Music Monday

I first heard this song in the spring of 2000, shortly after the police who shot Amadou Diallo were acquitted. I heard an audience recording and read a transcript of the lyrics (Springsteen fandom tends to share such things) and then I heard it live in New York.  Fans called it “41 Shots” or “the Diallo song”; its official title is “American Skin (41 Shots)”.

That was 14 years ago; the shooting of Amadou Diallo was 15 years ago.  When I first heard this song, I thought it (and the Diallo shooting & acquittal) was shameful legacy to a time past.  I was sheltered, or possibly in denial.  Now, I wish this song was no longer relevant.  But it is.  Still.

41 shots, and we’ll take that ride
‘Cross the bloody river to the other side
41 shots, cut through the night
You’re kneeling over his body in the vestibule
Praying for his life

Is it a gun, is it a knife
Is it a wallet, this is your life
It ain’t no secret (it ain’t no secret)
It ain’t no secret (it ain’t no secret)
No secret my friend
You can get killed just for living in your American skin

(41 shots)
(41 shots)
(41 shots)
(41 shots)

41 shots, Lena gets her son ready for school
She says, “On these streets, Charles
You’ve got to understand the rules
If an officer stops you, promise me you’ll always be polite
And that you’ll never ever run away
Promise Mama you’ll keep your hands in sight”

Is it a gun, is it a knife
Is it a wallet, this is your life
It ain’t no secret (it ain’t no secret)
It ain’t no secret (it ain’t no secret)
No secret my friend
You can get killed just for living in your American skin

(41 shots)
(41 shots)
(41 shots)
(41 shots)

Is it a gun, is it a knife
Is it in your heart, is it in your eyes
It ain’t no secret (it ain’t no secret)
It ain’t no secret (it ain’t no secret)
It ain’t no secret (it ain’t no secret)

41 shots, and we’ll take that ride
‘Cross this bloody river to the other side
41 shots, I got my boots caked with this mud
We’re baptized in these waters (baptized in these waters)
And in each other’s blood (and in each other’s blood)

Is it a gun, is it a knife
Is it a wallet, this is your life
It ain’t no secret (it ain’t no secret)
It ain’t no secret (it ain’t no secret)
No secret my friend
You can get killed just for living in
You can get killed just for living in
You can get killed just for living in your American skin

 

Need a laugh?

This video from The Doubleclicks gave me one today.

Growing up isn’t fast
In fact it’s so slow you don’t see it happen
I turned around one day to find
That I worked a job & I had to file taxes

But I still like fun
And I still like games
And I still want to know all the dinosaur’s names

Dinosaurs were just really really big chickens
Growing up is just becoming a really big kid

(Full lyrics & downloads here.)

Music Monday

One of my favorite filk songs, “Uplift” by Andy Eigel, performed by Vixy & Tony.   Hopefully it’ll help you wake up today.

Also I’ve had emails about people who’ve become interested in Vixy & Tony after I posted about them. If that’s you, there’s an interview with them on YouTube. (Originally it was part of a longer interview that’s no longer there, but this short piece does include things like “Where did the name ‘Vixy’ come from?” and “How did you get into filk?” which is pretty nice.)

Music Monday

Kathy Mar

Kathy Mar (image from Last.fm)

Kathy Mar has been making folk and filk music longer than a lot of people have been around.  She was a professional folksinger and street performer in Denver before she discovered filk, the music of science fiction & fantasy fandom.  She’s gone on to record several filk albums and won awards in filk music.

And yes, she is a woman of size.

One of her songs from 1988 is still as timely as it was then.

We are surrounded by technology a flood that’s rising still
And we are praying we’ll survive it or we’re sure we never will
And all our speed and skill and reach will soon be taking us to space
It’s a great day in the morning for our funny human race
But we’re frightened of our future and we’re scared to move along
So we scream that our technology is dangerous and wrong
Back-to-nature cannot save us but the stars could be our crown
If we can drink up this river before we drown

Last.fm has a great version of “Drink Up The River” and other songs of Kathy’s.

