W.M.A. – Pearl Jam

Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 16

White. Male. American.

This song about police racism was released in 1993. It was inspired by an incident in which Eddie Vedder got into an altercation with a group of police officers who hassled his black friend but ignored him.

“He won the lottery by being born
Big hand slapped a white male American
Do no wrong so clean cut
Dirty his hands, it comes right off
Police man, police man, police man
Police stopped my brother again”

This song is now 27 years old. I’ve listened to it often over the years. Objectively it’s a pretty great song too. The tribal backbeat is hypnotic and it’s message is as vital as ever. Let’s listen to it like it’s brand new because the subject certainly isn’t old. #blacklivesmatter

Let The Good Times Roll – Little Beaver

Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 15

I’m still gravitating toward my collection of funk soul classics during these times.

Let music help you rise above the bullshit blocking your way. Whatever get’s you through. This one works for me.

Never An Easy Way – Morcheeba

Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 14

Heard this one shuffle this morning. It had been a while since I heard it. This song sounds best after midnight but today it was a morning song and once again I heard the right song at the right time.

The sound is bold and strong yet spacious and sparse. The lyrics are moody yet motivational.

It’s one of my personal anthems. Nothing else to say.

My Neighborhood Made National News

My neighborhood made national news.

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/y3my55/these-racist-wuhan-plague-plaques-are-popping-up-around-atlanta?utm_source=vicenewsfacebook&fbclid=IwAR1_3eI5ARBYz1xF7pyyEr5BETybJwp0ys-EFApVluMBMMEJvcROCF6Q8-s

Probably because I’m an artist, but my first instinct here is to think that the person behind it is not a racist at all. Instead, they’re making a subversive statement about racism itself and our visceral responses to it.

It made you look, it made you think. That my friends…is why art kicks ass, regardless of what your emotional reaction may be.

Hello In There – John Prine

Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 13

Like many people, I first learned about John Prine through other people’s versions of his songs. My mother played Bette Midler’s version of this song a lot when I was a kid. I recall listening to the lyrics and being immersed in the life of the song’s narrator. I remember being compelled to think of what were very deep thoughts at the time. This is my favorite John Prine song because it’s the first one I ever heard. I still recall taking a journey through the lyrics. For the first time, I thought of a song as a story.

Even though the singer/songwriter tradition isn’t my favorite type of music, I know and respect the legends of any genre. He’s also from Chicago and spearheaded the Chicago Folk Revival.

John Prine is a legend. May he rest in peace.

From My Curiosity Files: Common Surnames

From My Curiosity Files: here is a list of the 100 most common surnames in the United States in 2020:

1 Smith, 2 Johnson, 3 Williams, 4 Brown, 5 Jones, 6 Miller, 7 Davis, 8 Garcia, 9 Rodriguez, 10 Wilson

11 Martinez, 12 Anderson, 13 Taylor, 14 Thomas, 15 Hernandez, 16 Moore, 17 Martin, 18 Jackson, 19 Thompson, 20 White

21 Lopez, 22 Lee, 23 Gonzalez, 24 Harris, 25 Clark, 26 Lewis, 27 Robinson, 28 Walker, 29 Perez, 30 Hall

31 Young, 32 Allen, 33 Sanchez, 34 Wright, 35 King, 36 Scott, 37 Green, 38 Baker, 39 Adams, 40 Nelson

41 Hill, 42 Ramirez, 43 Campbell, 44 Mitchell, 45 Roberts, 46 Carter, 47 Phillips, 48 Evans, 49 Turner, 50 Torres

51 Parker, 52 Collins, 53 Edwards, 54 Stewart, 55 Flores, 56 Morris, 57 Nguyen, 58 Murphy, 59 Rivera, 60 Cook

61 Rogers, 62 Morgan, 63 Peterson, 64 Cooper, 65 Reed, 66 Baliey, 67 Bell, 68 Gomez, 69 Kelly, 70 Howard

71 Ward, 72 Cox, 73 Diaz, 74 Richardson, 75 Wood, 76 Watson, 77 Brooks, 78 Bennett, 79 Gray, 80 James

81 Reyes, 82 Cruz, 83 Hughes, 84 Price, 85 Myers, 86 Long, 87 Foster, 88 Sanders, 89 Ross, 90 Morales

91 Powell, 92 Sullivan, 93 Russell, 94 Ortiz, 95 Jenkins, 96 Gutierrez, 97 Perry, 98 Butler, 99 Barnes, 100 Fisher

Anyone Else Would Do Better

If you know me, you might know that I suffer from a level of anxiety that can be somewhat debilitating. I mask it well in public and within the company of friends. If you ever wondered why I do this or don’t do that, anxiety is your answer. It’s something that’s just in the mix as part of everyday life for me. My employment situation (and all that comes with it) has already generated plenty of high anxiety. Add in this pandemic and it’s limitless repercussions has me thinking until my head hurts.

