The weather outside and the fresh bruises on my face remind me of how it felt to be a teenager. Here’s the soundtrack to match the feeling. The first two concert films I ever saw:
The Cure – In Orange performing a sped up version of “Charlotte Sometimes”.
U2 – Live at Red Rocks performing “October” and “New Years Day”.
Film School (the band) released their latest album, Hideout, last week. I’m still going through it to establish an opinion. I’m pretty certain I like it. It sounds an awful lot like The Cure, but that’s a good thing. Seems everyone wants to sound like The Cure these days. Hooray!
There aren’t any new videos from Hideout yet. Here’s 11:11 from last years self titled release:
Pretty blatant Cure rip off sound. Hooray again!!!!
I haven’t felt well lately, so Mrs. Figurehead and I sent Izzy Figurehead to my parents for the weekend. We spent a relatively quiet weekend at home and remembered how lonely it is not having a child in the house. The peace and quiet was welcomed, but being without your child is tough – even for a short period of time.
We actually watched a movie! That’s huge for us, because we never manage to find the time when Izzy is home. I spent hours with my nose in a book. We listened to some of the greatest music ever recorded. It was a quiet weekend.
The Movie: Blood Diamond
I’ve had war children on my heart for some time now, so I’ve been wanting to see this film. Blood Diamond takes you to 1999 Sierra Leone where a mercenary is looking for an enourmously valuable conflict diamond and a father desperately searchs for his son who has been abducted by the RUF (Revolutionary United Front) as a child soldier.
Mrs. Figurhead and I aren’t big jewelry people anyway, but this movie, combined with some research will likely keep us from purchasing diamonds. Although the G8 passed legislation in 2003 against the sale of conflict diamonds, there are still underground sources fueling bloody civil wars in Africa via the sale of these blood diamonds. Americans account for 2/3 of the worlds diamond consumption. There are still more than 300,000 children fighting wars. Are your diamonds worth it?
The book: Waking The Dead – The glory of a heart fully alive by John Eldredge
The Music: The Joshua Tree by U2 and Harvest Moon by Neil Young
Posted in Africa, Blood Diamond, books, child soldiers, conflict diamonds, John Eldredge, movies, Music, Neil Young, Sierra Leone, U2, Uncategorized
“We are excited to announce that Bono will be making an appearance Wednesday night on behalf of ONE urging the millions of Americans watching the show to join us in the fight against extreme poverty. Bono will meet with the Idol contestants to talk with them about ONE and the difference your advocacy is making in the lives of the world’s poorest people. The Idol contestants will also perform “American Prayer,” a song written by Bono and Dave Stewart about the AIDS emergency in Africa.
We need your help to make sure your friends and family are watching. Spread the word about tonight and tomorrow’s shows! This is a great way to introduce friends and family to ONE. Invite them to join you in the fight against extreme poverty.”
The Figurehead doesn’t watch American Idol. I’ll spare you reasons why, but I do think it’s a good vehicle for spreading the message about the One Campaign.
A couple of weeks ago my mom called me on Sunday afternoon wanting to know if I had ever heard of a guy named “Beau-no…Bono…Boe-no…Bono?” I laughed a little and said “Yes, mom, I’ve heard of Bono.” I explained that I had been listening to U2 and Mr. Bono for nearly 20 years. I didn’t go into detail with her about it, but U2 played a huge role in my teenage years. The Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby, and The Unforgettable Fire in particular comforted me and kept me company during those hard times that every unsure of himself teenager goes through.
I wrote about those albums on a previous blog of mine. Click HERE if interested.
Apparently, my parent’s church watched a 30 minute video about Bono that Sunday in church. It sounded like the usual stuff…Bono talking about the One campaign and about social responsibility in general. I think it’s great that a man spent so many years building a platform and is now using his fame and resources to make a difference in a culture dominated by a “me-first” and “the rich get richer” mentality. Bono is using his voice to fight global poverty and AIDS. He’s bringing Africa to the attention of the rich with idle wealth. This is a poor kid from Ireland trying to change the world.