A more recent image of Kathy (via Wikipedia).

A more recent image of Kathy (via Wikipedia).

Try Some New Music

Several indie artists put together a sampler of music — over 70 tracks — to try.

Some of it is music I’ve loved for years.

“Firebird’s Child”

“Light Heart”

“Salad of Doom”

“Tam Lin”

“The Cthulhu Colada Song”

“The Holly & The Ivy”

“Two Guys Kissin’ Ruined My Life”

“WinterTide”

“Witches’ Rune”

Others are new to me, or new interpretations.

“Close Your Eyes”

“Do Virgins Taste Better Medley”

“How Was The Show Last Night”

“Jedi Drinking Song”

“Mingulay Boat Song”

“XLibris”

There are links to all the performers’ websites as well.

Love Song for Internet Trolls

From The Doubleclicks:

It is snarky and silly and fun.

I love you, even though you’re a commenter from hell
the predictable way you don’t know how to spell
and you’re hateful
disgusting, ungrateful
like you don’t understand, other people have feelings

I feel like you don’t even know
if you don’t enjoy a youtube video
you can stop it. you don’t have to watch it.
your ignorance is just amazing.

it seems like you’ve never heard
that if media doesn’t speak your words
you can make something new, express your view
it’s a delight how you’re so darn LAZY

the internet makes you feel so empowered
you almost forget you’re a stupid coward

Full lyrics & download at thedoubleclicks.bandcamp.com.

Music Monday: I Made My Bed & I Sleep Like A Baby

This song’s been around for quite a while now, but given the ongoing death threats going around the net it seems a bit timely.

And how in the world
Can the words that I said
Send somebody so over the edge
That they’d write me a letter
Saying that I better shut up and sing
Or my life will be over.

Yes, that verse was written in response to a death threat.

(I also just love the line “I made my bed & I sleep like a baby.”)

“Not Ready To Make Nice” was written by Natalie MainesMartie MaguireEmily Robison and Dan Wilson.

Labor Day

I created this blog 5 years ago.  Thanks for reading :)

Today is also Labor Day in the US.  I work in a field that is very un-unionized and I know unions aren’t perfect, but I was raised by union members and I support organized labor.  Growing up I didn’t see much like my family in the media — fathers who take steel-toed boots and overalls to work, to wear at work?  Who don’t own a suit?  Then I discovered this song.

Through the mansions of fear, through the mansions of pain
I see my daddy walking through them factory gates in the rain
Factory takes his hearing, factory gives him life
The working, the working, just the working life

— “Factory” by Bruce Springsteen; lyrics are here.

Nothing to Prove

The Doubleclicks made this video for their song “Nothing to Prove” using video clips submitted by friends and fans.  (Some of those clips are also being posted at http://geekgirlvideo.tumblr.com, with more being uploaded.)

“Nothing to Prove” song lyrics are on their Bandcamp site, and The Doubleclicks talk about making the video on their main site.

The song “Nothing to Prove” is on their new album “Lasers and Feelings,” which you can also listen to (and read lyrics and buy) on their Bandcamp site.

(The song is also on YouTube. You may want to skip the comments on YouTube.  Just sayin’.)

Update: The writer in the video holding a “I have to use a gender-neutral pen name just to be respected” is J.M. Frey, author of Triptych.  A followup is on Tumblr.

Some Good Things

Photos have surfaced on Flikr of Integrity Puget Sound & various Episcopal parishes in the Seattle Pride Parade.

Things that happen in Seattle: Officers assisted a man who took an early morning office chair ride.  (No one was hurt.)

A new Donna Andrews book, The Hen of the Baskervilles, has arrived.

A new Stop Paying Attention comic!

The Doubleclicks’ new album is out and includes their song “Rock Star Life”

How’s with you?