A couple of my friends surprised me by taking me out for a night on the town doing guy stuff before the girls are born. I guess they figured soon I will be surrounded by My Little Ponies, princesses, and other girl stuff, so I better get in a “guys night out” while I can. I thought that was really nice of them, I had no idea it was coming. We went out for dinner at Figo, which was amazing as always, and then watched the Arena football team, the Georgia Force defeat the Tampa Bay Storm. Fortunately, I asked if I could bring my camera and I’m glad I did.
…it’s fun to participate in memes with your own cat!
…the band that is. Though, I did just finish the book of Genesis in my nightly reading, so maybe that keep this post from being totally hedonistic.
When I was a kid, I had Invisible Touch on cassette and for the longest time, that’s really all I knew about the band. Well, that and as I became older I really started to like Peter Gabriel a lot and I knew he was once in the band, too. When I became a fan of Yes, it was inevitable that I would connect the dots and find my way back into the progressive music of Genesis in the 70’s.
Since I found out they are going to be doing a reunion tour this summer in 2007, I finally gave in and picked The Platinum Collection by Genesis which is a 3 CD set that covers selections from almost their entire career. This is where I also sing my praises for services like iTunes. While the collection is almost complete, there were a couple songs missing from the collection that I knew I would want like “No Reply At All”, “Dancing with the Moonlit Knight”, “Me and Sarah Jane”, “Squonk”, and “Dance On A Volcano”, and I was able to download those individual tracks to fill things out. I also used the opportunity to grab a couple of Peter Gabriel’s best solo songs from iTunes, also.
I enjoyed listening to the entire set as a whole because unlike fans who lived through the bulk of their career, I knew full well how their sound emerged from experimental drawn out pieces into catchy pop songs and could hear signs of the transition throughout. I also didn’t have the emotional connection, so I didn’t feel the total betrayal that old fans felt when an album like Invisible Touch came out. I figured I would be hooked by the catchier numbers like the bouncy “No Reply At All”, the catchy “That’s All”, or “Land of Confusion”, but I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy some of the earlier numbers like “I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)” and “Carpet Crawlers” when Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins would produce some pretty amazing harmonies together.
I found the earlier works with Gabriel lyrically, to put it lightly, bizarre. Gabriel, however, could be singing in Portuguese for all I care, the music behind him is a virtual tour-de-force. Even after Gabriel left, the next couple of albums have some amazing numbers on them showing a technical virtuosity sadly lacking from most bands these days. And put me down as a Steve Hackett fan. I am so fascinated watching some old videos (using YouTube, perhaps the 21st Century’s greatest invention thus far) as he sits in the corner in the dark during shows, almost unnoticed, working these sonic assaults using techniques like hammer-ons and fretboard tapping that really didn’t hit mainstream rock for another ten years. I was absolutely blown away by his solo in “Firth of Fifth.” I had always heard that Mike Roe was a fan of Hackett and after listening to this solo and then following it up with Roe’s solo in a song like the Lost Dog’s “Eleanor It’s Raining”, I can totally understand the influence. Hackett’s departure from the band really did take a huge element out of the equation. Mike Rutherford’s utilization of bass pedals in much of their work is amazing, too. As is almost always the case, the bass player is under appreciated, and Rutherford deserves accolades for some his incredible work.
That doesn’t mean the later material a total waste, though. If you are going to sell out and create pop songs, at least be good at doing it and there are plenty of memorable hook-laden songs that utilized the latest technology available in the 80’s. It all sounds very dated now, but at the time it was pretty cutting edge and the songs are a good timestamp of that era of rock music. Phil Collins takes a lot of flack from the music from this era, but it’s pretty evident that Rutherford and keyboardist Tony Banks were on board with these songs, also. In addition, it should be noted that their old band-mate, Gabriel, was delivery some pretty radio-friendly, albeit superb work with his album So at the same time, also. In addition, songs like “Duchess”, “Home By The Sea/Second Home By The Sea”, and “Domino” and even “Driving The Last Spike” serve as reminders that the band is still capable of epic sweeping songs. The collection has a song or two from the last album without Collins and it really doesn’t even feel like the same band. I can understand why they shut it down after that.
The musical climate seems to be shifting to be more favorable to a band like Genesis, just based on the prevalence of keyboards in the newer bands. In the late 90’s, saying you liked Genesis would probably be grounds for mockery by music snobs, but that doesn’t seem to be so much the case anymore. I don’t think I’ll be shelling out the cash to go see them on this reunion tour. There are very few bands in that rarefied air that will get that kind of money out of me! Nevertheless, I enjoyed doing a fun run-through of an abridged history of a band as I can hit most of their career in a couple hours on my iPod.
24 Hours of Flickr has concluded, so I thought I’d wrap up my day on Saturday and show some of my pictures.
I decided to start my day by hiking up to the top of Kennesaw Mountain, but it was so foggy on the top so that prevented any good Atlanta skyline pictures. On the other hand, I got some cool misty, foggy pictures, so it wasn’t a total loss.
I needed to get a haircut, so Adriene’s stylist graciously let Adriene take some pictures of my hair cut. Adriene tagged along to take the pictures:
Afterwards, we did a little book shopping at Barnes and Nobles, and by a happy coincidence, the local high school orchestra was playing a concert there. So, we got some coffee and enjoyed the show.
By this point, we were pretty tired, so we decided to call it a day and go home. I guess I could’ve taken a picture of the pizza we ordered for dinner, but I figured I had enough material of the day.
I’m still trying to decide which photo I’m going to submit for the 24 Hours of Flickr group, but right now the cannon in the fog is winning out.