Saturday, November 28, 2015

What society has a true Christian Ethos?

I think that Europe, which seemingly has rejected formal religion and even Theism, nevertheless, reflects a Christian ethos with their generous welfare states and social democracies.

On the other hand, Americans, 44% of whom attend church services, have the "bug eat bug" ethos. We hate the poor, hate refugees, hate immigrants, and are in the process of dismantling our social safety net.

Don't get me wrong, don't misread me; I am not saying that the state has anything to do with the Church or the Kingdom of God. But the ethos we have adopted in this country is that of selfishness, Ayn Rand, and Antichrist.

Europe still has a sense of the common good, which is a legacy of Christianity.

Unfortunately, some in Europe, like Cameron, want to move more toward America.

Austerity measures do not work; they do not revive an economy, they do not serve the common good.

Friday, November 27, 2015

45th Anniversary of All Things Must Pass

Today is the 45th Anniversary of the George Harrison's All Things Must Pass album (ATMP). ATMP is arguably the greatest Beatle solo album, although there are one or two other contenders, too (e.g., Band on the Run, Plastic Ono Band, etc.). But as far as a well-written, well performed and produced record album, ATMP I believe is the best record any of the former Fabs made.

I remember being exhilarated listening to it the first time, especially the opening track, I'd Have You Anytime (which George co-wrote with Bob Dylan). There are many other gems: George's first number one, his spiritual My Sweet Lord was a huge hit. What is Life? is the other top 10 song from the album. It is a favorite of mine, although I felt that the slide guitars are too low in the mix, overwhelmed by Spector's wall of sound, which characterizes this album.

There were many guest stars on this album, including Eric Clapton, Dave Mason, Jim Kelter, Jim Gordon, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Badfinger, and others.

George, who had been overshadowed by the songwriting partnership of Lennon-McCartney in the Beatles, showed forth his talent and power as a songwriter and guitarist on this album. His brilliance as a songwriter was already indicated by his contributions, Something, and Here Comes the Sun, on the last recorded Beatle's album, Abbey Road. George's songs on ATMP have become classics as well, including Isn't it a Pity, Wah Wah, Beware of Darkness, as well as My Sweet Lord and What is Life? already mentioned.

Only a Beatle could get away with releasing a 3-record Album in 1970, and yet there is no filler on this album, it is a magnificent set.

I still love to listen to this album. I miss George Harrison quite a bit. I am going to be listening to his masterpiece today, on the 45th anniversary of it's release.

Beware of Darkness, from All Things Must Pass, performed at the Concert of Bangladesh

Friday, October 23, 2015

Esperanza's new single One on Jimmy Kimmel

You can bet I stayed up to see this last night, Esperanza was great!

Esperanza Spalding just released a new single from her project, Emily’s D+Evolution! In case you missed it, here is Esperanza premiering "One" on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night.

Download "One" via iTunes
Download "One" via Amazon
 Stream "One" via Spotify

Friday, October 9, 2015

John Lennon's 75th Birthday

In a perfect world, John Lennon would be alive at 75 today. I want to remember and honor his memory today.

John Lennon has been a hero of mine since childhood.

I will never forget seeing the Beatles on Ed Sullivan for the first time.

I will never forget watching on John and Yoko's One-to-One Concert, which was shown on ABC.

I will never forget watching the Beatle's movies Hard Day's Night and Help! in the movie theater.

I will never forget watching John sing Imagine, and the 50's Classic Slippin' and Slidin' on the TV tribute to Sir Lew Grade in the 1970's. 

I will never forget my Catholic high school teacher giving a favorable opinion of John & Yoko's Sometime in New York City for it's social justice message when I brought it in and showed it to him in religion class. 

I will never forget the home movies of me dressed like John Lennon, my hair long and parted in the middle, wearing an army jacket with wire rim glasses, and flashing the peace sign. 

And I will never forget where I was and what I was doing that fateful night in 1980, when a high school friend of mine called me to let me known John Lennon had been assassinated. 

Yours, John, was a brilliance that has inspired me all my life. Today, on your 75th birthday, I am listening to your CD, Live in New York City. 

I wrote this blog today with a lump in my throat, tears in my eyes, and hope for giving peace a chance.  I can Imagine a better world, All we need is love. And I believe your message, John: We All Shine On!  - Lance

"If you can imagine a world at peace, with no denominations of religion not without religion but without this my-God-is-bigger-than-your-God thing then it can be true"  - John Lennon

"We're all Christ and we're all Hitler. We are trying to make Christ's message contemporary. We want Christ to win." - John Lennon

Imagine Video

Cold Turkey

#9 Dream

Instant Karma

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

National Voter Registration Day!

Today is National Voter Registration Day! Have you registered to vote yet? #celebratenvrd
Esperanza Spalding helps to get out the vote!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Bob Marley Lyrical Genius- Bob Marley and the Rastas speak the language of Zion

Bob Marley and the Rastas speak the language of Zion, not of Athens...Rastafarianism is a Black Liberation theology. Jah Love protects us! 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Chris Squire, Virtuoso Bassist and Co-Founder of Progressive Rock Group Yes Passes Away

Chris Squire passed away today (June 28, 2015). He was one of the greatest bass players of all time, known for his virtuoso playing on his stereo-amplified Rickenbacker bass. In the seventies, Paul McCartney, Geddy Lee, and Chris Squire made it really cool to play a Ricky!

Along with Paul McCartney, John Entwistle, Stanley Clarke, he was one of the bassists who influenced me to want to play bass.

One of my favorite albums is his solo 1975 Fish Out of Water. Here is a blog piece I wrote in 2012 on his 1975 solo album, Fish out of Water.

One of the very first concerts I ever saw was Yes. I remember their revolving stage and Squire ' s flashy playing, which was essentially the lead instrument on some songs.

May he rest in peace.

Here is a link to Rolling Stone's news release on Chris Squire's passing:
Chris Squire, Bassist and Yes Co-Founder, Dead at 67

Here is the music video of Chris Squire's Hold Out Your Hand and You By My Side from his Fish Out of Water Album: