The Twenty-First Anniversary of Euphoria Morning

EMTwenty-one years ago today, the twenty-first of September, Chris Cornell’s first solo album Euphoria Morning came out.

Somehow, I sorta knew it even then, in the early days of getting to know the songs, that this album would change my life. It felt epic in a way that you think, at eighteen, albums might not feel epic anymore.

In many posts, especially in recent goals posts, I’ve talked about a book project I’m working on called Moonchild. It takes its name from a song of the same title, track 8, and takes place the year Euphoria Morning came out.

Euphoria Morning has had far-reaching impacts far beyond just that year, though that’s when everything was set in motion. So many things, and people, in my life wouldn’t be the same without EM.

I always thought I’d dedicate Moonchild, if and when I ever get it published, to Chris Cornell. I thought that for years, and since I started working on this book project in 2003, for most of those years I never imagined that he wouldn’t be alive anymore and that the dedication would be to a dead man.

I still think of Euphoria Morning as the album that had the most profound, and the most tangible, impact on my life. Today, on it’s anniversary, I will listen. It’s been different listening to Chris Cornell after his death. Sometimes that’s all I can think about and sometimes it’s like it never happened.

The original title was Euphoria Mourning, and I think that fits too.

And here’s “Moonchild” the song:

The whole album is worth a listen, in full, because as cliche as it is to say this about Chris, no one sings like him anymore.

If you had to only pick a couple to listen to, I’d personally pick, along with “Moonchild” of course, “Sweet Euphoria,” “When I’m Down,” “Follow My Way,” “Disappearing One,” “Steel Rain,” and you know what, just listen to the whole damn thing.

Oh, and you must, and I mean must, listen to “Sunshower” which isn’t on the album but did come out around the same time on the Great Expectations Soundtrack. And Seasons, which was much earlier, on the Singles Soundtrack.

Happy Euphoria Morning release anniversary day!

-April

Notes:

Creativity Goals Check-In September 20, 2020

notebooksGoals from Last Week – How Did it Go?

Writing

  • work on Moonchild (writing project) all seven days – did six.
  • work on blog at least five days – did four.
  • at least seven sessions of digitizing old writing – DONE.
  • craft and send an important tweet – didn’t even think about it, will have to put this back on for next week.

Music

  • seven guitar practice sessions – did six.
  • get up through song 98 of Book One of my Hal Leonard Guitar Method Complete Edition book – just one new song this week, it has melody, harmony and rhythm parts and it’s long so it’ll be plenty to keep me busy – DONE.
  • seven piano practice sessions – DONE.
  • Continuing on my quest to catch up on Technic and Composition sections previously skipped in Keyboard Musician for the Adult Beginner book, I will do the composing for Unit 2, Technic and Composing for Unit 3, and Technic for Unit 4 – DONE.

Lifestyle

Reflections on the Week

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The Artist’s Way Reflections – Week Three: Recovering a Sense of Power

MPjournal early fallIn today’s column, I’ll look at all of the essays, exercises and tasks of Week Three in The Artist’s Way, except for Synchronicity, a fairly long section, which will be the focus of next week’s post. That’s a whole beast of a topic to tackle.

In thinking about this week and all its topics, including Synchronicity, it strikes me that this one line in the Detective Work, an Exercise section could be the topic sentence for the whole chapter. It reads:

“Many blocked people are actually very powerful and creative personalities who have been made to feel guilty about their own strengths and gifts.”

She goes on to say that:

“Made to feel guilty for their talents, they often hide their own light under a bushel for fear of hurting others. Instead, they hurt themselves.”

To my mind, all the little essays in this chapter illuminate more about these lines, and get at how we lose our power through shamings and criticisms, how we give away our power by ignoring the messages from our difficult friend Anger, and how to start to take it back with detective work, synchronicity, and finally, growth.

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Spotlight On: In the Dark Podcast Season Two and the Case of Curtis Flowers

itdThe timing here is uncanny. In the Dark was always going to be my Spotlight post for this month, but a few days ago, major news came out about the case, which I’ll link to at the end.

In the Dark is a podcast put out by APM Reports. The first season of the podcast focused on the kidnapping of Jacob Wetterling in Minnesota, one of the first missing children cases to get national attention. While they were reporting, though it was decades later, some major news came out about the case, which informed the podcast. In Season One, they discuss the case, the handling of it, and its implications on a national level. It was really well done, and the host, Madeleine Baron, has a way of reporting and interviewing that’s disarming and unassuming and supremely listenable.

Season One was good. But Season Two is in a category all its own. Madeleine and her reporting team moved to Mississippi for a year to fully investigate and report on the case of Curtis Flowers.

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Creativity Goals Check-In September 13, 2020

window sept 13Goals from Last Week – How Did it Go?

Writing

  • work on Moonchild all seven days – only five
  • work on blog at least five days – DONE.
  • five digitizing sessions – DONE and then some; I did seven – nothing like the threat of wildfires to light a fire under your ass.

Music

  • seven guitar practice sessions – DONE and then some – I did ten to get caught up back on track from previous missed sessions.
  • get up through song 97 of Book One of my Hal Leonard Guitar Method Complete Edition book – the new songs focus on the A7 chord – DONE.
  • seven keyboard practice sessions – DONE.
  • Finish Unit 7 in my Keyboard Musician for the Adult Beginner book, and then go back and do the Technic and Composition part of Unit 1, and the Technic of Unit 2 – DONE.

