Playlist for Graham (the Mad Indie Media Liberation Front)

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I'm currently making a playlist for Graham Elwood.

If you don't know who Graham Elwood is, he has a show called The Political Vigilante. He's also a stand-up comic. He was screwed out of his house by Steve Mnuchin (whom we're supposed to hate because he's Trump's treasury secretary, while forgetting that he also stole several thousand Californians' houses out from under them during the 2008 crash).

Here's a bit of Graham's work. Here's his show:

Here he is on Jimmy Dore's live show. The last few minutes of the video are hilarious.

Now, I've met Graham, at a live show, and we even talked for a bit, but I don't know him personally. So why am I making a playlist for a man I don't know? Partly, I think, it's my way of working through my thoughts and feelings about the politics we inhabit. I often do my thinking better if I'm talking *to* someone. Back when I was an academic, the interlocutors were sometimes just words on a page, the produce of minds long dead, but it always helped to have them. Talking *to* someone helps. Even if you're not personally connected.

Secondly, I feel for him, as I do for all the truth-tellers. We're inhabiting an ugly and toxic lie, which is getting more and more out of control. Its centrifugal spin can inspire nausea. It's good to find things that bring you back to yourself and the deep wellspring of your life. I find that a lot in music. In particular, I stumbled on some videos of an amazing concert from the late 80s, with Etta James, Carlos Santana, John Lee Hooker, and many other greats. There's something about that concert that's like magic soup for my soul. It's like I'm sitting at my aunt's kitchen table eating chicken soup, at the same time that I'm at the best old-fashioned bar in the world, at the same time that I'm in church. Watching that performance sets me right.

I wanted for Graham--and others too, actually--to experience the renewal I had gotten from that concert. At least, I thought it might provide some temporary good cheer. At first, I thought I'd just send a link to him. Then I thought about other songs that had had a similar healing effect on me, and thought I'd send them all.

After a bit, I became aware that I was telling a story; a story about leaving behind a lie and rediscovering one's own deep sources of meaning. I started working on the playlist every day. And after a few days of that, I realized I was doing my political thinking through the music.

So I'm going to share with you some of my Playlist for Graham, which I'm also tentatively calling The Mad Indie Media Liberation Front (h/t Wendell Berry). In the complete playlist, the first fourteen songs state the problem, or the injury; the last twelve are the athelas,* the return to the soul's wellspring, the alternative to the lie. Here, I'm just going to give you the good bit. I hope it provides you all with some cheer, in this season of good cheer.

Blessed be.

And we start the journey...

And we find ourselves in a different place, where we can breathe...

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QMS's picture

Enjoyed the latin rhythms.

a story about leaving behind a lie and rediscovering one's own deep sources of meaning

Good stuff!

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@QMS

Glad you enjoyed it.

Apparently my soul moves in Latin rhythms. Smile

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

enhydra lutris's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal @Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

There is a moderately long Wikipedia article on it and a lot of its variations and uses, that begins as follows:

The clave (/ˈklɑːveɪ, kleɪv/; Spanish: [ˈklaβe])[1] is a rhythmic pattern used as a tool for temporal organization in Afro-Cuban music. In Spanish, clave literally means key, clef, code, or keystone. It is present in a variety of genres such as Abakuá music, rumba, conga, son, mambo, salsa, songo, timba and Afro-Cuban jazz. The five-stroke clave pattern represents the structural core of many Afro-Cuban rhythms.[2]

The clave pattern originated in sub-Saharan African music traditions, where it serves essentially the same function as it does in Cuba. In ethnomusicology, clave is also known as a key pattern,[3][4] guide pattern,[5] phrasing referent,[6] timeline,[7] or asymmetrical timeline.[8] The clave pattern is also found in the African diaspora music of Haitian Vodou drumming, Afro-Brazilian music, African-American music, Louisiana Voodoo drumming, and Afro-Uruguayan music (candombe). The clave pattern (or hambone, as it is known in the United States) is used in North American popular music as a rhythmic motif or simply a form of rhythmic decoration.

One example not noted in the article is This little ditty

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

QMS's picture

@enhydra lutris

Fay do-do

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enhydra lutris's picture

@QMS

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@enhydra lutris

Really glad to know that the orisha's rhythms are the same as the basic rhythms of Cuban (which is the same as saying Afro-Cuban) music.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

The Political Vigilante is one of my favorite YouTube channels. It is great to hear the voice of reason and realize you aren't the only one seeing and hearing the craziness.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Lizotte65

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

CSTM that we live like this. I have to agree that we are;

inhabiting an ugly and toxic lie, which is getting more and more out of control

This system is horrible for the vast majority of earthlings. I like Elwood's approach, a way around.

