Past, Present, Future

My interest in music is varied. It’s interesting that this post and my earlier music post, Shadow Days & Crew Love, are comparable in music contrast — I could say two sides of many. The two parts are the Henry David Thoreau side, the natural and reflective, and the other side is my fervor for great dance music, represented by Gene Kelly and Micheal Jackson. Each part represents a different aspect of taste, rhythm and beat. One inspires my mind and heart, the other my body and soul. Staying fluid.


One of the major success stories of 1992, Arrested Development, is a progressive rap collective fusing soul, blues, hip hop, and Sly & the Family Stone-influenced funk with political, socially conscious lyrics. The group was founded in the late ’80s by Speech and Headliner, who decided
to make the transition to a more positive, Afrocentric viewpoint. An alternative to gangsta rap.

Tune: Mr. Wendal
The social concern for the plight of the homeless was voiced in 1992 when Mr. Wendal was released. Mr. Wendal was a homeless man that Speech, who wrote the song, became friendly with. Mr. Wendal never heard his tribute because he passed before the release. Half of the proceeds of this song were contributed to the National Coalition For the Homeless.

Now that you heard the original, here’s a new mix.


Fleur and Manu’s video for Midnight City, the first single from French electronic band M83’s album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, was released October 2011. The video features euphoric vocals backed with high spirited instrumentation, partnered with surreal images of telekinetic kids escaping from a government facility. See and hear…

Tune: Midnight City Video — M83

Tune: Mo Cities Mo Problems  — Carlos Serrano’s Mix, Diddy, Mase & Biggie vs. M83

Mo Cities Mo Problems, just released, begins with the thrilling music of Midnight City, laced throughout — then the rapping starts, with drums in the background. Between the raps of Diddy, Mase and legendary Notorious B.I.G., M83 vocals and uplifting music brings it up high! And ends the dance mashup in an epic tone for your summer mix.


John Mayer’s recently released Born and Raised album is remarkable. Like Thoreau before him, Mayer has checked into a reflection of natural surroundings and solitude. With this album he’s back to redeem himself after a couple of controversial interviews given about two years ago. It’s interesting — his earlier song from 2001, My Stupid Mouth, could be viewed as a forecast to those interviews gone bad. His latest album has an Americana vibe, Laurel Canyon folk rock, and a down to earth feel.

Tune: Born and Raised
The title track of the album, Born and Raised, has revealing lyrics that sing to Mayer’s past errors and renewed self awareness: “It gets hard to fake what I won’t be…  I still have dreams, they’re not the same / They don’t fly as high as they used to…  I still got time, I still got faith…  So ride on up, take your place / And show your face to the morning”

Harmonica is a key instrument here. His vocals expose honesty and atonement, with supporting vocals by David Crosby and Graham Nash. The slight swell in volume during its ending is a preview to a magnificent swell in A Face to Call Home.


Dave Matthews Band forthcoming studio album, Away From The World, releases on September 11, 2012. The track, Mercy, which the Band has been performing live as of late, has been dubbed as the lead single. Matthews and his jazz/rock fusion group formed in 1991.

Tune: Mercy
Dave Matthews, accompanied by Captain Kirk Douglas from the hip hop band The Roots’, debuted Mercy live on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The album track with it’s acoustic guitars and upbeat rhythm, serves as the foundation for Matthews’ familiar voice — bringing the resonance of a classic Dave Matthews Band cut.

Photos © Unknown Individual Photographers or otherwise, per image.