In light of the atrocities perpetrated in Paris, Beirut, Baghdad, and elsewhere in the past day, even the past years, I still believe there is good in the world. It’s hard to look beyond the violence and the loss, but good people do make up the majority of the world. Maybe the good people don’t get enough credit for positive things they do. We as a society need to change that.
I leave you with Louis Armstrong’s rendition of “It’s a Wonderful World.” One of my favorite songs. When things look dismal, when you feel hopeless, and the world around you crumbles, listen to this song.
Sometimes life throws more than a few unexpected curveballs. I had to shift my focus away from this blog most of the week to manage much larger priorities. I’m back on track, I think. I’m changing the format slightly, referring to the blog entries by song number rather than day as today is November 12.
I selected “Love Interruption” by the accomplished and multi-talented Jack White, released in 2012 on the album Blunderbuss. His duet with Ruby Amanfu over the electric piano and bass clarinet carries a cool vibe that is part throwback and forever timeless.
One of my favorite aspects about White’s solo projects is that he tends to defy genre and era definition. You can hear influences from old blues, country, soul, garage rock, and blue grass, but the music exists in a world of its own.
I’m a day late posting this. Yesterday was my birthday and to commemorate, I’ve selected “Keep Yourself Alive” by Queen, released in 1973. I’m a long-time fan, grew up listening to them as my babysitter introduced me to the News of the World record in the 70s. My biggest memory of the album cover was the giant robot’s bleeding finger. Crazy.
“Keep Yourself Alive” grabbed me the first time I remember hearing it as a kid and it’s stuck with me for about thirty years. Here’s an official video.
On to day five of #30SongsForNovember and I’m going with another favorite band, The Bouncing Souls. The song “Kids and Heroes” speaks for itself – give it the few minutes it deserves. Its uplifting vibe and emotional tug are impossible to ignore. It’s the kind of song that makes you feel happy about the world no matter what state things are in. Check it out.
If you’re not familiar with Tim Armstrong’s ongoing project, Tim Timebomb and Friends, I highly recommend it. Armstrong explores and reinterprets a wide array of music spanning the past century covering numerous genres like blue grass, zydeco, folk, punk, blues, early rock, reggae, ska, and early country.
Armstrong, along with his band of rotating members for this project, recorded a series of three murder ballads. These are actual folk songs from the early 1900s about horrific acts, one of which is my pick for today: “On the Banks of the Old Ohio.” It sounds like a pleasant song, but the lyrics paint a dark portrait.
If you’ve read any of my short stories, you would understand my draw to a song like this. It left a such an impression that I referenced it in my dystopian short story “The Last Gun,” available to read for free on Section 8 Magazine’s website. Please check it out, if you would, I enjoyed writing it.