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”

Hard Times – Baby Huey & the Baby Sitters

Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 4

Good God – I love the old school Funk Soul!

So much amazing music from that genre and time. I’m talking around 1965-75, before the horn sections were replaced by synthesizers. Even though I didn’t take a deep dive into the genre until my late 30’s. I always loved this music. The deep diving has revealed so much. Songs with great soulful vocal melodies, exciting rhythms and a little psychedelic rock, all mixed together. Now I feel like I found a treasure of rock and soul golden nuggets. I highly recommend you take this musical journey. Things may sound a little familiar and that would be because this musical genre is easily the most sampled of all time.

Today I’m listening to Baby Huey. He was based out of my hometown of Chicago. Produced by Curtis Mayfield, Baby Huey’s sole album  “Living Legend” is really fantastic. Unfortunately, Baby Huey died of a drug-related heart attack at age 26. “Living Legend” was posthumously released a few months later.

Big man made some great stuff.

N. I. B. – Black Sabbath

Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 3

Fifty years ago today, Black Sabbath’s self-titled debut was unleashed and released to the world. I’ve read many times that Black Sabbath set out to create a sense of horror with their songs. Something mysterious and sinister, like a scary movie but with rock and roll. Just look at the album cover art. Just listen the first notes of the first track, the song Black Sabbath and you’ll see they not only successfully reached this goal, they defined it. They defined that sound for everyone, everywhere, forever.

Millions of words have already been written about the impact of this album (and other early Black Sabbath albums) on rock and roll and the greater culture as a whole. Therefore, I’ll just mention a couple of personal anecdotes.

As an art professor I have an introduction to design project where I have students use their imaginations and create the shapes of sound. I let them choose their own songs but I play about a dozen songs that vary in mood and tempo in class as examples. The song “Black Sabbath” is always one of my choices because of how effective it is at stimulating the imagination of the listener.

I love Sabbath, especially the early stuff. However, I am (and always will be) a Led Zeppelin guy. That said, I will argue that Black Sabbath had a GREATER overall impact on rock and roll than Led Zeppelin. Black Sabbath in many ways started the engine of the heavy metal machine. Thousands of bands worldwide have taken this as their template. Led Zeppelin, despite all their success and influence, cannot say that. I believe Black Sabbath’s impact on rock and roll is second to only the Beatles.

My favorite song on this album is N. I. B. simply for it’s overall sound. I’m a sucker for a funky fat riff. It’s so easy to groove to. Interestingly though, the song has a couple of good stories about it too. Good music misunderstanding stories.

It’s always on the list of banned songs because it mentions the name Lucifer blah, blah, blah. If you actually understand the song, you’ll learn it’s written from the perspective of Lucifer as he falls in love and transforms into a good person.

The title has it’s own misunderstanding as well that I find pretty funny. Most think “N. I. B.” stands for “Nativity In Black.” It doesn’t, it’s basically an inside joke about Bill Ward’s facial hair. You can read about it here, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Sabbath_(album), (then click on the link for the song, don’t know why the direct link isn’t working). Basically, that name has been imposed on the song by just about everyone. So today, it un-officially does stand for “Nativity In Black,” because this is what the world wants.

So here you are. Presented in honor of the fifty year anniversary of the release of Black Sabbath’s self-titled debut (and the birth of heavy metal).

Class vs. Crass

Crass with cash defeats class in all forms. Money over morality IS the American Way. Don’t let the thoughts and prayers, especially the prayers, fool you. In the two photos below class is placed above crass as it should be.

Welcome to the United States of Amorality.

Cult of Personality – Living Colour

Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 2

I’m surprised at how many people have NOT heard this song. Kids! Give it a spin! Adults, revisit this song and it’s message. It’s sounds like 2020 doesn’t it? We’re living through the Cult Of Ugly Personality.

Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (ARE)

I plan to make more Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (ARE) posts here on this blog and more posts about other topics in general. Things I might normally post to Facebook. Hopefully I will live up to this proclamation. My mixed feelings about Facebook have helped me come to this conclusion. Post more of what I want on my own blog and post the links to that on Facebook instead of directly posting there.

My next post will be the first of many “song of the day” type of posts. There’s no agenda to these songs, just things I encounter within the soundtrack of my daily life.