random thoughts…as if your own were not enough
Yes I know…this is a music site. My posts should generally reflect the interests of the community. Those of us who listen, play and enjoy roots music. So somehow I’ll eventually get there if you choose to hang with me today. But I need to share…offer witness and testimony. A verbal vomit of thoughts that are running through my brain. What can I tell you? It helps me center myself and calm down. Because today is unusually sad. (Although I don’t think any beloved musician has died yet today as in the past few weeks, but it’s still early out here in California.)
Every morning after I read the right-leaning local newspaper, I usually hit the computer and check the left-leaning Huffington Post for just a tiny bit of balance and blood pressure lowering. Today is a particular sad one, for last night North Carolina became the 30th state in America to pass a law defining marriage as only between one man and one woman. Their discrimination against fundamentalist members of the LDS or Mormons aside, this is really directed against people of the same gender who want to have the same rights as the rest of society. The right to love, live freely and join together as one family…with protection in regards to health care, estates, finances, taxes, adoption and whatever else the marriage laws address. I imagine legalized marriage between same-sex couples would also allow them access to divorce laws and rights too, as gay people split up just like hetero people do.
For those of you outside of this country, despite it’s name, North Carolina is in the South. And while there are pockets of liberalism in the larger cities and university towns, the rest of the state is caustically defined by a friend of mine who lives there as “snake-handling country”, meaning that it’s part of the so-called Bible Belt. Oh….you don’t think that gay rights and religion are walking down the path hand in hand? Case in point: Joe Easterling, who describes himself as a devout Christian, voted for the amendment at a polling place in Wake Forest. He says…. “I know that some people may argue that the Bible may not necessarily be applicable, or it should not be applicable, on such policy matters. But even looking at nature itself, procreation is impossible without a man and a woman. And because of those things, I think it is important that the state of North Carolina’s laws are compatible with the laws of nature but, more importantly, with the laws of God.”
And not to change the subject, but I will, let us take a moment to acknowledge a pastor by the name of Jesse Lee Peterson. If you live here in the US and enjoy watching Fox News, you’ve probably seen this fellow before. He runs an organization that is called the Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny, or BOND for short. According to Sean Hannity, a Fox News personality and sydicated radio host who happens to be on BOND’s board of directors, he says of them that they continue “to fight the good fight standing for the values of God, family, and country, and are deserving of our support.”
So this is a religious organization, one that upholds the words written in the Bible? Let me quote pastor Jesse Lee Peterson today, as he has a few words about women:
“I think that one of the greatest mistakes America made was to allow women the opportunity to vote,” Peterson said to his congregants in (a recent) 12-minute video. “We should have never turned that over to women. There are more women out there voting than men now … and these women are voting in the wrong people. They are voting in people who are evil, who agree with them, who are going to take us down this pathway of destruction.” Pathway of destruction. I think that’s a great name for a metal band.
Also last night, while gay rights hit the mat in North Carolina, over in Indiana a Tea Party candidate beat the incumbent Republican senator for a chance to go to Washington. He beat him by exactly the same margin that the amendment in North Carolina was passed….61% over 39%. His campaign was focused on the Democrats and Obama turning our country into a Socialist state. This time God and the bible were left out of the fray, and I’m sure she appreciates the break.
And finally (maybe), chants of “shame on you” from gay rights supporters thundered through the Colorado House on Tuesday night after Republican House Speaker Frank McNulty said legislation to allow civil unions won’t get a vote. McNulty told reporters that lawmakers had reached an impasse and civil unions would die along with several other bills. Since I’ve drifted into the political arena, I’l stay here for a moment thanks to the fine folks of Virginia. The monthly newsletter from the Greene County Republican Committee included a column last March that calls for an “armed revolution” if President Barack Obama is elected to a second term in November. (Another column asks if Obama is “America’s Most Biblically-Hostile U. S. President?”. Poor God…being dragged back into US politics again.)
The newsletter’s editor, Ponch McPhee urges readers to encourage other conservatives to vote in November. He goes on to warn that the consequences of not defeating Obama, a so-called “ideologue unlike anything world history has ever witnessed or recognized,” would be dire. “[W]e shall not have any coarse [sic] but armed revolution should we fail with the power of the vote in November,” McPhee writes. “This Republic cannot survive for 4 more years underneath this political socialist ideologue.”
So to recap…North Carolina’s laws need to be compatible with the laws of nature as well as with the laws of God. A pastor believes that giving women the right to vote has put us on the pathway of destruction. The Tea Party folks are sure that Obama and the Democrats are trying to turn us into a Socialist state, and if he wins the election in November, those fine Republicans in Greene County want to pick up their guns and march into Washington. Enough of this…let me shift into stress reduction. I’m among the long term unemployed. About 78 weeks so far. I’m sure it’s all my fault, and as a Republican congressman said the other day: “get your ass off the couch and get out there and find work”. Which is sort of strange, as the Republican presidential candidate is running on the platform that the current president hasn’t done a good job in creating more of them. The congressman didn’t answer his phone when I called to ask exactly where these jobs he’s speaking of may reside, but I will take his advice and get my ass off the couch and go to the gym every morning. If I can’t work I can at least be healthy. So that when the time comes when Mitt is in the White House and he cuts taxes for the wealthy job-creators and assists in the erosion of civil rights for women, gays and minorities (oh yeah…he has some ideas about immigration), I’ll be ready to work at whatever job or opportunity that may trickle down from the top.
So when I do go to the gym, I like to listen to music. (Yes…I got here finally.) It makes me feel good. Keeps me sane. Sort of. And I can only fit so much of it on my iPhone, which is how I’ve been rolling these past few months. Instead of shuffling 25,000 songs, I’m limiting it to 500. More focus, less pocus. So here’s some stuff I’d like to recommend:
-If I had a nickel for every time I find a new person from the Pacific Northwest, I’d have a couple hundred bucks. Noah Gundersen is a singer-songwriter from Seattle and his 7-song EP called Family which was recorded in a week in Texas, is in constant rotation alongs with his other stuff that I picked up. Sister Abby sings and plays violin and they’ve been on tour and I hope that they get some new fans and lotsa love. He not only sounds great, but his songs are well written and deeply lyrical. Hit his name for the link to his Bandcamp site where you can hear for yourself.
–For her debut LP,
Katie Powderly has put together an all-star cast of her favorite musician friends, including folks from such well known bands as the everybodyfields, Justin Townes Earle, the Black Lillies, a former sideman of Joe Pug’s, and more…even a star of the Grand Ole Opry. And she has packed up everything she owns in an RV and is travelling across the country on a 50-state tour.
“I want to combine my love of playing music with my search for America. I love our country and want to take the time to see it, to get to know it.” This is damn good country music.
–Katherine Blamire and Jessica Davies record as the Smoke Fairies and they met in the late 1990’s, traveled to New Orleans to hear American blues, returned to their native England and got into folk while working in the parking lot at a festival, lived in Vancouver for awhile and returned home to start recording and performing. The debut album Through Low Light and Trees which came out in the US last summer is exquisite. I can’t explain exactly what they are, other than amazing. Sigh…guess this one is for indie folk-rock fans of a younger age…whatever that means. New album coming.
-For similar fans of the previous,
Caitlin Park is an Australian “neo-folk electro-acoustic singer-songwriter” and she has an album that might be the feminine equivalent to Bon Iver. Or not. But that’s how I choose to describe her. You old folks stuck in the twangy Burrito-Townes-Young-Earle (Steve) axis don’t know what you’re missing…
That’s all folks…let me leave you with a song from Roy Zimmerman.