Sunday, August 13, 2017

Naming the sin and demon of white supremacy

White supremacy is a sin, in fact, America's original sin. The country was built on, and it's initial wealth created through, the land theft and genocide of one race, and the chattel enslavement of another. It is white supremacy that allows the murderer of Philando Castile [and many like him] to go scott-free, even though the whole world saw his murder on video.

The Bible teaches us to confess our sins; not just sin in general, but specific sins; if I commit adultery, I confess adultery; if I commit theft, I confess theft.

This country has to come to terms with it's history of white supremacy and racism. There is no healing for us, Black, White, Indigenous, or Asian, unless we name our national sin and confess it.

It's a dodge to simply subsume white supremacy under "hate" or "bigotry" or "sin" (even though it is sourced in all those things) without naming it specifically. If we can't name it, we can't repent and be healed.

In order to exorcise a demon, you must name the demon; the demon manifesting at this moment is White Supremacy.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

On the 4th of July, Acknowledging America's History of Oppression

On the 4th of July, I cannot help but remember that this country and its historical wealth were built on the genocide of one race of people, and the brutal chattel slavery of another. I am sorry, these are not mere footnotes, this truth looms large in our history. We cannot fully celebrate freedom until we acknowledge the dark side or our history, and honor and respect all of our people, with justice, in our day. The United States will never be truly "great" unless and until these wrongs are requited.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Cutting Medicaid is Pure Greed and Selfishness

The United States is still the wealthiest country in the world. The senate is considering a bill to drastically cut medicaid. Many poor people will lose their health insurance. They do not have a right to life. I don't care what your ideology is regarding government services. The fact is, we have the wealth to make sure all citizens have health insurance. Our politicians are ruthless, having no empathy. It is an expression of pure greed and selfishness.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Trump's Executive Order: At the Pinnacle of the Temple, Selling One's Soul for Wordly Power

I do not celebrate President Trump's executive order allowing churches to endorse candidates. Church leaders, already adept at milking guilt out of people, can now bully people into voting "the right way." What bigger hammer does one have than to threaten people's eternal soul if they don't tow a church's party line? What a potential for spiritual abuse. Church leaders who are gleeful have succumbed to the Devil's temptation at the pinnacle of the temple. Churches are selling their soul to celebrate this new executive order.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Ultimate George Harrison, a Career Spanning Compilation in honor of George's 74th Birthday

In honor of George Harrison’s 74th birthday today, I offer this selection of my favorite George Harrison songs.

Shortly after George Harrison passed away in 2001, my brother Layne and I made our own George Harrison Mix, to celebrate his great legacy. We came up with 42 songs, spanning both his Beatles and solo careers. When one is an ardent fan of a musical artist, one is often not satisfied with the available hits albums and packages. There is always something left off or something included that should not be there.

On our list, This Song from the 1976 album, 33 and ⅓ makes our list, but has not made the official greatest hits packages from the record companies. The same with Living in the Material World, the title track from George's 1973 #1 Album, one of his most underrated and magnificent compositions.

I have probably left a couple of items off that I would include now, including two of George’s Indian-inspired tunes, Within You, Without You, and the Inner Light, possibly his most successful song of that genre.

The songs that bring tears to my eyes are Give Me Love and the lovely Marwa Blues.

Give Me Love is a perfect expression of George’s Bhakti Yoga, the path of devotion.

Marwa Blues features George’s excellent slide work. Bonnie Raitt considered George the best slide player, and Jeff Lynne Considered him the King of the Slide Guitar.
Tommy Bruner, songwriter and guitarist, and my brother Layne's band mate in the Past Masters band, states perfectly why George is the best:

“The reason I love George the best (for slide guitar) is [that] most slide players play primarily in blues and pentatonic scales. When you do that a certain amount of inaccuracy can actually add character to what you're playing. But George played slide primarily in major and minor scales. To do that every note has to be extremely accurate or it doesn't work. To be that accurate in major and minor scales and still play with the feeling he did is to me very beautiful and out of the ordinary.”

There are also some deep Beatle cuts, including the superb Savoy Truffle (which incidentally features Paul McCartney giving a bass -clinic).

