And It Shines On by Dean Scarpinato is part of a seamless journey into alchemy. An artist of many disciplines, Dean is often called a Renaissance Man by those who know him. He is a Martial Artist, Acupuncturist, Astrologer, Poet and Guitarist with loves and interests that run deep. He sees the world on the brink of great change as is reflected in the more "political" songs such as Powers Falling Down, Six Twelve Twelve and Lightning Strikes the Towers, which was written in 1984, long before 9/11, after a daily Tarot Meditation.
This coming change which is already upon us he views from a highly evolved spiritual perspective. It's all light. Its all energy. Its all the Wings of a Dream. And if you can dig what I just said you will see into the deep direction of the lazy lilting lyrics that make up that song. Like the Grateful Dead its much deeper than it appears at first. And like the Grateful Dead you can let go of the need for depth and gently sway on the rhythms and music. It doesn't have to mean a thing. Which is exactly why it means everything. It's the Wandering Tao.
The album starts with some good hard driving Rock and Roll with an acoustic rhythm track. There is a cleanness, a clarity free of distortion and yet straight forward and rocking. It's called Smiles For A NIghttime and its got some pretty funky chord changes and ever present great lyrics. Dean was writing good poetry from his earliest memories. LIkely a gift from previous incarnations. Phil Schaeff is an awesome musician, multi instrumentalist and studio technician who brings the song to life with his bass, leads drums and backing vocals as well as his editing.
The majority of songs feature Dean and Phil trading riffs on lead. Deans talents and focus center on integrating his numerous talents, skills, studies and disciplines into a seamless life based on Hermeticism. Phil's talents and focus center on and are completely absorbed in music. The combination has yielded excellent results.
From the first note of the high powered intro of Smiles For A Nighttime to the last haunting lyrics of Teaching The Heathens this record, And It Shines On, stands as a great album. The transitions and cohesiveness harken back to a by-gone day called the Late '70's when, in this writer's humble opinion, rock and roll, and particularly Album Rock reached its zenith. And It Shines On, were it to gain millions of dollars worth of promotion and maybe a few bucks to really take the production to the next level, could stand in that rarified company. In fact, for under $2000 Dean and Phil have created a mini masterpiece that I play over and over again without stop. In fact the last note of Teaching the Heathens is Mastered to take you right back to the beginning of the record. Don't change the dial, LOL, just put it on repeat. It's a great experience from beginning to end.
Time Ago-Then Time Ago By will stand out as a bluegrass inspired riff with upbeat yet poignant lyrics that takes on a new dimension in the studio with Phil's craftsmanship and musical talents. Any one of these songs has the potential of being a hit. But there is something special about this one. It will appeal to everyone. And within the context of the album it is perfectly placed, coming after Prophet's Crime, a cryptic autobiographical journey into psychedelics and the transition into the mystical, and Wings of A Dream, "in the height of the night in the light of a Fallen Angel uncovered."
Much of this music was written in Haight Ashbury in 1987 and the subsequent years on the road. As Transiting Neptune conjuncts natal Jupiter and triggers a Grand Trine to Natal Neptune it is time to publish the work so far, and time to step into the next phase. Hence the studio has beckoned and the teacher and craftsman has appeared. Other songs are such as Powers Falling down are hot off the press singing of Occupy and the inevitability and desirability of revolution as Uranus Squares Pluto in Capricorn. Dean is entrenched in the struggle and transcendent at the same time. All matter dissolves into Light after all. LVX. Fiat Lux.
And be that as it may we are here to bring greater justice equality, peace, fairness and freedom to the Earth and all her creation and its not enough to sit and meditate. There is a time to stand for what is right or die a coward and that's never been more true than right now. Not, at least since the last time that Pluto was in Capricorn back in 1776. And so the official release date of this album is July 4, 2012 at 1PM Chicago time. The Sun is 1* from the MC conjunct Sirius and this work is destined to play a role in the next phase of consciousness and freedom. And that is the message of Powers Falling Down. Google the YouTube which is released as the acoustic version, sans drums and keyboards and backing vocals. The album version rocks and is also available on YouTube as Powers Falling Down Full Band.
From there Love Is Your Wealth sings of Dean's Taoist Buddhist philosophy and life path over some jazzy and tough to follow chord changes that came thru in a psychedelic experience in the Haight and merged into the straight time changes thru the vocals. Dean's lead came thru in one take and Phil decided to leave it as the only lead part. It was in danger of floating away and it was debated as to whether or not to leave it in the ether like that or ground it down with some drums. As two Earth signs the latter choice carried the day and with very good results.
Six Six Twelve is next up with new lyrics replacing the more rawsy blues original lyrics. The original was penned some 20 years ago and a touch of maturity combined with a chance encounter with Santos Bonacci inspired the present lyrics about the Church and their guilt in hiding the true Gnosis of Astrotheology while replacing it with a man centered myth for the purposes of gaining controlling interest in the world and it's resources at the expense of the true light of gnosis and the soul of mankind, emerged, complete at the speed of light. It was slowed down only by Dean's lack of typing skills.
6-6-12 is basically balls out rock and roll and the lyrics pull no punches. What is more they can be documented and proven. And they give more than a hint as to the solution to the mess with "the secret sacred kundalini bringing visions from the pineal heights." That is the same kundalini earlier referenced in the line "I won't fall for your deadly sin like the serpent in bondage at the feet of Quan Yin." That is, the true power inside has been cut off to bring the masses into slavery to an idol, a fetish. It's also a rocking lyric of its own that survived the edit in tact.
And this slides seamlessly into Master Isn't Confused which features sweet overlappings of the most intricately simple guitar lines pretty much improvised in the studio to a beat box. A nicely programmed beat box with a solid dope ass beat that just got the fingers moving on the strings. Cool vocal harmonies on some pretty sweet lyrics move into an extended jam because we just couldn't stop playing. It's totally authentic and inspired and it lingers very nicely in the atmosphere as you're going about your daily tasks. It's elegant, not invasive. Well played and well produced.
This glides right into Prophet's Crime which is a riff in F#m that Dean wrote back in the early 90's. We've spoken of this track already as well as the next tune. Time Ago Then Time Ago By. In fact,we've really covered them all, in my usual fashion of going where the wind blows. And its cool because they'd hang together in any order. And yet the order of the album is all important and should be enjoyed in that way. It was mastered that way and chosen again through means of the I Ching. Through the perfect randomness of a perfect universe arises perfection. And this record is pretty close. Again it took Steely Dan 18 months and a few million dollars to make Aja. "And It Shines On" was created in less than 100 hours for less than $2000. By those standards, and really by any standards in rock and roll, this is a damn good record! Shine On!