Thursday, December 30, 2010

Quote Of The Day

Actually from yesterday (can't blame me for having trouble keeping up with my newspaper reading).

"I think it's a lot to ask of a candidate to think about not only who gave them money, but who those contributors might be doing business with," - Laura Friedman, Glendale (CA) City Councilmember. From here.

Today's update to this story is here: Lockyer, Chiang freeze money they got from developer

Read it and weep. Happy holidays and Merrrrry Christmas Los Angeles!

Friday, December 10, 2010

White Sand

"White Sand" is a song from the new "Blue Moods Of Spain: A History, Pt. 1", released this week from my Diamond Soul Recordings label. Enjoy as a song from my oft-neglected podcast, Diamond Sounds.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Blue Moods Of Spain: A History, Pt. One Now Available

13 previously unreleased songs, 20-page .pdf booklet with liner notes, archival photos, song descriptions, album credits, and lyrics, exclusively from

Monday, October 11, 2010

Treacherous Jaywakers - Life Is Lived In Vain & Hey Hey Hey

Another record I listened to was a test pressing of my first band Treacherous Jaywalkers' debut EP entitled "Sunrise". I couldn't find any of the songs on the internet but two videos of this band do exist on youtube. The videos were shot for Public Access TV in San Diego, CA sometime in 1990 shortly before the band broke up, if I'm not mistaken. These are songs from late in our repertoire...if you listen to "Hey Hey Hey" you can already hear the seeds of my band Spain, I'm even playing the same bass I used for "Blue Moods" in this clip. Treacherous Jaywakers was a band I started with friends in high school when I was sixteen, we recorded a lot of songs and I'm still proud of all of them. Enjoy.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Soulsavers - Love & Precious Time

Tonight was vinyl night...meaning I listen to old records from my youth while my wife falls asleep on the couch :) .... anyways, I came across the debut 2002 ep from a great band from the U.K. called Soulsavers...I sang on a song or two on it and on their debut CD called Tough Guys Don't Dance...happy to see the songs on youtube...I think they stand up pretty well...proud of the songs and of the band...enjoy.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Rocktime Podcast

Spain's latest song, "I'm Still Free", was included in a recent edition of the Rocktime podcast.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Eight Songs I've Sung

I recently posted, onto, a group of eight songs I have sung on, for your possible listening enjoyment, including songs from Spain, Charlie Haden Family & Friends, Esbjörn Svenssön Trio, Soulsavers, Blue Man Group, and Handsome Boy Modeling School.

Two More Ways To Tell Me Where Spain Should Play

Alternatively, or in addition to, the Spain GigsWiz widget, tell the Spain Eventful widget below where you'd like Spain to play. And/or, if you'd like, join my mailing list here, and the city/state/country in which you reside will be recorded (if you want it to). Any and all of these methods will help me decide where we'll play when it comes time to book the first Spain tour since 2001.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tell Me Where Spain Should Play

My band Spain is in the studio right now recording our new album. But when we're finished recording, we'll start trying to book a tour, and quite possibly we'll play in your town, or a town close to you.

Where would you like us to play? Go here, fill out the simple form and let me know!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Friday, July 30, 2010

I'm Now A Fan Of Gorillaz

I have to admit Gorillaz never did anything for me, but reading the accompanying article and listening to the concert changed my mind, now I find there's some seriousness to their goofiness which I thought, before was goofy but not the good kind of goofiness. Its actually not the bad kind of goofiness at all.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Free Song Download From The Band Spain &

<a href="">Hang Your Head Down Low by Spain</a>

Longtime fans and new listeners alike are now able to download the most recent song from the band Spain, "Hang Your Head Down Low", for free from Spain's page. The song, culled from Spain's "I'm Still Free" EP, represents the band's first new songs in over eight years. Spain is currently in the studio working on their new album, to be released in late 2010 or 2011. In exchange for the free download, participants will be signed-up to Josh Haden's/Spain's free email list, the Haden Harangue, from which one can unsubscribe at any time.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Q&A Josh of Spain

Q&A Josh of Spain

June 6, 1:22 PMLA Indie Music Examiner Michele McManmon

The group Spain is a deep, soulful, moody love child of the talented bassist Josh Haden. The group made a huge impact on the music scene in the 1995-2003 with 4 CD releases, gaining the attention of greats such as Johnny Cash, producer Rick Rubin, and legendary bassist Mike Watt.

