to it maybe 7 or 8 or 9 (it’s under 50 minutes long) more times before we headed out to see Star Trek (fun movie by the way). Then this morning….. Oyf, this morning……. attempted a new route to work, a route I took ONCE on the way home…. well, me, being Mr. Smarty-pants, consciously decided against confirming the route on google, so as I’m crusing along on Clark State Rd, dying (just so tired this morning) wondering where the fuck my turn is, I see a sign:
NOW LEAVING FRANKLIN COUNTY
Uh oh. That’s not right! Where the hell’s my turn! So I turn around and make it to a street name I recognize and turn, a mile or so down it feels wrong, the sun’s not in the right place for the morning ride, and it just feels off, so I turn around and go back to the intersection…
Fuck it. I pull out my cheapy mobile and download & activate Sprint’s GPS thingy, eventually it gets ready and low and behold, on the little screen, I see the street I want………. it’s only about 100 feet in front of me.
Yeah… “Doh!”, if ever there was an applicable time to say “doh” it was right then, right there. So I simultaneously laughed & cried I a pedaled the 100 feet, turned right, and finished my ride, effectively turning a 20 mile commute into a 26 mile commute. HOORAY!
Well, while we are on it…. let’s have ourselves a little TSURU TSYCLING Update!!!
Well, it’s coming down to the wire and I need your help one last time… The American Diabetes Association’s TOUR De CURE is almost upon us and I’m making one more concerted effort, a last gasp, to get your help to kick some DIABETES BUTT!!!! But first, let me bring a few people up to speed….
Simply, I’ll be riding 100 miles on June 6th for the TOUR De CURE to help raise money to fight Diabetes!
There… now you are up to speed. So far, the response has been fantastic! We have raised over $800, and that’s all thanks to you!!!! But we aren’t done yet… Oh no, my friends! We still gotta little bit more to go…
Look, as anyone inflicted with or is a parent or child of someone with the disease knows…. diabetes is a very tough chronic disease with no cure that results in a lifetime of blood sugar monitoring and insulin adjusting, which, when complications occur, can lead to hyper- or hypoglycemia, ketoacidosis, and a wealth of vascular problems (which can lead to amputations)!
Hopefully by now, this isn’t news to anyone….
But it’s tough… Diabetes doesn’t have a “face” or “special symbol” or some outspoken “celebrity”, you know, something tangible, that people can rally around, something to energize everyone to get that “Yes We Can” attitude to help finally defeat, resulting in diabetes, too often, being forgotten. But that’s human nature, right? We like our symbols that we can place in our mind, to keep us marching forward, to slap on our car, to wear on our wrist… Something we can look at to help us rise to support or rally to defeat!
Now, I don’t have a “Lance Armstrong” of diabetes, if you will, for all of us to get behind, BUT! as of last week, I do have a common goal we can all strive do beat……
*shakes fist in rage*
Now, I know what you are thinking, “T-dog, who the heck is Rhonda Frum?” And that’s a fair question (except for the “T-dog” part… what the fuck was that?)…. Frum is one of my teammates on Teamroll who signed up to ride the Tour too. I don’t know who she is and though I’m not sure of the number of miles she’s signed up for, this much I do know…. Up until last week, you were the biggest donators for Teamroll, yeah, YOU! Don’t be surprised, I told you that you guys kicked some butt! But out of the blue, Frum flew past us like a roadrunner on crack garnering (since I last checked today) over $1,100!!!
And crack, as we all know, is quite whack….
We can’t have that now, can we???? I say NAY! It’s time we REPRESENT and show this “Frum” (psh, if that IS her real name) the what-what (as the kids say), that we can bring the heat, let some dogs out, or whatever analogy you want!!!! So, here’s what I want you do. First, we need to ramp up your intensity, to do that, I want you to look deep into the face of the enemy…
Are you ready?
You got your game face on???
Here we go….
What? You think she’s all “innocent” and stuff? Just a cyclist who’s trying to make a difference and fight a horrible disease? Well, don’t let her nice smile, athletic muscle v-neck, and upright, shock-absorber-enhanched cruiser fool you!!! She’s out for blood! BLOOD I TELLS YA!
I realize that some of the finer details might not be very obvious to the untrained-eye on a zoomed out highly compressed photo like this, so here’s the the photo cropped and zoomed in and processed through a special mainframe down in my basement….
AHA! Not so innocent anymore!!!! And that’s not a chin strap under her chin, that’s an evil goatee! All evil people rock goatees, it’s a fact… I read it on wikipedia!
