Archive for August 2010

Questions can be valuable even when we don't answer them fully or at all. In a change of pace, here are a few questions that I've mulled over in the past. Some people may find this uncomfortable. I believe facing these types of considerations will lead us to think, or at least to ponder.  Stay tuned through the end for the title track of Craig Bevan's CD, "I Think We've Made It."

Different Drummer: Terry Gilliam

Representative democracy has almost become a joke in the United States of America. The two-party system gives voters a false, and limited, sense of choice where the parties themselves join forces to keep other options out. Worse, it often seems like no one votes their conscience anymore. We complain about the "lesser of two evils" while so easily settling for just that. We will never get anything better until we stop trying to "pick the winner" and start demanding something better than a "race."

Different Drummer: Ralph Nader

Part of the mourning process, I suppose, of leaving music retail a decade ago has been losing much sense of "current."  I went from being responsible for knowing what was new and what was coming, to being ... unimpressed by anything I was hearing on radio ... quite annoyed at the methods of record labels and the inevitable results ... disinterested in new releases altogether.

That is all to say: it is really significant for me to get excited -- or even take notice -- about a new release. Here I am, though. Only days ago, Craig Bevan released a debut CD called I Think We've Made It. His CD is almost all I'm listening to these days, with podcasts being the only exception.

Musically, this is almost a man and his guitar. It certainly falls in the singer-songwriter genre. Even when Bevan is joined by other musicians, their roles are clearly "accompaniment." These are his songs. You can tell by the heart and soul that shines through, even in cases where the execution is simple ("straightforward" seems like the wrong term ... "simple" is more profound).

One of the key tracks may still be available for a free download on the Craig Bevan Music website: "Feelings I Find Hard To Show." The title track is available as a music video directed by Tristan Ofield. You can watch it on YouTube:

Being a lover of lyrics who has never played guitar, I am less able to discuss the particulars of the music itself. The words have much to do with why I've cited those songs. I'd add "Watching Over Me" and "Moments" for the same honesty, exploring relationships. I would mention one track, though, for the music in particular. In "Always" the lyrics speak to memory, but the acoustic guitar does even more to express a lingering longing. Again, dissecting guitar technique is not my strength. I just can't ignore the image in my head of a drop creating concentric circles as it ripples through a calm pool of water.

Consider the things I've intended to share on Inappropriate Conversations. I believe in eternity. I value the memory of relationships more than some might say that I should. I'm certain that we are connected to others at levels that naturally function beyond our understanding. I believe in "Always."

Tell me if you think I'm wrong, but this is a sparkling debut. Simple in all the best ways, but also clearly the start of something. Could I one day point back to this post as a speculation about a future Different Drummer? Tick.

We miss huge opportunities to make meaningful connections with people and ideas when we separate science from daily living. Even culturally, we often fail to recognize the implications and possibilities that certain scientific theories present to us. With the laws of motion, for example, something more profound than physics is described in Isaac Newton's work.

Different Drummer: Salvador Dali

The realm of "the arts" is most likely to present a healthy confrontation of sex, religion, politics and culture. At times in our history, this has been a safe haven for new ideas. At other times, it has been the last stronghold against totalitarian conformity. Few artists have demonstrated this better than this week's different drummer. He is a filmmaker who mercilessly skewered self-righteous religiosity and stood up against fascism as boldly as any soldier.

Different Drummer: Luis Bunuel

Inappropriate Conversations
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