The Frisson of the Night

Yesterday I wrote about the joy—the thrill!—of live music.  I’m excited to see it making a comeback after the long, weary months of The Age of The Virus, and hope we will witness a renaissance of live entertainment.

Live music is most at home, I think, at night.  Sure, there are plenty of fine performances that take place during the day, and a talented classical guitarist plucking out Bach’s Bourrée in E Minor adds a bit of classiness to a tony Sunday brunch, but music lives at night.  After all, Mozart composed Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (“A Little Night Music”), not Ein Kleiner Tagmusik.

There is palpable excitement to the night—a delectable frisson, the promise of things to come.  The night is when things happen.  Granted, they aren’t always good things, but they night promises to be eventful.

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Midweek Update

It’s crunch time here at Portly HQ.  As such, today’s post will be very brief.

I’ve been writing a lot about Christmas and music lately—’tis the season, after all.  You can catch up on yesterday’s post about “Joy to the World,” as well as Sunday’s look back at my Dokken album reviews from Christmas 2018.

One reason for the Christmas music focus is that my students have their big Christmas Concert this Friday.  It’s always a great deal of fun, and we try to go for a homemade Trans-Siberian Orchestra vibe (if only I could get the administration to spring for some laser lights and pyrotechnics).

As an independent musician and a music teacher (I also teach history), I find myself playing the role of concert impresario quite a bit.  One lesson I’ve learned is that the money people—the producers—will always have their notes and revisions, often last-minute.  Your well-oiled, tried-and-true concert formula can often get totally upended with changes.  Learning to roll with the punches is hard, but necessary.

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Lazy Sunday XXXIX: A Very Dokken Christmas Series

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart wrote a series of hard rock album reviews for Orion’s Cold Fire, photog’s excellent blog.  This week, my students have their big Christmas concert, with all the spectacle and merriment that involves.  In that spirit, I thought I’d dedicate this Lazy Sunday to my reviews of Dokken’s first three albums, which you can read in full at Orion’s Cold Fire.

  • A Very Dokken Christmas, Part I” (Review on OCF) – This review looked at Dokken’s Breaking the Chains, the 1983 version (there was an earlier version in 1981 that was a demo, of sorts, for the band).  It’s a solid album, but not nearly as good as their next two.  The single title track, “Breaking the Chains,” is a fun and catchy little mid-tempo rocker, though.
  • A Very Dokken Christmas, Part II: Tooth and Nail” (Review on OCF) – If I’m not mistaken, Tooth and Nail is the first Dokken album I ever heard, after learning more about the band in The Rageaholic’s Metal Mythos: DOKKEN video.  It’s a great album, and it saved the band financially.  In one of those classic stories of artists getting screwed by major labels, Dokken was around a million bucks in debt after the release of Breaking the Chains and the subsequent tour, even though it was a hit record.  Tooth and Nail‘s title is no accident, as the band really did drag themselves “straight to the top” (to quote the title track).  This album got them out of debt—and on the way to hair metal superstardom.
  • A Very Dokken Christmas, Part III: Under Lock and Key” (Review on OCF) – Released the same year yours portly was born, Under Lock and Key would see Dokken at their best.  The album opens with the one-two punch of “Unchain the Night” and “The Hunter” (“Unchain the Night” starts with an instrumental introduction that sets a powerful, mysterious tone before cranking into high gear), and it’s all awesome from there on.

Christmas music it ain’t, but it sure makes for fun rock ‘n’ roll.  Have a Very Dokken Christmas!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

A Very Dokken Christmas, Part III: Under Lock and Key

My three-part series of Dokken reviews comes to an end—on Christmas!  Thanks to photog, proprietor of Orion’s Cold Fire, for the opportunity to contribute some hard rock/heavy metal reviews.

The final review in the A Very Dokken Christmas series covers 1985’s Under Lock and Key, an excellent album from start to finish:  http://orionscoldfire.com/index.php/2018/12/24/portly-politico-a-very-dokken-christmas-part-iii-under-lock-and-key/

In case you missed them, here are my other recent reviews:

Stay tuned to this blog and www.orionscoldfire.com for more reviews.

Never unchain the night—and have a Merry Christmas!