Death Was Here

Before there was punk, there were three black brothers in Detroit making noise in a band called Death.

It’s a tenuous time for white privilege in the United States. Black people in the U.S., quite frankly, busted ass over the course of hundreds of years to go from being literal property to owning property and being able to (kind of?) vote and use the same public and private buildings, services, and- Lord have mercy- water fountains as white people (among a host of other things that will take up roughly 30 posts if not more; don’t get me going on environmental justice and food deserts). In 2014, bleeding heart liberal white people like myself were reminded by the police perpetrated murder of black teenager Michel Brown of just how far we hadn’t and haven’t come. Two years  after the murder of Michael Brown, white liberals and many, if not most, people of color and poor people were all delivered another swift kick to the balls when reality star and really shit businessman Donald Trump was elected “democratically” to lead the U.S.

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Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy + Bryce Dressner, “One With the Birds”

A new twist on a song I needed most right now.

I originally wrote this on Friday, August 9, but I wanted some time to pass before I published it. It rambles a bit, but I promise, this is music related.

Following David Berman’s death and some personal events, I have been reflective about loss, grief, and death.

This time of reflection coincides with a time I am actively journaling (for the first time in years) with meditations from philosophers and practitioners of Stoicism serving as my guide. Maybe older white men are not contemporary society’s version of wisdom or a friend at this time, but I have found a great amount of general wisdom from the Stoics. The best answer to our problems is often the most simple. The tricky part of Stoicism for many (myself included) is accepting our past and exerting some control on our lizard brain.

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RIP David Berman

Saying “goodbye” to the Rebel Jew of the Silver Jews who instilled a sense of wabi-sabi in many.

The earth has not completed a full rotation since the news that David Berman left this mortal coil reached the general population.

Yesterday evening, I found out the news via my friend Stu. For roughly 30 seconds, I thought it was a cruel joke but genius PR ploy by Drag City on the heels of the Purple Mountains tour.  David’s date of death had not been added to his Wikipedia page, which gave me hope despite the Google news panel confirming over and over again– like a grotesque carousel– that he was, and is, dead at 52.

Sam and I were in a bit of a spat at the time, and I could not tell him this news in the middle of a fight. I waited for him to get home to break the news.

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Her Name is Rio: The Women of Patrick Nagel

A ubiquitous woman and her creator’s untimely fall

1982. I wasn’t even a thought, much less alive. Reagan was in office. EPCOT opened. E.T. was released. TIME Magazine’s Man of the Year was the Computer. Duran Duran released their 2x RIAA Platinum album Rio.

While Duran Duran is famous for both their music and their cheeky, sexy videos, the new wave/pop art cover girl of Rio enjoys a smaller but interesting sort of fame.

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Appreciation: That Real Big Frickin’ Weirdo Mike Patton

What is it? It’s it.

I talk about 18/19 year old me a lot because 18/19 year old me was so so adorable and so exciting and also so so stupid in the way late teens/young adults are.

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The Muppet Movie 40th Anniversary

“It’s not often you see a guy that green have the blues that bad.”

Perennial childhood classic The Muppet Movie turned 40 this summer. Kermit the Frog goes on a cross-country mission to get out of the swamp and into Hollywood while simultaneously running from the evil Doc Hopper, who just wants those tasty frog legs. And so began the first of many (seven!) Muppet movies.

I used the phrase a “childhood classic”, but that is too simple as The Muppet Movie and, just as significant, The Muppet Movie (Grammy winning and Academy Award nominated) score have continued to be huge personal influences on me as an adult (as I am sure it has to many of you).

I listened to the soundtrack to discuss some of the themes that are more tangible to adults.

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Incomplete: SAD

Seasonal depression get you down? Me too. That’s why I never finished this playlist I started about seasonal affective disorder.

On November 8, 2018, four days after daylight saving time ended here in most of the United States, I began a Spotify playlist called SAD. The purpose of the playlist was to open up a discussion about music and seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D.). I got three songs on the list before I dropped out.

Ironically but predictably, my playlist, my blog, and myself fell victim to S.A.D., and my last post was almost 8 months ago. I am here to pick up where we left off.

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