Friday Evening Videos: “If Anyone Falls”

The first time somebody told me that rock-n-roll goddess Stevie Nicks once lived in Salt Lake City, I didn’t believe it.

It sounded too much like the far-fetched tales my Mormon friends used to tell about all the celebrities who were secretly members of the LDS church. Now, to be fair, there are a number of famous people who also happen to be LDS — Gladys Knight comes immediately to mind — but there was a time when I heard so many variations of “Did you know that so-and-so is a member?” that if even half those stories were true, there would be more Mormons in Hollywood than plastic surgeons. (This was pre-Internet, you understand, when it was a lot more difficult to verify such things.) I’ve long wondered where those stories came from and why they were such a tenacious aspect of Utah folklore for so long. My working theory is that they probably arose from a deep cultural insecurity that manifested as two sides of the same coin: a longing for a hometown hero who catches the national spotlight, as well as an ironclad certainty that nobody cool has ever come from Utah.

Except Stevie Nicks, apparently. That particular urban legend turns out to be 100% true, as corroborated by the lady herself just over a month ago when she brought her 24 Karat Gold tour to Salt Lake on February 25. I’d seen Stevie live a couple times before, but always as part of Fleetwood Mac, not in a show focused on her solo work, so this concert had a very different feel to it. It was more personal for her, I think, and that carried over into the audience’s emotional response; it felt personal to me as well, as if somehow a 19,000-seat arena was magically shrunk into the neighborhood club, and Stevie and her band were just playing and goofing around for a small group of friends. Stevie herself looked and sounded fantastic, far more youthful than her actual age and far healthier than the previous times I’d seen her. She was chatty and a little bit scatterbrained and very funny, like the cool aunt who’s been everywhere and met everyone and has a million stories to tell. I found her utterly charming. Yes, I’m like every other male rock-and-roll fan (and not a few female ones!) of a particular age in that I’ve had a crush on her since my early teens, but I really fell a little bit in love with her on February 25. By the time she performed her signature tune “Landslide” in the finale, the emotions were running high. I may or may not have shed a tear when my 60-something rock goddess sang the line “And I’m gettin’ older too… ”

But long before that moment, she opened the concert with one of my favorite songs of hers, “If Anyone Falls,” which was the second single released from her 1983 album The Wild Heart. “If Anyone Falls” wasn’t as big as the album’s first single, “Stand Back,” rising to only 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 — “Stand Back” hit number 5, thanks I would guess to a propulsive synthesizer track played by none other than the late, great Prince — but I always liked this one just a hair more, for reasons I can’t really articulate. The lushly romantic tone, perhaps, so nicely illustrated in the official MTV video by images of Stevie watching old movies by herself in an empty theater. I’ve done that a few times myself… usually late at night, like it is now… the time of day when I find I most enjoy listening to Stevie Nicks…

Incidentally, in case you’re still wondering about when, exactly, Stevie lived in boring old Salt Lake, it was while she was in eighth and ninth grade, which by my calculations would’ve been the mid-1960s. Her best friend from those days still lives here, and she was at the concert the other night. Stevie called out to her several times. I love the idea that a rock star of her magnitude could still be friends with someone she knew in the eighth grade, so very long ago…



Friday Evening Videos: “Heat of the Moment”

The year is 1983, or somewhere around there.

I’m thirteen years old, in the eighth grade and soon to be finished with middle school, and I’m going through a broody phase. No doubt the onslaught of puberty has something to do with this, but as far as I’m concerned, I simply have a lot on my mind. Big, important things like, What will high school be like? Will I ever have a girlfriend? Will she be willing to “put out,” and what exactly does that mean, anyhow? Will I live long enough to find out what it means, or will there be a nuclear war? That’s a real possibility, you know, what with Ronnie Ray-Gun’s finger on the big red button and all. What would I do if I got the word the missiles were in the air? And most importantly… how will Han Solo get rescued from the living hell of carbon-freeze in the upcoming third Star Wars movie?!

Just lately, I’ve taken to spending much of my leisure time on the rope swing that hangs from my old treehouse in the backyard, caroming off the cinderblock wall of Dad’s shop with each pendulum-like motion. I’ve been spending so much on that thing that wear spots are developing on the front of my jeans, where the nylon rope is abrading the denim. (I’ll learn later on in life that Dad was worried about me during this phase, finding it weird that I would be out there for hours on end, just… swinging. Swinging and thinking.)

