Awesome Totally Awesome - Endless Enigma

THE ENDLESS ENIGMA: AN EXULTATION OF EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER’S TRILOGY ALBUM

Every October the carnival came to town. It would set up in Fireman’s Field, a wide open empty space of thick green grass, which was right across the street from the firehouse in the center of town. The carnival was typical of its kind back then: there were thrill rides, booths with games of chance and carnival food. One year, a friend of mine, Kenny Bowen, got the gig of sitting in one of the booths. It was to sell apples and apple cider, if I’m not mistaken. I think Kenny was sitting in for his brother that night. His older brother may or may not have had a date, I don’t remember. What I do remember is sitting in that booth, being on the other side of things for once. Feeling special. It was 1972. We were thirteen years old and thinking we were pretty cool. Another thing I remember from that night was the music.

Now, carnivals have their own music. Either playing on overhead speakers (usually country music), coming from the rides (the shrieks and screams), or coming from the hundreds of people talking and laughing. It was loud. But inside the booth things were a little quieter. Quiet enough to play our own music.

Kenny’s brother had setup a tuner and turntable and a couple bookshelf speakers in among the baskets of apples and gallons of cider. A crate stuffed with record albums sat on the ground under the back shelf. The music I was used to hearing was my sister’s 45s: Sly and the Family Stone, Jackson 5, James Brown, The O’Jays. I didn’t have my own music yet. At thirteen, I was just discovering life. What did I know? Then Kenny pulled out this album that had these three guys on the cover, hand drawn like a portrait. It was by a group I’d never heard of: Emerson, Lake & Palmer. The album was Trilogy. And it changed the way I listened to music.

It must have been that strange coincidence of age and atmosphere and my mind being open to new things that made the experience so profound. But the minute Kenny put that record on, and those first few notes–like whistles from someone or something unknown calling you down a dark alley–I was entranced. There was heavy piano (I played piano), bass and drums. There was an urgency to the playing, a dark desperation like trying to tame something malevolent. It was the essence of my life at that moment captured in song. “The Endless Enigma” (yes), “From the Beginning” (yes), “Trilogy” (oh, yes), and “Abaddon’s Bolero,” a brooding, building, climactic instrumental that ends the album with the same uncertainly as it began. It was all my questions (and some new ones) condensed and contained in vinyl.

I think that was the only album we played that night. I don’t remember us selling anything. I don’t remember any other music Kenny might have played. I kept going back to the beginning of that album, back to the beginning, round and round like a circular argument that had no answers, only questions.

And to this day, some forty-plus years later, I revisit that album that expanded my mind, my world. And though dated by the technological inadequacies of the time, it still has the power to transport me, to take me to a more innocent moment in my life when each new question was a new world to explore.

I miss those times, but I also know I’m a more enlightened person because of them.

My mind is still open, still searching, still seeking that perfect melody to my own endless enigma.

For more great writing by Kurt Newton, check out his terrifying horror works, Something Profound and The Wood Box.

Awesome Totally Awesome - Freaks & Weirdos Boutique
ATA - DTK

Awesome Dropping

Awesome Totally Awesome - De La Soul - 3 Feet High And Rising

Unspotified: De La Soul's Three Feet High and Rising

These are party jams for something like comic book nerds, long before quite so many declared themselves comic book nerds.
Awesome Totally Awesome

Your Grandpa is Copping Supreme x Lacoste in Velour

Edward Murphy, a former Beverly Hills Cop turned barber plans on copping the velour bucket hat, track suit, and polo shirt in peach. When shown pictures of the track suit ensemble from Supreme’s online site, Murphy responded “What is that velvet? It’s beautiful.”

Santa Clarita Diet Season 1 Recap: The Undead Revival of Drew Barrymore(‘s Career)

When it comes to potential marital crises, none of your petty problems will ever compare to those of Sheila and Joel Hammond, the main characters of the Netflix original series Santa Clarita Diet.

Awesome Features

Awesome Totally Awesome - Biker Shorts

Biker Shorts: The Athleisure Trend That Needs to Stop

It’s not news that biker shorts have been a thing this year. While it was nothing short of an atrocity from the get-go, there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.
Awesome Totally Awesome - DTK

The Story of Black Sabbath's "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath"

In 1973, Black Sabbath were riding high on the success of their Vol. IV album and mammoth tour of the U.S., Australia and Europe.

MATT FADER: JOURNEY FROM SURFER TO SYRIAN REFUGEE RESCUE LEADER

We are proud and privileged to have Matt Fader as the subject of our first Shine article.  I’ve known Matt for over twenty years.  He was one of the few people I remember who would give you a wave that he was in position for.  “It’s yours,” he would say, and be truly stoked he gave it to you.

Awesome Trending

How Jane's Addiction's Nothing's Shocking Almost Did Not Get Recorded

One of the most significant albums of the 1980s, Jane's Addiction's seminal Nothing's Shocking, almost didn't get recorded. While the album turned out to be so influential to alternative music and the beginnings of grunge, the band that went into LA's Eldorado Studio to record it nearly broke up during production.
Awesome Totally Awesome Zen Hipster Douche

How To Be Zen Without Being a Douchebag

We live in a loud, obnoxious, ugly, and yes sometimes orange “Trumped-up” world. We all want a little more peace… a little calmer.
Awesome Totally Awesome - Kanye West I Love It

Kanye West & Lil Pump Roblox "I Love It," Video: How did we get here?

/
Kanye West. The man of many faces. Some say he’s a god.  Some being Kanye. Others, like J.Cole, think differently.