January. 2021. A new year. A new dawning.
You had a moment of soul crushing, a brutality that came through for one horrible day. A build up of hate and supremacy and it exploded in an ugly way on January 6, 2021. Domestic terrorists fuelled by lies and hatred stormed Capitol Hill and the world got to see just how ugly and mean Americans can be. The world got to see how some Amercians were all right with trying to halt democracy. That day will go down in the history books forever as a day of hatred incited by lies and the leader of the US at that time, the Orange Buffoon.
But January, you rose like a phoenix from the ashes of that day.
You were inspiring and beautiful. You restored hope, love, humanity, and empathy. You gave us democracy, rising. You gave us Georgia, a now Democrat state. You gave us two sons of Georgia. One Jewish. One Black. You gave us a son of California. One Latino. You gave us a Madame Vice President. One Black, South Asian woman. You gave us a President. One man with empathy and heart. You gave us a Poet Laureate. One Black woman, bringing the World to its feet in hope, in belief that tomorrow will be better and that it all starts with today.
That was January in one word: ONE.
Proving, it only takes ONE person to start a revolution.
A revolution that can heal, that can unite, that can give hope.
This year, instead of choosing 3 songs to set the intention of the month, I’m choosing one song that I think will define the month.
“I’m Still Standing” by Elton John
I chose this song because after 2020, this felt like the perfect song to start a new year. Despite everything 2020 threw at us, we were all still standing. For me, this song was a perfect reminder for me to remember that no matter what setbacks happen, I was still standing. Then the attack on Capitol Hill happened and this song took a different meaning on. Liberty and democracy was still standing. Hope and love was still standing. The US had an ugly wake up call, but she got up, she stood up to fight those that wanted to take her down. These lyrics: “…I got a taste of love in a simple way and if you need to know while I’m still standing, you just fade away. Don’t you know I’m still standing better than I ever did. Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid. I’m still standing after all this time…”
FROM THE UNIVERSE
“Regular Touch” by Vera Blue
This and the next 2 songs I heard on NYE 2020 as Australian artists celebrated NYE socially distanced and playing to a crowd of none. I had heard of Vera before, but I’m not a huge fan of her voice, but this is the one song she doesn’t sing in what I call that “ethereal fairy voice” that I dislike so much. The lyrics are what caught my ear: “…Beat your own drum, feel secure in your own skin. Love from within time to begin. Now she’s alone, dancing like nobody is home. Free on her own, not attached and ready to roam. Now she’s alone dancing like nobody is home, don’t need nobody that much…”
“Everybody Rise” by Amy Shark
I had seen Amy’s name before but never heard her music. This song was so damn catchy and infectious and even though she and her band played to no one other than the camera crew and staff working, she commanded a performance. The lyrics, every man and woman has had these thoughts about someone they have adored from a far.
“I Said Hi” by Amy Shark
This song. Damn. Ladies and gents and non binary peoples, immediately add this song to your music. Anytime you have that moment, of I cannot. Play this song and know you can. Tell all your naysayers, negative committee, and inner saboteurs “hi”. These lyrics: “…Lying on my side, watching time fly by and I bet the whole world thought that I would give up today. Tell them all I said hi.”
“I’m Not Down” by The Clash
The pandemic has given me the opportunity to listen to massive amounts of music (not that I didn’t already listen to massive amounts of music). It’s allowed me to dive into artist catalogs from start to current and The Clash was one of many. After listening to all the records of The Clash, this is my favorite song by them. These lyrics: “…I’ve been beat up, I’ve been thrown out. But I’m not down, no I’m not down. I’ve been shown up, but I’ve grown up. And I’m not down, no I’m not down…”
“Terminator Oscillator” by Static-X
While I often pass by Static-X’s music, it was the music and beat more than anything that caught my ear. I like the hard driving heavy beats.
“Georgia on My Mind” by Ray Charles
January 5, 2020 – the Georgia Senate run off elections. This was the song I sang to myself all day. Georgia was on my mind. Their election for the senate could be historic and a political game changer. They would be the deciding factor in Senate. Would it be a 50/50 split between Democrats and Republicans. Would it be a true “blue” Democrat state with a Senate matching the President? Would it elect its first Black and Jewish senators? I stayed up way too late watching election results but in the end, Georgia came through. The first Black senator. The first Jewish senator. A Democrat Senate for the first time since 2015 (and a Democrat President since 1992). You did well Georgia. You did well. Thank you.
“Tryin’ to Get to Heaven” by David Bowie
God, I wasn’t ready for this single. Boy do I love this cover. You can read more about my thoughts on this and “Mother” below on Pretty Vacant One. It’s new David Bowie, of course he was going to be on this list. The Universe celebrated what would have been his 74th birthday and the 5th anniversary of his death with these 2 songs.
“Mother” by David Bowie
Just like above. Wasn’t ready for this one either. I miss David Bowie. A. Lot.
“Five Years” by Duran Duran
Hellooooooo DD cover of a David Bowie song. What a great cover of an iconic Bowie song. I believe Mr Bowie would have dug this cover. You can read more about my thoughts on this one too over at Pretty Vacant One.
“Little Engine” by Eminem
I think this might be my favorite song from Music to Be Murdered By. There’s just something fun and sassy about it.
“Closer to the Edge” by Thirty Seconds to Mars
I was donating plasma when I heard this song on the overhead p.a. It took everything in my being to not break down in tears. If you know me, you know how much this song means to me. As I reclined in the chair with a needle in my vein giving plasma, I knew my mama was there by beside me. It was just what I needed. A little reassurance that everything is a-okay.
“Love for Sale” by Bon Jovi
New Jersey as an album is still fucking fantastic and this dirty little acoustic ditty is a gem. I love everything about this song. The harmonica, the acoustic, the lyrics are fun and the song is just bluesy fun.
“What’s Your Country Song” by Thomas Rhett
What I love about this song are the lyrics from beginning to end. It’s a two fold love. Recognising the songs and country artists that are “mentioned” in the song and the connection of all that history into one song that is its own and these lyrics in the chorus: “…Everybody got a small town anthem. Everybody got a story to tell. Everybody got a Hallelujah. Everybody been through a little hell. When you’re rollin’ down a two lane highway and you turn your radio on, tell me which one hits you…”
“Bulletproof” by Dead by April
Never heard of this band until a few days ago. This little song from Swedish metal core band, Dead by April, is a fucking rocker. This song had me hooked from the opening guitars and drums. I like the mix of scream and singing or the “dirty” and “clean” vocals.. It blends well together.
“How High” by Kip Moore
I wrote more at Pretty Vacant One about this song but let met say here, goddamn, does Kip know how to write a tune that is fucking catchy. The bass line in this song and the drums are just infectious. I might have played this song for hours on the day it was released.
“She’s the Needle” by The Cancellations
Elijah from The Constellations has a new project called The Cancellations. This song is fan-fucking-tastic. These lyrics fucking paint a picture! “…she’s the needle. 50cc’s of tar. I’m trying to get to heaven with this track mark across my heart…”
“Liar (It Takes One to Know One) by Taking Back Sunday
I will always enjoy this song. It was these lyrics that made me add the song into this month’s list: “…I’m an addict for dramatics. I confuse the two for love…”
“Bullet” by Injected
“Liquor” by ZZ Top
ZZ Top. That’s all. Dirty blues. Sick bass. Driving drums. Crunchy guitars.
“Toes” by Zac Brown Band
As Zac sang…“life is good today…”