Sonic Highways

Second Chances

If you have read a few of my blog posts you know that I have a “thing” with the Americana Music Association. Their exclusion of several types American music genres in their description of “roots” music is discrimination that is un-American, but I’m not going to get into another long rant on that. Instead I’m going to exert my PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) by sharing my music appreciation movement, a true American music movement without walls or exclusions. It’s all about openness to enjoy and learn about different American forms of music.

A really well done documentary series on HBO (of course) called “Sonic Highways” is doing what I could only dream of doing for music. The Foo Fighters are celebrating their 20th anniversary as a band by producing a very innovative new album (Sonic Highways) of original songs that they are composing while traveling and recording in eight cities around the USA. Their journey has been documented in this series and after watching the first two episodes and I’m very impressed with the television production as well as the creative compositions resulting from their journey. Dave Grohl, the Foo Fighters leader, describes the project as, “A love letter to the history of American music.”

What I appreciate about “Sonic Highways” is how the Foo Fighters are telling stories about the roots of American music by presenting the artists, producers, recording engineers, club owners, record store managers and music fans who have created, supported and influenced the regional sounds that soon spread to be heard and loved all over the USA. Even if you aren’t a fan of a particular genre of music, you can still appreciate the human element of how and why that music began, grew and thrived. Case in point, Punk, which is a genre I am not too fond of, but I have a new appreciation for it because of  “Sonic Highways.” They presented an excellent informational and entertaining look at how Punk had roots in Washington D.C. and some in Chicago among the youth in the 1980s, while these two cities held to a very strong and famed blues, rock, funk and soul music history.

I am always impressed and grateful that in America we have creative freedom to express and enjoy so many different forms of entertainment and infotainment. HBO does such a wonderful job of this and I am really excited that HBO is getting ready to introduce an online service to augment their TV cable subscriptions. Even when I have limited financial resources I always think of HBO as a must-have and give up other things to be able to have it. What excites me even more about HBO’s progressive and aggressive standpoint on video content consumption is that many younger viewers who are used to consuming video and film only online may decide to subscribe to HBO online and have access to the fine programing they offer, like “Sonic Highways.” If a millennial generation can learn to be more open to American music of all types and appreciate genres like jazz, blues, folk, punk, rock, country etc., then others trying to put some music in a box, close the lid and label it American(a) will be become less of an influence.

So what does all this blah, blah, blah have to do with second chances, you might ask? Looking at things with an open mind, being brave to discover that looking back, respectfully, could move you forward. From a motivational poster on Facebook:” If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” I actually heard that one before, but can’t remember where.

Also, losing something can be a second chance. I lost a good job two years ago that I really liked, but losing it opened the opportunity to write Don Randi’s biography, “You’ve Heard These Hands.” Don’s life is music and he is a part of how music from Los Angeles influenced and inspired music around the world. Writing his story is one of the most powerful things I have done in my life, so far.

I love to share music with people and this week I revisited a group that I really like, Shinedown. As Wiki describes; Shinedown is an American hard rock band from Jacksonville, Florida. “Second Chance” is one of Shinedown’s finest recordings and I thought of this song as I started to write this blog post. You don’t have to be a hard rock fan to appreciate it because it’s a beautiful, poetic and emotive piece. Enjoy it and go for your second chance…

#sonichighways #HBO #DaveGrohl #Americanmusic #amercana #jazz #punk #shinedown #secondchance #foofighters #donrandi #youveheardthesehands #rock #gogo #Chicago #washingtondc #music #blues #television #recording

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