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?
- “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.