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I was in the house when the house burnt down
March 2000

There's magic in our lives, more magic than we tend to believe. That's because we believe in reason and we don't realize that reason is just another concept which promotes ignorance when it's taken to the absolute.

In rock music, magic happens more often than we are prepared to accept. We like the rationality of charts with their competitive flavor. Number 1 has to be Number 1, otherwise the numbers wouldn't make any sense.

Statistical numbers are the natural enemy of magic and probably vice versa. I'm not an expert in this domain, but I tend to believe that "the good" will survive while "the popular" will vanish. I may be wrong as so often in my life ...

But I do feel intrigued, to say the least, when a certain CD arrives down here on my turn-table after I have paid for it (hey-hey, I don't receive any CDs for free because I don't like that idea), and haven't had a clue what it may be all about. Just bought it because I like the artist, heard a rumor or whatever.

Warren Zevon has issued a new CD and it's called very appropriately "Life'll kill ya". Great title in times when everybody else wants you to prevent your own death by getting involved in prevention programs of all kinds.

Zevon simply states: "Life'll kill ya". Full stop. There's no mucking about, this CD sticks to its title.

It contains 12 excellently crafted songs in the tradition of Zevon's musical biography. Here are some song titles: "I was in the house when the house burnt down", "Life'll kill ya", "Dirty little religion", and the magic "Don't let us get sick".

One of the highlights of the CD is Zevon's interpretation of a Stevie Winwood song "Back in the high life again". It made me wonder whether Zevon wasn't the creator of the song in the first place ... Magic ... magic ...

Zevon's voice is in excellent shape, and that's essential for the quality of his work. He seems to enjoy himself while singing and playing the songs (with the main support of Jorge Calderon and Winston Watson).

Well, folks, go get that CD or you may lose the connection to what will kill'ya.

On a different issue: I had a chance recently to listen to Gomez, the band from Great Britain producing songs of eternal and spooky quality. Their CD "Bring it on" from 1998 received all kinds of rewards, and I must admit: they're all well deserved. If you're into the dark side of rock ('n' folk) music, this is a place to go.

Gee, there's more talent out there than we can imagine. And it's surprising that some of the old guys offer some of the best stuff in rock music despite their temporary absence. Or is it the break they take which makes their musical statements so powerful?

Copyright © by Eberhard Wenzel, 1997-2001