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The Runes
Dancing with Ghosts

Total Time: 49:04
Cost: $7.98 +s/h*

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Read Our Review

STYLE: Artistic Rock
(not to be confused with Art Rock)


Visit The Runes WEB SITE

The Runes

Check out The Runes CDs:
Radio Banned & Lost Songs
also Hangin' on the Edge
By Gravity Jacket

Dancing with Ghosts
© 2002 Matt Kjeldsen / Raging Fyre Music Pub.

1. Town of Song
2. When You Were Real
3. Hell on My Mind
4. Breeze and the Sun
5. Rolling the Dice
6. Days Go By
7. Eternity
8. Darkest Dreams
9. In Paradox
10. Let It Go
11. A Laughing Cry
12. Dancing with Ghosts
13. Somewhere Else

Issue #34                                Feb. ‘02

February: A time of year in New England that lends itself to cold evenings spent by the fire immersing ones self into the perfect escape as that of a good book will give in an evening of read, or being swept away lost in the spectacle of an epic movie. And even when a fire is not available, the warmth and comfort of a favorite sweatshirt and a well used couch is all that is really required to sink your ears into a musical sojourn which captures your attention and whisks you off for an evening where the artistic mind can be absorbed by your senses.

The Runes bring us a novel that is layered throughout with sub themes that match, but do not over shadow the main plot, and it is all presented with an even more layered musical accompaniment than that which can be found on many overproduced LPs (if there’s one thing this disc cries for; it is a bigger budget so that the production could further enhance the Artistic vision).

Dancing with Ghosts opens with Town of Song. An autobiographical account of Runes founder and writer Matt Kjeldsen (vocals, guitars, percussion) helped by band mates Brian Collins (electric, acoustic, and lap steel guitars), Carrie Miller (cello, violin), Jimmy Holloway (drums, percussion), and Julie Carlton (bass and fretless bass) explaining why he feels that after a lifetime of writing songs - because that’s what he does - he’s about to move on, to stop writing songs (perhaps get a real job, that provides security in monetary terms, but at what price? That of the joy, and peace that the very thing he loves the most – music, brings to him no matter what else happens to him in his life and how he or any other – be it family, friends, or acquaintances may view it), but this thought is quickly banished especially when considering that there are a lot of other, savvier, younger musicians that are now providing “a simple groove with a lighting
tongue / the words are slung and never sung
.” All the while The Runes are pumping out a simple groove throughout until our aging rock musician lays his life crisis on our shoulders; After asking: “how can a simple song like this compete?” the song screams out as the proverbial slap in the face is applied and it is firmly stated that he isn’t going anywhere, not while he can still derive pleasure out of the song writing experience. It’s not even in question whether or not it is ever to be heard by anyone else in this world, for this joy is his life and this pure bliss can be uncovered and enjoyed even if it is to be his own private Shangri-la, even if “no one hears the words I sigh.”

Chapter/song #1 has laid the foundation. Now, Matt & The Runes take us chapter and verse to places far away but close at heart, the musical territory traversed through the rest of the LP is familiar and vital to the fulfillment of the escape. When You Were Real carries us off into a dreamlike state that sounds eerily like Tommy James and the Shondells on too many ‘ludes swooning to better days with a former lover. Hell On My Mind finishes the opening trio of Life, Love, and Ethics with an ELO inspired drama questioning the unassigned weight of the world and the accounting for the fate of the world in each of our own ways while trying to deal with our own lives (Hell) and their toll on our soul (& Mind).

But the heart of this Audio book comes on Rolling the Dice. Combining the opening three themes and rolling them through the life crisis of an Artist who does what he does to a point where he must question; why does he do it? Especially when it doesn’t seem to be important to anyone else. But he answers himself with the realization that what you do in life to provide the eternal peace we all search for in this world, the answer is not what provides the meaning of life, but the journey itself is what gives “meaning in the footsteps and the tears”.

With that The Runes decide to engross us for the remainder of the LP with an array of musical bliss layered and layered over a lifetime; What would you say to a song that sounds like George Harrison actually got Lennon & McCartney to write a song WITH him? (Days Go By). An Arena Rock God Anthem type ballad that wouldn’t surprise anybody to be tweaked and freaked by Page/Plant & Jones wailing out over a subdued Bonham and could have been used on the soundtrack to “Rock Star” (In Paradox), A bohemian muted- Eleanor Rigby styled psychedelic trip that brings to mind It’s A Beautiful Day and Quicksilver Messenger Service (Let It Go). Not to mention a low-fi/emo Beach Boys styled tune (Somewhere Else) that brought a smile to this fan of musical artistry and craftsmanship.

Craftsmanship that reaches a pinnacle in Darkest Dreams, a love song of obsession type proportions delivered unrequited to an unknowing lover. The narrator’s undying love, devotion, and submission which would be unwanted if known, is punctuated by the acoustic strumming of both guitar and cello lending forth the ominous tone that helps define the line between Good Love and Evil Love.

And that parlays itself back into the central plot running through this novel of self exploration: The self doubt and questioning of the “Good” of Love and the “Evil” of Love that each of us must endure in our lifetime. And how we act/react and are forever altered by the choices and sacrifices we are forced to make in the face of both Good and Evil for the sake of love and life. In the end we can only hope to be as satisfied with the choices and sacrifices we make that either highlight the good or the evil for us to the point where life and the paths we’ve chosen were worth Dancing down. And sometimes the right Artist can show us that the Ghosts of our past, while sometimes painful, can be just as pleasing to Dance with. Or for that matter, curled up on a cold evening and immersed into.

The Runes - Dancing with Ghosts
is available now for: $7.98 +s/h*

 Click to order   View Shopping Cart  /  Checkout
Accepting Credit Cards and PayPal

*Shipping & Handling charges:
USA - $3.00 for the first 2 CDs ordered,
                     Add $1.50 per each CD after.
Canada - $5.00 for the first CD ordered,
                          Add $2.00 per each CD after.
Everywhere else -$7.00 for the first CD ordered,
                                        Add $3.00 per each CD after.

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