* Paying My Dues, Singing the Blues?

My first piece published on Yahoo! Voices:

Paying My Dues, Singing the Blues?

Please disseminate as widely as possible!

Bite and chew

In his post of August 7, 2012 cited the news article, “Pop Music All Sounds the Same Nowadays.”  Today I bring more complaints in the same vein.

Pink’s “Raise Your Glass” = Shannon’s “Let the Music Play.”

Sara Bareilles’ “Love Song” = Michael Buble’s “Haven’t Met You Yet”

“Your Diet Affects Your Grandchildren’s DNA, Scientists Say,” and other stories

Your Diet Affects Your Grandchildren’s DNA, Scientists Say

Sharp Decline in Terror Attacks After Bin Laden Death

Pop Music All Sounds the Same Nowadays

Your Diet Affects Your Grandchildren’s DNA, Scientists Say

This goes against everything I was taught in high school (1970-73) and invites comparisons to the doctrines of Lysenko. Neither of those features rules out the possibility of this being accurate science.

Sharp Decline in Terror Attacks After Bin Laden Death

I guess it worked.

Pop Music All Sounds the Same Nowadays

So the suspicions many of us have had are confirmed. I suspect this is a temporary situation that will correct itself once more creative artists arrive on the scene. I do not endorse some of the researchers’ suggestions:

Continue reading

* Change your diet, chapter 2

(Reblogged 04/02/14.)

Friday 06/01/12 we were working on the assembly line, and the music they had on the PA was WQSR 102.7 “Jack.”  I didn’t mind; it was an interesting change of pace.

At mid-afternoon this one song came on that made me feel tense.  What song, I don’t recall and it doesn’t matter.  The music made me feel tense.  That’s what this post is all about.

The earlier post entitled “Change your diet” was all about words.  One needs also to be aware of the feelings and attitudes music itself brings out in you, and choose accordingly.

Being forced to hear one song, one time, one day, isn’t likely to make much difference in my life.  I am more concerned about what you choose to listen to habitually; what you swim or bathe in all the time.

There are too many guys now walking around with chips on their shoulder, not to mention what may be in their pants.  You don’t need to be one of them.  You don’t need to be listening to music that makes you want to be one of them.

If the station or show or “artist” you’re listening to leaves you feeling angry, looking for trouble, ready to step up to somebody, wanting to prove you’re a man — change the station.  Toss that CD in the trash.

Choose music that gives you a positive outlook on life, a positive sense of yourself.  You might can get some ideas from the music I choose for the show; see The William Tell Show “Music” page.

* Change your diet

(Reblogged 03/26/14.)

Garbage in, garbage out.

I spent Memorial Day at Dunkin’ Donuts writing “A star is born.” As of noon, I’d developed the plan to wrap up about 3:00 and, on my way back to the shelter, check out this new strip joint on The Block.

I finished just in time, bought smokes at a convenience store, and headed for the bar …

… which will remain nameless. No show was happening. The bartender was in no rush to take my order. Not one female made a move to pay me any mind.

The killer was Weezy comin’ out the juke box with language I wouldn’t use in the presence of a whore.

The time had come to write this post.
I got a Heinie and a Corona, chugged them both down, and left.

Garbage in, garbage out.

Some people choose to swim in filth.

Would you choose to swim in a septic tank?
How long can you swim in there without swallowing some deadly poison?

(A little-known Baltimore fact: in the block north of City Hall, the “municipal building,” where you can pay your parking tickets and water bills, is named after a man who deserves to be a hero. Abel Wolman played a major role in putting chlorine into America’s drinking water. Before then, American tap water — like tap water in most other countries — was not safe to drink. Wolman’s work saved many tens of thousands of lives that would otherwise have been lost to cholera, typhus, or other deadly diseases.)

If you wouldn’t swim in material filth, why swim in a filth of ideas?

As an adult, you can choose what does or doesn’t come into your home.
You choose what music, if any, your children “swim in” in the car.
At any age, you choose what goes into your CD or mp3 player.

You choose what to buy.

You choose what you feed your mind.

If it has one of those “explicit” stickers on it, buy something else. Play something else.
If it’s already in your house, put it in the trash, where it belongs.

Your quality of life will improve.

[See also the William Tell Show page, “Word of the Day.”]

talk show host, on air talent, radio talk show, the homeless blogger

* Yes, I do have a hidden agenda …

… as to my choices of music for the show.

First, I want to establish an atmosphere conducive to folks’ listening to and learning from each other. As I remark at the conclusion of Free Speech Handbook, “Awe in the face of the unknown may be the healthiest of all human postures.”

Second, I want to make available to my listeners music and concepts that are under-represented in the market-driven playlists of commercial music stations.

I can’t apologize too much for leaving out music that I just don’t like.  In many styles of blues, for example, performers impersonate someone who is drunk or high. I don’t want to be around such people, see or hear them. So much for those styles of blues. Now, on the other hand, I like practically everything the Rolling Stones have done, and most of that is, in fact, blues.

But just because I like a song won’t get it on the show.

In the world of commercial love songs, drama drives market share; whether it is the drama of entanglement in infatuation, or instead that of unmanaged reptilian urges.  Little airtime obtains for lyrics that express mature attitudes, a sense of personal adequacy, or what it takes to build lasting relationships.  I will do my small part to correct that imbalance.

Classical music offers a world of depth and beauty that many of my listeners never will discover if they don’t hear it on my show.

On the one hand, a song is useless to me if I can’t make out the words. That’s a factor in my choices.

On the other hand, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony has no words, and yet speaks powerfully of human beings’ ability to find courage and hope in the face of personal disaster. That’s its statement; and it deserves every bit of its fame.

Well, I had a hidden agenda as to music.  I guess it’s not so hidden now.

I welcome suggestions for additions to the playlist. In particular, if you can e-mail me an mp3 file, I’ll give it a listen.

(Reblogged 2014-01-04.)

talk show host, on air talent, radio talk show, the homeless blogger