Metal musicians jailed for Islam

I promised not to post anything bad. So here goes the good – In this country people might slander metal, but they don’t jail you for it listening or playing it.

However, in Morocco heavy metal is a threat that deserves jail time. 14 fans and musicians thrown in jail. For music.

Charity packages including compilation CDs of the greatest metal tunes of all time anyone?

“I always would try”

Too much bad news. Just too much. Everywhere you turn it’s doom and gloom. Layoffs. Stock market losses. Leaders that don’t instill confidence. It just goes on and on.

Fight it.

There are principaled people out there. Yesterday I linked to two of them. A Democrat and a Republican. Here goes four more… or should I say two more, a very good sign, and something to never forget:

1. Minneapolis agent Coleen Rowley still fights to fix the system.

2. Principal Joan Jackson is doing more with far less. With per-pupil spending among the lowest in the state, and 13 percent of students in poverty, Hill has all fourth graders at proficient or advanced levels on the state tests. I know her husband. And like her, he does what he can to make the world a better place. He’s a Boy Scout troop leader.

3. Whether you agree with their politics or not – the youth of America are waking up. Like I said immediately after 9/11 – “whatever” is dead. There are things worth fighting for. The Boomers and Gen-Xers either can let these kids down, let the world down, or rise to meet the challenge of what’s ahead. Let’s hope that voter participation rises back to 60s levels. For too long, too few people have been voting.

4. Yesterday, in church, in the pew ahead of me, was an elderly gray haired man and his asian wife. At his side was a blue baseball cap. On it read “WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War Veteran”. The love between him and his wife touched me. Knowing this man faught to defend me made me feel like the wuss I am. While I am heartened to see people voicing their beliefs – please – unlike the 60s – let’s never put down those that are standing up to defend us. They deserve our respect, our understanding, and our prayers. Fight the politicians, if you feel they are wrong, it is them that make the policies. Vote them out of office. Use your vote. It’s your right. Remember that. It’s your right. So please do not put down these brave souls that are putting themselves in harm’s way to defend it.

For Lent last year I joked about giving up weblogging. I did cut back, but I was joking. This time I do have a Lenten goal in mind for my site – to post the positive (like the above) and not the negative. To emphasize what I am for instead of what I am against. A crazy thing to try. Should be interesting.

Ed Rendell – more Republican the President

Facing terrible deficits what does Rendell do – instead of offering tax breaks to buy votes that in the end will only make matters worst? He breaks down the budget into two steps: 1. Trim the size of government – balance the budget, get the house in order. 2. Invest in the future.

On the other hand, John McCain is more a Democrat then most Democrats.

Only true if you believe in the sweeping generalizations that everyone holds dear. What makes these two special is that they try and act on their principals.

I’m not one for how-tos but…

“The Art Of The Muse: A songwriter’s guide to inspiration” is a decent article on songwriting. It boils down to:

  1. Write from your heart not your head.
  2. Listen to your inner voice.
  3. Keep the tools of the trade at hand: A notebook for lyrics, a guitar, and a little recorder.
  4. Turn off your critic and open your soul.
  5. Don’t write a song. Just write anything!

Good advice for writing anything personal, not just songs. Now if I could only follow it…

Hey? Where Have I Been?

Playing and writing songs. That’s where. Lesson learned? D’Addario EXLs suck. Cheap, cheap, cheap guitar strings. They just don’t last.

For whatever reason, my guitar is helping to center me far more then my ravenous addiction to news feeds. I just gotta step away from the keyboard… if ya know what I mean.

Part of that has included digging thru old songs I no longer play, some for as much as ten years, and then freaking out. Where have I been for the past ten years? Getting my life together. It’s funny how old tunes can still be relevant. It’s funny how much, and how little, we change.

Speaking of guitar, thru GeoURL I found Ben Garvey. Great songs. Local acoustic rock. Gotta check him out.

Shannon Campbell earns the coolest girlfriend of the year award for buying her guy Seymor Duncan Humbuckers. Her great, great song, “Oblivion” was downloaded almost 2000 times last month.

And Mark’s The Phoenix Trap keeps on rocking. They make better use of then almost anybody. Plenty of songs for you to dig there. They are being listed to on a whole bunch of radio stations.