Nice playlist, here some more latin rhythms;

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@randtntx

Great music, but is he saying he killed his cat?

Mi gato, lo mato?

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@randtntx

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal of Company Gato

Adios, company gato
So many times you have called me "shameless"
Ay de mi company
Now, I'm going to kill you
Why? For calling me a cat

Now I'll explain to you
Why a cat is caged
After being caught in the act.
Cats chase mice
Mice eat cheese
Cheese comes from milk
The milk comes from cats
Because cats have two teats
Ay, you see

Chorus
When a dog is little
They cll him a "perrito"
But when a dog is big
They call him "perron'
When a goat is little
They call him "cabrito"
But when a goat is big
Ay, ay, they call him "cabron"

So I guess it's open for interpretation. Or not. I usually just enjoy the tune. Smile

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@randtntx

My Spanish is simply not good enough to grasp the metaphorical uses of cat in real time. Smile

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

n/t

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QMS's picture

@randtntx

Brings me back to the times I visited in the early 80's. Interesting town.

During the pre-Hispanic period, the region that now constitutes modern-day Veracruz was inhabited by four indigenous cultures. The Huastecos and Otomíes occupied the north, the Totonacas resided in the north-center, and the Olmecs, one of the oldest cultures in all the Americas, dominated the south between 1300 and 400 B.C. Several important Olmec sites are situated along rivers on the coastal plain in Veracruz. They include San Lorenzo (1300-900 B.C.) and Tres Zapotes (1000-400 B.C). At their peak, these three settlements were probably the most complex ceremonial sites found in Mesoamerica; however, by 400 B.C., the distinctive features of Olmec culture disappeared and the region was replaced by the emerging central Mexican and Mayan civilizations.

Probably wouldn't recognize it now, some 40 years later.

https://www.britannica.com/place/Veracruz-Mexico

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@QMS . I've never been to Veracruz, but I like the song. The closest I was (and that was not very close) was on the other coast in Puerto Vallarta and that was close to 40 years ago as well.

It's very cool you were there, and it does sound like an interesting town. Thanks for the link... will have to read up on it a bit.

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Raggedy Ann's picture

Nice play list! Graham is a truth speaker.

Remember Harry Potter was right about this: We are only as strong as we are united and as weak as we are divided.

We must come together and build community.

Enjoy the day! Pleasantry

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"The “jumpers” reminded us that one day we will all face only one choice and that is how we will die, not how we will live." Chris Hedges on 9/11

Azazello's picture

Last time Jimmy was in Phoenix, Graham and Ron Placone came down to Tucson the day before to do a show. We went to the show and talked to the boys a bit after. Turns out Graham went to the U of A in the 80s.

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We wanted decent healthcare, a living wage and free college.
The Democrats gave us Biden and war instead.

mimi's picture

It was good and funny.

Spooky Western journalists regurgitate CIA and collaborate with spy agencies
Max Blumenthal, reporting from Venezuela, discusses with Aaron Maté and Ben Norton how Western corporate media outlets are full of stenographers for spy agencies, how the CIA and MI6 drive reporting on Russia, how the US and UK governments fund regime-change website Bellingcat and its deceptive articles on Syria and the OPCW, and how the British military censors journalism.

TC 7:51
"What we are witnessing right now is Journalism being used as essentially being a weapon of the American Intelligence Apparatus..."

I liked the expression of hamster wheel in your brain, referring to Bidne's brain.

The question is how do we get of out hamster wheels in our brains?

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mimi

enhydra lutris's picture

@mimi

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

enhydra lutris's picture

but already know most of it. I too love that concert with Carlos, Etta and John. A lot of collaboration concerts are really good, I find, and I've seen a lot of them, often ad hoc, live. I also get a kick out of Tito, always the performer, and, of course, it is his song.
And Guantanamera, a particularly ironic song, especially in your context, given what use and abuse the US has made out of Guantanamo. Like La Cucaracha and Coplas, it is a song often amplified and extended by ad hoc/extemporaneous versus, adding to the fun.

OK, now I get to make lunch and listen. Thanks tons.

be well and have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

mimi's picture

Kind of interesting to me. Just posting, in case you might want to know about Yahoo too.

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mimi