Wednesday, July 5, 2023

"La Bamba" featuring Los Lobos - Song Around the World/Playing for Change

And yet another Playing for Change video featuring musicians from around the world covering the classic song "La Bamba." When I hear this song, I think of the Ritchie Valens version, or the Los Lobos version that was recorded for the film of the same name.

According to Indiana University: "'La bamba' is a traditional son jarocho wedding song originating in the Mexican state of Veracruz. Famously adapted by Ritchie Valens in 1958, it was the first Spanish song to reach No. 1 on the American charts, and the only non-English song to be included in Rolling Stone's '500 Greatest Songs of All Time,' at #354. The earliest recording of 'La Bamba' currently available was recorded by Alvaro Hernández Ortiz, credited as El Jarocho, in 1939."

In the "More Red Ink Search" field at the top of the right column, enter the words "Playing for Change," and you will be able to read and view five other "Song Around the World" entries that I have posted on this blog.

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

July 4th - "Today we celebrate our independence day!"

Tonight my wife and I will partake in our July 4 (guilty pleasure) tradition: we will watch the 1996 movie Independence Day (ID4) while the neighborhood's illegal fireworks provide the incessant background explosions. The movie starred Bill Pullman as President Thomas J. Whitmore, Will Smith as Marine Captain Steven Hiller, and Jeff Goldblum as MIT-educated computer hacker David Levinson.

Before posting this, I searched my own blog, and I realized that it has been six years since I last posted President Whitmore's speech and video -- six years: I can't believe it's been that many years already!

So, to indulge my/our guilty pleasure, here it is yet again, from ID4:

Good morning. Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world, and you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind.

Mankind, that word should have new meaning for all of us today.

We can't be consumed by our petty differences any more.

We will be united in our common interest.

Perhaps it's fate that today is the 4th of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom. Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution, but from annihilation. We're fighting for our right to live, to exist. And should we win the day, the 4th of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world declared in one voice:
"We will not go quietly into the night!
We will not vanish without a fight!
We're going to live on, we're going to survive."
Today we celebrate our independence day!

—President Thomas J. Whitmore
    July 4th, 1996

Saturday, November 5, 2022

"All Along The Watchtower" featuring Warren Haynes - Song Around the World/Playing for Change


"I remember having a daydream about the opening acoustic guitar part of 'All Along The Watchtower' ending with a Native American scream and a big native drum on the downbeat. That was the spark to assemble one of our biggest and deepest Songs Around The World. From Beirut to New Orleans to the Lakota Nation, musicians play and sing like a musical army determined to stop suffering and greed all over the world. As a society, we need to get back to our roots and connect deeper with our ancestors and native people in general so we can find the wisdom we need to move forward as a human race. As Jimi Hendrix once said, 'If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music.'"
−Mark Johnson, Playing For Change Co-Founder


See the previous Song Around the World/Playing for Change videos: The Band's "The Weight" here, Led Zeppelin's "When The Levee Breaks" here, Peter Gabriel's "Biko" here, and U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" here.
Learn more about Song Around the World on the Playing For Change website -- and check out all those other videos!

Sunday, September 25, 2022

"I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" featuring Daniel Lanois - Song Around the World/Playing for Change

"I have to admit that I'm a soft-hearted sucker for the Playing for Change videos of musicians around the world covering a classic song together. This cover of U2's 'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For' was released in support of The International Day of the Disappeared, an effort to raise awareness of disappeared peoples (victims of armed conflicts, trafficking, violence, natural disasters, migration) around the world and the loved ones who continue to search for them." []

See the previous Song Around the World/Playing for Change videos: The Band's "The Weight" here, Led Zeppelin's "When The Levee Breaks" here, and Peter Gabriel's "Biko" here.
Learn more about Song Around the World on the Playing For Change website -- and check out all those other videos!


