Saturday’s Theme Music

I read that The Beatles’ album, Abbey Road, was released fifty years ago. It’s not a surprise; it came out when I was thirteen, and I’m sixty-three. The math was straightforward. It’s more astonishing not for time’s passing — hey, that happens every day — but for the shifts that it signaled in pop music, the world’s ever-changing politics and alliances, and the monstrous technological surge recorded during that fifty years.

I won’t say it was all peace and love in 1969 because it sure as hell wasn’t. Older people were lamenting the youth, and the youth was out to change the establishment. Major civil rights advances had been achieved. Bottled water existed but wasn’t the ubiquitous commodity that it is today. Corporations were gaining power but we hadn’t yet witnessed the emergence of the super-CEOs of now, compensated and treated like they’re dictators of small countries. The U.S.S.R. and Warsaw Pact countries, and Communist China – the P.R.C. – dominated movies and novels as the U.S.A.’s greatest threat. Computers were still big machines and novelties. VCRs, DVD players, cell phones were all creeping over the future’s horizon.

History update completed, when I contemplated the release of Abbey Road, the song that popped into my stream was “Oh! Darling”. I like its bluesy sensibilities and active bass so I thought I’d push it on you.

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Sunday’s Theme Music

We went to a spotlight performance the other night. As an elderly community of retired professionals in their sixties to nineties thrive around here, performances are often geared toward their preferences and memories. The spotlight performances are among those, featuring music from 1960s era “girl-bands”, the Motown sound, the Eagles, and the current offering focusing on the Mamas and Papas. They’re a lot of fun but they fire up neurons from that era, as more of that period’s music flooded my stream this morning.

“Eve of Destruction” by Barry McGuire was playing as irritation with our current government sent me into new spasms of frustration. Then along came a song by a group called Thunderclap Newman has been on loop. I always liked the name, Thunderclap Newman. Goes right up there with Moby Grape, Psychedelic Furs and Strawberry Alarm Clock.

Thunderclap Newman’s song, “Something in the Air” is streaming in my head. Word association started it. First, “Eve of Destruction” lyrics bobbed along the stream:

Yeah, my blood’s so mad, feels like coagulatin’
I’m sittin’ here just contemplatin’
I can’t twist the truth, it knows no regulation
Handful of Senators don’t pass legislation

And marches alone can’t bring integration
When human respect is disintegratin’
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin’

Read more: Barry Mcguire – Eve Of Destruction Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Ah, the rhyming. But the song’s sentiment plays as true for 2019 as it did for 1965 regarding governments’ ineptitude, human respect, frustration at the pace of change, and constant war. We stay on the eve of destruction, don’t we?

Lock up the streets and houses
Because there’s something in the air
We’ve got to get together sooner or later
Because the revolution’s here,

h/t to Genius.com

I always enjoyed Newman’s piano solo in this song. I have a vivid memory of smoking hash and listening to this song again and again when I was sixteen and my Dad was away.

So, that’s my Sunday theme music, Thunderclap’s 1969 song, “Something in the Air”.

 

Friday’s Theme Music

Thinking of symbiotic relationships and current politics lured the 1986 AC/DC song into my stream this morning, “Who Made Who”. That’s always the question, innit, as relationships and people morph under the pressures and stresses of who they are and who they want to be versus how they respond and re-balance. Add to it the ever-shifting windows of what we see in ourselves and others, and what others see in us, and it becomes a real pickle, to use some fancy phrasing.

Sit back, crank it up, bang your head, and relax. You’ve survived another week…so far…

Thursday’s Theme Music

I think today’s ancient rock song speaks to human history. Listen, and let me know if you agree. A sample verse:

Neon lights, a Nobel Prize
When a leader speaks, that leader dies
You won’t have to follow me
Only you can set you free

You gave me fortune
You gave me fame
You gave me power in your God’s name
I’m every person you need to be

Read more: Living Colour – Cult Of Personality Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Here’s Living Colour’s 1988 song, “Cult of Personality”.

 

Tuesday’s Theme Music

Today’s song is a natural for the times. I started to add, IMO – in my opinion – but isn’t that redundant? This is my post, so it should be my opinion. Yet, I took the time to writesplain that to you.

