New Nephew Playlist

Note: The following was originally written in December

So I am an uncle again. My brother’s wife gave birth to my new nephew just this morning and I am filled with emotions both good and bad. Good, in that I am happy to have a new family member and am always impressed by the miracle of life. Bad, because my father is not here to see his first grandson and because my poor little nephew is being born into one of the most fucked-up times in human history. Maybe sad is the preferred adjective here, because I also wish I could have been there but he is across the country and multiple factors kept me in the northland.

My dad would be happy as shit I am sure, so for that one I feel ok. As for the current state of the world, who knows? The world is supposed to end this next year, but people have been saying that since time started so that shouldn’t be a real issue. I guess I mean specifically the way people treat each other, from backstabbing to shit-talking to just looking the either way when someone needs help. Everyone is guilty of this at some point but it’s the amount of people I’ve seen as of late who don’t seem to ever realize they’re doing it and amend their behavior.

I feel the same way about the state of the world as I do dub step music, a current craze amongst the younger generation. It sounds bad, I can’t dance to it and it confuses me.  If you don’t know about it, it’s like this drum and bass thing that occasionally has vocals and what sounds to me like electronic mosquitoes buzzing around. I am sure it has its merits but I just don’t get it. Am I getting old? Will all music be weird to me by the time my new nephew is old enough to appreciate it?

  1. “All things must pass”-George Harrison

I don’t know if my dad was ever into the solo work of the Beatles but I am sure he would have loved this song both for its music and lyrics. I think it is my favorite solo song by George and maybe even of any songs he’s written period, although “Something” is pretty damned good. I really love the first couplet which is “The sunrise doesn’t last all morning / A cloudburst doesn’t last all day”. To me, it says everything is fleeting and we have to grab at what we can when we can. It is clearly some type of Tao rephrasing but like any song, I think its content allows for multiple interpretations. You have a seemingly happy delivery of a dour realization, that shit happens and that is the way it is.

I find this song uplifting. The connotation of good or bad is something we ourselves add to whatever situation we are in. Keeping a positive outlook on all things, even death and loss, is easy to say and a bitch to actually do. However, it is very much worthwhile if you can. Check out the new documentary on Harrison on HBO, its killer.



2.”When you lose all you had” – Ray Lawrence Jr. and Hank3

Now why I listen to sad songs like this when I’m already depressed about the holidays is a myself. But once I delved into it a little, it’s actually a very uplifting song. I love Hank 3 and this affection was solidified by a concert this fall in which my mind was literally blown. No one is doing country like Hank Jr. Jr. and he certainly deserves his own post so I will leave it at he is amazing and should be a household name.

Ray Lawrence Jr. is a singer-songwriter of 48 years who wrote this song in an Arizona homeless shelter. Hank3 met him through his shows in the southwest and recorded this song a few years back, choosing to include it on his most recent county release entitled A Ghost to a Ghost. The song is a classic down-and-out song that would work well on any reputable country singer’s album.

The song is about how you can lose everything you’ve ever had but if you lose love, then you are truly lost. I feel sometimes like I lost a big part of me when my dad died last year, however, I have gotten through because of the love of my family and friends. To be honest, I can’t listen to this song without getting a little sad but such is life. If a song can move you, it’s a good song.

Note: I found this….I think he sounds just as good alone but the album track has added instrumentation and a harmony vocal by Hank3.

3. “Get Up”-Korn

First off, I do not like Korn; I am just using this as an example to explain why I hate dub step music. Before I get on the hate train, I will say I saw Korn at Ozzfest 2003 and their live show was a lot of fun. There are worse bands. That being said, their new music is truly horrible. They have jumped on the dub step train with this producer named Skrillex and this song was their first single from their new album. It sounds like a bad 80’s anime soundtrack to my ears. There is all of this annoying sounding distortion on Davis’s vocals and then strange electronic noises that sound like a computer dying.

I guess I must be getting old because I can’t find anything about this music that I like. I had to hear it about a billion times this summer as I couldn’t get the college indie station on my fm headphones and the alternative station came in the strongest. I literally shudder when I now hear it. The point? I hope to God this is not the direction music is taking because soon enough, my niece and nephew will be old enough to like music and this stuff is bad. Luckily, they will have their father and uncle to lean on in that department.