To help Spain get their single "I'm still free" released on 7" Vinyl please go to:

Spain played a stellar set at the Silverlake Jubilee, making it obvious these cats traverse into another dimension with their music. After the Q&A it became obvious that perhaps they may even create an Indie revolution within the Industry by using to get their work out to the world without backing from a label with your help.
Talking with Josh is like gliding on a pond of fresh ice...

Your Dad is Charlie Haden, a great jazz bassist that played with Ornette Coleman. Is your Dad originally from the Mid-West?

He was born in Shenandoah, Iowa. His family made their living singing as a group called the Haden Family. They played instruments too, like guitar, bass, and mandolin. They would travel from town to town, show up in a town, and go to the local radio station, knock on the door, and ask if they could perform gospel-country music. They eventually settled in Springfield, Missouri.

You certainly come from a long line of talented musicians?

Yeah, on my Mom’s side too. My Mom’s family was part of the Los Angeles Mandolin Orchestra. It was like a 40 piece, or many players, whom all played mandolin, except a few who played bass, and the bass were called mando-bass. It’s a double, acoustic, stand up bass with a more flat body. I’m not sure what the difference is with tone.

When did you fall in love with the bass? Was that your first instrument?

When I was 12 or 13 I got my first guitar and I really didn’t, I don’t know what, but I just didn’t connect to it, the chords and too many strings, so I told my Dad I wanted to switch to bass and at the time, and he was visiting his family in Missouri, and the Haden family owned a pawn shop, and he got me a bass from the pawn shop. That’s how I started playing bass. I was fourteen. (He says smiling through his voice).

Who were your musical influences?

Whatever was on the mainstream radio, Van Halen, Led Zepplin, Aerosmith, you know? Then I remember going to school and a friend came in with his boom box and a cassette, and he slammed it down on the table and said “Josh you gotta listen to this” and it was Black Flag’s “Jealous Again” and that changed my life. It changed everything. I was 13. I forgot all about Led Zepplin and Van Halen. It was all punk rock from that point on and that’s when I started playing in bands. I listen to classical, country, jazz, bluegrass, and a band named Tindersticks now.

What bass players stand out for you?

What I do as a bass player is pretty simple. I don’t read or write music. I haven’t taken numerous lessons, and I do it by ear. There are some incredible bassists that are revolutionary, just building off of what Jacko Pastorius has started. This was a long time ago, but Mike Watt (Bassist for re-formed Stooges) wanted to start a bass band with me, and I couldn’t keep up with him. He’s such an incredible bass player that I had to tell him I couldn’t do it, cause it was too complex for me. I was listening to this guy in a speed metal band, I think they’re called Augury, it just blew me away. There are people like Flea that are just over the top, he’s great at playing and has a great musical ear. Mike Watt, Steve Lawson from the UK, of course my Dad, and Charles Mingus. I’m listening to Mingus, Mingus, Mingus a lot lately.

What is it about that album that stands out for you?

I spoke to my Dad about it and he said it’s a great album, but it’s completely different. It’s a jazz record, but it’s different from any other jazz record. It’s like taking a big band and turning it upside down.

What were the origins of Spain?

It was a gradual progression of wanting to do something different, wanting to broaden my musical horizons…all my friends went one direction and I went the complete opposite. I went to UC Irvine and that’s where I met the guitarist, Ken Boudakian, who was on the first Spain record. We were put together as roommates and when I graduated in ’91, I called Ken to start a new band. Back in ’91-92 that’s how it started, I just didn’t have a name for the band.