I no longer say I have a favorite Beatle, I love all four of them, and admire them for different musical and personal characteristics. But today, on February 25th, George Harrison is my favorite Beatle.

I leave you with this testimony from George’s widow Olivia, which I deeply appreciate as a lifelong spiritual seeker:

“George left this world in the same way he lived in it- in the consciousness of God....There was a profound experience when he left his body. It was visible. He just lit the room.”

- Olivia Harrison


I Need You
This Song
Think for Yourself
Crackerbox Palace
If I Needed Someone
Love Comes to Everyone
Blow Away
I Want to Tell You
Here Comes the Moon
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
All Those Years Ago
You are the One
Savoy Truffle
Wake Up My Love
Only A Northern Song
Gone Troppo
Old Brown Shoe
Cloud 9
When We Was Fab
Here Comes the Sun
I've Got My Mind Set on You
I Me Mine
Handle With Care
For You Blue
Poor Little Girl
I'd Have You Anytime
Cockamame Business
My Sweet Lord
Cheer Down
What is Life?
Any Road Will Take You There
Beware of Darkness
Marwa Blues
Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)

Living in the Material World

Dark Horse





Monday, August 29, 2016

Colin Kaepernick did the right thing

Colin Kaepernick did the right thing.

1) The police are supposed to protect us, not assassinating black men for having their tail lights out. Law Enforcement people should not be killing unarmed people at all.

2) Until rogue police (I am not indicting all police) are held accountable for shooting unarmed people for no good reason, Americans SHOULD protest. We are not supposed to be living in a police state.

The problems of racial injustice are not only problems with the police:

1) Several states have moved the last couple of years to restrict voting rights, which disproportionately discriminates against African-Americans;

2) We have a prison-industrial complex that disproportionately incarcerates people of color for minor, non-violent drug offenses;

3) The unemployment rate for African-Americans is significantly higher than for whites.
When some of these social issues can be addressed effectively, then, perhaps, people no longer will need to protest.

- Lance

Friday, August 5, 2016

The Beatles Revolver in Mono for the 50th Anniversary

The Beatles​ are my favorite group of all time, and Revolver is my favorite album, I think it is the greatest pop & rock album of all time. It will be 50 years old next month in August. One year, my sister and I each got for Christmas a Beatle album- she got Sgt. Pepper and I got Revolver. I remember both of us being enthralled with both albums for months, and we both played our albums for friends. Both Sgt. Pepper and Revolver have been proposed for the greatest rock album of all time by various polls and critics. The album is also noted for it's iconic cover art, done by the Beatle's long time friend from Hamburg, Germany, artist and bassist Klaus Voorman. ​

Rubber Soul and Revolver present Lennon & McCartney at their peak song writing, in my opinion. The Beatles immense song-writing skills may have been aided by pot and LSD on this album. It feature such classics like Taxman, Eleanor Rigby, Yellow Submarine, Got to Get You Into My Life, and the Lennon psychedelic masterpiece, Tomorrow Never Knows, based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead. The album features great musicianship by all four Beatles.

Paul McCartney displayed brilliant bass playing, especially on And Your Bird Can Sing, which also featured George's elegant and complex guitar riff that drove the Lennon composition. Ringo's inventive drumming on Lennon's Tomorrow Never Knows is some of his best work. Paul took over lead guitar from George on George's Taxman, and delivered a searing, psychedelic solo for the opening track.

The Beatles did not play selections from the LP during their last tour, which took place in America in August of 1966, because at the time, the technology did not reasonably allow them to replicate the album live. But fortunately, Paul McCartney has included several selections from Revolver in his set list over the last 27 years of touring.

I scored this brand new sealed 180 gram vinyl copy at Half Price Books. Below is a technological description of how the audio was processed for this pressing. I prefer analog vinyl records for their warmth and resonance. The album sounds great!

No one can touch the Beatles, and this LP is a testimony to their greatness.

From the insert:
"The album was cut for vinyl from the original Master tapes by using a completely analog signal path and with constant reference to the notes made by the cutting engineer for the first pressing of the LP. It has been made with current technology and without imposing the restrictions necessitated by the limitations of record players in the 1960's. Consequently, this version reveals more of the content of the audio on the master tapes.