It’s not just my parents non denominational church that has taken notice of Bono and the music of U2. Episcopal churchs in particular are using the music of U2 to bring young people into the church. Is that a bad thing? Traditionalists might say yes. I believe its a good thing. However you can bring people to Jesus, short of bombing them into religious submission, you should do it. U2′s music has been overtly religious in a secular industry for decades. It’s nice that people are starting to take notice.
Read this interview with Bono for more on his view of Jesus Christ and religion.
There are some people, like The Figurehead, who have been music fanatics throughout their lives. For people like me, music has played a vital role in shaping my world view. Sounds rediculous, right? In some cases that’s true. I personally don’t give a darn about what the Dixie Chicks or Dave Matthews think about domestic and world affairs. I’m not talking about getting my politics from an out of touch musician here. I’m talking about songs that have stuck in your conscience through the years. Those songs that have shaped your opinion about something – something you’ve considered closely, and only then decided that you did agree with what that particular song said to you. I also lump songs into this category that didn’t necessarily shape an opinion in you, but carry some weight in your pantheon of moving songs anyway.
Here’s a quick list of songs that I recall having an effect upon me a teenager and young adult.
Suburban Home by The Descendents: To this very day, when our society’s “keeping up the Jones” epidemic starts to sicken me I go back to this song. “I want to be stereotyped. I want to be classified. I want to be a clone. I want a Suburban home.”
Merchandise by Fugazi: 10 years or more before I knew anything about Dave Ramsey, Ian MacKaye taught me about debt’s strangle hold on society: “Merchandise, it keeps us in line. Common sense say’s its by design. You are not what you own.”
New Years Day and Sunday Bloody Sunday by U2: I could list a dozen or more U2 songs that mean something to me. This is the first one that gripped me though. It taught me that bands that weren’t overtly punk could have a social conscience as well.
Only the Young – Journey, Change – John Waite, Lunatic Fringe – Red Rider: All of these songs appeared on the Vision Quest soundtrack. To this day, I break out into a sweat when I hear Only the Young, tears fill my eyes when I hear Change, and I go into a trance when I hear Lunatic Fringe. I’d rather not explain all the reasons, but if you know me you already know why.
This list could go on forever. I’m more interested in hearing about the songs that made a dent in your lives, my Figureheads.
A few more of the Figureheads for good measure: Come as you Are by Nirvana, Rise Above by Black Flag, One Love by Bob Marley, The Captain and the Kid by Jimmy Buffett.
I’m having some trouble with youtube today, so I’ll have to postpone “Founding Father’s Friday”. In it’s place I’ll give you a look into the world of The Figurehead; just odds and ends about everday life. Sound boring? Avert your eyes now then.
Playing in the car: Modest Mouse “We Were Dead…” and U2 “U218 Singles”
Playing at this very moment: Death Cab for Cutie “The Photo Album”
Beside the bed: Pat Conroy “My Losing Season” and Clive Cussler “Shockwave”
In the Loo: ESPN the Magazine and Wired
On my feet: Everyday – Vans Old Skool / Running – Brooks Addiction
The Shades: Rudy Project
Pedaling: Specialized Allez Comp Double with Mavic Ksyrium ES Anniversary Special Edition Wheels
Keeping the water out of my eyes: Aquasphere Kaiman
Posted in books, cycling, Death Cab for Cutie, ESPN, Modest Mouse, Rudy Project, running, swimming, triathlon, U2, Wired
Sons and Daughters - The Decemberists
The Unforgettable Fire - U2
Survive – Jimmy Buffett
Mr. Jones - Counting Crows
All The Passengers - Elf Power
Ticket to Immortality - The Dears
Can You Feel It - Apples in Stereo
Shadows – Yo La Tengo
Bubble Toes - Jack Johnson
Snail – Smashing Pumpkins
Volumes 1, 2, and 3
Believe it or not, U2 was once dangerous and cutting edge. I saw this Live at Red Rocks film right on the heels of seeing The Cure In Orange for the first time. Music stirred my soul back then. Don’t get me wrong, I still love new music, but nothing grips me the way music did in my early teens. That’s pretty common, I know: teen angst.
U2 – 11 O’Clock Tick Tock
and of course…the anthem itself…Sunday Bloody Sunday
Previous FF Friday artists: The Cure,The Smiths, REM, Pixies, Violent Femmes