Episode 067: Philosophy Rock Part I: The Truth Is Marching In
(Featuring musical inquiries into the deeper mysteries that life springs on us.)
While the point is most definitely debatable, Rock Music – even songs that follow the, “Boy Meets Girl, Falls In Love, And Writes A Song About It,” variety – has always been about the deeper meanings and mysteries that we humans like to wrestle with. Music itself shares so many common themes with philosophy that it is difficult to make the argument that they aren’t, in fact, the same thing. Both construct reality while attempting to define it, both offer insights that are not obvious to the casual observer, and both attempt to get at abstract and difficult concepts through linguistic metaphor and syllogistic structures. But at the end of the day, I would much rather sit down with a Nomeansno record and a bottle of wine than any of the existentialists who have published over the years, which is, to this listener, the difference that gives music the slightest advantage. With that in mind, I felt it would be a good opportunity to coin a new genre – Philosophy Rock – and attempt to spend an hour defining it.
As philosophy is an extremely broad subject (for both a single hour, and radio in general), this particular show uses Truth as a thematic strand that runs through the music. It is, of course, not the only theme; God, the afterlife, and other spiritual interpretations of the universe also wend their way through as well. But the questions surrounding religion always seemed bound up in attempts to define Truth anyway, and seem wholly appropriate. There is also some humor running through this show, to which I can only say: if you don’t have a sense of humor about everything, then there’s no hope of making sense of it all anyway. To paraphrase Calvin & Hobbes, “If you can’t laugh at the things that don’t make sense, we can’t react to a lot of life.” So very, very true.
I suppose that any real philosophers in the audience may have some points to contest with my particular interpretation of how to define Philosophy Rock, and I encourage the debate. Discourse is the only tool we have at our disposal to get to the bottom of these kinds of things, and I would love to pin down this genre more precisely in the future. I already have two future guests lined up that want to go with my on this intellectual (ontological?) journey, and I plan to flesh out this particular genre in as much detail as possible. Watch spaces similar to this one for more information on that.
That does it for us this week. See ya in seven.
The Truth Is Marching In
# Track * Artist * Album * Label
01.) Truth Is Marching In (Germany, 1966) [Exerpt I] * Albert Ayler * Albert Ayler: Holy Ghost * Revenant Records
02.) Brand New Sack / Epistemology * Witchy Poo * Witchy Poo Salutes The Space Program EP * Kill Rock Stars Records
03.) Philosophy Of The World * The Shaggs * Philosophy Of The World * Third World Records
04.) Facts – Facts * MX-80 * Hard Attack * Island Records
05.) No God * Germs * (MIA) the Complete Anthology * Slash Records
06.) I Should Be Allowed To Think * They Might Be Giants * John Henry * Elektra / Asylum Records
07.) Truth Is Marching In (Germany, 1966) [Exerpt II] * Albert Ayler * Albert Ayler: Holy Ghost * Revenant Records
08.) Totality * Unwound * “Mkultra” b/w “Totality” * Kill Rock Stars Records
09.) Truth * The Dead C * Vain, Erudite And Stupid * Ba Da Bing! Records
10.) 0 + 2 = 1 * NoMeansNo * 0 + 2 = 1 * Alternative Tentacles Records
11.) Candle * Sonic Youth * Daydream Nation
12.) Do You Want New Wave Or Do You Want The Truth? * Minutemen * Double Nickels on the Dime * SST Records
13.) Bruces’ Philosophers Song * Monty Python * Monty Python Sings * Virgin Records
14.) Truth Is Marching In (Germany, 1966) [Exerpt III] * Albert Ayler * Albert Ayler: Holy Ghost * Revenant Records
15.) Levitation * 13th Floor Elevators * Easter Everywhere * International Artists Records
16.) This Is Not A Photograph * Mission Of Burma * Signals, Calls and Marches * Ace of Hearts Records
17.) Fuck the Facts * Naked City * Torture Garden * Shimmy Disc Records
18.) Freedom Of Choice * Devo * Freedom of Choice * Warner Bros. Records
19.) Truth Is Marching In (Germany, 1966) [Exerpt IV] * Albert Ayler * Albert Ayler: Holy Ghost * Revenant Records
20.) Jellyfish Heaven * Dead Milkman * Bucky Fellini * Enigma Records