Where’s The Anger?

Someone I know recently asked ‘where has all the angry music gone’.  And I feel that to my soul.  I am so angry at the world for so many things.  As someone who uses music as medicine, it’s no wonder that anger has no outlet right now.

There’s so much to be angry about.  Whether its Trump supporters who don’t understand what they are voting for (though I totally get their frustration with the establishment, Trump is not the right answer) or climate change deniers or a political world that seems convinced that tax cuts are the only answer (Does anyone not think we need to pay for shit??? We hate government so much we think we can solve major issues individually.  We can’t.  We need to vote for people who want to change the world not put $100 in our pockets).  How can we pay down debt by cutting taxes?  How can we keep our infrastructure up to grade by paying less?  How can we pay for war by paying less?  Everything has a cost.

We hate taxes because of the constant perception of mismanagement, part of which is true and part of which is the fact that no government can make everyone happy with policies.  Can’t be done.  People have forgotten that a few dollars from all of us allows many good things to happen.  Part of the blame is on companies that take more and more profit but don’t give their employees raises.  We resent that extra bit going to the government because we have enough trouble keeping up with bills.

Whether its corporate greed and the fact that they won’t pay their employees while they take home more and more or money influence in government, what’s not to be angry about?  People complain about giving free post-secondary education to the poor while students make so little they can’t pay for it themselves.  Nor can their parents who haven’t had a raise in years.  We should fund free college for all but this is a first step.  Our kids and grandkids come out of school so deep in debt it makes you wonder why anyone bothers.

Too many people online find it so easy to hate.  Too simple to rip people to shreds all the while hiding behind some screen name.  My online name is my name.  I spout off a lot.  I’m not always right and I admit when I’m wrong.  Do you?  Do you hide yourself so you can spew?  That pisses me off.  So much partisan garbage out there and no one listens to logic.  Who cares if anything makes sense, right?

So where’s those songs?  I don’t want some folk music about a better world.  I want someone screaming “Fuck you ignorant bastards”!  I want someone yelling about money and religion in politics.  This isn’t about Liberal or Conservative, Republican or Democrat.  It’s about service to all the people based on rights. Politics today is miles away from that.

I want a song about a world that is dying and we’re watching useless Kardashians and Big Brother.  I want a song about the media now in it for the money while journalism takes a holiday.  Where’s the hard truth.  And where the fuck is a song about that?  No one is forced to think.  No one bothers to think and investigate and deal with reality.  Reality is a fake world on tv now.

And where is the rock, alternative and punk that would normally be all over this?  Where’s the rap about that?

We seem to be in a constant state of war.  No one bothers to deal with ‘why’ when it comes to terrorism and hate.  Why does ISIS exist?  What events led to their creation and what part did we play in all that?  Don’t care?  You should because we can’t stop this fight without understanding that we in the west play a role in all these things.  Why the fuck should you try and understand that thought, right?  Just bomb them into submission.  Always works, doesn’t it?  Golly I wonder who will come after ISIS (anyone remember the Taliban, al Qaeda before ISIS?)?

We used to be able to understand the world and express our anger and frustration through music.  I’m waiting.  I’m still waiting.

Posted in Music, Politics/Religion/Whatever | 2 Comments

Repost: My 5 Favourite Christmas Songs

 

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It is, after all, that time of year! I’ll do a proper countdown from 5 to 1! Some choices may seem odd but hey, they are mine!

#5 Christmas Is Coming
A classic from forever! A Charlie Brown Christmas!!! Can’t get better from the classics department!

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#4 Fuck Christmas – Eric Idle
Okay, so rude as it can possibly be. Bypass it if it offends your delicate sensibilities! I love this! Hysterical! An absolute classic from Eric Idle!

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#3 Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses
This may fall into the WTF category for people’s impressions of me. I’m a sappy sentimentalist at times. I just thought this was fun, different and a little goofy but nice!

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#2 Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth – Bing Crosby and David Bowie
I remember watching this when it first aired. STUNNED to see Bowie with old Der Bingle. When I heard he was going to be on Bing’s Christmas special I couldn’t wait because I couldn’t imagine what they’d do. I was SO blown away!! Brilliant! Still gives me shivers!

