Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Blessings #29

Kishi Bashi - 151a (2012)

I have a fondness for those who bring the violin into the heart of their music. It's soft and light and lifts you into the beauty provided by the sun. It's powerful and dynamic and can pummel the threat of anguish. It's direct and precise and points you to the realm of imagination where all dreams may be true. Kishi Bashi is a one man wrecking machine with the violin providing the blunt trauma. The digital revolution is alive and well and musicians are using everything at their disposal to get their music out there. It's an amazing era for music lovers. There are some out there who feel like the days or yore we're wonderful times, when music was controlled by the few. These people believe that only the truly talented thrived during that time and now we are being inundated by a plethera of artists causing us to sift through more crap than ever. I don't mind. I enjoy listening to music...all the time and the more the better. I may be missing quite a bit of amazing stuff out there because there is only so many hours in the day to listen to music but I also hear a lot more than I ever did before. Why should we let some jackas tell us what is good when we all have an ear of our own? And let's be honest. There was a lot of good music that we didn't get to hear because it didn't filter into the conglomerate system that was in place. Well, now I get to listen to Kishi Bashi, which always brings a smile to my face.

Night Catches Us - Tanya Hamilton (2010)

This dramatic film is set in Philadelphis during the mid 70's following the fallout of the Black Panther movement. It points a stark eye on the quality of life people were dealing with after so much was supposed to have changed. But we still see racism, police harrassment, petty crime and degradation. It's the same old stuff those who are marginalized in our society always have to deal with. Marcus, an ex-panther, returns for his father's funeral and gets caught up in the story that he thought he left behind. He's wiser and softer and he tries to connect with people who are really trying to make a change. Such as Patricia, who is the wife of a friend who was murdered by the police back during the heavy lifting. They reconnect and try to find some beauty in this life but so much is pushing against them. Marcus is dragging around a shadow from the past, of course, and it's intimately connected to Patricia and everyone else around him and that's where the story unfolds. "Night Catches Us" is a powerful film mostly because the heart of the story is about people who have dealt with so much but who are still trying to create value with their lives. We can all relate to that a bit, even if it's not in such a violent and oppressive way that is portrayed here in this film. We all make mistakes, usually when we're young, but it's how we respond to these weak moments that truly defines who we are. We can fall further into the abyss until we're waiting in the shadows with a gasp on our lips or we can stand up and acknowledge that no one is going to give us a happy existence. We must create it.

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