The 5th Informed Cities Forum came to me like a…
Hello and welcome Ladies and Gentlemen to a subjective and mood-related selection of songs and artists I associate with “Transition”. Music shapes generations and is closely linked with changes in society. What is the “Sound of Transition”? Here is my personal list (you will probably note it’s summer and vacation time) – it is not exhaustive, not steady and in no particular order. In fall it will surely look different again
What is your “Sound of Transition”? What songs or artists connects important times and moments in your life? Which songs give you strength and inspiration, have impressed you, moved or changed? As a comment or in a small blog parade – I’m curios about your lists.
For German version of this article, please follow this link.
We start without big introductions and explanations. The song speaks for itself:
“Wake up” – Rage Against the Machine
Paprika Korps are a reggae band from Poland. I saw them live for the first time shortly after I moved to Dresden and they will always be associated to my early days here.
“Hi-Fi” might not be my favorite song, but it’s still great, the video is worth seeing and it tells a story of transformation and development.
The next two songs are in the rotation because they take up an actual topic that is noticeable especially in Dresden. “Fortress Europe” / “Festung Europa”. In my view it has to be part of the change and part of the Transition movement, to stand against these conditions unworthy of man and society!
Asian Dub Foundation are not just a band that take up political and societal issues, but accompany me quite a few years. Particularly memorable to me is the concert they played exactly on the German-Polish border at the end of an transnational human chain against the brown coal mining in the Lausitz.
Same topic, different style: Brockdorff Klang Labor, an electro band from Leipzig, move other musical realms. They have also been gueste in Dresden and played on the release event for the #CYNAL02 magazine (a magazin for uncommercial contemporary art in Dresden). The project “Cynal – new art in dialogue” has been completely adjusted recently. The song itself is with german lyrics and already 4 years old but I think it works also for non-german speakers and is unfortunately still current.
Manu Chao is known far beyond language and cultural boundaries and surely needs no further explanations. Here he is with a small homage to Mr. Bob Marley and the question what time it is in our world: “Mr. Bobby + La Primavera”
“Sometimes I dream about reality …”
“Go with the Flow” should be one of the mantras or valuable advices for change processes: Use existing movements and efforts and reinforce it in order to accelerate the transformation. But transition sometimes is swimming against the tide. This requires an inner drive, the conviction of being unable to act otherwise. If that’s as powerful as this song of the Queens of the Stone Age, we move forward
On the following song I have a special memory: during an evening with friends, having a campfire and partly heated discussions about the state of the world, a guitar was brought out and an “old bloody communist” (quote!) began to sing songs of revolutions. As he started this song, it seemed familiar to me, but I didn’t know what it is and where I know it – until the chorus, he intoned with such a devotion that I got goose bumps. This moment will always remain in my memory. And that’s why I won’t play the original reggae version of Bob Marley but a cover made by Johnny Cash & Joe Strummer: “Redemption Song”
“… So want you help to sing songs these of freedom?”
What Dub FX makes with just his voice and a loop station is impressive and this song is great! “Love Someone”
“its possible to change this world / revolutionize the Boys and Girls
its possible to educate / The Next Generation ever rule the world someday “
Built to Spill have to enter this rotation since they are probably the best band in the world, which is not recognized as such. “Never Be The Same” is not only a beautiful song with a great video but what happens when we head out on the path of change.
“German Fool” could be meant as a kind of explanation for the current German policy (whereby the German Dumbness becomes visible at multiple levels). Herbst in Peking are a rock band founded in former G.D.R. and honored with a stage ban at this time. They already have experience with transitions – in a societal sense (the fall of the Wall) as well as in a musical sense (from rock to dub).
Before this rotation comes to an end, I have to play a band that impressed me in the last few years maybe the most: Motorama from Russia. They describe themselves as post-punk and thus they are also again part of a change, but that isn’t why they come on air now. Those who are still in deep mourning for the death of Ian Curtis, those for whom are Interpol (band) to NewYorkCity and those who can fly through space and time on beautiful melodies, they are in the right place here: “Ghost”
To close the rotation you will get an earful of a German band which especially in South America has a lot of fans. Years ago Die Toten Hosen, once punk rock now sometimes whispering pop bards, have delivered a protest song, which must not be missing on any revolution. What the Transition movement also needs is strength and will to endure and to contend for our ideas and against the resistance of persisting, maximizing and exploiting forces. Are you feeling “Pushed Again”?
Bonustrack: One cannot really close this post without mentioning one of the greatest songs of all time, which probably every “Change-Agent” carrying arround in the ear, but at least in his heart. Since it is very expectable and not really fits my current mood, it comes as a bonus track: “Imagine” by John Lennon – here in a version of the Playing for Change initiative, which utilizes the unifying element of music to to make the world a better place.
All songs are also available as a playlist on Youtube for hearing again and again. This is really the end now. Thank you for your attention and don’t forget to post your own Transition songs! ♥