I like to listen to music as I swing and think, on my trusty Sony Walkman II cassette player. And among the music I’m most likely listening to around this moment in time is the band Asia.

Asia was what used to be called a supergroup, a band comprising musicians who are already known for being members of other successful bands. In the case of Asia’s original line-up, bassist and lead vocalist John Wetton came from King Crimson; guitarist Steve Howe and keyboardist Geoff Downes were both from Yes; and Carl Palmer, the drummer, was one-third of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, all of which were important prog-rock groups. Not that I knew about any of that when I was thirteen; I just liked Asia’s sound.

My favorite Asia album was the band’s second release, Alpha — which really should’ve been called called Beta, when you think about it — but as it happens, their first and biggest charting single came from their debut record, the self-titled Asia. Co-written by Wetton and Downes, “Heat of the Moment” was a huge and inescapable hit that climbed to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, as well as spending six nonconsecutive weeks at the top of the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart throughout the spring and summer of 1982. Its opening guitar riff remains one of the most recognizable of the early ’80s, one of those things that insist you crank up the volume whenever you hear them.

John Wetton died a couple weeks ago at the age of 67, so tonight, in his honor, I thought I’d share “Heat of the Moment” and think about 1983 (or thereabouts), my old rope swing, and those teenage ambitions I remember so well…


Friday Evening Videos: “Patience”

I’ve used “Patience” as a Friday Evening Video before, but given how this week has gone on pretty much all fronts, it seems not inappropriate to post it again. As I wrote the last time, “maybe it can help some of the people reading this, too, the ones with the problems and the ones who are afraid and unhappy, and the ones who, like me, are just plain tired. It is truly a song — and a sentiment — for our moment.”

If you care, here’s a little background I didn’t include the last time I posted this one: “Patience” is the only single released from Guns N’ Roses’ 1988 album G N’ R Lies, which was half live recordings from a previously released EP and half new acoustic songs. It reached number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in April of ’89, three positions higher than the band’s breakthrough hit “Welcome to the Jungle,” and surpassed only by “Sweet Child o’ Mine” (number 1 the previous year) and “November Rain, which hit number 3 in 1992.

And with that, I intend to spend the rest of my Friday unplugged from social media, drinking whisky, petting my cat, and watching 1970s car-chase movies. Hope you all have something similar in mind…


Friday Evening Videos (New Year’s Eve Edition): “Don’t Stop Believin'”

Oh stop. I can feel your eyes rolling from all the way over here.

I’m very well aware that this song has as many detractors as fans, and that it and Journey in general are routinely derided as “soulless corporate rock” (whatever the hell that means). I don’t care, and I’m not interested in debating it. Not now, not on the final night of this year, above all others. From the deaths of Bowie, Prince, and Princess frickin’ Leia to that god-awful endless election (I think everyone, no matter which side you were on, can agree that the election was a shit-show of historic proportions), 2016 has left me most definitely not in the mood for a debate. About anything. Here, at the end of this annus horribilis, more than ever, I’m missing my youth and the boundless possibility it seemed to contain, the certainty I used to have that everything would just somehow turn out all right. I’m exhausted, and I’m testy.

If you don’t like “Don’t Stop Believin’,” well… that’s your concern, I guess, and there’s not a damn thing I can do about that. Personally, it’s always been one of my favorites, going back to the days when I listened to it from a cheap K-Tel collection on a beat-up portable cassette player while I read comic books in our haystack. Even before I had any real understanding of what the lyrics were about, I responded to the sound of the song in that ineffable, near-mystical way that you simply do with some pieces of music. I loved the piano opening and that dramatic rising guitar thing following the first verse, and the soaring vocals that are both easy to sing along with and entirely beyond the range of most normal humans. Now that I’m older, I love the goofy optimism at the core of the song’s lyrics.

I’ve read some counter-intuitive arguments that this is actually a depressing song, that the story told by the lyrics is one of people consoling themselves while on a tawdry and unsatisfying quest for love. Or at least for sex. I guess that’s one way to read it. It’s not mine. I see this song as an ode to the indomitable human tendency to keep trying, to keep reaching, to keep hoping, in spite of disappointment and even though time and the culture around us and the world itself just keeps moving indifferently forward. As we crawl from the smoking crater of 2016 into the uncertain landscape of 2017, that’s a message I need to hear.  Maybe you do too.