Wednesday, June 29, 2022

"Biko" featuring Peter Gabriel - Song Around the World/Playing for Change

"'You can blow out a candle, but you can't blow out a fire. Once the flames begin to catch, the wind will blow it higher.' – Peter Gabriel, 'Biko'

In honor of Black History Month, we are proud to bring the message of Peter Gabriel's 'Biko' back to the forefront, 40 years after its initial release. Inspired by the death of anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko while in police custody, this song's relevance still holds true with the unfortunate police brutality that continues to take place in the USA, Nigeria and many places around the world. More than 25 musicians from seven countries join Gabriel for this global rendition to share a message of unity, peace, and hope, including Beninese vocalist and activist Angélique Kidjo, Silkroad's Yo-Yo Ma, and bass legend Meshell Ndegeocello.

The eyes of the world are watching... Let each of us lead with love and let that love ripple throughout the universe.

Produced by Sebastian Robertson and Mark Johnson"

See the previous Song Around the World/Playing for Change video for The Band's "The Weight" here and Led Zeppelin's "When The Levee Breaks" here.
Learn more about Song Around the World on the Playing For Change website -- and check out all those other videos!

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Beton - "Kyiv Calling" (official cover version of "London Calling" by The Clash)

"Beton’s band members, Bohdan Hrynko, Oleg Hula and Andriy Zholob, recorded 'Kyiv Calling' in a studio in Lviv last Thursday and Friday [March 17 & 18]. A video for the track features footage shot by the band’s friends, family, colleagues and volunteers, and captures some of the recent attacks in towns and cities, from Kharkiv to Kyiv.

The musicians are now also playing a part in the war effort. Zholob, the guitarist and vocalist, also works as an orthopaedic doctor, and is treating war victims and soldiers, while Hrynko, the drummer and vocalist, and the bassist and vocalist, Hula, are part of the territorial defence and are ready to join the resistance when called upon. In normal times Hrynko is an architect and Hula the co-owner of a company that supplies sound and lighting kit for concerts and festivals."

Courtesy of The Guardian

Saturday, March 5, 2022


Mona Shafer Edwards
February 28, 2022

Friday, February 18, 2022

"When The Levee Breaks" featuring John Paul Jones - Song Around the World/Playing for Change

From (February 18, 2022):
John Paul Jones has re-recorded the 1971 Led Zeppelin classic "When The Levee Breaks" with help from 17 musicians from around the globe, including guitarist Derek Trucks, drummer Stephen Perkins, harmonica player Ben Lee, singer Susan Tedeschi, singer Elle Márjá Eira, slide guitarist Keith Secola, and vocalist Mihirangi.

Sebastian Robertson (who also plays guitar on the song) and Mark Johnson produced the video and new version as part of Playing for Change’s Song Around the World initiative. All funds generated from the song will benefit the charity partners of Peace Through Music, including Conservation International, American Rivers, WWF, Reverb and the Playing For Change Foundation.

"When The Levee Breaks" was written by Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie two years after the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927.

See the previous Song Around the World/Playing for Change video for The Band's "The Weight" here.

Thursday, December 2, 2021

"I Believe in Father Christmas" performed by Greg Lake

"I Believe in Father Christmas" was written by Greg Lake and Pete Sinfield.
This performance was recorded in 2005 at Shepperton Film Studios in the United Kingdom.
Greg Lake passed away on December 7, 2016.
This video was released on December 1, 2021.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Ringo Starr - "Here's To The Nights" (Official Video)

Ringo Starr's "Here’s To The Nights," featuring guest vocals from Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Lenny Kravitz, Jenny Lewis, Joe Walsh, and more — from the forthcoming album Zoom In (UMe, March 19, 2021).

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Bruce Springsteen: "The Middle"

[Ignore the Jeep advertising and just listen to The Boss's words....]