Lifestyle

  • sleep without the phone (a struggle you can read about here) – this will put me at 175 nights (25 weeks) in a row – DONE, but it was really, really, really hard this week.
  • write Morning Pages every day – yeah no, I did three.
  • don’t pick up the phone until after Morning Pages – of the three pages I did MPs at all, I think I resisted picking up the phone till after on one of them, which was Monday, before the fires.
  • get up through at least page 210 in The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd (and I wouldn’t be surprised if I get further) – close, I got to page 198.
  • do an Artist Date – DONE. Once again, I took time out and watched a movie.

Reflections on the Week

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Better Call Saul 103 “Nacho”

bcs103In a way, this feels like the first true Better Call Saul episode, since the first two had Tuco, such a memorable Breaking Bad character. In “Nacho” we’re fully entrenched in the BCS world.

Also, every time I sit down to watch this show to write a recap, I’m like, oh damn, this show is so freaking good. Sometimes, thinking about it ahead of time, it can feel like one more thing to schedule in but once I’m watching, I’m so absorbed. I really, really, really like BCS.

Summary

Teaser

We start with a flashback to Chuck and Jimmy when they’re younger, though I couldn’t help thinking that Chuck’s younger makeup wasn’t so convincing. Jimmy’s been arrested for a “Chicago Sunroof” and is in danger of getting on the sex offender list because of it. In this teaser, it’s not revealed what a Chicago Sunroof is, but as a little tease of what’s to come if anyone’s watching for the first time, give it a couple episodes, and Jimmy will reveal it. Oh how he will.

At this point, Jimmy lives in Cicero, is in Cook County Jail, and Chuck had to come from Albuquerque to meet with him. They reveal that Jimmy hasn’t spoken to the family in five years, and that when he got arrested he called his mom, who has a soft spot for him and got Chuck to go see him. At first Chuck is not having any of it, but when Jimmy promises to do better and be better, he reconsiders.

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The Artist’s Way Reflections – Week Two: Recovering a Sense of Identity

brightcitrussunflowerThis chapter, like the name says, focuses on identity. It seems so simple, but I think a blurring of identity underlies a lot of creative blockage. It gets blurry because we get inundated with messages–family, friends, teachers, social media, TV at large–that tell us what we should want, who we should be. And there are parts of ourselves we give up for various reasons. It’s all too easy to get to a place where you’re going through life unsure of who you even are.

I definitely felt that in medical school; I saw myself going through the motions of doing all the things I was supposed to do, and all the things I had to do on top of that, and it all took so much time and energy that I felt like there was so little me left. I’ve also felt something similar in destructive relationships.

For whatever reason, it’s just so easy to lose yourself. At least, it is for me. So, I like this chapter and its tasks and how the focus on self-definition and sorting out the signal from the noise all around us.

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“Please, Picture Me, In the Trees”

(Apparently, I can’t stop naming my posts after Taylor Swift lyrics, and so, I’ll post the lyric video for “seven,” the song this comes from, at the end of the post).

IMGP6957eCAMP_ORKILA_ROAD_ORCASLately, I’ve been dreaming of Orcas. The island, not the whale. And the metaphorical sense of dreaming. Daydreaming. Yearning.

With my whole med school life falling apart, all I want to do is go to the woods. Work on my writing, music, podcasting, work on work (I’m looking for work in the wake of all the school fallout) and have trees and water as solace and spiritual recovery, because nature connection is my spirituality and I feel like starving a little without it.

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Creativity Goals Check-In September 6, 2020

goals8

Goals from Last Week – How Did it Go?

Writing

  • work on Moonchild all seven days – DONE.
  • work on blog at least five days – DONE.
  • journal about blog at least once – DONE.
  • five digitizing sessions – DONE.

Music

Lifestyle

  • sleep without the phone (a struggle you can read about here) – this will put me at 168 nights (24 weeks) in a row – DONE.
  • write Morning Pages every day – DONE.
  • don’t pick up the phone until after Morning Pages – I held off on picking up the phone until after MPs on four days, and definitely felt the MPs went smoother and faster on days I didn’t look at my phone first.
  • do an Artist Date – DONE. I took time out and watched a movie.

Reflections on the Week

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Better Call Saul Episode 102 “Mijo”

saul 102Wow, so, these first two episodes really feel like one two-part episode instead of two separate ones. I believe they aired that way back in the day when the show was premiering. Like many good two-part TV episodes, this one tells a self-contained story.

Summary

We rewind a bit from where the last episode left off but see it, this time, from Tuco’s perspective. Then Tuco’s grandma comes in with the twins, the one of them still pretending to be injured. They’re speaking really bad Spanish, asking for money, and then one of them makes the ultimate mistake by calling Tuco’s grandma a “biznatch.” This fuels Tuo’s rage for the rest of his time in the episode.

Tuco tries to get his abuelita upstairs watching her shows so he can take care of the twins. She comes down a couple times and sees a stain on the rug, which Tuco assures her is salsa, but we know has to be blood.

Jimmy comes to the door, which we saw from Jimmy’s perspective at the end of the last episode and now see from Tuco’s. Jimmy talks Tuco down from hurting the twins. Tuco’s about to release them…when they say that Jimmy put them up to it. Which, technically, he did. It just wasn’t supposed to be on Tuco’s grandma but Betsy Kettleman.

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