I opened the front door one morning a few weeks back, all set to take the pooch for a walk. No, that is not a metaphor, people. Please.
We got a few steps down the walkway when I noticed a snake on the driveway. Now, my dog has been known to chase snakes, which is a very dangerous endeavor so I yanked her back inside. There is an actual training course that gets them to walk away from snakes in a safe manner but we have not done that yet. I know, I know…
A few years ago she had chased a snake that I trapped with an empty box. I called the fire department, like I was supposed to, and just as they lifted the cardboard, about to kill it, they laughed. “This is a gopher snake. They’re actually good to have around. Should we put it back?”
Needless to say, I have never really lived that one down. So with this one, I wanted to make sure it was a rattler. I mean it had the markings and the flat, diamond-shaped head and it looked like a rattle on its tail, but it was young and I just was not 100% sure. So I grabbed a long stick and poked at it. Oh yeah, it was a rattle snake. I ran back inside, called my boys at the FD and had them “dispose” of it. Phew.
This Rattlesnake is a lot more enjoyable. Props go out to Jay Hauck for sending me this album in a list of some great choices… and to Rob Miles for re-introducing me to Lloyd Cole. (In fact, that is the name I use sometimes when I call Rob at the office). He is another one that somehow flew under my radar in the 80s. I am sure I heard this one back in the day, but it was not until the last few years that I really got into the music of Lloyd Cole and became truly aware of both him and his music.
There is just so much I missed in my youth… and like so many of us, I often wish I could go back, really take it all in, slow things down, relish and enjoy things more and perhaps, do things differently…
Like the old saying goes, “hindsight is… ” something that just messes you up… I mean “20/20.”
Lloyd Cole and the Commotions – Rattlesnakes (1984) / And album #80 for this blog!!!!!
This is one of those artists who should have been so much bigger and this album really is a classic. iTunes says it “practically defines the sound of mid-’80s college rock…” and I would have to agree, as you can hear so much of that era… The Smiths and Morrissey, Matthew Sweet, and Stephen Duffy (Oh man, if you do not know him and his band The Lilac Time you have to give them a listen… Wow… I found them somewhat randomly on eMusic I think, just as Rob was putting them on some discs for me. Fantastic!!!)
Rattlesnakes marks the debut of the band who broke up in 1989. Although Cole has made some amazing solo albums like Lloyd Cole (199o) and Don’t Get Weird on Me Babe (1991). I also quite like 2006’s Antidepressant although it is quite a roller coaster of emotions… especially for someone contemplating the same issues of aging he writes so beautifully about.
His lyrics are so smart and especially in this one, contain so many pop culture and movie references. I hear some Simple Minds for sure and can’t help but think that many of these songs would have been at home in a number of John Hughes‘ films.
Many of you will remember this album and think I am crazy for not… and many of you may be hearing this for the first time. Either way, Lloyd Cole is an artist you really should know. And for those in my age bracket, really take in Antidepressant… the album, not an actual one!!! It puts into song what is in a lot of our own thoughts. And that is the very power of music.