So your origins were punk rock?

They still are…you know I listen to all kinds of music. I still read Maximum Rock n Roll at 42, I still listen to Punk Rock. The new Spain record we are recording right now, a few of the songs on the recording, are totally different then the “Spain” sound that the group has kind of been pigeon-held in: slow core, down tempo, mopy and introspective. The first record I was consciously writing songs to mock the Rock n Roll idiom. I was trying to write Rock n Roll changes in the song at a very slow tempo because I wanted majestic Rock n Roll chord changes and guitar solos, but at a really slow tempo, which is like, on the first Spain record a song called “I lied”. I can’t make the same records over again though, so the subsequent Spain records change musically. This latest one, it’s been almost 10 years since the last Spain record has been released. There are 2 songs on this new release are very up-tempo and even, God forbid, kinda Rock n Roll. A friend of mine told me not to mess up the Spain formula, to which I said “the songs may be faster, but they’re still in the Spain idiom with song structure, they’re Spain”. They are Blues based songs. We played two of them at the (Silverlake) Jubilee.

How did it feel playing them live?

It felt good. I got to belt out the lyrics and usually I’m borderline whispering the lyrics. A friend of mine at the show asked me if I had originally written the song for my punk rock band, and I hadn’t, but they were so far off of Spain’s regular motis apperondi. I’ve never been a fan of categories

So your songs are all blues based? No jazz? I’ve been told by musicians it’s either one camp or the other…

It’s true that usually bands go one way or another and the second Spain record had much more of a Country music influence and the third one had more of a Rock influence. That’s the best thing about my band is that we are all influenced by different styles and it comes through in our music. It gives me more avenues of expression. It’s sort of a mish mash of blues, country, pop, rock, jazz, but the tempo has to be slow and very little distorted guitar, but now I still adhere to that for the most part, but I’m branching out a little bit.
Part II Josh talks about his connection with Johnny Cash, Rick Rubin, and his revolutionary idea on releasing his own vinyl...Indie style

How did Johnny Cash come to record your song “Spiritual”?

“Rick Rubin who was producing Johnny Cash’s record that the song appeared on heard the Spain version off of “Blue Mood” played on KCRW, and I guess Rick played it for him and he liked it, so Johnny recorded it. So it was that easy.”

Without your permission? How rude?

I don’t know what the rules are governing that but, you know, they didn’t even have to ask me. Rick called me at some point, it was so long ago, I don’t quite remember, but I had a manager at the time and he must’ve told my manager, who told me, that Johnny Cash is going to cover “Spiritual” and I mean, what do you say to that? It’s like every songwriters dream come true. Plus he, back then as he is now, was such a big influence on me, and plus there’s the whole family connection with my Dad, who grew up singing country songs on the radio, and was in the Mid-West and knew the Carter family. My Dad’s Dad and his Mom used to hang out with the Carter family. It seems like a full completion of the circle and it’s so incredible, I still can’t believe it. How long ago was it, 15 years ago and I still can’t get over it.

Do you have a date for Spain's new release?

No. I don’t like setting dates because it often gets pushed back anyway. I’m in a great place where we don’t have a record deal and so we are recording at a very leisurely pace. I have no pressure of deadline. My intention is to release it on my own label. That’s a whole nother aspect of my career and Spain in general. The problems in the execution of contractual agreements with other record labels that make me feel very free now. I don’t have the encumbrance of someone at a label, who doesn’t know my music as well as I do telling me how and when I should present my music. I’m savoring this feeling of being totally independent.

How did you come up with the idea for to help get your music printed on Vinyl if you match the dollar amount needed to do so?