Anyways, now that we’re in the midst of this pandemic, who’d you rather have in charge? The answer is basically anyone but Donald Trump. Anyone would do a better job than this guy. Trump is the worst kind of person to have in charge of your well being.

Look man, I’ve been saying this con man was the biggest asshole in the country for a long time. Since the 1980’s. I’m old enough to remember the USFL. He ruined that like everything else he touches. I’m old enough to have elders mention Trump as an example of how not to act because it was not the way a dignified man behaves. Many of those elders have become full time apologists with some brand of cognitive dissonance that is foreign to me. Now more than ever before, it seems like a twisted moral and ethical code is alright as long as you go to church on Sunday.

Now Trump says some states are lying about the amount of ventilators needed. He’s also insinuated that a ventilator may not be needed if you’re already so close to death. He commits impeachable offenses almost every day. The bar is set so low with this guy. The Fuckface in the White House is a man that chooses to be evil. He has so little value for human life. His essence is shit. He lacks integrity in every way. He doesn’t have an ounce of empathy for anyone but himself which makes him a subhuman sociopath.

We’re living through hell, the worst of it to me is knowing that so many people are supporters of and therefore apologists for this unbelievable bullshit.

Stay safe and stay sane.

The Dignity Of Work

So tired of the “people don’t want to work” narrative. I’ve been hearing it my whole life from the mouths of people that are themselves overly entitled, small minded or simply unaware. It’s inaccurate when we’re in a time of prosperity and it’s irresponsibly ignorant in a time of crisis.

Listening to politicians and my fellow citizens say that “too much relief” may discourage people from working is fundamentally outrageous. The dignity of work is something of value to us all.

Besides, look around you. When have we ever lived in a world where a persons pay was equaled to the amount of work actually done to earn it or the true societal importance of their work?

Ventilator Blues – The Rolling Stones

Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 12

The soundtrack of life continues. Rough and tumble blues from the Stones is my nomination for our post apocalyptic national anthem. Lyrically it relates to the news of the day of course. The sound of this tune is appropriately greasy and gritty for our present situation too. Not only that, it is a damn good song, one of my all-time favorites (https://brettcalleroartist.com/2019/09/11/my-500-favorite-songs-at-50/).

If a song could literally kick your ass, this would be one to watch your back around.

When your spine is cracking and your hands, they shake,
Heart is bursting and you butt’s gonna break.
Your woman’s cussing, you can hear her scream,
You feel like murder in the first degree.
Ain’t nobody slowing down no way,
Ev’rybody’s stepping on their accelerator,
Don’t matter where you are,
Ev’rybody’s gonna need a ventilator.
When you’re trapped and circled with no second chances,
Your code of living is your gun in hand.
We can’t be browed by beating, we can’t be cowed by words,
Messed by cheating, ain’t gonna ever learn.
Ev’rybody walking ’round,
Ev’rybody trying to step on their Creator.
Don’t matter where you are, ev’rybody, ev’rybody gonna
Need some kind of ventilator, some kind of ventilator.
What you gonna do about it, what you gonna do?
What you gonna do about it, what you gonna do?
Gonna fight it, gonna fight it?

Vehicle – The Ides Of March

Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 10

Hey, it’s the Ides of March. A one-hit wonder of a day! The hit of course being the murder of Julius Caesar. Therefore, it’s poetic symmetry that the band Ides Of March would be a true one-hit wonder.

Chicago band, the Ides Of March hit it big with their first single “Vehicle” which peaked at #2 in 1970. For a brief time this song was everywhere. It was a major hit. Tom Jones even sang it on his variety show. It has also even become a rock song regularly played by marching bands.

If you’re from Chicago as I am, you’ll certainly know this song. It’s on permanent rotation there.

 

Resurrection Joe – The Cult

Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 8

I’ve always liked the Cult. A chameleon of a band. However, this post isn’t about them. Maybe another day.

This post is about current events. I was simply reminded of this song of theirs today when watching the news of the election results last night. You can draw your own conclusion. Just remember, there’s a song for everything.

Observations, Predictions & Questions

I have a few observations and predictions for the upcoming months.

