14 September 2012

RECENT LISTENING: Derek Webb's Ctrl

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Derek Webb
Derek Webb has been one of my favorite musical artists since 2005's, boundary pushing, Mockingbird. His songwriting excels at truth telling in a way that is often melodically catchy while likely to inspire goosebumps through a twist of phrase and the sweep of an arrangement. Think: a less jaded David Bazan (Pedro the Lion). For Ctrl, Webb gives us ten songs about our collective relationship with technology and reality based on some of his own experiences/struggles. It's stunningly disconcerting and compelling. Truly, Ctrl is a prophetic (read: time-telling) album for our present and modern age.

He's also written an eye-opening post on the present state of the music business from the perspective of an artist covering everything from direct-legal free music to Spotify/subscription services and the reality of continuing to make music.   
His new album: Ctrl 

Go ahead, give the album a try with a free-legal three song download from Noisetrade.And then you can get download it from iTunesAmazon, or from Derek.

While you're at it, iTunes has most of his other albums on sale for $4.99 each. Quite a deal.

If there's one thing Derek's work doesn't do, it's letting you continue to live blindly. So, don't bother listening or reading his stuff if that's  part of your plan.

Confession: Up until yesterday, I never bought an album digitally opting instead for the physical store-bought copy. Ctrl changed that. Seems appropriate doesn't it?

11 September 2012

BRIEF THOUGHTS: Or is it "We Will Never Forgive"?

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"A soldier with a 9/ 11 tattoo stands with other soldiers with U.S. Army Able Company, 3-509 Infantry Battalion inside protective shelter during an afternoon rocket and mortar attack on Combat Outpost (COP) Zerak on Jan. 22, in Zerak, Afghanistan. Getty Images / Spencer Platt" http://blogs.sacbee.com/photos/2010/01/life-in-afghanistan.html


Read more here: http://blogs.sacbee.com/photos/2010/01/life-in-afghanistan.html#storylink=cpy
Eleven years after the US tragedies of September 11, 2001, on bumper stickers, on checks, on Facebook statuses, and from the mouthes of strangers and acquaintances I often still see and hear the words "We will never forget".

In the solemn hours and days following the event the words served as a memorial to those lost and a reminder to ourselves not to forget them. But in the years following I read and hear them differently. The understandable defiance implied that "We WILL never forget even though some people tried to erase you", in my opinion, has shifted. And, if I'm right, I'd say it shifted not long after the dust settled.

Today and in the years following that day, when those words are delivered in any of their mediums, I most often don't understand them as "We will never forget". Instead, I understand them as "We will never forgive".

It's not true for everyone who uses those words, maybe especially for those who lost a personal friend or family member that day. Then again, I'm not one of them and so I, hopefully, can never know. Nor do I judge them as I am not in their place. But, I just wonder if this is what this phrase means today.

If it is about forgiveness instead of forgetting it is high time for those of us to admit it, consider a rephrasing, deal with what we are coping to, and the condition of our hearts on the matter.

Here are my two cents culled from my own lyrics:

"I...
know there was smoke here
where fire raced 'cross the land
A sight to permeate fear.
It serves to forgive and not forget"

 
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