I’m not going to bother with the usual historical background on this one, other than noting that this performance is from 1981, the year the song itself was released.

Happy New Year, everyone.


Friday Evening Videos (Bonus Edition): “Father Christmas”

It’s a little after midnight as I write this, and outside the rain that’s been falling all day has finally turned to snow and the world  is growing quiet and indistinct. Anne went to bed several hours ago, leaving me alone with my thoughts.

Even though I’ve been relatively cheerful this holiday season — a nice change! — I find that I’m very tired tonight, emotionally worn out. I think we all agree that 2016 has been a real drag, and I think we’re all eager to see it finished. Also, I’m worried tonight… about Carrie Fisher, my beloved space princess who had a heart attack on an airplane yesterday even as I was watching the latest Star Wars film, Rogue One… and about my cat Evinrude, who’s not been feeling well today but can’t tell me what’s wrong. Fitting, then, that the song I’ve had running through my head for much of the day is Greg Lake’s “I Believe in Father Christmas.”

You may have heard that Lake died a couple weeks ago, on December 6, following a battle with cancer. I was rather pleased that many of the online remembrances of him used this song, rather than something he did with the prog-rock band he co-founded, Emerson, Lake and Palmer. “Father Christmas” is often remembered as one of ELP’s, but in reality, Greg wrote and recorded it as a solo project. It was released in 1975 and reached number two on the UK charts. I don’t know if it charted here, but I remember hearing it on my classic-rock radio station in high school, and thinking it was lovely. It’s got a melancholy, world-weary tone, but it ultimately ends on a hopeful note, which for me is a perfect holiday song.

The version of it I’m going to present tonight isn’t a video per se; it’s a recording of a live performance at St. Bride’s Church in the City of London, back in 2011. Lake and his fellow musicians are accompanied by the church choir; the guy playing flute is none other than Ian Anderson of the band Jethro Tull.

“I wish you a hopeful Christmas,
I wish you a brave new year…
All anguish, pain, and sadness
Leave your heart and let your road be clear.”

Merry Christmas, everyone.


Friday Evening Videos: “Ride ‘Em On Down”

So, just last week, the oldest bad boys in rock, The Rolling Stones, released their 25th American studio album, a collection of cover songs called Blue & Lonesome. My understanding is that the tracks — all old blues standards of the sort that originally inspired the band when they first formed some 50 years ago — were recorded in just three days with no overdubs and no production trickery. What you hear on the record is what they played in the studio. I’m only a casual Stones fan, myself, but I think it’s a great set, raw and vital, and dripping with — if you’ll forgive the cliche — authenticity.

Along with the album comes a fun music video, which wisely does not feature the leathery faces of the septuagenarian rockers but instead focuses on the primary elements of what rock and roll is traditionally all about: sex and freedom, with an undercurrent of danger. (Also, in this case, some weird, possibly post-apocalyptic thing. You’ll see what I mean.)

Like a lot of classic blues tunes, “Ride ‘Em On Down” has been interpreted many times by many artists. The best-known version was by Eddie Taylor in 1955, but the earliest one dates to 1937, when the Delta blues guitarist Bukka White recorded it under the title “Shake ‘Em On Down.” According to Wikipedia, at least eight other versions have followed over the years, including one by the Black Crowes, and Led Zeppelin recorded two songs that had similar lyrics. And now of course, the Stones have put their spin on it.

As for the video, the girl behind the wheel is the actress Kristen Stewart from the Twilight movies, and the car is a really slick ’68 Mustang. I have no idea why the streets of LA are deserted, or why there’s some scruffy Walking Dead refugee driving a cop car in search of gas, or why there’s a random zebra roaming around… but hey, when did music videos ever make any sense?

In any event, check out Blue & Lonesome. it’s well worth a listen if you like either the Stones or the blues, or if you’re just looking for some real music…


Friday Evening Videos: “Dancin’ in the Ruins”

Blue Oyster Cult is best-known, of course, for the 1976 masterpiece “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper,” which became the band’s highest-charting single. With one of the most recognizable opening riffs in rock-and-roll history, “Reaper” remains a staple of classic-rock radio, frequently turns up on movie and TV soundtracks, and was the basis for the revered Saturday Night Live sketch “More Cowbell.” In 2004, Rolling Stone named it one of the top 500 songs of all time.

