Unless otherwise credited, all words and photographs are © David Ritchie and may not be used without permission.
April 6 Feeling isolated? It’s not a cliché anymore. Remember wanting some time to yourself, to get away from people?
I’ve mentioned the Kinks music before and I once again turn to that great band. One of my favourite R&R bands, they have never shied away from social commentary. With clear, easy to hear lyrics- unlike many bands that seem to intentionally garble the singing. Perhaps it’s due to weak lyrics, something the Kinks cannot be accused of.
In the early 1980s, the UK was in a deep and nasty recession that was far more severe than in North American. It was rife with upheaval, labour unions under attack and a long miners’ strike.
The Kinks didn’t hesitate to frame their music with that background. The album State of Confusion reflects that dark time. Feelings of the helplessness that many felt are reflected in one song in particular.
∗Clichés of the World (B Movie) is exactly that: a cinematic song. Like a musical Ingmar Bergman film, the Swedish master filmmaker of dark times and despair, mixed with a solid dose of noir and a splash of Raymond Chandler.
Written in a minor key, an uncommon key for rock & roll, but not the Kinks.
It starts with drums, a guitar riff and piano, solid rock music. The soundtrack builds, the lyrics are verbal direction, framing the scenes. The music and the vocals build up to a climax of sound, a classic B movie ending. Give it a listen.
∗Ignore the cheesy images that are presented with the tune on Youtube, they make no sense and ridicule a great tune. If you have a Spotify account (it’s free), stream it there, it’s a must for a rock & roll playlist.
April 3 Thief with a conscience? Not sure to make of this report but it’s intriguing considering the ongoing accelerating changes:
“A large quantity of cash stolen from a variety store employee has been returned along with an apology note, police say.
A man brought back the money — police didn’t say how much — plus an additional $100 for the victim’s trouble on Wednesday to the convenience store, where the cash had been stolen earlier from the worker’s wallet, police said Friday.”
Another insult added to the toolbox of those who choose to denigrate rather than debate. Your insult of the week is ‘word salad’. I’ve seen it at least a dozen times lately- unoriginal thinkers jump on a new cliche like Wilson pouncing on a pork chop. Can be used with snowflake and the now-dated buttercup.
Apparently, many people are having a difficult time with isolation, even with the many distractions available through internet and cable, let alone (gasp) books. It’s not difficult for me as I’m a bit of a hermit anyway and have a large farm to wander with Wilson.
Lately, other people have decided it’s a good place to walk too. With dogs that run loose, and kids ripping around on ATVs. Annoying as that can be it’s worse this time of year with ducks and geese nesting around the pond. I avoid disturbing them but town folk have no problem demonstrating their prowess on wheels, tearing up the turf around the pond and chasing geese.
Rather than confront them I’ve decided to follow them home and then return with my motorcycle, and tear up their yard. I might even stop in the back yard and pick some flowers or chase the cat. A fair trade?
My Port Bruce project is in a bit of limbo. Some prints of Hurley tugs that fished out of Port Bruce I’d arranged to borrow have been held up. The person who has them is in isolation after returning home from the Caribbean. I do have some more from the Elgin County archives that I’ll post shortly.
Right now my motorcycle is calling me and it would be impolite to ignore it.