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

John Fogerty's "Weeping In The Promised Land"

"Weeping In The Promised Land"

A watery new well been poisoned with lies
Weeping in the promised land
Satan's dark angels are falling from the sky
Weeping in the promised land
Children of God, he turns into stone
Sick and the weak, he dancing on their bones
Pharaoh shouting down the medicine man
Weeping in the promised land

If I could talk Beirut, behold, he comes to speak
Weeping in the promised land
History spewing, it's power that he seeks
Weeping in the promised land
With dread in their eyes, all the nurses are crying
So much sorrow, so much damned
Pharaoh keep a-preaching but he never had a plan
Weeping in the promised land
Weeping in the promised land

And say weeping, weeping
Weeping in the promised land
And say weeping, weeping
Weeping in the promised land

Pharaoh's army knocking on the door
Weeping in the promised land
Shoot you in your bed just like they done before
Weeping in the promised land
Out in the street, on your neck with a knee
All the people are crying your last words
"I can't breathe"
And why just say there'd been no crime here today
Weeping in the promised land
Weeping in the promised land

And say weeping, weeping
Weeping in the promised land
And say weeping, weeping
Weeping in the promised land
Well weeping, weeping
Weeping in the promised land
Yeah, weeping, weeping
Weeping in the promised land

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Charles Stross's Dead Lies Dreaming: The New Laundry Files Novel

U.S. Tor edition
I actually completed work on this manuscript for Tor Books at the end of January -- yes, January 2020! But knowing that nine months remained before the book would be published I decided to hold off writing about said book on this blog until we got a lot closer to the publication date.

That date is approximately four weeks away: the U.S. edition from Tor will be released on October 27; the U.K. edition from Orbit Books will be released on October 29. 

And though Dead Lies Dreaming will be the tenth Laundry Files novel from Charles Stross, this book is not -- I repeat, not -- part of the current/ongoing series involving our favorite cast of characters from Q-Division: Bob Howard, Dominique "Mo" O'Brien, Alex Schwartz, Mhari Murphy, and Pinky and Brains.

This new volume is actually the first in a new trilogy involving... well,  the only character from the prior books who even tangentially appears in this new series is Fabian Everyman, aka the Mandate, aka New Management (aka the Prime Minister). In fact, Stross's working title for this new series is "Tales of the New Management."

In his "Charlie's Diary" blog post of September 27, the author writes:

"....I gave myself license to doodle therapeutically. The therapeutic doodles somehow colonized the abandoned first third of a magical realist novel I pitched in 2014, and turned into an unexpected attack novel titled Lost Boys. (It was retitled Dead Lies Dreaming because a cult comedy movie from 1987 got remade for TV in 2020—unless you're a major bestseller you do not want your book title to clash with an unrelated movie—but it's still Lost Boys in my headcanon.)
Lost Boys—that is, Dead Lies Dreaming—riffs heavily off Peter and Wendy, the original taproot of Peter Pan, a stage play and novel by J. M. Barrie that predates the more familiar, twee, animated Disney version of Peter Pan from 1953 by some decades....Peter and Wendy can be downloaded from Project Gutenberg here. And if you only know Pan from Disney, you're in for a shock."
Orbit U.K. edition
In that blog post, the author shares a lot more detail on the genesis of this new Laundry Files series than I have included here, so be sure to click on that "Diary" link above to read the full content.

For those familiar with the previous Laundry Files novels, in The Annihilation Score, regular humans began developing superpowers. In Dead Lies Dreaming, those everyday people have formed groups, or clans (i.e. the Lost Boys of the original title), and now work in unison to, shall we say, pull the wool over the eyes of authority. And in this world, where there are thieves, there will be a thief-taker.

But as in any Laundry Files novel, there is always a much bigger (very much bigger!) outcome (the world!) at stake.

Dead Lies Dreaming is now available for preorder at Amazon and Amazon UK, or your bookseller of choice.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Grace Potter - "Eachother" (Lyric Video)

"Streets are all empty
Shelves are all bare
The world is holding its breath like we're running out of air

It's the first in our lifetime
Might not be the last
But I remember when my grandmama told me once - she said 'This too shall pass'

I don't know where we're going
But if the going gets rough,
We've got Eachother
And for now, that's enough"

Featuring Marcus King, Jackson Browne, and Lucius....