Now….. Burn that image on your retinas! Burn it into your brain!!! Then…. when you are fired up, when your mouse-clicking finger is aching, just ACHING to do something about it and you start to feel the heat coming off your credit card, radiating like a thousand suns, wanting to step up, to “bring the pain”….. then, and only then, go here and…
Donate like you’ve never donated before! Donate ’til your clickin-finger hurts and you have to tape a popsicle stick to it as a brace!!! Donate until you have to live off dollar-value menus for a week to financially recoop!
And I’ll tell you what, I’ll even sweetin’ the deal, because I don’t just want us to beat Frum, I want us to BEAT FRUM! So… whoever donates the most monies will get a brand-spanking new Roll t-shirt to sport around their home and/or office, or to re-gift to someone, or to dust their house with, whatever, it’s all good, I don’t judge!
Pretty sweet, eh? So… to recap:
* except Frum, who will be destroyed… and our biggest donator, who will win twice.
Thank you soooooo much for all your support and any more support you are willing to give! I’ll ride my damn ass off for you!
So anyway, where was I…. Oh yeah, my, uh, “extended commute”…. So because of the extra mileage I had the opportunity to listen to Dragonslayer couple more times (probably why I missed my turn), and then this morning a couple more! So yeah, I feel pretty ready to talk about it, let’s get to it!
First…. a prediction. It will be inevitable that Dragonslayer will be compared to 1) Random Spirt Lover, 2) At Mount Zoomer/Wolf Parade, et al 3) Handsome Furs, and 4) Swan Lake, you could probably make a Mad Lib for a review and pass it out to all the critics to fill in.
And it’s understandable, though unfortunate. Honestly, every album should be judged (if at all, but we do anyway, don’t we, and LOVE it) in the vacuum of it’s own existence. Those who didn’t like RSL may love the “new sound”, those who loved RSL (like me, it was my #1 in 2007) may either be disappointed by the evolution or completely psyched up. Whatever… it’s really to each it’s own and not important unless talking about an artist’s direction. I will say this, it is different than RSL.. Where that was a masterpiece of intricate, uh, pieces swirling around in Krug’s brain manifested into perfection on a couple discs of vinyl… Dragonslayer is an album by Spencer Krug & The Sunset Rubdown, if you follow, where he takes the swirling down a notch to let the band keep up. There, you got your comparison frame of reference, let’s move on.
Back to my prediction (because the above is more just a given), I bet there will be two songs that will be hyper-criticized, either positively or negatively but still super-duper-focused on… “Paper Lace” and “Black Swan”. “Paper Lace”, obviously, because it was released under Swan Lake (omg, this is totally better/worse than the Swan Lake version, omg, they should’ve gave us a “new song”, blah blah blah) and “Black Swan” because it is vaguely reminscient to “California Dreamer” off At Mount Zoomer (omg, it totally sounds like an AMZ outtake! blah blah blah). Blibbity blobbity bloo…. Whatever. I take each song on the album as what Krug & the crew wanted on the album, that all eight songs, in the order they played in, and they way they are presented, IS, in fact, what they wanted the album to sound like. Unless I’m told otherwise, the album is what it is as what they wanted it to be. Okay, that’s my prediction (and afterthoughts)! I guess we sit back and see…
Let’s just say this now….. I love this album. I love it alot. It’s rich, it’s full, it’s fun on the surface, but so, so deep and vast underneath. You can swim along the top of the water, or dive as deep into the ocean as you like, though I’m not sure you’ll ever touch the bottom. Each song is different enough to stand on it’s on, but sounds best when taken as the full album, as it glides effortlessly from one sound/melody/style/theme to the next.
The pièce de résistance is (thanks wiki!), of course, the 10+ minute finale, “Dragon’s Lair”…. a sprawling, gorgeous roller coaster of build-up, near climax, to slow & quiet (with an eerie bit with Krug being repeated by a falsetto voice & Camilla), to a slowly, achingly slowly, build back up, faster and faster, but not quite over the top, pulling me along, up and down and around Krug announces there’s a “bigger kind of kill” and the twinkling piano announces it’s time to bring it all home and then, goddammit, the goose bumps kick in.
Fucking hell. Thanks Krug, thanks for just doing your thing, no matter what that thing is in your head, whether being the “ying to Dan’s yang” in Wolf Parade (sounds like sexual chocolate to me), being one of the heads in the three headed Ghidorah that is Swan Lake….
Now…. go buy this. Just buy it. You’ll get the whole damn album now and your CD or record later. Just do it. Go show your love to the ridiculously talented Krug here, here, and here. I’ve got an album to keep listening too….