Eager to shed a dark past with hope for the future, Shannon Hoon's song – his very first – opens with despair (“I don’t feel the sun's coming out today”) and concludes with an optimistic yearning to transcend that despondency (“When life is hard, you have to change”). It's a simple tune about having faith in the ability to overcome obstacles in the pursuit of artistic dreams, yet its profound message preaches resilience through transformation:
“And when you feel your life ain't worth living
You've got to stand up and take a look around
You look way up to the sky, yeah.
And when your deepest thoughts are broken
Keep on dreaming, 'cause when you stop dreamin'
It's time to die."
Rumor has it that Shannon Hoon wrote this song after a three-day cocaine binge, which is heartbreaking to know that he died only a few years later due to an overdose. However, this inspirational tune is immortalized, capturing the transformative essence of an artist wanting more out of life. In fact, a line from the song is inscribed on Hoon's grave, “I know we can't all stay here forever, so I want to write my words on the face of today and they'll paint it.”
May we forever heed Shannon Hoon's advice and continue dreaming, writing, and changing.
10/8/2015 0 Comments
A fantastical tune about fighting the forces of evil, this epic journey follows Yoshimi as she prevents robots from destroying humankind. As jovial as it is inspiring, the listener can’t help but dance-fight along with each determined verse.
“Those evil-natured robots,
They’re programmed to destroy us.
She’s gotta be strong to fight them,
So she’s taking lots of vitamins.
'Cause she knows that it'd be tragic
If those evil robots win,
I know she can beat them.”
It's a song about hope, a song about discipline, a song about perseverance.
Keep fighting evil, Yoshimi. We'll fight along with you.
The Hold Steady has always possessed a knack for combining gritty imagery with relentless determination. Known for their self-referential songwriting, themes from the band’s entire canon emerge in this one single tune. In fact, a seasoned Hold Steady listener (there's a devoted fan base dubbed the Unified Scene) will recognize many of lead singer Craig Finn’s callbacks to earlier songs: Massive Nights, Positive Jam, and How a Resurrection Really Feels.
But at its core, this song is a love letter to fans, with Finn sincerely concluding, “We couldn't have done this if it wasn't for you.”
Although each self-reference may not entirely resonate with new listeners, it is the inspiring chorus that preaches a universal message. And with a song title after my own heart, Craig Finn truly delivers the song's mantra by chanting, “We gotta stay positive.”
Whoa-oh-oh-oh, whoa-oh-oh-oh, whoa-oh-oh-oh!
Hip-hop collective Jurassic 5 was always known for their feel-good tunes preaching love, positivity, and harmony. Backed by DJ Nu-Mark and Cut Chemist, rappers Chali 2na, Akil, Zaakir, and Marc 7 spit rhymes that soothed the soul, and their positive attitude was epitomized in I Am Somebody.
The song's opening invocation encourages the listener to “lead and never follow” and “inspire like a role model” before the crew rips into a chorus declaring, “I am (I am) somebody (somebody).” A call-and-response reminding us of who we are and what we have the potential to become, I Am Somebody was particularly effective at many music festivals that Jurassic 5 headlined. Fun times, indeed.
This inspirational group cemented a plethora of positive jams; Jurassic 5 was truly “all the way live.”
A gentle spell clocking in at just over a minute, Show Me Love is a soft summoning of both peace and passion. With a minimalistic, a cappella structure, the Gainesville band places a razor-sharp focus on lead singer Nicole Miglis’ angelic voice. The song in turn becomes a brilliantly poetic incantation:
“Don’t let me show cruelty
Though I may make mistakes,
Don’t let me show ugliness
Though I know I can hate,
And don’t let me show evil
Though it might be all I take.”
Indeed, Miglis refuses all of these crass casualties and instead chooses love.
“Show me love, show me love, show me love.”
Her hypnotic conjuring is followed by yet another gentle plea:
“Don’t let me think weakly
Though I know that I can break,
Keep me away from apathy
While I am still awake,
And don’t let me think too long
Of the one I’m bound to face.”
Again, Miglis calls for love, and the listener is inspired to do the same. Over and over again, love is placed above all transgressions. The song transcends into hymn, a hymn preaching positivity. Amen.
Some thoughts on art, life, and theatre. Stay positive.