Friday, September 9, 2011
The World Did Not Stop Turning
It never really does, does it?
If I was asked what my most powerful memory of September 11, 2001 is, I would say, it's not a memory. It's that the world changed, while I was just living in it.
I was born long after Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. My parents knew it, though.
I was in the third grade when President Kennedy was assassinated. They used to always ask, where were you when the President was killed? They don't really ask that anymore. Maybe it's because most of the population wasn't even alive back then, so the question would be moot. They'd probably look at you quizzically and ask, "President Kennedy? Was he the one after Lincoln?" (They don't quite teach US history as comprehensively as they used to).
But maybe it's because something much more horrific has overtaken that moment.
You see, when President Kennedy was shot, everybody was horrified, but they didn't think, my life is in danger! I could be next! That would be silly. He was the President; we were just "people".
On September 11, 2001, our blase attitude toward random violence was shattered. "Oh yea, those things happen overseas. Too bad for them, I guess", were things we couldn't utter anymore.
Tom Burnett was just trying to get home to his family. It was an average day; an average business trip.
The traders at Cantor Fitzgerald were just trying to get through their eight hours. Another long slog; just like every one of us endures every day.
Average, everyday stuff. We're preoccupied; thinking about what we have to do when our shift is over; looking forward to spending a few hours with our families. Writing out a shopping list. Sharing a laugh with our co-workers.
Then, in an instant; less than an instant, really, everything changes.
No, the world didn't stop turning that day. It would have been better if it had.
I think about the people who found themselves in unspeakable circumstances. Tom Burnett and his fellow passengers knew that they were going to die. Yet, they fought it to the end. We, as humans, have to do something. We're not going to sit and cry and accept that this is our fate. This thing, that was thrust upon us, as if we didn't have any say in the matter.
Those firemen knew; yes, they knew, that they were trudging up the stairs to face an inevitable conclusion. Yet, they still did it. They were going to fight this thing until the end.
The thing about September 11, 2001 is, we are stronger than you (al qaeda) can even comprehend. We don't go down without a fight.
And the world did not stop turning.
You may, or may not, remember the songs from that year, 2001. Some of them are prescient, in retrospect. Some of them are sad, even if we're not sure why they're sad. Maybe it's just that 2001 was a sad year.
Maybe they speak to us now in a way that they never did before that day. I don't know, but here are some of the top songs of the year 2001. You can make your own judgment. Or you can just relive the year in song. Whatever you choose.
(I apologize for the ads attached to some of these videos, but I have no control over that. I wish I did.)
And let's talk about country. We're more straight-forward in the country world. You don't have to wonder what the song means. It means what it means.
I find that these songs are very fitting:
Thanks, Alan. Somebody had to say it:
As much as I can get on board with Alan's song, THIS ONE is the song that sums up September 11, 2001 for me:
When you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.
Cuz the world never does stop turning.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Ghost Train (The Studio B Sessions) - Marty Stuart
Marty Stuart is best when left to his own devices. Since the "no hat" days of the early nineties, Marty has taken control of his records, subsequently producing the masterpiece, "The Pilgrim", as well as classics, including "Country Music" and "Badlands".
I suspect even those who aren't fans of true (or traditional) country music can still appreciate that Marty is the "curator" of the legacy.
This album is no exception.
From the opening track, "Branded", with its sly homage to Merle Haggard, including Roy Nichols-like guitar licks, to a remake of the 1965 Warner Mack hit, "The Bridge Washed Out", to a lovely duet with wife (and legend) Connie Smith, "I Run To You", the 1960's country music sound is alive and well, just a bit more bright and shiny.
Standout tracks on this album, in addition to the aforementioned, include, "A World Without You" (my favorite). This track, folks, cannot be mistaken for anything BUT country music in its truest form. Also here is an instrumental version of Ralph Mooney's "Crazy Arms", featuring Ralph himself on steel. "Hummingbyrd", too, is a nice, ringing instrumental. Marty and Ralph collaborated on "Little Heartbreaker", a bouncy ditty that features some Wynn Stewart-like steel guitar licks.
Not everything works, but the minor nits I have with this CD do nothing to detract from this superior effort by Marty.
Be forewarned: If your idea of country music is dirty dishwater that's lost most of its foam, you probably won't like Ghost Train (The Studio B Sessions)
If, on the other hand, you love music, and are able to discern between country music junkies and country music junk, you really can't go wrong surfing on over to Amazon and clicking the "buy" button.
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