The whole issue with Spain’s single “I’m still free” is that I had an agreement with this other label to put it out on vinyl. A series of events made me not want to work with them. I was still left with the idea of wanting to release it on vinyl though and so my friend told me about The way it works is that the person who wants to buy the 7” is basically pre-ordering the disk, but their also financing the creation of all the disks. The manufacturing and shipping for all the 7” will be $1400. Also though the person placing the order can pledge certain amounts of money, like for $10 you get the 7”, for $15 you get it autographed, and $20 gets your name in the “Thank You” section. I don’t know if it’s gonna work out. If it doesn’t then I can’t release it because I don’t have the money for it right now for the up front costs. It’s worth giving it a try.

I think it’s great that you’re generating new ideas of ways that Indie Artists can try to get their music out their without a label. It’s very inspiring what you are doing!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Spain Performing At Silver Lake Jubilee, May 22 2010 At 7pm

My band Spain will be performing at the first annual Silver Lake Jubilee on Saturday, May 22 at 7pm. For more info click here.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Kickstart The 7" Version Of Spain's "I'm Still Free" Single

As you may or may not have heard, my band Spain was planning to release, with an outside label, a 7" of our first new songs in over eight years - "I'm Still Free", and "Hang Your Head Down Low" - recorded during the summer of 2009. The agreement with said record label fell through, as agreements sometimes do, and I'm left with two great songs and no money for upfront 7" manufacturing costs (I did release the songs digitally and as a limited edition CD single, much less expensive endeavors). I decided to partner with a website called and appeal directly to you for support in manufacturing the single to 7" vinyl, the way the songs should have been released in the first place.

If you go to our page at Kickstarter, you'll see there are different levels of involvement within which you can participate in the manufacturing of the 7", starting at $10 for a copy of the disc sent to you, to $15 for an autographed copy, to $20 for an autographed copy and your name printed on the back of the 7" jacket as a way of thanking you for your support. Once you make a pledge, you'll get access to exclusive messages and updates on how the progress of the manufacturing is going. Also on the website is a short video of me explaining the project, with a surprise guest appearance by my cat Dexter.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Drill, Baby, Drill!

Coast Guard will start burning some Gulf slick oil

NEW ORLEANS – Authorities will begin burning some of the thickest oil in a massive slick from a rig explosion off the coast of Louisiana.
A Coast Guard spokesman says the burn is expected to begin Wednesday morning.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Prentice Danner says fire-resistant containment booms will be used to corral some of the thickest oil on surface, which will then be ignited. It was unclear how large an area would be set on fire or how far from shore the first fire would be set.
The slick is the result of oil leaking from the site of last week's huge explosion of a deep water oil rig that burned and sank. Eleven workers are missing and presumed dead. Oil continues to spill undersea, where robot submarines have been unable to cap the well.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Coast Guard is considering setting fire to a large oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to keep the mess away from shore as efforts to cap a spewing well fail.
Crews have been unable to stop thousands of barrels of oil from fouling gulf waters since an April 20 explosion sank the Deepwater Horizon, which was drilling 50 miles off the Louisiana coast. Eleven workers are missing and presumed dead, and the cause of the blast has not been determined.
Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry said the controlled burns would be done during the day far from shore. Crews would make sure marine life and people were protected and that work on other oil rigs would not be interrupted.
The burning could start as early as Wednesday afternoon, but whether it will work is unclear. Officials would be considering weather conditions including wind and waves in deciding whether to go ahead with the burn, BP spokesman Neil Chapman said Wednesday.
Ed Overton, a professor emeritus of environmental sciences at Louisiana State University, questioned the method.
"It can be effective in calm water, not much wind, in a protected area," he said. "When you're out in the middle of the ocean, with wave actions and currents pushing you around, it's not easy."
He has another concern: The oil samples from the spill he's looked at shows it to be a sticky substance similar to roofing tar.
"I'm not super optimistic. This is tarry crude that lies down in the water," he said. "But it's something that has got to be tried."
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, birds and mammals are more likely to escape a burning area of the ocean than escape from an oil slick. The agency said birds might be disoriented by the plumes of smoke, but they would be at much greater risk from exposure to oil in the water.
A similar burn off the coast of Newfoundland in 1993 eliminated 50 to 99 percent of captured oil. However, burning the oil also creates air pollution, and the effect on marine life is unclear.