Like many, I’d rather have Bernie Sanders over Joe Biden. However, I’d rather have Elizabeth Warren over everyone else. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen. A Bernie Sanders nomination isn’t likely to happen now either. I’m still voting for Warren in the Georgia primary (unless she exits this week as well). That said, I’ll be voting for whomever gets the nomination and I hope everyone else does too.

I don’t need to remind you that the current “occupant” of the Oval Office is an imbecile. He reminds us of this himself, every single day. Every voter needs to wake up and realize that the issues of our time they so deeply care about may become non-issues, forever, if Trump wins re-election.

Observations:

  • Joe Biden did so well on Super Tuesday because Buttigieg and Klobuchar dropped out of the race. Almost all of their votes went to him. Sorry conspiracy theorists, this is not like 2016 when the DNC tipped the scales in Hillary’s favor. Make no mistake, in this election cycle Bernie Sanders has had a far greater political machine than Joe Biden. Biden was out of money. He won in states in which he didn’t even have a campaign office. He won in states he had not even visited. Biden won without receiving an endorsement from Obama (it’s on the way now I’m sure). This is not the establishment forcing its will. This is a case of the establishment sitting back watching the scenario they hoped for fall into place. I’m not exactly pleased about it but I’m not placing blame. No one cleared the way for Biden. This is not a coronation, like in 2016 when the DNC would’ve been perfectly happy to let Hillary win the nomination unopposed.
  • Joe Biden did so well BECAUSE people want to defeat Trump. More of the actual voters think he has a better opportunity to beat Trump than Sanders does. I don’t disagree. I’m on board with most of the Democratic Socialist programs that he proposes but many more are not.
  • Mike Bloomberg entered the race for two reasons: to expose Donald Trump as a fraud (in a way no one else can) and to derail the progressive campaigns of Warren and Sanders. Even though they’re still in the race and he is not, Bloomberg has not failed at his mission.

Predictions:

  • One prediction already came true. That Mike Bloomberg would drop out of the race after Super Tuesday. Alas, he beat me to the punch.
  • Even though he’s no longer in the race, Bloomberg will continue to pummel Trump with his unlimited resources. Let the oligarch help us remove the malignant tumor of a president we have now.
  • Joe Biden wins the nomination and selects Stacey Abrams as his running mate.
  • Donald Trump replaces Mike Pence with Nikki Haley (probably in July). Trump will cite his disappointment  in Pence’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak as his reason for making the change.

Questions:

  • Do the Democratic oligarchs want more of Trump over Sanders? Unfortunately the answer is yes. Which is why many are happy about Resurrection Joe.
  • Will the left put on its big boy pants and vote for whomever is the nominee? Heaven help us if the answer to that question is not also yes.

 

 

Missouri – Howlin’ Rain

Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 7

Part three of my concert trifecta is tonight. The band is Howlin’ Rain, a band I’ve wanted to see for 10 years. The venue is the Earl. My favorite little venue in Atlanta. It’s gonna be great.

Howlin’ Rain was formed by Ethan Miller to pursue a more melodic sound in his music and express the influence of growing up in Northern California’s Lost Coast. Previously Miller fronted Comets On Fire, a heavy noise rock band. Howlin’ Rain have been described as a combination of psychedelia, blues, funk and classic 1970s arena rock. All of those are great in themselves. Howlin’ Rain combine it all in a sound that fills a space with soulful authenticity.

Howlin’ Rain’s new album The Alligator Bride is a return to form and their best since the aptly titled Magnificent Fiend from a decade ago. My favorite song on their latest album happens to be one they made a video for. Check out this thunderous track called “Missouri.”

Mind Control – Truckfighters

Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 6

Once again, it’s time to fight trucks!!!

Concert night is here. This time it’s the band Truckfighters, from Örebro, Sweden. One of my favorite bands. They lay down one of the thickest fuzziest grooves you’ve ever heard. Here’s the video for “Mind Control,” one of their very best songs.

One Slight Wrong Move – Archers Of Loaf

Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 5

Concert night is here. Concert week is here. Four of them in the next 8 days.

Tonight is Archers of Loaf at Terminal West. Looking forward to it. I’ve never seen them before. I like this band but I love one of their albums, White Trash Heroes, their fourth and final full length album. If you’ve not heard it, check it out. It’s super solid from start to finish. My favorite song form that album is a noisy groove called “One Slight Wrong Move.”

This song kicks so much ass in just a few short minutes.

“A hundred million people could be wrong,
A hundred million people have been wrong before,
A hundred million people could be wrong”