I have been on tour for the last two weeks, greatly diminishing my ability to write. Touring doesn’t always do this, but I’ve been a little under the weather this tour, leaving me blankly staring at the wall between gigs. I’ve been to Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, and Tennessee. I’ve read a Lou Reed biography and am now reading a Prince biography. I’ve listened to more hours of music than I could possibly count.
Ted Cruz has fallen by the wayside, as Donald Trump has risen. Bernie Sanders still hangs on by the skin of his teeth.
Do I really want to live in a world where Prince is dead and Donald Trump represents the face of one of our two main political parties? It seems like some weird sci-fi movie where someone went into the past and fucked something up. But it is here and it is now and that’s life.
I’ve read some interesting articles:
Andrew Sullivan tries to make sense of the rise of Trump. I don’t agree with everything in his article, but it is a brilliant piece of writing that deserves to be pondered. Sullivan dives into history and political theory to try and communicate just how dangerous Donald Trump is at this moment in our history.
Brittney Cooper has an interesting piece over at Salon that uses the death of Prince to talk about how our economy and culture has not only devalued black lives, but literature, music, and art as well.
There is more, so much more, but right now I need to get my day underway before I head out to a sound check. Just a few records worth checking out:
Kanye West – The Life of Pablo – West continues his winning streak. For all those of you that don’t understand, West simply dreams bigger, goes further than most recording artists hight now. He is simply one of the best producers and creates gigantic, imaginative soundscapes. This record mixes the sacred and profane on equal levels. A futuristic gospel record with lots of swearing? Something like that.
The Wedding Present – Seamonsters – An early 90’s album that got lost in the shuffle between 80’s rock and the 90’s alternative movement. A devastating series of relationship songs recorded by Steve Albini. The textures of this album are so vivid that you feel like the album is in 3D, like you could chew on them.
Prince – 1999 – Never forget that Prince is a great album artist. One of the things that I find shocking with this album is how he is using technology that is completely of its time, yet somehow hasn’t aged. He is using synthesizers and drum machines that are now long outdated, but he uses them so well that it never for a second gets in the way of the enjoyment of the record. Also for an artist often associated with sex, one should always remember that his music was always stuffed full of ideas as well. The title track ends with a group of voices intoning, “Mommy, why does everybody have a bomb?” I only wish there were more modern artists subverting our radio stations.