Crews from the Texas General Land Office Oil Spill Prevention and Response Program are bringing in equipment to help corral the oil and burn the slick.
Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson said burning surface oil is one of the best ways to deal with so large a slick.
The last time crews with the agency used fire booms to burn oil was a 1995 spill on the San Jacinto River, Patterson said.
"When you burn it, the plume from the fire is the biggest environmental concern, but this far out to sea it will not be as big of a problem," Patterson said.
Oil from the Deepwater Horizon is not expected to reach the coast until late in the week, if at all. But longer-term forecasts show the winds and ocean currents veering toward the coast. The glistening sheen of sweet crude is forming long reddish-orange ribbons of oil that, if they wash up on shore, could cover birds, white sand beaches and marsh grasses.
"As the days progress, the (oil) plume will migrate north, northeast," said Gregory W. Stone, an oceanographer and head of the Coastal Studies Institute at Louisiana State University. "That plume will push onshore."
Hotel owners, fishermen and restaurateurs are keeping anxious watch.
Louis Skrmetta, 54, runs a company called Ship Island Excursions that takes tourists to the Gulf Islands National Seashore, where white-sand beaches and green water create an idyllic landscape.
"This is the worst possible thing that could happen to the Mississippi Gulf Coast," he said. "It will wipe out the oyster industry. Shrimping wouldn't recover for years. It would kill family tourism. That's our livelihood."
The last major spill in the Gulf was in June 1979, when an offshore drilling rig in Mexican waters — the Ixtoc I — blew up, releasing 140 million gallons. It took until March 1980 to cap the well, and the oil contaminated U.S. waters and Texas shores.
As of Tuesday, the spill was about 20 miles offshore, south of Venice, La. It covered an expanding area about 48 miles long and 80 miles wide, but with uneven borders, making it difficult to calculate its area in square miles.
"I understand there's got to be industry, but it's so sad for our kids. We don't have a lot of beaches left," Bonnie Bethel, 66, said as she watched her grandchildren splash in the water on a Mississippi beach. "Can you imagine these poor birds in oil?"
Thousands of birds such as egrets and brown pelicans are nesting on barrier islands close to the rig's wreckage. If the oil gets to them, rescuers would need to reach their remote islands, wash them down and release them back into the wild.
Michael Ziccardi, director of the Oiled Wildlife Care Network affiliated with the University of California at Davis, said he is standing by to clean up Gulf Coast birds.
"Just about any petroleum can cause problems for birds because they lose their waterproofing, and that's what keeps them dry and warm," Ziccardi said. "It's a really difficult time, and we're close to the peak of migration."
The spill also threatens billions of fish eggs and larvae coating the Gulf's surface this time of year.
If the well cannot be closed, almost 100,000 barrels of oil, or 4.2 million gallons, could spill into the Gulf before crews can drill a relief well to alleviate the pressure. By comparison, the Exxon Valdez, the worst oil spill in U.S. history, leaked 11 million gallons into Alaska's Prince William Sound in 1989.
BP said Tuesday that it planned to begin drilling a relief well to redirect the leaking oil in a $100 million effort to take the pressure off the blown-out well.
The company said it would begin the drilling by Thursday even if crews can shut off oil leaking from the pipe 5,000 feet underground. Robot subs have tried to activate a shut-off device, but so far that has not worked.
Chapman said 49 vessels — oil skimmers, tugboats barges and special recovery boats that separate oil from water — are working to round up oil.
In Washington, meanwhile, the Obama administration launched a full investigation of the explosion, promising every available resource.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Vote For An And Aerjen

I recently took time out of recording the new Spain album to tell everyone to vote for the team of An and Aerjen in the current version of Belgium's "So You Think You Can Dance" TV show. Exercise your right to vote!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Iran-Contra Minority Report '87

