Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Last Sorcerers


What is UP, good people?

Hey man, for starters, dig the race war. Anyone else notice it?

I was just talking to an aquantance who's immersed in politics, and I mentioned how I've been hearing openly racist remarks lately. She articulated the idea of how, given the current events, folks are not reacting to just policy lately, but the changing of the status quo. I feel like I'm in baseball right after Jackie Robinson started playing, and my kids are going to look back on my generation with disgust, aversion, and disbelief.

I've seen figures that hate crimes are up against Latinos, have heard anti-black sentiment, been around so much flippant anti-gay remarks that it's staggering, and I've even felt like my own paleness has been resented.

So come on, people! What's all this about? Didn't we leave this behind? I was talking to a black client of mine who grew up in Jim Crow Virginia, and I asked him "have you noticed that racism is really getting bad lately?" His respose was a surprised "Getting? It's never gone away!"

This really, really floored me.

I've been discussing, ruminating, and talking some more. And I've got an idea.

Music is transcendent not only of different types of language, but of language itself. It's understood without words, and even deaf people dance to the vibrations. (Next time you're in DC, check out the Galludet University dance company.)

In a way, we're sort of magicians, sorcerers, if you will. We cast spells that all understand. Let's try to spin some understanding.

We can start by understanding, or at least learning.

Dig - the hispanic population is the fastest growing minority in the United States. This means two things for me. 1.) it really reminds me that I should learn Spanish! 2.) I can't wait to learn about Latin music. Talk about some complex grooves! It's mind-shattering stuff. I hear the fiery dance of a hard-working, so-non-white culture at play.

When I listen to delta blues, I hear a person working in the sun all day for almost no money, descended from people who didn't get paid at all. That gives me a small glimpse into the history of Black America.

Bach makes my abs feel tight in sympathy for the ladies in the classical era. Corsets must have hurt. It's probably also the only music that vaguely moves me to go to church. Imagine that.

The bossa nova floats through the air, and I can picture exotic Brazillian jazz clubs where the flowers are all unfamiliar and the girls aren't from Charles County. How nice.

And then I get ready to sail off to war and kick some butt while I'm listening to "Poser Viking Metal." It's cold outside at the viking port!

So, if I can hear and understand this, and differences are resolved by understanding, and music creates understanding, then...

Cast that spell, rockers! And learn, learn, learn. And don't be hatin'.



Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The fine line between genius and insanity

Is probably in the eye of the beholder.

The more time we spend avoiding that line, analyzing that line, and diagramming that line, and the less we spend blurring it -

The safer and more hopeless our art will become.

And security seems to be such a curse.

Don't be cursed, bro!

- Josh