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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I'll know my song well before I start singing...

Happy Tuesday, friends.

I've got all sorts of thoughts swirling through my head that may or may not be blogworthy. I'm sure none of them are particularly interesting, but that's why we do this blog nonsense, right?

I'm listening to Barack Obama's speech from earlier in the day. He seems to be doing a good job of squelching the fears about his background & ideologies while at the same time remaining proud of his background. I have to admit that I haven't listened to any of the sermons of his pastor other than the few controversial clips that have been played over & over again. I'm quite positive that most people haven't.

My only concern would be as a Christian why would you attend a church that seeks to provide political views that either overshadow or distract from the message of the gospel? Then again, preachers are sinners, too, & I'm sure there's plenty of things I've said that might have left people with a bad taste in their mouths.

Obama could have left this sticky subject be, hoping that his campaign could overcome this large political setback. He didn't though, he jumps right into it & does his best not to defend his role in it or justify it but to explain it. I think he does a pretty good job of seeing both sides, too. He doesn't sweep the racism & radical thinking that exist in his background under the rug. In this speech he puts some racial issues right out there on the table. He's not talking about white hoods or black panthers, he's talking about the racial issues that often don't make the headlines.

Regardless of your politics or what you think of Barack Obama, I would strongly urge you to listen to this speech.

In other news, two of my favorite magazines are closing their doors (or pages). Harp & No Depression were two magazines that championed music that can't always be found on the radio or on MTV. No Depression's focus was on Americana-type (Bluegrass, Folk, Blues, Country) music & the artists who make it great. Many of these artists are either far out of the radar or have long since been forgotten. Harp focused more on new music from any genre. Both magazines lifted up independent record labels & were eager to get you to hear people you'd never heard before. The fact that these magazines are going under is indicative a music business that is struggling without a viable product. The internet has made it so that music is not so much something that can be bought or sold but rather something that can be found for free if you look in the right places. There's alot of great music out there for the taking, but if it continues like this, musicians will find it increasingly harder to make a living & they'll probably run paint stores or something.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Lessons from What's Poor-Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Master & Everyone

I pulled this little gem out for the first time in a long time on Sunday. It just may be Will Oldham's finest work. He doesn't concentrate on being weird (as he's pretty good at being) but just on making fine little songs.

Lessons From What's Poor

When i go
Follow my brother
He's got the blood of father and mother
And he has a spirit that's even mightier

And if i hunger,
See that i do
Bring me water,
Bring me food
And fill me up with things that are true,
And very good

And if you want to,
Touch my wrist
With the hands
That i have kissed
And hold my cuffs
So strong in your fist

See now, watch
How it is i am
Watch what i do,
And how i stand
And stand down boys
For we are grand
Right now we are

I take my lessons
From what's poor
That's what God
Has put me for
Wealth is death,
Of that i'm sure

Hard Life-Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Master & Everyone

Tower of Song-Leonard Cohen

A Hard Rain's a Gonna Fall-Bob Dylan, Brixton 2003

Anthem-Leonard Cohen

there's a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in...

Ring the bells, friends!


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Grand Haven, Michigan
the sun shines on a dog's ass every now & then...