Friday, 30 January 2015

Before The Dawn

I don’t know: maybe all the protest songs have already been written.

Have a listen to Long Time Gone by Crosby Stills and Nash.  Sure, it’s about the assassination of RFK, but it’s about more than that right? 

Turn any corner
Hear what the people say
You know that something is going on around here
It surely, surely, surely won't stand the light of day

Speak out, you got to speak out against the madness
You got to speak your mind
If you dare

RFK spoke out against racism, inequality, a stupid war …  Wow!  That sounds like today.

But why use a 45 year old song – as compelling as it is - to talk about today?  How can that work?  Old fogeys like me will hear it and think about the 60’s.  Younger folk don’t listen to CSN(Y).  Who is singing out about today’s issues?

Friday, 23 January 2015

There’s Something Happening Here

There is unrest in the land.  Check the headlines.  Turn on the news.  Things are not right, and the people are ticked.

How come, then, Rolling Stone’s 10 Best Protest Songs of All Time has one song from 1992, one from 1975, and 8 songs from the 60’s?  How come Dylan gets on the list four times?  Wait a minute: that’s obvious.

OK, but how come half the songs are about the Vietnam War?  Like nothing bad has gone down since?  No, that’s not true.  Check the headlines.

Is the musical world in denial?  Is its collective head in the sand?

Why are we singing “I’m coming up so you better get this party started,” when “there’s a battle outside and it’s raging?”  I thought art was supposed to imitate life, not avoid it.

Back over to you, Bob, I guess.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Higher Than The Moon

Have a listen to St. Teresa by Joan Osborne.  Cool, eh?  Trippy video too.

Every time I play it, I think to myself, “Why did she never make another album after Relish?”  One great record, one overwhelming performance in Standing In The Shadows of Motown, then oblivion.

Starting a few months after Relish came out in 1995, I always looked in the Joan Osborne bin whenever I went browsing for CD’s – something I did often.  Always only the one album.

Eventually I gave up, and accepted that I was fated to repeat this sad question to myself every time I heard Joan Osborne.

Then a few weeks ago I remembered that after the album was released, this thing called the Internet exploded into our world, along with this really cool resource called Wikipedia.

So I finally looked up Joan Osborne in Wikipedia and discovered that she hadn’t disappeared at all.  In fact, she’s been very busy.

Damn!  Guess I got a bucketful of lost time to make up for.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Music in the Cafes at Night; Revolution in the Air

Beale Street, Bleeker Street, Haight-Ashbury, Sunset Strip, Music Row and Motown.

These are the streets that changed music history, according to Rolling Stone - or is it Chrysler?  And of course, by Motown they mean West Grand Boulevard, but we’ll let that slide, shall we?

Elvis, Dylan, The Dead, The Doors, all those Motown hits, all that Country … no one’s gonna argue that some pretty important music came off these streets – and still does.

Here’s another one, though, that’s kind of a glaring omission:  Abbey Road.  A little band called The Beatles made a few hit records there, and I’m told they enjoyed a bit of influence in their day.  Oh, and The Hollies, The Shadows, Pink Floyd, Radiohead and Oasis.

Oh wait a minute!  Guess they don’t get many Dodge Challengers driving around London.