Depressions and recessions lead to suicides, drug overdoses, and domestic problems including child abuse and human trafficking out of desperation. This isn’t hyperbole, this is based a frank observation of history and current events.

The young and healthy need to get their masks and gloves, learn how to use them properly, make sure at-risk populations are safe and cared for, and get back to work.

I’m worried about economic devastation because I’ve lived in the shadow of devastating poverty in places like West Baltimore and Appalachia.

I know how it feels when your knees are wobbling from panic because you don’t know how you’re going to keep a roof over your head. …

Don’t be a snob. P.O.D.’s got some bangers. The whole “Satellite” album is, as a movie critic might say, a roaring good time with massive guitars that soar like thunderheads and basslines deeper than the Marianas Trench.

Chalk it up to the pop-rock production prowess of Howard Benson, Marcos Curiel’s utterly unique guitar tones, and Sonny Sandoval’s guy-you’d-like-to-crack-a-beer-with charisma, but they’re just the parts of the machine that are showing.

Dig a little deeper and you find Traa Daniel’s riffs that might be nu-metal but are influenced by the unwritten rules and regulations of jazz and funk. I know it’s…

(Part 2 of the quasi-Christian/Christian adjacent trilogy. For part 1, click here.)

U2’s reputation peaked in 2004. The events of 9/11 propelled the band into a commercial renaissance in the 21st year of their career: they performed at the Super Bowl Half Time Show in 2002, and their brand of transcendent arena rock hit just right. Their relationship with Steve Jobs also payed off as they became the face of music on the iPod (literally). They entered their 40s as one of the hippest bands in the US, assembling late-stage boomers, gen Xers, and millennials in packed arena tours all over the world.

The first U2 song I ever heard was “All…

Day 8: Switchfoot (Part 1 of the quasi-Christian/Christian adjacent trilogy)

There were a few days after Donald Trump was elected where artists formed themselves into two camps.

The first was the “Business As Usual” camp. They avoided overtly political takes on the election and opted for generic comments about unity despite difference or — in the case of the quasi-Christian or Christian adjacent crowd — something about God being in control.

It was a touchy time, and I appreciate the virtue of tact, one that I often struggle to cultivate.

The second camp was the “Take a Stand” camp. They were the artists who wrote paragraph-long hot takes that either…

Day 7: Killswitch Engage

The screaming music trilogy part 3. (For part 1 click here, part 2 here)

When I was 19, two things happened that changed the course of my life:

1: I got a labor-intensive job at a warehouse. 2: I committed to joining the Air Force. 2.5: I got into Killswitch Engage.

All my talk about the negativity of metalcore and screaming music goes out the window with the Howard Jones era of KSE. “Daylight Dies” was the album that got me through miles on the treadmill on cold, cloudy days in Nebraska on the weekends when I had enough energy…

The screaming music trilogy part 2. (For part 1 click here)

Lest I come across as someone who doesn’t respect the role of extreme emotion in art and music, let me explore two more artists who sometimes scream, starting with Flyleaf.

The problem I have with a lot of metal-adjacent artists (Flyleaf is too melodic to qualify as a full on metal bad) is that they get caught up in extremes of dark emotion. Flyleaf never got caught in that trap.

Lacey, the lead singer and driving lyrical force, wrote at least part of the band’s debut album based on…

The screaming music trilogy, part 1

So now we get to the first artist that shaped me for the worse.

I remember the day metalcore died. I was at Warped Tour in Columbia, Maryland. There were so many screamo bands who had identical hairstyles and outfits I couldn’t possibly have told them apart. Literally everyone, their Grandma, and the Queen of England was in a metalcore band. I distinctly remember one moment when I sat down in the grass for a bit a ways from the action. I could hear about five bands playing, and all five of them launched into identical blast-beat breakdowns at the…

Erykah Badu has become one of the patron saints of the #woke twitterati with roses, rainbow flags, and upraised fists in their bios. A lot of words can be used to describe her image, music, and message; the most used one is “weird”.

She sells crystal-embedded water bottles for $80 on her merch site; she has a music video that consists of nothing but her gradually stripping at the crowded site of the JFK assassination. It was meant as performance art and not an overtly sexual act, but it definitely was not received well. …

Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick

My Dad had these monstrous tower speakers that were taller than me for most of my childhood, and every once in a while a wire would get disconnected from one of them. So for stereo recordings, half the instruments would be missing from the playback, making things very confusing for me.

I don’t know why my parents had both a record and a CD of Fiddler on the Roof, but they did, and I grew up listening to the soundtrack. …

Day 2: System of a Down

I’ve gone on record saying that I generally hate 90s alternative rock. It makes me think of bowl haircuts, JNCO jeans, and wood-grain pattern folder racks in musty old rooms with beige cinder block walls (for some reason).

It was right after the grunge revolution, so everyone thought that if you sang well, you were a fraud and a sellout. If you were attractive, you were a sellout. If you were the kind of person that wouldn’t seek every opportunity to embarrass their friends at any public event ever, you were a sellout.

So all the rockstars sang really badly…

Jordan Parrish

Econ student, city lover, occasional musician. Heart is in Virginia, home is in Arizona.

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