Repost: “The Wind Cries Mary”

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I got nothing today, but it’s really windy again (we lost a pretty big branch from one of the trees), so I thought I’d recycle this post.  Sadly, in spite of the song title, the wind is still not calling my name.

While I haven’t heard any otherworldly voices calling my name, it’s been pretty darn blustery today. It’s not the nasty, hot Santa Ana winds we had last week (thank goodness!), but it’s really blowing out there in my area.

I’ve never really liked wind. I understand the ecological necessity of it, I just find it terribly annoying. For one thing, no matter how short my hair is and no matter which direction I happen to be heading, the wind always blows my hair into my face. Always. And since I’ve had potted plants outside, I’m constantly setting the poor little things back up when the wind blows them over. It’s to the point where I won’t keep anything taller than a couple inches on the porch, because it’ll end up on its side. (My brother and sister-in-law have a huge cactus–nearly as tall as me–that fell over in last week’s Santa Anas. I wonder if they picked it up?)

Wind is noisy, too. I don’t mean the cool whooooo sound that happens when it blows under the crack of the front door (or any other tiny space); that’s actually pretty awesome. And I’m not complaining about the wind chimes (although I’m wondering if any of my immediate neighbors want to). But the sound of broken gates banging into cinderblock fences, or the various clacks and rattles of general detritus and debris gets pretty old after a while. Not to mention the constant whooshing and the way the house creaks when it gets really, really gusty.

I suppose if I flew kites today would be one of my favorite days ever. And I’m sure something must be getting pollinated out there. But my cats are a little on edge, and I’m tired of picking up plants. I’d like to put in my request for Spring to get things accomplished with a little less force. A nice breeze, but nothing over 10 MPH, please.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I hear someone calling my name.

“Master’s of War”

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A Facebook meme got me thinking about this song again.  It’s one of the most scathing pieces of music I’ve ever heard.  And anyone who thinks it’s an excellent idea to turn around and kill every single member of ISIS because of what they’ve done should give it a careful listen.

Bob Dylan wrote this about Vietnam in the 60s, but it still applies.  I get the desire to retaliate, but I’m trying to resist it.  Violence begets violence.  If we continue fighting the “war” on terror with the same violence we’ve fought every other war, we will only create more violence from the terrorists.  You can’t wage war on an idea; you only wage war on people.  If you kill one, ten more pop up in his place.  The only way to stop this insanity is to find better ways to fight.  Fight poverty and hunger.  Fight a lack of education.  Fight intolerance and fear.  Fight religious zealotry.  Fight back with courage and love and books and art.

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.  Take a minute to look around.

I’m Just Gonna Keep Posting These Songs Until This Shit Stops Happening

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There was a scene in Twin Peaks, when Dale had a vision of the giant come to him at the local bar.  All the giant kept saying was, “It is happening again.”  It’s terrifying and disruptive; the whole place feels it, even though they didn’t see what Dale saw.  That’s how I feel right now.

I’ve got two songs here: one I’ve posted a couple of times in response to horrific violence; the other is the one true thing I know, which everyone needs to remember now and always.  Here’s hoping I don’t have to post either one again any time soon.

Paris

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I’ve been in this beautiful city, and I am horrified about what happened tonight there.  I don’t have any words to express the sorrow I feel for everyone involved.

I thought about posting a song by Eagles of Death Metal, the group whose concert was attacked; but they’re just a little too silly to listen to right now.  Traditional French music and the French national anthem just seem out of place.  (And the national anthem is just a bit too violent.  We need less violence, not more.  Although I think the French people are right to rally themselves with it.)  Edith Piaf didn’t fit either.  The scope of this tragedy is too big for most music to handle.

But then I stumbled across this video of a violinist playing outside Notre Dame, and it seemed to encompass both everything I loved about that city and everything I’m feeling right now.

“Only a Lad”

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This one came out of the blue for me today, inspired in part by this Dangerous Minds post about a different song from the same album.  They used the word “spiky” to describe it, and that’s the best word I can think of to describe pretty much all of Oingo Boingo’s music.  Spiky.

Prickly is another good word.  Sharp and razor-edged also work.  There is nothing soft or easy about this band, and that’s a good thing.  I’m not a huge fan of their work, but I’d probably hate all of it if it didn’t sound like they’d all just gotten out of mental hospitals and been allowed to play with scissors again.

Oingo Boingo’s frontman Danny Elfman is best known today for his film scores, but it’s interesting to hear how he cut his musical teeth.  “Only a Lad” is one of the few Boingo songs I own, and it’s so much fun to listen to.  Dark, kind of subversive fun.  The kind of fun I used to get from reading Uncle Shelby’s ABZ’s or watching The Twilight Zone after midnight.  Come to think of it, those two things can be combined to form yet another apt description for Oingo Boingo’s music.  There’s something so wonderfully weird about it.

Around the time they got really popular was also about the same time they went to heck in a hand basket.  I know plenty of people who think “Weird Science” and “Dead Man’s Party” are great tunes, but those to me are kind of the hallmarks of their decline.  The edges were dulled by then, the spikes worn down to dull nubs.  They still needled and poked a little, but nothing ever broke the skin.  That was the beauty of Oingo Boingo in the early years: you never knew when someone was going to lose an eye.  And you know what they say.  It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.

And then it’s just fun.

“Amie”

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I heard this on the radio yesterday, and thought it might make a nice repost.  But as I was searching through my old posts, I realized I had never played this song on the jukebox before.  That’s a shame, because it’s one of those perfectly perfect little musical moments.  I don’t really have much else to say about it.  I’m too busy singing along.

 

Allen Toussaint

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Damn.  I was kind of hoping he’d live forever.

Listening to Toussaint is a little like listening to Mingus or Monk for me.  I feel something inside me that I didn’t know was empty, fill up.  His music truly is food for the soul.

Thank you, Allen Toussaint.  Your spirit will always be with us.