Monday, March 04, 2013

Today's episode...

In which our hero attempts to deny the existence of the coming SNOW STORM by playing VAN HALEN'S 1978 DEBUT ALBUM very loud.
"Oh, oh, ohhhh, Jamie's cryyyin!"
It wasn't cool for me to pay attention to VAN HALEN in their heyday -- I was too "alternative" to be bothered -- but in the intervening years I have grown to appreciate virtuosity, and guitarist EDDIE VAN HALEN has it in spades. Vocalist DAVID LEE ROTH struck me as horribly overblown, but I now understand the role Hollywood-style perception played in this epitome of SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ROCK 'N' ROLL, too.
I have no qualms admitting now that the band's debut album sounds great.
Besides virtuosity, my appreciation of musical originality has deepened -- probably because so little of it seems to exist these days.
 That's another reason why my "Van Halen" attitude has changed during the past decades.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine, writing in "All Music Guide Required Listening: Classic Rock," praised the album's originality:
 "The still-amazing thing about 'Van Halen' is how it sounds like it has no fathers. Plenty other bands followed this template in the '80s, but like all great originals, 'Van Halen' doesn't seem to belong to the past and it still sounds like little else, despite generations of copycats."
This music also reminds me of sunny California days -- yet another reason to listen, as a snow-packing storm barrels down on us again.


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