It’s been quite awhile since the self-imposed suspension of my monthly BlogCasts. But, seeing how the content, herein, engenders the spirit of community, not unlike that felt during 9/11 memorial services…
Today! Today! Today is the day to hit the comeback trail!
For those who may be new to this site, these BlogCasts, typically, feature anywhere from 3 to 5 musical selections that thematically, visually, instrumentally… sometimes even tonally… all tie together quite nicely to make a more impactful impression.
As for the specific music, at hand, we’ll get a snapshot of where America was, is, and (if we’re lucky) can be all about.
For starters, our blog topper vid, America, melds Neil Diamond’s emotionally driven, lyrical sentiments with YouTube videographer Johnny Kim’s smartly edited photo montage. My mega-thanks to Kim, for I could ALMOST envision the (circa early 1900s) Ellis Island arrival of my own maternal and paternal grandparents.
Suffice to say, this emotionally uplifting vid offers up a welcome breath of fresh air. And that’s no easy task, considering the gloomy, funky, stale storm clouds of intolerance which hang over the White House these days. If only restoring America’s image… as a welcoming nation… were as easy as clicking onto that playback button, right?
Let’s now move along to Simon and Garfunkel’s performance of America. This track takes on a dramatically different meaning when accompanied by YouTuber Eric Schantz’s skillful edits, which reveal Saginaw, Michigan’s urban decay. Suffice to say… we’re viewing a textbook case of greed ruining a once grand city and state. If left unchecked, it can only metastasize nationwide. Sorry to say, no matter how frequently roaring political rally throngs chant “Make America great again”, this cannot possibly come true until that hollow mantra gets backed up by substantive actions of a green nature.
BTW, be sure to keep an eagle eye out while playing back this vid. Amidst the drab scenery, you’ll discover all of the song lyrics appearing as graffiti, spray-painted on buildings, fences, vehicles, overpasses… and everything else in between.
With Michigan being my lifelong home state, I’ve felt a strong bond with this song ever since its April 1968 release date. Additionally… I’m pretty sure that, as a little boy (road tripping with my parents and sister) we did pass through Saginaw on our way to Minnesota to visit my above-mentioned grandparents.
For this BlogCast finale, I’ll also be making my own cinematic statement. You see, not unlike the B&W Kansas cross-fade to the technicolor found within the Land of Oz… less dreary / more cheery times are ahead… all courtesy of the late great Ray Charles’ rendition of America the Beautiful… visually enhanced by YouTuber 12mulligan.
Their combined creativity provides us a view of The Real America. Wow! I really do get a sense of being home, again. And, to quote one of the most memorable lines from that Wizard of Oz flick…
“There’s no place like home! There’s no place like home! There’s no place like home! There’s no place like home!”
I now thank you for stopping by and cordially invite you to check out my Sunday Song Series presentation that hits the www… when else… each Sunday… usually between midnight and six a.m. in the U.S. Eastern Time Zone.