Hang on to each other...

Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-la-la Band, "Hang On To Each Other"

Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-la-la Band, Horses In The Sky

I am not sure what to say friends. I didn't sleep last night, or rather I slept a weird dreamless sleep waking up multiple times, like my mind and body were on alert, knowing that something was wrong. I am now sitting in a cafe on a rainy day in the city I love with the knowledge that Donald Trump is President. I alternate between desolate numbness and hard-to-breathe anxiety, sleepy exhaustion and tingling fear, heartbroken sadness and raging anger. I am afraid of the future, uncertain of the horrors that lie ahead, the actions necessary to mitigate those horrors and the answers to create an alternative.

However, now is not the time to worry about those things, it is a time to mourn and heal. Not surprisingly for someone who writes about music, when I am at a loss for words, I turn to my favorite sounds. I had no doubt today of the perfect soundtrack for this bleak moment, A Silver Mt. Zion's 2005 LP Horses In The Sky. For those that don't know, A Silver Mt. Zion was an offshoot of the legendary Montreal postrock group Godspeed You Black Emperor!. I've always thought of the group as the pop version of GYBE!, as the songs get shorter and more structured with lyrics taking a more pivotal role. I've always turned to this album, their fourth, in times of political distress, as it has the rare ability to both capture the pain, anxiety and destruction of this neoliberal age and to offer a glimmer of hope by reminding us of the power of the collective, dreams, love. It's numb music, it's anxious, exhausted, afraid, angry, sad. It's also ecstatic, defiant, funny, sweet, loving, creative. You could call it protest music; I'd go with utopian music, but that's just me. It is a reminder that the same year this was released George W. Bush had just been elected to a second term, Republicans controlled both houses of Congress. It is a reminder that 5 years later we were in the streets of London, Cairo, NYC, Oakland, Philly, Madison, Chile, Greece, Spain. I hope that it can console you this week.

I am going to leave you with the lyrics to "Hang On To Each Other," as I believe deeply that they offer an opening for coming to terms with yesterday's results, resisting the next 4 years and beginning again to build the haçienda. Find each other. Love each other. Look out for each other. Support each other. Hang on to each other. 

We all got born so afraid
We still search for words to describe that pain
And cling to each other
Like pigeons in the rain
And nuzzle over feathered breasts
With beaks all worn and cracked and stained

Hang on to each other
And hang on to each other...

So this one's for the lost ones
And the dead ones and the ones who fell away
All our busted brothers
Tumbled lovers spitting at the rain
We all got born so afraid
And still search for words to describe that pain

And hang on to each other
Hang on to each other
Hang on to any fucking thing you love...

Birds toss precious flowers
From the murky skies above...

Hang on to each other...

In Love and Solidarity,

Pound for Pound