Cloud Cult “No Hell” and What We Bottle Up Inside

Cloud Cult is a local hero here in Minnesota, and for a good reason.  Started 20 years ago as Craig Minowa’s humble solo music outlet, it’s now a bona fide movement, a force to be reckoned with, the pride of Twin Cities that we get to brag about to the …

In Flames “Disconnected” and Why Feeling Pain Is Better Than Not Feeling at All

Sometimes life can feel painful.  You feel bad, and you think you’d rather feel nothing at all than to feel this pain. What we feel in reaction to life’s events is a matter of our own interpretation — but few of us train our minds enough to be truly unflappable.  Once …

Pondering Surviving vs. Thriving: Patty Griffin “Chief”

Patty Griffin’s “Chief” is a portrait of someone who’s lived his life wishing he was doing something else.  It really gets to me in that bridge section when she unleashes the full extent of the character’s yearning: Well I wish that you could see me when I’m flying in my …

Considering the Value of Your Dream in R.E.M. “Losing My Religion”

Famously, R.E.M. never explained their lyrics — so of course, what I’m about to say is not their message, but my agenda, my propaganda, my secret scheme to use whatever music as an empowerment tool for people making changes in their lives for the better. This song comes across to …

Learning a Sobering Lesson Vicariously Listening to Sting “I Hung My Head”

I sometimes wonder the value of telling tragic stories, and I do believe there are a number of good reasons.  Sting’s “I Hung My Head” is a sobering one but it helps me connect that sense of “what have I done” — an acute sense of regret — and feel …