Ten years after “Reaper,” BOC was still around, but like a lot of other bands that peaked artistically and commercially in the ’70s, they were struggling to figure out how to adapt to changing tastes in the synth-heavy MTV era. They finally scored a minor hit in 1986 with a song called “Dancin’ in the Ruins,” their biggest success since “Burnin’ for You” five years earlier. I don’t have any particular memories of “Dancin’,” but I do recall liking it quite a bit back in the day. And then I more or less forgot about it for a few decades.

Well, I’ve been thinking about it again ever since early Wednesday morning. The song’s generally upbeat sound overlaying its fatalistic lyrics seems to match my post-election emotions, which have been a weird rollercoaster between existential dread, weary resignation, and fuck-it-all euphoria.

And that’s really about all I’ve got to say right now. So just crank the volume and enjoy as we head into the weekend. Everything crumbles to dust in time, so we may as well have a party, right?


Friday Evening Videos: “Turning Japanese” (Kisten Dunst edition)

I wasn’t going to post a music video this week because… well, what would be the point, you know? It’s been a hell of a week, with the tragic Pulse nightclub shootings followed by the same damn gun-control debate we have every time there’s a mass shooting — and isn’t that a pathetic horror story in itself, that these things are so bloody commonplace the after-argument has become boring? — and that poor little kid getting hauled off by an alligator, and all the political bullshit and the generally toxic atmosphere that prevails on social media these days. I’ve been struggling lately anyhow with that recurring feeling of ennui I get every so often, like I’m running in place, constantly active but never really getting anywhere. I’m tired, in a way that’s difficult to explain. Not just physical fatigue, but something inside… emotional, spiritual, I don’t know. And then you add in all that other stuff… Under those conditions, why bother with my stupid little music-video thing? It’s not like anyone really cares, right?

But then a friend posted something today on my Facebook wall, and it’s so silly and charming and sexy and dorky and just plain weird that I couldn’t help but smile, in spite of all the gunge I’ve been feeling. And I think I really need to pass it along, because maybe it’ll do the same for someone else out there who also needs a little sexy silly weirdness after this long, long week…

Yes, that is the actress Kirsten Dunst in a blue wig flouncing around Tokyo’s famously nerdy Akihabara district while singing a an old chestnut from the Awesome ’80s. If this clip seems familiar to my three Loyal Readers, it’s likely because I’ve posted it before, about six years ago. Here’s what I wrote about it back then:

I’ve found in my online wanderings that Kirsten is something of a binary proposition: people seem to either really like her or they really do not. Her detractors tend to become especially fixated on her uneven teeth, for some reason. Personally, I think she’s adorable, teeth and all. Not conventionally pretty, perhaps, but she’s got something that works for me. I especially like that sultry eyebrow-lifting thing she does sometimes — you can see it in this video at about the 2:37 mark. Is that TMI? Probably… [The video I posted six years ago — which is now dead — must’ve had slightly different timing, because there is no eyebrow thing at 2:37 in this version. Alas.]

Anyhow, as you saw in the opening title card, this video was directed by McG, the guy responsible for [Terminator: Salvation] as well as those two Charlie’s Angels movies a few years ago; the producer, Takashi Murakami, is a Japanese artist who works in a variety of media. My understanding is that the video was played on an endless loop at the entrance to Murakami’s recent “Pop Life” exhibition at the Tate Modern in London. [My understanding was correct. Details about this project and the art exhibition here.]

Now, you may wonder what the heck a mid-list starlet in a blue wig singing a 30-year-old one-hit-wonder has to do with an art exhibition. I’ve read that it supposedly articulates the cliche’d Japan of Western imagination, i.e., Murakami’s notion of Anglo-American stereotypes about his native country’s pop culture. Or some damn thing. The really important point is that it gives us an excuse to see Kirsten Dunst in a blue wig and a really short skirt singing one of the most terminally catchy tunes of the ’80s, The Vapors’ “Turning Japanese.” Which is really not about masturbation, as the old urban legend we all heard in middle school claimed. At least, The Vapors say it’s not about that, and they oughta know, right?

