Tuesday, November 02, 2004


Vox Populi

You did vote today, didn't you?

My father once told me how during the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, he would look at me playing around the house and worrying like hell that the events of the day meant no future for me. I look at my kids and I feel the same anxiety sometimes as well, perhaps more so for as horrid as the enemies of freedom were then, they were essentially rational beings who understood that any exchange would be detrimental to all. We're dealing with entirely different types of brutes now, fanatics who believe their rewards are in the yenem welt, comme ce dit en Francais. The words of Thomas Jefferson resonate more loudly than ever today:

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

"The flames kindled on the Fourth of July, 1776, have spread over too much of the globe to be extinguished by the feeble engines of despotism; on the contrary, they will consume these engines and all who work them.

Salem Hill's "Be" is a strange record. It's a pastiche of a lot of different artists and styles; I hear a bit of Yes in "So Human", some Rush and/or Triumph in "The Great Stereopticon", a bit of Pink Floyd's spaciness (although these guys actually know tempos other than funereal, a listen that Messrs. Gilmour, Waters et al never learned), a touch of Queen in "Children Of The Dust" (although without Jellyfish's flair) amongst other things (I was trying to pin down what "Underneath" reminded me of and it finally hit me - "Carry On Wayward Son"). The record's tone reminds me somewhat of The Flower Kings, a band that I'm trying to like as well, but I suppose it'll take a couple of listens to see if this grows on me. I'm one for a more melodic approach to prog and hard rock, something like Marillion's "Misplaced Childhood" or Spock's Beard's "Snow" works better for me out of the neo-prog bands. I haven't heard any Spock's music that's come out since Neal Morse's departure, so I can't speak to it as of this writing, but I suppose that Morse's obvious Beatles influences make his tracks more in line with my tastes. The musicianship is first rate on "Be" and the sonics are fine, but I can't say for sure whether I really like this yet.


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