Sitting here drinking. Listening to classical music on a local radio station via the internet — WRTI. Now on to NPR news. Obama to send 250 troops to Syria. After more troops announced to head back to Iraq. The president is announcing “free trade” agreements, as well, over the pond in Germany, England, and some other places. Often it has come to the knowledge of this writer that music, thankfully, is the seat of the revolution. Your legs, your ears, your heart and brains and gonads make up the rest of it.
ISIS, Iraq, factions, Beruit. Ohio shootings. The world, we are told, is a terrible place. Or at least terrible things happen, in ways that are horrific and unspeakable. What happened to the music? This station is off-kilter from the main idea, here. Where is the music that will take us through the night?
Away from the rest of the world….
The Philly music scene is uproarious and cantankerous. It is also gentle, sweet and kind. Sure. We can afford to be trite. Lest we forgo all the suppositions that made us musicians and lovers of music, in the first place. These pretenses are in decline. And we are ready to take to the streets when councilmen and women decide to swim like sturgeon around our dreams, picking at the scraps.
(See: Councilman Mark Squilla’s bill, now squashed, to indemnify musicians for the city’s own lack of funds.)
We intermix with the debacle that is politics. The classical tune is that of a world gone mad, with a drenched violin riff that goes on and on, teaching us to forget. Thus we remember the power of music. We recall that superdelegates do not truly decide the subsequent notes of a melody we have created to sing for ourselves, and to each other.
Alas, that is the coming tirade. That is the reason why the musical scene in Philadelphia, and elsewhere, is burgeoning like a boiling bliss on the edge of eruption. And, it is erupting.
The music, and the revolution — it is in the here and now.
Sooner rather than later, there will be no difference between revolution, and the revolutionary act, and the musicians who put it into practice. Whether it’s at The Trocadero, the TLA (Theatre of Living Arts) on South Street, Johnny Brenda’s on Frankford Avenue, the Electric Factory, World Cafe Live, Kung Fu Necktie, or Connie’s Ric Rac Room. Or Union Transfer . Or the newly opened Fillmore Philadelphia, which welcomes Ben Folds and Explosions in the Sky, in the month of May, in addition to Questlove, upstairs at the Foundry.
Closing your eyes won’t make up for your unsatisfied ignorance. Whatever that means.
The time has come to really listen to the inner voice. Do you hear it as it reverberates out on the streets? Venues and performance halls fill with musicians who draw their own audiences, pumping fists. Singing, screaming, dancing — ready for anything. Ready for a revolution, and whatever it brings.
The story will unfold, here in Philadelphia. And elsewhere.
In music and magic, what say you?