2018 was easily the best year for music since I started doing my “Favorites” lists a few years ago. Hip hop certainly dominated my Spotify plays, but a certain Texas soul singer earned the prestigious honors of “Allen Echo’s #1 Song and Album”: Mr. Leon Bridges.
Recently I’ve found myself in more and more quarrels with a certain type of political mind. A political mind that doesn’t necessarily have a specific ideology. A mind that doesn’t spend that much time discussing the actual effects of government policies. A mind that you may come to realize aligns with yours on ten out of ten policy positions — after an hour of heated political disagreement. A mind whose primary political identity can be summed up as Anti-Anti-Trump: opposed to those who oppose Trump.
I promise that not all of my posts will be about guns, but I just got back from the March For Our Lives and had some thoughts.
In a section of my last post, I wrote about the constant lecturing and nitpicking that pro-gun folks are waiting to give gun control advocates when they get certain details about guns wrong. It’s annoying and mostly useless, I argued, but just try to get the details right and then you won’t have to worry about it. It’s been a few weeks since I wrote that, and in that time, young people (mostly high school students) across the country have protested, marched, walked out and led a national conversation on gun control that is bigger than any we’ve seen in recent memory. And since the mantle of the gun control issue has been taken up and is now held by young people, the detail nitpicking and condescending lecturing has gone from an annoying online trend to the dominant strategy of the pro-gun right.
After every mass shooting, American society re-enters its infinite loop of dumb arguments, bad analogies, and cynicism. Banging your head against a wall is more productive. Anytime I hear any variation of the following, I want to make like this corgi and teleport out of the discussion:
When I’ve got a lot on my mind and I can’t make the topic work for a song, social media is the outlet I often turn to. I know that I’m nothing more than a goldfish yelling into the surrounding ocean, but it’s cathartic and necessary for my sanity. This current political climate has created a permanent fog of anger and desperation among those of us that care about the direction of the country. Channeling that anger and desperation into something positive is what we should strive for, but the expression of frustration and establishing political positions is useful as well.
The current state of politics in this country has been a big driver in my renewed interest and motivation in making music. A few weeks ago I made this song to vent. It’s not going to be on my new project “Simple Poison”, it’s not going to be a single, so after today’s shameful health care vote I feel like just releasing it now so we can be angry together. Here is “Liars”