This is late, but I hope worth the wait. So instead of Mood Monday, I bring you…
The Tenor of Tuesday
Blow after blow after blow….I am learning to ricochet each hit, while building up a serious Teflon exterior protecting my heart from puncture.
Since the election, I have been reeling in a world of daily executive orders that I question with every fiber of my being. I am deeply worried women will eventually lose the right to choose. While I am on it, WTH is an alternative fact? And what president questions a judge’s decision with a tweet? Additionally, we have filled a cabinet position for education, and she can’t even answer simple educational questions. The dumbing down of America has been given a frightening new boost on the federal level.
As a much needed distraction from the depressing news, I was excited about my local pro football team going to the Super Bowl on Sunday. I thought the possibility of Atlanta winning might be the sweet we all craved and make 2017 all shiny and new.
Well, if you aren’t a fan of pro football, let me inform you that I left my Super Bowl gathering of dear friends, stunned…..heartbroken….and shattered. The Atlanta Falcons have a saying, “Rise Up!”. Well, they rose up alright, but came crashing down hard in the fourth quarter to lose in a record shattering way.
Because we were ahead the majority of the game, the outcome simply spoke to the crazy unpredictability of sports. I don’t want my life to mimic that unpredictability. The agony of defeat is real people! I am feeling this agony on all fronts.
What else could possibly go wrong?
I shudder to think.
I will make every effort to try and focus on something positive.
Currently, any small sliver of positivity will do.
So, today I took a double take while driving my regular neighborhood route and was pleasantly surprised by the lovely pink awakening dance of Atlanta cherry trees and quince bushes. This lovely vision was a joyful spectacular surprise for my eyes against the dank, gray sky. The baby blooms can teach me a much needed lesson. Seasons change and life usually follows suit.
For now, I don’t see many glimpses of enlightened positive change in our country, but I will seek out each and every one. I hope to find them in the kind words or kind acts of strangers; my neighbors, friends, and anyone committed to making positive change in the world to benefit ALL people; the small or large acts of peaceful protests; and even the collection of monetary support for causes and programs that support those in need. Simple acts of compassion will be my glimmer of hope. I know this might seem small right now, but like the tiny buds of Spring’s hope, I feel certain they will grow and change.
While I am watching, waiting, and acting, this new song from Bleached will play on repeat. It was released just a few days ago. Somehow, I think the power of rock n roll punk and the clear-sighted lyrics have a finger on the pulse of what many are feeling.
Bleached-Can You Deal?
“Pretty little child
Tell me your tale
How you got the courage to rebel yell
I’m really feeling cheated….”
Bleached are sisters, Jennifer and Jessica Clavin, as well as bassist Micayla Grace and drummer Nick Pillot. The sisters credit their musical roots to sneaking into the punk shows of Hollywood and playing with their early punk band, Mika Miko. After forming Bleached, they created music and recently delivered their sophomore album, Welcome The Worms. They toured successfully with a big following from the hit song off of the album, “Wednesday Night Melody”.
With a host of personal drama and struggles, their music became an incredible creative outlet. The March release of their new EP, has four new tracks…Can You Deal, Flipside, Turn To Rage, and Dear Trouble.
“Can You Deal?” is a pleasant teaser to their wall of guitars and expressive vocal style that is distinctively Bleached. Wrapped up in their music are sunny melodies, punching drums, driving guitars, and biting lyrics.
Some background to “Can You Deal?” from Jennifer Clavin,
“I create music and art because I need to. To express, to bond, to reconcile, and to connect. And to use my voice. To have it received with such a generic labeling as “girl band” and consistently referenced as “female fronted” is insulting and reductive. The title track to this EP, “Can You Deal?” is about this experience. Last year we released a deeply personal full length album titled Welcome The Worms. It was a record about being in an emotionally abusive relationship. It was a record about getting spun out on drugs and alcohol. It was a record about totally losing myself in order to find myself. It was also our most ambitious body of work yet, with guitar work and guitar sounds and production we had only dreamed of until then. And yet to this day I am still fielding interview questions that have more to do with my gender than with the art I am creating. Somehow the conversation usually derails into some variation of the following question: “What is it like to be a girl in a rock band?”. And the ensuing story will define us based on our sex. Why is gender pointed out in nearly all coverage of our band? Labeling me as a woman in a band just puts me in a box, and doesn’t allow everything else I am to be seen and heard. It’s 2017, Can You Deal with women playing rock and roll yet? “
This song was written from their own personal lens, but the more I listen, the more universal the message really is. Making assumptions or stereotyping without considering the person can be damaging.
Digging deeper into their story, I found another lovely sliver of positivity in the e-mail announcing their new music.
“Jennifer Clavin has compiled and will be publishing a limited edition Zine. This Zine with the same name, “Can You Deal?” is a collection of shared experiences from other artists as told through exclusive essays, stories, visual art, poetry and lyrics.”
This song is just one way to open up a conversation about sexism. Perhaps it will open up the possibility of discussing other related topics too. I pray conversations and compassionate acts will build positivity and help us grow to be better people, a better nation, and help create a better world.