Sinking Ship

David Johansen, of New York Dolls fame, sends out an S.O.S.

Now there’s a lot of fingers pointing,
Suspicion running strong.
Who’s to be blamed for all her failures?
Who’s to be blamed for doing her wrong?
Oh, please remember, I’m warning you.
The last four years she had the same crew
Who hold the keys to the vault?
So now we know who’s at fault.
It’s up to yoy. It’s up to me
To make her worthy to go back to sea

Your Land

Here’s a hip-hop treatment by Gangsta Grass of the Woody Guthrie classic, certainly updated.

Here’s an excerpt by the group on American Highways: “The political divide in the United States feels as big as the perceived gap between hip-hop and bluegrass. And the bridge we are making musically is addressing both. Our fans come from all different parts of the spectrum — political or musical, take your pick. The idea that we can speak a language that can be understood by people who are so different — and that we can show them that maybe they are not so different as they first thought — is powerful, meaningful.”

Antibodies (Do You Have The)

Nicholas Braun pokes a lot of fun with this tune.
It’s all for a cause; “This partnership with Plus1 will empower Partners In Health to control the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the most vulnerable people around the world receive access to dignified healthcare. The COPE Program will work to bring equity of care and essential supplies and goods to the people of the Navajo Nation.
A portion of proceeds from the “Antibodies (Do You Have The)” single and merch will be going to Partners In Health and The COPE Program.”

I’m Black and I’m Proud

James Brown
He isn’t coy.

Now we demand a chance to do things for ourselves.
We tired of beatin’ our heads against the wall.
And workin’ for someone else look a-here
There’s one thing more I got to say right here.
Now, now we’re people, we’re like the birds and the bees.
We rather die on our feet than keep livin’ on our knees.

And, if you have 20 spare minutes and haven’t been able to see live action of JB GFOS, here’s an extended clip of a concert in Zaire in 1974. The godfather of soul, just into his 40s, kicks into splits and shows his stuff, reprising his signature song with the all-star cast (approximately 12 minutes in.)

At the close of 9/11

As the sun sets today, I’ve chosen two songs to commemorate the events of September 11, 2001, both with the focus on those who were caught in the conflagration. So many lives were lost, and so many families torn apart.

First is “If I Give Your Name” by Emma’s Revolution.

I have no papers, I have no rights.
All my days end in sleepless nights,
Missing you, silently, If I give your name
Will they come after me?

Second is “The Rising,” a classic by Bruce Springsteen, written from the point of view of a person heading into the burning skyscraper, perhaps knowing the ascension would be the last.

Armor

Sara Bareilles gets more defiant as this song develops, a paean of strength.

Step three: I see
The unforgettable, incredible ones who came before me
Brought poetry, brought science
Sowed quiet seeds of self-reliance
Bloomed in me, so here I am.
You think I am high and mighty, mister?
Wait ’til you meet my little sister.


For a lovely change of piece, try this Bareilles tune, live with backing vocals and orchestra. Once Upon Another Time is lovely melancholia.

He Is Without His Guns

Marisa Anderson has traveled extensively, playing roots guitar while taking part in environmental and social activism. A musical background in church, classical and country, her travels and experiences inform her artistry.
This tune is from Into the Light, an album in which Anderson bends her music westward, according to a bandcamp.com entry, “an imaginary science-fiction western film,” from the point of view of “a visitor lost and wandering on the shifting borderland of the Sonoran desert>”
It’s a great image to hold while listening to Anderson’s artistry, as she paints a sonic image of our present stand-off.