Primordial Grooves: Too Bad

Howdy folks, some of you may know me from hanging around FDL for a while under the name finifinito. Some may remember me as Donita Sparks‘ technician for her The Spin I’m In weekly columns on FDL from July of 2006 until last summer. Others may know me from DailyKosBlue Indiana, The Roots Project, the 2008 Dodd Squad or from other places online. For those who don’t know me, I am a progressive activist and audio geek who loves to combine the two whenever possible. 

It’s a real pleasure to rejoin the FDL family as a columnist for The Seminal. I really want to thank Jason Rosenbaum, Alex Thurston and Lance Steagall, the editors and cofounders of The Seminal for giving me a chance to work with them as their music guy. I am going to be doing two columns on the weekends, one which is an iMeem playlist on Sundays that will feature a different theme ripped from the headlines each week called Primordial Grooves. The other will be a column on Saturdays about the current music business and the digital music revolution. 

I’ve been working as an audio engineer, producer and band manager for over 20 years and have been part of the digital music revolution from the beginning. I was one of the first audio engineers in Indiana to embrace digital recording technology and MIDI in the 1980s and 90s and have advocated for digital distribution to artists I have managed or produced for since the mid 90s. 

Along the way I’ve also worked as a rock n roll journalist for long defunct fanzines, monthly and weekly alternative newspapers like River City Music News out of Louisville and NUVO out of Indianapolis. Music has always been a constant with me. I am a true fan of music in general. I have a very wide array of tastes in music so you might hear some odd combinations in my playlists, but I will always explain the theme I was thinking of when picking the songs each week. 

Speaking of which, the theme for this week’s inaugural Primordial Grooves playlist is Too Bad. We had some interesting news items this week that I thought I could apply some music to. First up we have the original, uncut, unedited version of Bad Boys by Inner Circle. I couldn’t help myself with this one in light of the ongoing controversy surrounding the Henry Louis Gates arrest in his own home by Cambridge Police Sergeant James Gates. It really seems like that story is straight out of a bad episode of COPS so I couldn’t resist playing that first thing.

Next up is a song for our friends at the CIA. It seems that this week’s news about the Judicial Watch lawsuit against the CIA to garner its records from the recent Congressional probes of the techniques used in terrorism investigations has some folks at the CIA understandably nervous. Bad Company delivered a song I love that applies here called simply enough, Bad Company. 

The ongoing health care debate seems to be losing sight of the people who suffer everyday in this country. Bad Religion expressed my thoughts on this matter a long time ago with their song Suffer. While thinking about this debate and how the buffoons in Congress are managing to screw it up, I couldn’t help agreeing with the sentiments offered by Against Me! in their song Stop. They seem to sum up my current emotions regarding the health care crisis with that song.

I’m hanging out with a friend right now and he heard me putting this playlist together and offered the next track. I was not really all that familiar with the Staind song For You (I don’t listen to much radio) but the lyrics really got to me and addresses the silence in the debate that is growing louder. There is a voice being lost in the debate I fear and if we as activists don’t speak up for the voiceless then we are sitting down on the job. Keep the people close to you engaged in the debate, it’s time to ask the friends and family to get involved contacting our representatives.

Two Tribes is am enduring classic from the mid 80s Cold War days by Frankie Goes To Hollywood. The message from the song resonates into nearly all of the current crisis humanity is facing. Its truly a song for our times. There always seems to be two sides of every debate and this song is about that neverending dichotomy.

Last week was another deadly week in Afghanistan and the MSM seem to be completely oblivious to what is clearly a ratcheting up of the war in Afghanistan. The Blck Sabbath classic protest song War Pigs has new life breathed into it by the band Cake who covered this song a few years ago. With new life being breathed into Afghanistan’s war, I thought the song was appropriate.

The original song Land of Confusion was created by Genesis, but in a generational genesis of its own, the version covered by Disturbed a few years ago really hits home lyrically. I never knew Phil Collins had such a protest song song in him until I heard this version. Never let your preconceived notions of a musician close your eyes to real potential.

Finally, I added a song from Ladytron called Burning Up that touches on a lot of personal themes related to activist life. It’s a really nice playlist capper from a band that has not had much attention paid to them. Donita Sparks turned me on to Ladytron a few years ago and I’ve been a big fan ever since.

Thats the Primordial Grooves for this week be sure to check back every Sunday for another playlist and look for my column on Saturday for my thoughts on the latest news from the music business and more. Enjoy!

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