Grab some popcorn and your significant other, and cozy up to a nice, quiet evening watching "Iran-Contra Minority Report '87", starring a young and dashing Dick Cheney.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Soul In Pop: Spain's "Hang Your Head Down Low" Review

A nice review of my band Spain's new song "Hang Your Head Down Low" from La Blogotheque:

3. Spain - "Hang Your Head Down Low"
Ça aurait pu être Bill Callahan. On aurait pu choisir Stuart Staples. On retiendra Josh Haden. Il y a dans cette chanson de la retenue, de la douceur, une sensibilité qui flirte autant avec la soul qu’avec la prière (mais n’est-ce pas au fond la même chose). Il y a du recueillement, de l’évocation, de la sensualité. Et même un solo de guitare!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Political Stumping

I usually don't stump for specific political organizations, but two interesting recent events in U.S. politics have inspired me to do just that.

The first was something President Obama said in his 2010 State Of The Union address: "...if anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know."

A young doctor by the name of Dr. Margaret Flowers took Obama at his word and went to the White House with a letter addressed to the President describing why in her opinion a single-payer approach to health care would fulfill all of his stated requirements. Not only did the President not accept her letter, Dr. Flowers was eventually arrested for trying to deliver the letter to him.

Dr. Flowers isn't some lunatic nutcake. She is a physician who's vision of health care is, as she states in her letter, supported by 65% of the American public and 59% of physicians. So she has some clout and evidence to back up her theories.

Now, if by what Flowers means by "single-payer" health care is meant "free (for the patient), universal, publicly-funded health care", I, too, support the validity of such an idea, and I signed the “Open Letter to President Obama to Support Single-Payer Health Care,” which can be found on the Physicians for a National Health Program website, and, if you agree with me, I urge you to do the same, seeing as though Obama has so much as said that he would consider such ideas. I thought he was open to the single-payer idea from the start, but obviously I was wrong or a lone physician wouldn't have felt the need to get arrested trying to deliver the idea to him.

In my opinion any government that gives the well-being of money priority over the well-being of its citizens should be ashamed of itself. Just as it is my opinion any government that allows even one of its citizens to live in poverty should be ashamed of itself. These are just my opinions though.

The other interesting recent event is the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the details of which can be found here.

How any person can call himself a conservative, say that they are against the status quo of big money influence in politics, and then support this ruling is beyond me. What this ruling says, amongst other things, is that if a wealthy corporation has the money to support a political cause in an advertisement or "movie" during primetime television, then the right to free speech applies to the corporation. If an unwealthy corporation, or group, or organization, or individual would like to support a political cause in an advertisement or "movie" during primetime television but doesn't have the financial means to do so, then said group or individual needs to either shut up (at least in their hopes of making their case on primetime TV in competition with the corporation), or bust out their soapbox and go to some streetcorner (or lonely website outpost) somewhere and scream "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore" to anyone who'll listen. Said people who are all probably lunatic nutcases like Dr. Flowers.

This ruling is about free speech. Conservatives say it supports free speech, liberals, like me, say it stifles it. I heard one liberal TV pundit ask a conservative TV pundit, if corporations are people why don't you support an electoral system in which corporations are afforded the right to vote as well? The conservative conveniently skirted this question.

Anyways, I signed the Move To Amend's "Motion to Amend" the U.S. Constitution to make it clear that corporations are not human beings, nor were they ever intended to be by our founding fathers. If you agree with me, I urge you to sign it too.

Monday, January 25, 2010

I Can Drive 55 - The Blog

I highly recommend this new blog, which is sort of like "Zen and the Art Of Driving" in diary form. Excellent reading and carries important messages for all of us.

