Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sometimes, You Just Gotta Listen …

Following yesterday’s post, let’s sit back and listen to the wisdom of Garland Jeffreys, the most honest man in rock ’n roll. The son of an African American father and Puerto Rican mother, he knows a thing or two about race in America. His 1992 album Don’t Call Me Buckwheat should have been the starting point for a discussion that’s still never really taken place in our country, even after the election of Pres. Obama.
In any event, the title song, “Don’t Call Me Buckwheat,” highlights the point I was trying to make yesterday:
The power of words
Well it all takes place
In a big city
With a very small mind …
And then there’s “Racial Repertoire”:

Put on my armor of defense
I never know who I’m gonna meet
To me it never did make much sense
You don’t have to go too far
Riding in a subway car
Walk inside a cocktail bar
To feel the racial repertoire
It’s become unconscious
Deep within the psyche
Generations stymied
A permanent scar …
And “Hail, Hail Rock ’n Roll,” the essential history of pop music, with all its racial complexity:

Rockets of love
It's never too late
For change in the color of
The color of her
The color of him
It really does matter
What skin you’re in
Big yellow taxi cab passed me by
Stop on the next corner to pick up a white guy
The color of you
The color of me
You can’t judge a man
By lookin’ at the marquee
Hail hail rock ’n’ roll
Comes from R & B and soul
Don’t leave me standing in the cold
Used to think I’d never grow old
Hail hail rock ’n’ roll
Don’t leave me standing on the beat
Leave me stranded on the street
I see the light, I feel the heat …
On a related note, Garland’s latest album, The King Of In Between (2011), is fantastic. Let’s hope he comes out with another soon. In the meantime, you can follow him on Twitter (@garlandjeffreys) and on Facebook. He is a very cool dude.

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