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14 Years... I have read some really powerful things today about THAT day. What I remember is some sense of unity... if nothing else, for a moment or moments, many of us were united... if in nothing else, then in fear and confusion and uncertainty. In degrees and over time, that unity has mostly dissipated... into conspiracy theories and feelings about the events that followed about the need for security vs. the importance of freedom. I was at work, and getting my news in fits and starts on a slow internet connection and the radio.
What I remember... I was taking part in an drama workshop put on by the Parks Department. Of the course of the workshop, we learned acting techniques, but our main goal was to create an original production which would then perform. If I recall correctly, the second class was on September 11, 2001. The class was held as scheduled, though I remember thinking it might be cancelled, and we spent much of that class talking about what had happened. It was a pretty diverse group of people and there were a variety of different feelings being expressed, and of course, the day ended up greatly shaping the production we created. Our production included adaptions of Brecht's The Good Person of Szechwan and Beckett's Waiting for Godot - as well as some other elements - all subtly adapted to speak to the events of 9/11/2001.
I don't know what THE lesson of that day is supposed to be... maybe it's still too soon, or maybe there is not one lesson. For me, today at least, I am going to try to remember how fragile life can be and make the most of every moment and treat people with as much kindness as I can. I will probably fall short of that... I probably already have... but I am going to keep trying.
"Montgomery" by The Vigilance Committee
We start off with another track from Exit a Hero from the Long Island based Progressive Rock band. I have been spinning this record for several months, and I am still liking the sound of it.
"I Owe It All to You" by Dale Watson
Call Me Insane but Dale Watson has made one of the best albums of the year. He is a real deal Traditional County singer who was once told he was too country for Nashville. Whatever! Driven by those comments, he eventually founded a whole new movement called, Ameripoitan (Outlaw Country, Honky-Tonk, Rockabilly, and Western Swing).
"Human Condition" by The Naddiks
Somehow this song seems like a good fit for 9/11. The Naddiks are a young, uplifting indie band from Australia. The record is called 21CB (21st Century Boy).
"The Spring" by Dan Martin
Just over a week ago, on the suggestion of my friend Mary, Dan Martin gave me a copy of his CD - Hoka Hey at the 5 Spot for the 1st Week of the David Olney Residency. I finally got to give it a spin over the weekend, and I really liked what I heard. This is the first track to appear in a shuffle, and more will be forthcoming. Dan Martin is from Oklahoma. The music is well-written, well played country influenced music.
"Cold Black Pitch" by The End Men
In just a couple of months, I will have known The End Men for 4 years. In 2013, I named them my Band of the Year, and everything they have done since has served to confirm that decision. Terms and Conditions, the album they released earlier this year, expands on their signature hard blues rock sound with Matthew Elia's sax providing a strong counter-point to Matthew Hendershot's Waitsian vocal growl and guitar godliness and Livia Ranalli's powerhouse drums. Beyond all of that, they are generous and kind people. Oh, and they melt faces live!
"Piece By Pieces" by Indigenous Engines
Andrew Adkins is a busy man with a lot going on. He released two EPs this year under the Indigenous Engines moniker. This track is from Witches. A great song.
"Life is Hard" by Darrin Bradbury
The Bonus Track from The Story of Bob. Otherwise known as "The Ballad of Jack Kerouac, Lenny Bruce, and Daffy Duck". Darrin was my 2014 Artist of the Year.
"Magnolia" by Pony Boy
From Pony Boy's new album Blue Gold which was produced by the Adam Landry and Justin Collins - best known for their work with Deer Tick, Diamond Rugs, and T. Hardy Morris and to E2TG readers as the producers of Black Vincent. The song is a homage to the late Magnolia Electric Company frontman Jason Molina. It is a powerful, moving, and gorgeous song.