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 …

Song Reflections: Red Hot Chili Peppers “Californication”

“Californication” is an astute observation on the false hope that is offered by reducing and caricaturizing reality to a tiny and shiny sliver of it.  And while it’s easy to blame the media for that manipulation, we have to admit that we the consumer is empowering them to do so, …