Home »

News vs. Rock And Roll

These are my reflections after seeing an artistic incident.

August 16th, 2018 | Journal | | Comments: 1

In a most fortunate series of events I was able to see Counting Crows, Līve, and Boom Forest perform in Hartford, Connecticut for free last night. And despite the show being hosted at a huge corporate venue (as all things tend to be once enough people show enough interest), the show seriously reaffirmed many THINGS for me.

A few of those THINGS are:

  1. why I do music
  2. what makes me loves music
  3. why I write music the way I do
  4. what I hope to hear in every song
  5. how I hear melody
  6. how I hear instrumentation
  7. what I believe a song can accomplish
  8. what the world needs
  9. what I can do to help
  10. why good band dynamics are so important
  11. there are kids (of all ages) out there that will always need encouragement, goading, sympathy, reminders, or some sort of whatever-“RESONANCE”-means-to-you to give them enough hope, vision, courage, bliss, distraction, fear, fuck-it, or tears to face another day, another challenge, another impossible life to overcome (or at least to survive and commiserate with the realities of life).

A huge part of what makes me who I am musically (and probably life-ly) is due to what I learned from listening to the recordings of the frontmen Adam Duritz (Counting Crows) and Ed Kowalczyk (Līve). These guys have come to life from different directions, but both are virtuoso lyricists, vocalists, and performers with tremendous insight. They had immeasurable impact upon my informal path to learning and understanding of the effort, energy, and emphasis that good music requires of the singer/songwriter, demands of the listener/thinker, and begs of the disengaged/disingenuous. I cannot overstate the profundity their efforts have infected and hovered over my own work.

HIGH ART can often feel unachievable. It is truly difficult to achieve, but I find myself continually returning to those works that wreck me most and they are the most basic of forms. The simplest words are the most profound.

When Līve performed their relatively non-hit, but surprisingly prescient song “White, Discussion” (especially when considering the current U.S. presidential administration), Ed Kowalczyk offered this statement:

“I just want to turn off all the news and listen to rock and roll for the rest of my life.” — Ed Kowalczyk, Hartford, Connecticut, August 15, 2018

And though that sentiment may seem childish or dismissible at face value, it reminds me of why I began investing in music in the first place. We are humans and we are bigger than than the circumstances we happen to find ourselves landing in. The news is worth shutting off. It is designed to make us reel, react, and regurgitate. Instead we should revolt, reinvent, reset, and remind each other of why and how we should live.

I remind you…as I am reminded…as I remind myself…

If anything without love rules you, overthrow it.

If anyone acts as though they are above you, remind them how the “Lightning Crashes”.

If any task seems too hard to start, to endure, or to end, return to the beautifully complicated truth of “Anna Begins”.

And as always, “If Ever In Doubt”…

But blogs are blogs. Blah, blah, blah, blogs. And as “White, Discussion” sums it up:

“Look where all this talking got us, baby”

1 Comment >
Home »

The War Is Within

The following paragraphs are from an entry in my journal on June 14, 2008, which I am posting it here as a public reminder to myself. The great problems of the world are not the result of the actions of an easily-fingered cast of evil-doers, but by the failing of average everyday folks like me […]

The following paragraphs are from an entry in my journal on June 14, 2008, which I am posting it here as a public reminder to myself.

The great problems of the world are not the result of the actions of an easily-fingered cast of evil-doers, but by the failing of average everyday folks like me to imagine anything different than the current set of circumstances. We grossly mistake the root of our troubles by demonizing a select few, whose ignoble traits are glaringly obvious, and which conveniently distract attention from our less conspicuous, yet equally ugly inclinations.

If we only dared to believe that life could be different and then acted on that very realistic hope. Though life’s grinding would not cease, its sting could be lessened or alleviated. Whether it be for the fear of change, love of the status quo, a lack of imagination, care, or hope, the problem lies within us, not outside.

If we wish to get better, this is how we must diagnose and treat the disease which afflicts us all: by believing that it must be fought and then continually conquered in our own hearts, minds, and spirits first.

Maybe this is the entire war? Perhaps the conflict is always within and only truly winnable there – never on the foreign soil of other people’s minds. Aren’t our own selves all (or really more) than we can control anyway?

Are we completely giving over ourselves to the notion of creating a better world? Or have we designated some portions of the battle as someone else’s job? Do we see any problem as someone else’s issue or do we recognize them all, no matter how grand or insignificant, as our own?

With each dollar we spend, smile we give, and trust we offer, we ultimate cast our votes in small, but critical measures for the type of world in which we wish to live. We are creating this world by the manner in which we think and do.

Is our world full of fear, distrust, greed, and anger? Or are we, by conscious belief and action, redefining a new order of life? Are we giving birth to something beautiful or giving in to what we think is inevitable? Are we proffering hope or hopelessly accepting that nothing will change, knowing that as such, we will always get what we have always got? Are we willing to accept the outcome of our decisions?

No Comments >