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#1 Fairytale of New York – The Pogues
This embraces all of it! It is touching, slightly rude, almost traditional and a little twisted!! There is nothing not to love about it! And it is, along with my #2 choice a must hear every single year! A touch of the Irish never hurts! Enjoy!

Merry Christmas everyone! Don’t be afraid to share your favourites in the comments section!!

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Montage of Heck: A Reaction

Finally watched Montage of Heck.  What a great piece of storytelling.  By the credits when they played Smells Like Teen Spirit I was on my feet (thankfully alone)headbanging and throwing myself around.  I felt happy and sad and bitter and angry.  And for whatever reason this came out of me a few minutes ago.

I play to take my pain away
The crowd, the crowd it gets so loud
They hear they don’t and I just won’t
The pain, the pain, am I insane?
I take stage to say to say
Just leave me alone and go away
But they need me and I need them
Like the needle stuck into my vein
It’s her, it’s me can you not see?
Where were you, dad?
All I did was bleed
And mom I love you and I am so sorry
There was never a good end to this story
I weep, she wept, the joy today
There was never enough to stop the crave
I watch you now, still so confused
Whose fault was I?  Can you not figure?
It was never about that but really me
As the pressure bore down upon the trigger
I scream I rant and rave and flail
As I witness the cross and every nail
And the quiet that descends but the noise never ends
Am I the enemy or just a betrayal?
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Repost: My 5 Favourite Christmas Songs

It is, after all, that time of year! I’ll do a proper countdown from 5 to 1! Some choices may seem odd but hey, they are mine!

#5 Christmas Is Coming
A classic from forever! A Charlie Brown Christmas!!! Can’t get better from the classics department!

#4 Fuck Christmas – Eric Idle
Okay, so rude as it can possibly be. Bypass it if it offends your delicate sensibilities! I love this! Hysterical! An absolute classic from Eric Idle!

#3 Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses
This may fall into the WTF category for people’s impressions of me. I’m a sappy sentimentalist at times. I just thought this was fun, different and a little goofy but nice!

#2 Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth – Bing Crosby and David Bowie
I remember watching this when it first aired. STUNNED to see Bowie with old Der Bingle. When I heard he was going to be on Bing’s Christmas special I couldn’t wait because I couldn’t imagine what they’d do. I was SO blown away!! Brilliant! Still gives me shivers!

#1 Fairytale of New York – The Pogues
This embraces all of it! It is touching, slightly rude, almost traditional and a little twisted!! There is nothing not to love about it! And it is, along with my #2 choice a must hear every single year! A touch of the Irish never hurts! Enjoy!

Merry Christmas everyone! Don’t be afraid to share your favourites in the comments section!!

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The Troubles – U2

U2 - The Troubles

I would love to be able to post the full audio here but unfortunately I have not found one. Please feel free to check out this short clip of the song as reference (and if you find a full version of the song I can share please post in comments).

Listen here.

This is easily my favourite song on the new album Songs of Innocence and the closing track for the album. Lykke Li provides partnering vocals to Bono and that is something that I think was long overdue. Her voice is a perfect foil for Bono’s and it really adds some energy.

Lykke Li

Lyrics here, more below:
Somebody stepped inside your soul
Somebody stepped inside your soul
Little by little they robbed and stole
Till someone else was in control

You think it’s easier
To put your finger on the trouble
When the trouble is you
And you think it’s easier
To know your own tricks
Well it’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do

I have a will for survival
So you can hurt me and then hurt me some more
I can live with denial
But you’re not my troubles anymore

Somebody stepped inside your soul
Somebody stepped inside your soul
Little by little they robbed and stole
Till somebody else was in control

Somebody stepped inside your soul
Somebody stepped inside your soul
Little by little they robbed and stole
Till someone else was in control

You think it’s easier
To give up on the trouble
If the trouble is destroying you
You think it’s easier
But before you threw me a rope
It was the one thing I could hold on to

I have a will for survival
So you can hurt me then hurt me some more
I can live with denial
But you’re not my troubles anymore

Somebody stepped inside your soul
Somebody stepped inside your soul
Little by little they robbed and stole
Till somebody else was in control

Somebody stepped inside your soul
Somebody stepped inside your soul
Little by little they robbed and stole
Till somebody else was in control