Damn, she’s got long legs… and there’s that eyebrow thing again…

I still think she’s adorable. And I’d like to go to Japan. For whatever those two factoids are worth…




Friday Evening Videos: “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.”

I have a love/hate kind of thing with John Mellencamp.

When he was young, and I was too, he struck me as a cocky punk of the particular sort who could always (and honestly, still can) send me into an irrational fury with nothing but an oily smirk. The kind who love to push people’s buttons just to see what happens, and who always seem to get away with things that other people — people like me — inevitably get busted for. Now, maybe all of that was just part of the manufactured “John Cougar” persona that was forced on him by his early managers, the ones who tried to sell him as a pretty-boy rebel in the James Dean/young Brando “what do you got” mold. But maybe it wasn’t. Either way, the guy bugged me.

Later, when we both grew up, he expunged the “Cougar” part of his identity and rebranded himself as a midwestern Springsteen and defender of the struggling small-farm owner. And I found I still didn’t like him much, because now he came across as a humorless and sanctimonious scold. (See also Henley, Don.) And that’s more or less where my opinion of him has remained for something like 25 years.

Ah, but that’s Mellencamp the person.

Mellencamp’s music, on the other hand… I’ve dearly loved and related to a lot of his music over the years. The four albums that comprised the peak of his popularity in the 1980s — American Fool, Uh-Huh, Scarecrow, and The Lonesome Jubilee — still enjoy frequent play on my iPod, while familiar singles like “Pink Houses,” “Small Town,” and “Cherry Bomb” have only grown more meaningful to me as I’ve gotten older. Even “Jack and Diane,” Mellencamp’s lone number-one hit to date and a song that I got very sick of hearing back in the day, has gained a somewhat unexpected poignancy since I hit middle age. (The line about “hold onto sixteen as long as you can” speaks volumes to me personally, especially when I’m feeling overwhelmed by life and ancient as the proverbial hills; as always, your mileage may vary.)

This week’s video selection isn’t as bittersweet as those other songs, but like much of Mellencamp’s oeuvre, it delineates and celebrates something that’s distinctly American, nothing less than rock and roll itself… specifically the rock and roll of the 1960s, which Mellencamp and I both grew up on, even though our childhoods were separated by a good 20 years. It’s a song that sounds like summer to me, that makes me want to drop the top (and the hammer) on my car and crank the volume on the radio, a song I always sing along with and just makes me feel good. The dramatic urgency of the bridge (“Voices from nowhere, voices from the larger towns…”) fires me up like few other recordings; that is rock and roll in my book:

“R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.” was the third single from Mellencamp’s eighth album, Scarecrow, and it almost didn’t make it onto the album because Mellencamp thought it was too upbeat compared to the rest of the tracks on that fairly dour collection. Fortunately, though, John’s manager talked him into including it. It appears as the final track on the original LP — remember, this came out in the ’80s, kids! — and I’ve always viewed it as a sort of necessary palate cleanser in that context. (On the cassette and CD versions, it was followed by another upbeat tune, “The Kind of Fella I Am.”) Released in February 1986, “R.O.C.K.” became one of John Mellencamp’s biggest hits, finally peaking at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, bested by Falco’s “Rock Me, Amadeus” (a song whose popularity I’ve never understood, frankly)

I remember doing a lip synch of this tune in my senior-year drama class and having a lot of fun with it. I’ll bet I was the only one in the room (besides my teacher) who knew who the artists mentioned in the bridge section actually were. If you want to educate yourself on the classics, “R.O.C.K.” provides you with a pretty decent beginning syllabus…


Friday Evening Videos: “Rockin’ at Midnight”

Last weekend found me and my friend Geoff indulging in an activity I haven’t done for a very long time: browsing the used CD section at FYE. (Yes, I still buy most of my music on physical media. Did you really expect otherwise, given my motto over there in the sidebar?) I managed to find several items from my wishlist, but my real score that night was a copy of an old favorite I had on cassette back in the Awesome ’80s, but haven’t heard in 20 years or more: The Honeydrippers, Volume One.

I’ll forgive you if that name doesn’t ring a bell, although my fellow Gen-Xers will probably at least remember the album’s big single, “Sea of Love.”