Friday, January 22, 2010

"Socialized Democracy"?

a question for conservatives (including president obama): is it "socialized democracy" when every american, regardless of their financial income, has the right to an equal vote? why is the concept that every american, regardless of their financial income, should have the right to equal healthcare, called "socialized healthcare"? if the equal right to vote is called "democracy", shouldn't the equal right to healthcare be called "democratic healthcare"? and another question for conservatives: if you were to have our government force people to pay money for healthcare, shouldn't you support the concept that our government should force people to pay money to vote?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Jim Keltner & "Every Time I Try"

There's a great interview with legendary drummer Jim Keltner in the Jan/Feb 2010 issue of Drumhead magazine.

Not many people know this but Jim Keltner played drums on the track "Every Time I Try" performed by my band Spain for the soundtrack of Wim Wender's 1997 film End Of Violence. Not the version that appears on the second Spain CD She Haunts My Dreams (Joey Waronker plays drums on that one), but the original version which can be found here and here.

We were introduced to Mr. Keltner through our association with former Dreamworks Records president Lenny Waronker (Joey's dad). I remember at the session (which took place at Conway Recording Studios in Hollywood) thinking how great he sounded and how he made the song come alive. At one point myself and one of the band members had a little argument about how we should play and/or arrange the song, and we asked Mr. Keltner what he thought, to which he replied, "Its a great song...I'll play it however you like!"

Anyways, Mr. Keltner isn't credited on either the soundtrack or the CD single version of the song, so I thought I might write about it here. It was one of the most memorable recording sessions I've been a part of and I'm so thankful he was able to play on one of my songs. I am truly blessed!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Martin Luther King, Jr. And Non-Violence

The Power of Non-Violence By Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Power of Non-violence

Martin Luther King, Jr.
June 4, 1957

From the very beginning there was a philosophy undergirding the Montgomery boycott, the philosophy of nonviolent resistance. There was always the problem of getting this method over because it didn’t make sense to most of the people in the beginning. We had to use our mass meetings to explain nonviolence to a community of people who had never heard of the philosophy and in many instances were not sympathetic with it. We had meetings twice a week on Mondays and on Thursdays, and we had an institute on nonviolence and social change. We had to make it clear that nonviolent resistance is not a method of cowardice. It does resist. It is not a method of stagnant passivity and deadening complacency. The nonviolent resister is just as opposed to the evil that he is standing against as the violent resister but he resists without violence. This method is nonaggressive physically but strongly aggressive spiritually.


Another thing that we had to get over was the fact that the nonviolent resister does not seek to humiliate or defeat the opponent but to win his friendship and understanding. This was always a cry that we had to set before people that our aim is not to defeat the white community, not to humiliate the white community, but to win the friendship of all of the persons who had perpetrated this system in the past. The end of violence or the aftermath of violence is bitterness. The aftermath of nonviolence is reconciliation and the creation of a beloved community. A boycott is never an end within itself. It is merely a means to awaken a sense of shame within the oppressor but the end is reconciliation, the end is redemption.

Then we had to make it clear also that the nonviolent resister seeks to attack the evil system rather than individuals who happen to be caught up in the system. And this is why I say from time to time that the struggle in the South is not so much the tension between white people and Negro people. The struggle is rather between justice and injustice, between the forces of light and the forces of darkness. And if there is a victory it will not be a victory merely for fifty thousand Negroes. But it will be a victory for justice, a victory for good will, a victory for democracy.

Another basic thing we had to get over is that nonviolent resistance is also an internal matter. It not only avoids external violence or external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. And so at the center of our movement stood the philosophy of love. The attitude that the only way to ultimately change humanity and make for the society that we all long for is to keep love at the center of our lives. Now people used to ask me from the beginning what do you mean by love and how is it that you can tell us to love those persons who seek to defeat us and those persons who stand against us; how can you love such persons? And I had to make it clear all along that love in its highest sense is not a sentimental sort of thing, not even an affectionate sort of thing.


