“One Day” by Matisyahu (2009)

14 11 2016

My last post about the election was pretty apocalyptic. Apologies. Must be the funk I’m in.

That doesn’t discount the battle ahead, though. We will have to fight to keep what we have.

I’ve worked with a lot of tough people. Organizers, activists, musicians, writers. We have a lot going for us.

Hope is both required and justified.

This is a great song about hope. For us all. We need more anthems like this.

“All my life I’ve been waiting for
I’ve been praying for
For the people to say
That we don’t wanna fight no more
There will be no more wars
And our children will play
One day”


“I’m the Man Who Loves You” by Wilco (2002)

16 07 2010

This song comes from what I think is one of the best records of the decade, “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” by Wilco. It’s a fantastic record. Raw, experimental, emotional, accessible and magnetic.

And mostly joyful, like this song, a simple declaration of love. It doesn’t get much better than this. I’ll let the song speak for itself:

“If I could you know I would
Just hold your hand ’til you understand
I’m the man who loves you!”

(Huge thanks and respect to hoganfan for the great quality upload and for being what seems to be an awesome dad to a beautiful daughter.)

“Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson (1988)

10 07 2010

I said I was going to concentrate on “pop” music for a bit, and I couldn’t do that without posting something from the “King of Pop,” Michael Jackson. Mr. Jackson created undeniably great music, smashed barriers, and touched millions of lives around the entire planet. That’s not a lie. He is revered all over the world.

Sadly, that’s been overshadowed by the parasitic press, the social vultures, and the countless, mindless idiots who value sensation over substance.

“Innocent until proven guilty” doesn’t mean much in the public eye. And celebrities sometimes bear the brunt of that. Yeah, he was eccentric, but I believe he was merely misunderstood.

But aren’t we all? I mean, if the press was digging into your garbage for “dirt,” wouldn’t that piss you off? Or at least make you feel violated in some way?

Anyway, I can’t pick just one song to represent Mr. Jackson’s work. You should listen to it all. But I’ll pick one of my faves as a start: “Man in the Mirror.” Great song, great message, and great gratitude from me for the sonic tonic.

I think we should replace “Happy Birthday to You” with this song. If we all reflected on this message—at least once a year—maybe the world would be a better place.

“I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself
And then make a change”

(thanks to jennifer95828 for the upload to YouTube with lyrics)

“Timeless Melody” by The La’s (1990)

19 06 2010

The La’s were a British band who made this one album, “The La’s,” released in 1990. The band broke up after this record, which is a shame, because this is one tight, glorious set of music. It had one big hit in the U.S., “There She Goes,” but all the tracks are terrific. I particularly like this one. Why? Well, it makes me feel good.

“If you look in your mind
Do you know what you will find?
Open your mind”

There’s so much to latch onto: the solid beat that sometimes surprises you, the multiple melodies and lush harmonies that beckon you to join in, the smart, upbeat vibe. What can I say? It makes me feel good!

I just realized that this and the last post of pop/escapist music are both from 1990. That’s about when I first heard them. That’s about the time of Desert Storm, when your lonely airman of a dad, armed with a portable CD player, was looking for some kind of escape.

If I could say anything to The La’s and the others behind this record, it would be simple and sincere: “Thank you!”

“Turn it on Salvador” by Toy Matinee (1990)

13 06 2010

It’s a crime that this record didn’t sell millions of copies when it came out in 1990. Every song on the album is a hit, and could still be today, as the tracks still sound fresh and timeless.

Toy Matinee was the project of two men, Patrick Leonard and Kevin Gilbert, and they only released this one self-titled album. Mr. Leonard is now legendary as a music producer with a magic touch who has worked with just about everyone. Mr. Gilbert, who, sadly, passed away at the age of 29, was an incredibly talented musician, singer, songwriter, and by all accounts an all-around good guy. I can only imagine the great music Toy Matinee would have continued making if not for Mr. Gilbert’s passing.

While all the tracks are wonderful, I particularly like this one. It’s catchy, bouncy, playful, and quite a bit surreal for a pop song. Very fitting considering it’s an ode to Salvador Dali, the great surrealist artist. Listen to the loving care and attention to detail on this track, like the vocal harmonies, the contrasting slinky and chunky guitar parts, and the elite clarinet platoon that conquers all at the end.

I could listen to this track a thousand times and still find it engaging. Like the whole album, this is truly a musical gem.

(Thanks to Ecram32 for uploading tracks from this great record!)

“The Boys Are Back In Town” by Thin Lizzy (1976)

10 06 2010

This song was all over my youth. The radio, the school dances, the stereos of my friends’ older brothers and sisters. The energy is amazing. The vocal delivery is conversational, comfortable and recognizable, like your favorite uncle, after a beer or two, telling you about something your dad did when he was young and dumb. Precious.

Sad to say, the singer and bassist of Thin Lizzy, the great Phil Lynott, died much too young, not too long after this song was recorded. He’s a bit of a hero to me, and this song’s a bit of a shrine. You might hear this song in commercials or modern covers. I’d like you to hear the original.

“All My Little Words” by The Magnetic Fields (1999)

1 01 2010

This track is from an epic album, “69 Love Songs,” by The Magnetic Fields (which is really Stephin Merritt, with a fantastic and talented group of friends and musicians joining in and making the music so eclectic and joyful).

Go, right now, and pull this CD album from the collection. You’re going to need it!

Be suspicious of everything you’ve ever heard/read/watched about relationships and romance. Discover it for yourself, because love is everything: beautiful, ugly, nourishing, toxic, divine, tragic….

No one has ever been able to fully describe it. But we try.

Just be prepared for a bumpy road. It’s possible no one in your life really tells you that, except for artists (and musicians). If you’re normal, you’re going to get hurt. We’re all hurt by love at some point. Maybe that’s our common thread.

So when you’re hurt, just know that it’s temporary. “This too shall pass”

Hopefully, you can laugh about it someday, even at the bitterest memories. Trust me, you’ll need to be able to do that.

“Now that you’ve made me want to die
You tell me that you’re unboyfriendable
And I could make you pay and pay
But I could never make you stay”

(Thanks to sharpiefinepoiny for the great vid upload to complement this song so beautifully!)