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A little over a year ago, I first began posting an occasional "political" commentary on E2TG. As I stated then, it was not something I wanted to do and that I did not really consider most of what I wrote as "political" (although it can be a fine line sometimes). As I intimated then, and still feel strongly today, there should be room at the table for people who hold a wide variety of political and social positions. At it's ideal and best, the United States (and our leaders) should be a shining example of lively debate and measured compromise. Where we find ourselves now is embroiled and entrenched in hyper-partisanship and obstruction. Our elections are compromised in so many ways. The effects of Citizen's United (an Orwellian named law) are devastating to democracy and harmful to the republic. Voter suppression, gerrymandering, and unchecked foreign influences are the nails in the coffin.
I am cautiously hopeful about the mid-term elections, and I still cannot imagine that the current president will last his full term - but even if everything goes the way I want it to, we will still have miles to go...
I try not to let it get me down. I do what I can, but the results are mostly not within my control. Life can still be a beautiful thing. Friendships and family and the beauty of the world. The mysteries of science and time and space surround us.
For me, music remains a source of strength. Songs that comfort, songs that excite, songs that motivate action, songs that inspire....
E2TG has provided me with an incredible opportunity to hear a ton of music that I might otherwise never hear, and to meet talented people who are pushing against long odds and seeming disinterest at times - to do what they feel compelled to do....
So, I push on - as I approach seven years of E2TG - offering my small contribution by putting music out there hopefully in an interesting way.
Let's shuffle the "New Music" playlist on this Trending Tuesday.
"Marble" by Raven King
We start things off with another track from the self-titled album by Providence, Rhode Island band Raven King. The album was released a little over a year ago, but it reached our ears a little more recent. Cool stuff. Check it out!
"Home" by Joyann Parker
I mentioned songs that inspire and comfort. I offer up, this track from Joyann Parker's brand new album, Hard to Love (release last Friday). "Home" is a beautiful song. Check out the video for this song in the playlist below. It is called a "Song of Hope" and Parker provides information about the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-8255).
"Exotic Soundscape" by Discount Ravioli
And then there were eight. 8 tracks to go until we have heard all of Baby Arm Sessions by Connecticut group Discount Ravioli. The album was actually released on July 4, 2016. It contains 53 tracks ranging on length from 4 seconds to 6 minutes and one second. This is the 34th track and clocks in a 1:24. Listen below:
"Scumbags and Spend Slags (Refined)" by Flesh Eating Foundation
UK band Flesh Eating Foundation have drawn comparisons to bands like Nitzer Ebb and Skinny Puppy among others. My tastes kind of danced around that harder edge "industrial" electronic music. I definitely listened to my fair share, but it was never my main area of interest. The fun thing about working to make E2TG as musically diverse as possible, is that I get to explore current music that followed some of the rabbit trails of influences that I previously just viewed from a distance. What I am trying to say, is I have been absolutely loving the We are Fucked album and I am appreciative of music that snaps me out of complacency.
"If All the World Were Right" by Andrew Reed
Next up, we have the title track from this album by singer-songwriter Andrew Reed. Reed remains a bit of an enigma to me. I have been digging this album for some time. His Facebook page lists a hometown of Asheville, North Carolina and his current location as Nashville. The album was recorded in Flat Rock, NC, and it came to me via a promoter who has been sending music my way for several years out of New York. I sense a lot of positive vibes from his Facebook posts, and I like that.
"I Love My Pussy Cat" by Ali Handal
Next up, a cheeky song from the album That's What She Said, by Ali Handal - a California singer-songwriter whose songs have been featured on shows like Sex and the City, Dawson's Creek, and iCarly and more. You might have heard this song a few weeks back on my radio show - Double Shot - when we played songs about Dogs and Cats.
"d o y o u h e a r t h e m c a l l i n ?" by Ugggy
The Ghost EP came out June 1, 2017. It was 4th of his 12 releases in a row. This is the opening track from that six track release. Ugggy and his Valued Customer partner Pat Power are creative forces. Ugggy is from Toronto, Canada. His vibe is alternative hip-hop. He has also been experimenting with some visual art - collage works - especially since completing his 12 release in 12 month exercise. I have been following Ugggy and Valued Customer for most of my time writing E2TG and they continue to surprise and excite me.
"Welcome to the World" by UniversalDice
And we close things out with the opening track from Birth. Love. Hate. Death by this band from Long Island - led by Gerry Dantone. The band began in 1995. Their music is inspired by "classic" rock bands like The Who, The Beatles, Green Day, The Killers and more, but their own sound is unlike those band. There is a strength and coherency that recalls the golden age of rock and the rock opera. But this is timely music.