4. “Happy Holidays”-Andy Williams

The holidays sucked this year because my dad was not around and my siblings couldn’t get home due to pregnancies of varying degrees. My dad always hated the holidays and would become the surliest bastard imaginable. Every memory of Christmas morning includes my dad pulling all the wrapping trash into a bag while cursing the whole time. I think it had something to do with the fact that he lost his father traumatically at a young age and never really got over it.

Also, the holidays required him to do more than normal which always annoyed him. At some point, my sister decided she’d join the surly train and her attitude was even worse than his. One Christmas morning when we all ha significant others at home, she was screaming at my father for some forgotten reason. He turned to me, gave me a sly smile and said in a monotone voice “Happy Holidays”. We all burst out laughing and this was a phrase we would often get via text from our father in the last few years he was alive. I took over the greeting this year as well as the trash duties and I think one way we will always remember him is around the holidays when we act surly then laugh to alleviate some of the self-created stress. I know that I will tell my brother’s children, my sister’s children when they get here and my own if they ever do all about their grandpa and his penchant for quoting Andy Williams.

22 comments on “New Nephew Playlist

  1. Brooks says:

    Let’s start a “worst fucking bands who were or are popular” list.

    1. REM ( they suck out loud, especially Mikey Stipe, a-hole.

    • theyoungerj says:

      There are a few REM songs that are good but I like your thought process teach. I also think stipe is full of shit, however, Ive never met him. I certainly am against all this dub step stuff and I never knew why Linkin Park was big. And Brother, Maroon 5 has some great vocal harmonies……but yes i agree they suck.

      • Brooks says:

        Toby Keith should be excoriated and fed to rabid jackals.

      • theyoungerj says:

        now that is something I can get behind

      • Brooks says:

        Metallica and Lou Reed???!!! Who are they trying to fool. What a cacophonous, discordant wall of shite. Lou Reed could be the most overhyped bad poet/musician/avante-gard asshole ever.

      • theyoungerj says:

        I like Metallica when they were thrash….pretty much up to the Black album then it went out for me. Lou Reed was good with the Velvet Underground and that album with “Walk on the Wild Side”, Transformer I think it’s called. Beyond that, I would agree with you. I read in a book about The Band called Across the Great Divide that Lou Reed billed himself as the fastest guitar player in the world circa 1967. This is an absurd statement.

      • Brooks says:

        Josh, going to see Rammstein in Worcester in April. Saw them in NYC and Montreal. Epic is an understatement.

      • Brooks says:

        Love Andy Williams. You have good taste. Off to see Rammstein for 3rd time April 29th. The greatest show on earth.

      • theyoungerj says:

        that will be sick man, I would love to see them . Did some research after seeing you and I actually do like them. As for Andy, that was my dad’s schiz but I can appreciate good music of any era. We should hang out, you got my email?

  2. theelderj says:

    mme. BROOKS. Worst bands who were popular? I want to put Maroon 5 at the top of the list. REM? Stipes’ voice creeped out some people I knew in high school, but the band put out some really good songs: “radio song” and “End of the world” are classics–although I get your point…I don’t think either song makes up for “Shiny Happy People” and “Everybody hurts”. “Night Swimming” makes me want to drown.

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  6. […] but she wrote this song and has her clothes on so she can be a role model for any of my nieces or nephews. I have talked a lot of smack about Taylor Swift on this blog and in person and it bit me in the […]

  7. […] keep making beats and socially conscious music to push popular thought forward. I hope that my nieces and nephews live in a world where this is no question on if they can marry someone they love, […]

  8. […] just landed in Boston after some weather worries so I will be able to see my much bigger nieces and nephew. My new job is going great and the second annual biggest show of the year is in three short days. […]

  9. […] for sure be dancing around the tree to this for many years to come.  I sure hope my nieces and nephews like funk music when they grow […]

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  11. […] this proven itself to me time and again. I can only hope to learn some more things so I can show my nephews and nieces some holiday and God willing, my own kids some day. I can’t go back in time but I […]

  12. Dominick says:

    When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox
    and now each time a comment is added I get three e-mails with the same comment.

    Is there any way you can remove people from that service?
    Bless you!

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