The Greek language uses three words for love. It talks about eros. Eros is a sort of aesthetic love. It has come to us to be a sort of romantic love and it stands with all of its beauty. But when we speak of loving those who oppose us we’re not talking about eros. The Greek language talks about philia and this is a sort of reciprocal love between personal friends. This is a vital, valuable love. But when we talk of loving those who oppose you and those who seek to defeat you we are not talking about eros or philia. The Greek language comes out with another word and it is agape. Agape is understanding, creative, redemptive good will for all men. Biblical theologians would say it is the love of God working in the minds of men. It is an overflowing love which seeks nothing in return. And when you come to love on this level you begin to love men not because they are likeable, not because they do things that attract us, but because God loves them and here we love the person who does the evil deed while hating the deed that the person does. It is the type of love that stands at the center of the movement that we are trying to carry on in the Southland—agape.


I am quite aware of the fact that there are persons who believe firmly in nonviolence who do not believe in a personal God, but I think every person who believes in nonviolent resistance believes somehow that the universe in some form is on the side of justice. That there is something unfolding in the universe whether one speaks of it as a unconscious process, or whether one speaks of it as some unmoved mover, or whether someone speaks of it as a personal God. There is something in the universe that unfolds for justice and so in Montgomery we felt somehow that as we struggled we had cosmic companionship. And this was one of the things that kept the people together, the belief that the universe is on the side of justice.

God grant that as men and women all over the world struggle against evil systems they will struggle with love in their hearts, with understanding good will.Agape says you must go on with wise restraint and calm reasonableness but you must keep moving. We have a great opportunity in America to build here a great nation, a nation where all men live together as brothers and respect the dignity and worth of all human personality. We must keep moving toward that goal. I know that some people are saying we must slow up. They are writing letters to the North and they are appealing to white people of good will and to the Negroes saying slow up, you’re pushing too fast. They are saying we must adopt a policy of moderation. Now if moderation means moving on with wise restraint and calm reasonableness, then moderation is a great virtue that all men of good will must seek to achieve in this tense period of transition. But if moderation means slowing up in the move for justice and capitulating to the whims and caprices of the guardians of the deadening status quo, then moderation is a tragic vice which all men of good will must condemn. We must continue to move on. Our self—respect is at stake; the prestige of our nation is at stake. Civil rights is an eternal moral issue which may well determine the destiny of our civilization in the ideological struggle with communism. We must keep moving with wise restraint and love and with proper discipline and dignity.


Modern psychology has a word that is probably used more than any other word. It is the word "maladjusted." Now we all should seek to live a well—adjusted life in order to avoid neurotic and schizophrenic personalities. But there are some things within our social order to which I am proud to be maladjusted and to which I call upon you to be maladjusted. I never intend to adjust myself to segregation and discrimination. I never intend to adjust myself to mob rule. I never intend to adjust myself to the tragic effects of the methods of physical violence and to tragic militarism. I call upon you to be maladjusted to such things. I call upon you to be as maladjusted to such things. I call upon you to be as maladjusted as Amos who in the midst of the injustices of his day cried out in words that echo across the generation, "Let judgment run down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream." As maladjusted as Abraham Lincoln who had the vision to see that this nation could not exist half slave and half free. As maladjusted as Jefferson, who in the midst of an age amazingly adjusted to slavery could cry out, "All men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights and that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." As maladjusted as Jesus of Nazareth who dreamed a dream of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. God grant that we will be so maladjusted that we will be able to go out and change our world and our civilization. And then we will be able to move from the bleak and desolate midnight of man’s inhumanity to man to the bright and glittering daybreak of freedom and justice.

reprinted from here.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Song of the Day: Spain - I’m Still Free

Song of the Day: Spain - I’m Still Free

Monday, January 4, 2010

Spain To Be Featured On KEXP's Song Of The Day Podcast Jan. 6, 2010

My band Spain's new song, "I'm Still Free", will be featured on KEXP's Song Of The Day podcast this Wednesday, January 6. As always, this podcast is available for free. I myself have subscribed to this podcast for a long time now so its a great honor to be a part of it!

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