God knows it’s not easy
Taking on the shape of someone else’s pain
God now you can see me
I’m naked and I’m not afraid
My body’s sacred and I’m not ashamed

Somebody stepped inside your soul
Somebody stepped inside your soul
Little by little they robbed and stole
Till somebody else was in control

Somebody stepped inside your soul
Somebody stepped inside your soul
Little by little they robbed and stole
Till someone else was in control

I love that they took a topic that is so associated with the band (those Irish Troubles) and turned the tables. For me there’s two aspects to this song and it is a very common U2 theme they often try to hide or massage. The song starts of dealing with a controlling relationship. By the end I’m left wondering if the relationship is with God. “Somebody stepped inside your soul”. “I can live with denial”. “Until you threw me a rope”. And of course the last non-chorus verse.

Whether feeling controlled, having doubts and then being thrown a rope by the very thing you’ve been fighting and that saves is how this song feels to me. The layers are important and part of why I think is such a good song.

U2 Songs of Innocence

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When A Giveaway Is Not A Giveaway?

U2 Songs of Innocence

“You’ll have noticed the album is free to U2.com’ers from the band. It’s also free to everyone on iTunes thanks to Apple. To celebrate the ten year anniversary of our iPod commercial, they bought it as a gift to give to all their music customers. Free, but paid for. Because if no-one’s paying anything for it, we’re not sure “free” music is really that free. It usually comes at a cost to the art form and the artist… which has big implications, not for us in U2, but for future musicians and their music… all the songs that have yet to be written by the talents of the future… who need to make a living to write them.” – Bono

The above quote came from a letter posted on u2.com. Call me annoyed. Call me jaded. When the richest band in the world can’t give away music themselves, I get upset. You may ask me why.

To be clear, what happened with Songs of Innocence is not a new business model. It is not a new marketing strategy that new bands can follow. It is not attempt to change the game. It is simply a brilliant marketing maneuver by two of the biggest music corporations on Earth. And yes, U2 is a corporate dynasty.

For clarity, I am a U2 fan. The new album is impressive though will not take the world by storm except for the fact that anyone with an Apple device can listen to it. This will neither help nor hurt their legacy. The follow up album, Songs of Experience, will tell the tale whether U2 exits (and consider there could be a third album – the long rumoured Songs of Ascent) band life on top or just trying too hard to be relevant.

What irks me is that U2 could not find it in themselves to give away the album to their fans themselves. They HAD to be paid. I’m not saying they shouldn’t be paid but let’s face a fact here. U2 will get more credit for the free album giveaway because their name is on it. Most people won’t pay enough attention to realize Apple is giving it away.

U2 made over $700 million on the last tour (U2 360). If there was a band on this planet that could afford it, it’s U2. But they just couldn’t do it. Incredible marketing ploy? Sure.

That need to get paid gives all the appearances of a certain self-righteousness. They have earned their millions. I do not deny them their success. They have homes in places like the south of France, Manhattan, Malibu. They hang out with stars. They hang out with power players. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Bono hanging out with the poor. Has he forgotten the humble beginnings? He may write about them, but does he remember the real struggles? Maybe he has, maybe he hasn’t. I don’t really know. Appearances tell me perhaps he has. I wonder if Larry is really the one who feels that need to be paid. Or is it all of them?

From my perspective either charge for the album or don’t. This idea that you getting paid because someone else was willing to give it out free is somehow supporting the art and the art form is pretty ridiculous.

A business analyst on CTV news in Toronto was discussing it this morning. “The biggest giveaway in music history…perhaps the biggest sellout in music history”.

Curious who thinks I am an ass and if anyone agrees.

U2 Songs of Innocence

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U2 -Songs Of Innocence

U2 Songs of Innocence

Available for free if you are on iTunes.  Available elsewhere October 13, 2014 (Deluxe version will include acoustic versions of some songs plus 4 new tracks).

Track List:

The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)

Every Breaking Wave

California (There Is No End To Love)

Song For Someone

Iris (Hold Me Close)

Volcano

Raised By Wolves

Cedarwood Road

Sleep Like A Baby Tonight

This Is Where You Can Reach Me Now

The Troubles

 

To see my initial thoughts on each track, please go here!

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