Ten Years After released “I’d Love to Change the World” in 1971 as a response to the violence, protests, emerging counter-culture, resistant establishment, and war. Gosh, does any of that have any echos in today’s world? Naw, probably just me.

Like most of TYA’s offerings, the song features some powerful Alvin Lee guitar work, which is always good to hear. Beyond the rock essence of guitar and dream, these lyrics, and how they’re presented in the song, plaintive, accepting, and reflective, spoke to me as a fifteen-year-old when the song came out, but still talks to me as a sixty-three-year-old.

I’d love to change the world

But I don’t know what to do.

So I’ll leave it up to you.

I think most of us want to change the world. We also know what to do, but it’s an embattled, relentless, and exhausting process. It seems more so in the Internet era, where lies and bullshit gains instant traction and never seems to die, like the Terminator rising again and again.

So I’ll leave it up to you.

Monday’s Theme Music

I was reading a news article about SoCal high school students – the boy’s water polo team – singing a NAZI song while saluting. That brought to mind the Santayana comments and quotes about history and the past and repeating it because the lessons aren’t learned. We see it as a trend around the world through decreases in environmental protections, compassion, and social injustice while nationalism, isolationism, and white supremacy movements increase. The social actions that took us to the development and use of the first atomic bomb is alive and thriving again. Meanwhile, the environmental protections developed to clean our air and water are being stripped away. It sucks.

Of course, flipping all those over to look at it from other angles. Corporations’ loyalty are usually with shareholders, increasing profits, and improving executive compensation – because they want the best. Many decry regulations because they stand in the way of profits or burden efforts with time and expense. Whole swaths of population struggle with changes and mourn for a different time, beguiled by rosy stories of how it use to be, or are hateful, selfish, and greedy people whose primary concern is for themselves.

Naturally, Steely Dan’s song, “Do It Again” (1972) arose to the occasion. Their song is about personal miscues and problems but the lesson remains the same as for a nation, society, or civilization: if you don’t learn, you’re going to do it again. As they sing in the song, “Wheel turning round and around.”

Then, I think, where do I sit on the spectrum of history, lamenting the swing back while listening to fifty-year-old music? Naturally, I must laugh at the aging fool on his computer…

 

Thursday’s Theme Music

Remember the peace dividend?

Maybe, right. Hard to say. Depends on your age, education, and memory, and what I mean by the peace dividend. Well, I mean the supposed reduction in defense spending that would be seen after the collapse and break up of the U.S.S.R. With that major nuclear threat winding down, the thought was that less money should be spent military spending, allowing more money to be spent on social programs, while taxes were reduced. Thatcher and Bush 41 were said to be behind this progressive idea. They said they were being pragmatic.

Didn’t last long, and the dividend didn’t go far. The U.S continues to increase spending and go to war more and more frequently to address problems.

Conversations with friends last night reminded me of the U.S.S.R.’s fall and the subsequent peace dividend. Back in the early 1990s, in the post-Soviet world, it seems like we were on the cusp of making some significant advances. Some will disagree, but I thought increasing the social net, helping others, recognizing and confirming people’s rights regardless of their sexual preference, gender, skin color, or religion were all strides forward to a better world. Environmental consciousness was increasing. It seemed like America was were trying harder as a nation. Now, to me, it feels like we’re sliding back into the 1930s. Sigh.

I posted about this song, Jesus Jones, “Right Here, Right Now” (1991) in 2017 but without the political realities behind its inspiration. Forgive me for sharing it again, but it seemed right.

A woman on the radio talked about revolution
When it’s already passed her by
Bob Dylan didn’t have this to sing about you
You know it feels good to be alive

I was alive and I waited, waited
I was alive and I waited for this
Right here, right now
There is no other place I want to be
Right here, right now
Watching the world wake up from history

I saw the decade in, when it seemed
The world could change at the blink of an eye
And if anything
Then there’s your sign… Of the times

I was alive and I waited, waited
I was alive and I waited for this
Right here, right now

I was alive and I waited, waited
I was alive and I waited for this
Right here, right now
There is no other place I want to be
Right here, right now
Watching the world wake up from history

Right here, right now
There is no other place I want to be
Right here, right now
Watching the world wake up from history

Right here, right now
There is no other place I want to be
Right here, right now
Watching the world wake up… 

h/t to Lyrics Freak.com

 

 

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