Thursday, May 17, 2012

Help A Brother Out?


I decided to call this blog "The Radio In My Head" mostly because that's where most of my musical ideas start.  Some musicians/singers/songwriters just grab their preferred instrument and start jamming away.  That's not my usual M.O. (method of operations), but every now and then it can happen.

Sometimes my Radio is crystal clear and sometimes it's fuzzy with a lot of white noise.  But whatever is playing on my Radio, I try to capture it and do my best to get it from my head and into the audio world, where I can share it with others.

Now, when the Radio is just not working, or it's too fuzzy to make out what's happening - then I have to rely on my ability to craft an idea and build it.

For me, that usually means starting out with something that I want to say and developing a lyric from that.

If I believe that I've got a good lyric happening, then I move on to developing a melody, arrangement and all the other things that bring a song together.

I've digitally released three songs so far.  A "love gone wrong" song (She Doesn't Understand), a social justice/issues song (Do You Remember America?), and a holiday song (Under The Mistletoe).

I would love to share what I'm doing with you.  So, there's a little area near the top of the page and on the right side where you can click and get all three of my first releases for free.

If you dig my vibe, then take the message to your brother (or sister) and tell him twice!

This is how you can "Help A Brother Out".  Obviously, I'm not well known, but you all could do a lot to change that, by taking a listen and spreading the word.  Yeah, it's a shameless plug, but it is my blog, and I don't think it's too awful to do that every now and then.

So, how about it?  Make me part of the soundtrack of your life, and your mama's (really she just might dig it!).

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Perpetual War Anyone?

It’s often taken as a given that people want peace.

Yet when we look around and see armed conflicts in so many places it should make us wonder about that proposition.
Governments are fond of speaking of war as a last resort.  However many of the policy choices that they make put them on a sure path toward that very result.

And what about the people that live under those Governments?  I’ve seen reports of war protesters.  Where people are marching in the streets and making their opposition to conflict known.  How often have war protesters been listened to by their respective Governments?
Conversely, have you ever seen a march demanding that one country attack another?  A march led by citizens demanding war?  I guess there probably have been somewhere at some time in history.  But in our modern times the demand for war usually takes place on editorial pages of newspapers and magazines.  The Power Elite use the media in all its formats to manufacture consent of the public for the country to engage in war.  The “enemy” is demonized thoroughly, and the impression is left that something has to be done; otherwise our leaders must be weak or soft.

So, the voices of those against war are drowned out or marginalized by those who agitate for conflict.  But is it really a majority that wants conflict?
Why is it that opinion polls tend to show large majorities in favor of a conflict at its beginning, and then eventually over time that support steadily erodes?  And the conflict continues, even when polls show that an overwhelming majority no longer support the actions being taken.

Perhaps people like the idea of peace, more than peace itself?  Perhaps people prefer low gasoline prices and low priced goods more than the idea of peace.  In our modern conflicts the vast majority of us never have to take up arms.  That odious work is left to others.  We don’t have to see or hear about what’s happening if we choose not to.  And even when we do take an interest in the proceedings, our media provides for us the most sanitized version of events so that the true impact of the carnage taking place is lost on most of us.
Lip service dripping in hypocrisy is paid to the idea of peace by the war makers.  But when has war ever produced peace?  War produces death, destruction, misery, disease, dislocations, famine and more.  But I don’t think peace will make any honest list of wars’ intrinsic value.  Of course, I suppose it comes down to how you define peace.

Maybe most ordinary people do want peace.  But the interests of the Power Elite often lie elsewhere.  And with the control of the media and other centers of power, if the Power Elite determine that their interests will be furthered by war, then it is war we shall have, irrespective of the will of the people.
Until there is a change of the order of things.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Why Is A 2nd Term For Obama Important for African Americans?


I happened to be watching Real Time With Bill Maher the other night as I was riding my recumbent stationary bike fighting the battle of the bulge. (The Bulge keeps winning, yet I persevere)

His first guest was Arsenio Hall and they were talking about the 20th Anniversary of the riots in LA which came after the Rodney King verdict.  Those were some tough times.  And they seemed to want to buy into the notion that things have changed, although they did touch on the Trayvon Martin situation.

So, they segue into Obama's re-election prospects and Bill Maher states that if Obama is not re-elected people would see it as a failure.  "Well, we tried a black guy and it didn't work...oh well".
He stated that Obama is very aware of these expectations and as Bill says "for the sake of black America" Obama needs a 2nd term.

Now I suppose that's all fine as far as it goes.  If you want to view the situation through that prism.

But the real question is, what exactly has President Obama done for "Black America" in his first term?
Oh, I'm sure that plenty of African Americans felt a sense of pride in seeing Obama elected.  I fully admit that I was caught up in the idea that my mother would live to see a day that neither of us ever imagined.

But if you step away from all of the emotional racial element, and ask yourself what has been the impact of the policies of the Administration, where has "Black America" in particular benefited?

When The President was asked about any specific policies that he would promote to address the plight of minorities, his response was "I believe that a rising tide lifts all boats."

And that might have been OK, if the tide was rising for everyone.  But as I say in one of my songs, a rising tide won't lift all boats, when your boat is filled with holes.

African Americans continue to rank at or near the bottom of most statistical measurements of progress.  Whether that be income, unemployment, housing, incarceration, life expectancy, health care, you name it.

And I suppose, you can say to his "credit", many polls have continued to show him have a rock solid base of support among African Americans, even though their conditions have not improved and in many cases worsened under the Obama Administration.  But I tend to think that shows either Black America's gullibility or President Obama's supreme salesmanship.

Now, I'm not trying to alienate any of you out there - and more than a few of you may feel like, I should just shut up and sing...or just shut up.  But I'm calling it like I see it, and trying to encourage some conversation, discussion and thought.

So, what's your take?

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