Change the Locks

Gang of Four’s “entertainment” has long been a favorite: spare, incendiary, melodic punk. The discontent is pervasive, such as this much more contemporary rocker.

“Do what you want, you won’t be found out
You’ll never be held to account
We’re just getting static on the line
A broken voice says everything’s fine”

AV Club had a feature on the band recently, titled ““Art meets the devil via James Brown”: The everlasting impact of Gang Of Four’s Entertainment!” which reminded me of my love of their musical expression.

What chilled me even more was the commercial aired before the video.

Someday, We’ll All Be Free

Donnie Hathaway recorded this song while going through a tough, personal patch, so it’s has its roots in his guts.
But that’s not to limit the song’s import. It easily lends itself to the broader human-rights stage, and it was taken up in that spirit in a host of covers from 1975 onward.
Here’s one of the latest, a languid, soulful, jazzy one-take informal performance of the beloved tune by Corinne Bailey Ray and stellar accompanist Jon Batiste.

“Hang on to the world as it spins around
“Just don’t let the spin get you down
“Things are moving fast
“Hold on tight and you will last.”

Bang Bang

A new tune by the Avett Brothers is pretty plainspoken. It’s plaintive with an undercurrent of anger.

A great moment in the video is when the musicians face the camera and sing right at the viewer. It’s effective.

I’ve no illusions about the effectiveness of such videos, but I hope the video makes a dent in some of the complacency about the corrosive effects of violence.

Vegetables, vegetables, vegetables

Zucchini, to be exact.

I have been a member of the zucchini coalition.

You know, the folks who are blessed with an abundance of the summer squash and may be driven over the edge with its ability to set fruit.

It all starts with a couple of hills. But, somewhere along the line, someone else sneaks into the garden and finds a way to supercharge the plants, or surreptitiously plants another couple of hills.

The plants are usually hearty, and require a minimal amount of care. If you are a halfway competent gardener, you can grow zucchini.

Before you know it, harvest begins, and the household begins to reap the bounty. The squash begins to flavor muffins, frittata, waffles, summer skillets, quiche, burgers, fries, salads, on pastry crusts, breads, waffles, main courses, side dishes, pizza, butter, snacks, fritters, sandwiches, spreads, in meatballs, stir fry, ratatouilles, lasagna, cake, brownies, cobbler and cookies.

After running out of ideas for use at home, it behooves a person blessed with bounteous zucchini to bring the fruits to the workplace, complete with recipes on the squash’s many uses. Truthfully, you don’t want to see another long, slender, green creation again that season, but you can’t bring yourself to just throw them away. There’s always composting, but why waste such bounty?

Besides there are at least a few people at work that must learn about how useful the fruit of the plant is. (Why does the music of Little Shop of Horrors keep circulating in my brain?)

Justifiably so, your work mates soon protest mildly as the supply (and recipes) mount, so a grower with a conscience moves to step three, outright trespassing.

I have a friend who regularly attends church services during the time zucchini plants get serious about producing, taking a basket to the worship center, testing car doors, then placing one or two on a seat. In no time at all, he can sneak in for the last part of the sermon.

By the time Halloween rolls around, mercifully the bearing ceases, and supply dwindles… but not completely. Those of us in the zucchini coalition then resort to a mild terrorism.

The strategy is this: Quietly walk to a home. Place a zucchini or two on the stoop. Ring the doorbell, and run.