The deaths of those we grew up watching and listening to, frequently regarded as obelisks for the people we ultimately become and much of what we believe, are creeping reminders of our own looming mortality.
Musicians and moviestars, poets and politicians, scientists and sports figures, artists and authors — each passing of someone famous who was important in our lives etches yet another inescapable stanza of tablature towards the last note we ultimately play, although it’s unbeknownst to us when or where the final curtain shall fall. Alas, the tablature of the true greats are signposts and lighthouses left behind to guide and inspire.
Capitalism has kidnapped Christmas, blindfolded it, and stuck a sock in its mouth.
Indeed, we’ve become hostages to crass materialism, wild spending sprees, and ultimately end up as slaves to crushing consumer debt.
So, how did we stray so far adrift from the intended spirit of holiday tradition of earlier and much simpler times? What happened to sharing? What happened to caring? What ever became of goodwill towards all? Those noblest of virtues were trampled weeks ago, the moment all the stores opened up on Black Friday.
The single constant reminder of the true meaning of the holidays remains the enduring spirit of our most beloved Christmas carols. Music fills our hearts with joy. Songs bring us good cheer. But hidden in between the lyrics, might there be something far more profound?
Consider some of our favorite holiday songs, which are posted below. Might these lyrics have have messages that were inspired by none other than Karl Marx? Check it out. My theory isn’t as crazy as it sounds:
There are precious instants in life when you know you’re on the right track.
Today included one of those savored personal moments.
Imagine — me opening up my clearinghouse in the “comments” section at this website and finding a post by the great jazz musician Mort Weiss.
Excuse me, while I take breath.
Weiss is one of the great clarinet players of our time, and has quite a story. He’s still going strong and releasing new material regularly. READ MORE ABOUT MORT WEISS — HERE
Here’s a short clip of Mort Weiss performing, which is just one of his many talents. He also has written extensively on jazz, his interests, and life. Check out his website called THE MORT REPORT — HERE.
Welcome to Mort Weiss. Thanks for visiting. Please don’t be a stranger.
B.B. King died last week here in Las Vegas. He was 89.
I saw B.B. King perform three times. I always loved his music, even when listening to the blues wasn’t particularly fashionable.
Indeed, the blues is not now, nor has it ever been, mainstream music. It’s the wailing howl of the economically disenfranchised, the voice of the social outcasts, the sorrow of broken hearts, and the lament of persistent loss. And yet, quite often, it’s both amusing and uplifting. One figures that life really isn’t really so bad after all, especially when contrasted alongside the song’s hero who somehow loses his job on the same day he catches his lady in bed with another man. While B.B. King put out relatively few best-selling records, for millions of listeners his blues was a deeply biographical soundtrack. If nothing else, it certainly provided incendiary kindling for rock n’ roll, soul, and R&B.
For most fabled singer-songwriters, duet compilations are typically the last oil change before the wheels finally fall off the old clunker and the engine blows up. They’re typically lame excuses for disconnected musical has-beens to cling together one final time and maybe even squeeze out a fluffy farewell nostalgia tour, perhaps even earning a few bucks merchandising to what dregs remain of the steadily-diminishing record-buying consumer market.
Van Morrison quit caring about the music business or record sales nearly a half century ago. Consider that this is a man who didn’t even bother to show up for his own induction into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, back in 1993 (to be fair, he did turn up and also performed live at the Songwriters Hall of Fame induction alongside his idol Ray Charles, which he considered far more meaningful). His cantankerous nature, including run-ins with record companies and executives, studio engineers, concert promoters, fellow bandsmen, members of the media, ex-wives and girlfriends, and even his own fans reveal an appalling decent towards self-imposed alienation, especially for such an internationally apotheosized icon, earning him a well-earned reputation as one of pop music’s most onerous personalities. Indeed, the only thing Morrison despises more then granting media interviews are typically enduring the interviewers themselves, even when they’re from widely-respected trade outlets. He once cut off a well-known music critic in mid-sentence, curtly insisting “your 30 minutes are up — goodbye.”