“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”


“Let’s Push Things Forward” by The Streets (2002)

26 03 2009

“The Streets” is a name used by Mike Skinner, a British rapper/musician.  I love this track for it’s dub undertones and slightly off-kilter presentation.  It’s edgy and moving, with really engaging words that are fun to decipher and discover.  The track is a plea to shake things up musically, to explore new sounds and styles, to not get stuck in a sonic rut, which a lot of people do.

“You say that everything sounds the same
Then you go buy them!
There’s no excuses my friend
Let’s push things forward!”

Great advice!  Open up your mind to all kinds of music.  You may discover that Turkish folk music (Türkü) really rocks your boat, or that South African mbaqanga is just what you need to start your weekend.  But if you never explore your own tastes and the great wealth of music out there, you may miss something that you’d really like.

That kind of goes for all aspects of life, too.  At least that’s what your daddy thinks.

“Lose Yourself” by Eminem (2002)

10 03 2009

Although you probably know that rap isn’t my favorite genre of music, I think it can be an extremely powerful form of expression when used effectively.  And this track is a prime example of power and intensity that you won’t find in many places.  What do you do when faced with overwhelming odds?  What if your success—or even your survival—depended solely on you?

“Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted-One moment
Would you capture it or just let it slip?”

The conviction of Eminem’s words, the greasy, rusted steel of the guitar, and the anvil beat create a sonic monster that never fails to energize and motivate.  This is a great track to play on your way to a job interview, or an audition, or any daunting task that might have you worried.

Every time I hear this I get chills.

“Mr. Wendal” by Arrested Development (1992)

12 02 2009

Arrested Development made positive music, which sets them apart from much of the rap you hear today.  This song is a great example.  It’s about a “bum” who—like most homeless people in our country—lives on the margins of society. 

I’ve known people who have a really negative reaction when they encounter “bums” on the street. 

How did we get to a place where we blame people for their misfortune?  Many other cultures don’t do that, opting instead to take care of people who are down on their luck.

When I was discharged from the Air Force in 1992, it took me more than a year to find a job.  I was collecting unemployment benefits (one of our nation’s safety nets), but that only lasts so long.  I was very, very close to being homeless for a time.  Fortunately, I had friends and family to help me get back on my feet.

Not everyone is so lucky.

“Never thought twice about spending on a ol’ bum,
until I had the chance to really get to know one
Now that I know him, to give him money isn’t charity”

“Where is the Love?” by Black Eyed Peas (2003)

19 11 2008

I don’t know too much about the Black Eyed Peas, to be honest, but I was knocked over by this track the first time I heard it.  It’s extremely well done with a great beat and some really intricate parts/samples that just make it glide.

But I really like the words, and I hope you get a chance to hear and reflect on them a bit.  These folks speak the truth.

“People killin’, people dyin’
Children hurt and you hear them cryin’
Can you practice what you preach
And would you turn the other cheek?”