Saturday, September 24, 2011

Farewell, R.E.M.

August 21, 2011, R.E.M. announced that after 31 years of working as a band, they were calling it a day.
For me personally, I read this news with mixed emotions. After 31 years, these guys deserve to move on, so to speak.
You see, R.E.M. was the very best of the 1980s for me. From seeing them at Six Flags (yes!) to the Fox Theater to a huge Arena, I have followed their work with much interest.
I have LPs, cassette tapes, CDs, DVDs, - you name it. I have everything R.E.M.
Intelligent, thoughtful, artistic, well-versed on social commentary and not afraid to comment through their music, I have nothing but the utmost respect for each member of this band.
R.E.M. took on George W. Bush, women's rights, environmental issues, or in their words, "abject horror".
They put into music and words what I felt but could not express. Bless them.
Perhaps, R.E.M. stands for "the dream". The dream that four 19 year old kids can change the world with music. I just realized that R.E.M.'s choice of name was perhaps more complex than I initially thought - until now.
I hope that dream never dies for every person who is touched by music.
I leave you with one of my personal favorites, a song called "Bittersweet Me", it perfectly sums up the way I feel most of these days.

R.E.M. - thank you making a difference in my world!

Video Courtesy of REMhq

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Song for my Father

Today would be my Father's birthday.
I miss him. 
My Father passed from, as my Irish family calls it, "this veil of tears", in April of 1992. 
One rainy night in NYC, I was riding in the passenger seat of my cousin Larry's taxi and I heard what I thought was the opening of a Steely Dan (my pop culture mind) tune, "Ricky, Don't Lose That Number". My favorite cousin, parking the cab (NY style) in front of a Chinatown restaurant, informed me that it was a jazz standard.
I loved it then. 
I love it now.
I have worn out many, many copies of this fabulous piece.
So, in honor of my paternal ancestral lineage and as a small tribute to my Beloved Dad, here is Horace Silver's "Song for my Father"

Dad, the world is the better for you being in it, but not the same for your youngest since you left it.
I love you always.

Video Courtesy of YouTube

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Education, Leadership & The Intelligence of Existence.


There can be no doubt that we live in challenging times.
Personally, there seems to be challenge in every area of my life. 
I only have to watch the nightly news to sink into a black hole. 
For me, I confess that I have been apathetic since George W. Bush assumed the Office of The President of the United States. Then came 9/11.....
I have lost my faith in most, if not all institutions, my Friends. 
Every authority is now suspect to my mind.
I only have faith in myself and the *spark* in the Universe that answers my numerous prayers.........and, alas, even then, I remain a 'doubting Thomas'.

I am currently praying for a restoration of FAITH.

Video Courtesy of YouTube