The Honeydrippers was a project created by singer Robert Plant in the aftermath of Led Zeppelin’s breakup in 1980. Plant had long been an admirer of early American R&B music, the stuff that hadn’t quite evolved into rock and roll yet, but definitely prefigured the genre, and working with Zeppelin hadn’t given him much opportunity to explore that sound. So in 1981, while the remains of the mighty Zep still smoldered, Plant pulled together his bandmate Jimmy Page, along with Jeff Beck — who was Page’s old bandmate from the Yardbirds, the group that also launched Eric Clapton — and various session musicians to have a little fun. Soon, though, he began working on original material that would lead to his first solo albums in ’82 and ’83, and the Honeydrippers got shelved

Enter Ahmet Ertegun, the legendary co-founder of Atlantic Records who’d signed Led Zeppelin to Atlantic way back in 1968, effectively giving them their big break. Ertegun wanted to record some of his favorite songs from the early rock era, and he remembered what Plant had been doing with The Honeydrippers a couple years before. A few phone calls later, and a reformed Honeydrippers — now including Nile Rodgers of the disco band Chic, and Paul Shaffer, best known as David Letterman’s sidekick but actually an accomplished keyboardist — were in the studio laying down the tracks that became The Honeydrippers, Volume One. Released in 1984, Volume One was a five-song EP that sounded like it had tumbled through a wormhole from three decades earlier. I loved it, myself… but then, I’d  cut my musical teeth listening to my mom’s scratchy old Elvis Presley 45s, so this was like comfort food to me.

“Sea of Love” became the highest-charting cut from the album, reaching number three on the Billboard Hot 100 — one notch higher than Zeppelin’s biggest seller, by the way — but oddly enough, that song hadn’t originally been intended as a single at all. It was the B-side to tonight’s video selection, “Rockin’ at Midnight.” In one of those weird quirks that used to happen when there were real-live DJs spinning actual records on the air, “Sea of Love” started getting more radio play than “Rockin’,” and the single was eventually reissued with the two songs flipped. My understanding is that Robert Plant wasn’t too happy about that; he feared the success of the crooning ballad “Sea” might derail his persona as a rocker, and that evidently was a big part of why there was never a Honeydrippers, Volume Two. A real shame, in my book, as I played the hell out of Volume One when I was a teen, and I certainly have enjoyed revisiting it this week. There’s just something about the roots of rock, an authenticity and a joyful swing that slowly bled out of the genre over time… see if you don’t agree:

The original “Rockin’ at Midnight” was a 1949 “jump blues” tune by a man named Roy Brown. It was a so-called “answer record” — a sequel, to use the more familiar terminology of cinema — to an earlier Brown song called “Good Rockin’ Tonight,” which was later recorded by — guess who? — Elvis Presley during his early days on the Sun label.  And I’m pretty certain that version was among those old 45s of my mother’s that The Honeydrippers always reminded me of. Wheels within wheels, man.

Also, I have to say it’s been a little weird to assemble the chronology of these events in my mind, really for the first time. I started finding my own music (as opposed to whatever Mom was listening to) in 1981, more or less. Led Zeppelin had broken up only one year before, but they’d already taken on the mystique of timeless legend. This was a time when it seemed like you couldn’t go 10 minutes without hearing “Black Dog” or “Rock and Roll” on the radio, and every fifth kid at Oquirrh Hills Middle School was wearing a “Swan Song” t-shirt. And yet the band itself was no more, and in fact its heyday had been a good decade earlier. It was almost as if their music had always existed, simultaneously old and current, while the band itself never had. So looking at the actual dates, figuring out that I barely missed Zeppelin’s period as an active band, and that their breakup and The Honeydrippers, Volume One happened within a scant four years of each other — really, it was only four years — has been kind of surreal for me. The Zeppelin era and Plant’s solo era always seemed geological ages apart to me, but it was merely the span of time I spent in middle school. More or less.

One final thought: At the time he recorded “Rockin’ at Midnight,” Robert Plant seemed very old to me. Not ready-for-a-rest-home-and-walker old, just very… adult. It turns out he was 36 in 1984. Ten years younger than I am now.

Makes you think about what the hell you’ve done with your life, doesn’t it?