A Year of Creating Dangerously, Day 248: Let Fury Have the Hour


“Let fury have the hour/ Anger can be power/ You know that you can use it” – The Clash, “Clampdown”

I may just be Middle-Aged Against the Machine but I greatly appreciate the role anger plays in creativity. When you think about it, our artistic endeavors are driven by all of our emotions. As humans, we are ashamed of some of those emotions or we push them far back for fear of what they might do to us or through us. Artists create dangerously because they explore those emotions and then have the guts to present them to the public. This opens them up for rejection, shaming, blaming and misunderstanding.

Anger is an emotion that can lead to destructive things but it is also an emotion that can lead to constructive things. It is a tricky one, that way. But when anger is left unvented or unexpressed it becomes truly dangerous. Then it festers into fear and self-loathing and depression and anxiety. Then anger can destroy the person it lingers in or someone in that person’s reach who may very well not deserve the fury that comes their way.

I, personally, am very grateful for the artists with the courage to give full vent to anger in their art. Because they do so, they provide healthier alternatives to the expression of that anger to those exposed to their art and, in many cases, promote a proactive way of dealing with the anger, either in promoting internal change for the better or external change for the better. I realize this is a slippery slope. Anger, as with all our human emotions, comes packed with all kinds of hidden trap doors. But it is clear to me that artists are there, for the most part, not to channel things like anger to drive us deeper into the abyss; artists present the anger and give us a way to vent it in order to drive us towards the light.

I’ll be the first to acknowledge this isn’t for everyone. But perhaps we’d all benefit from escaping civility and “niceness” now and again to tap into the power of anger. I know I’ve appreciated how cleansing it can feel to put on some Rage Against the Machine when I look at my world. The next step is the change that is needed, in me and in the world around me, and if I’m willing and if I have the courage to take that step. Anger can be power. Used correctly it can also be very healthy.

Here is a video of a live performance of “Killing in the Name” by Rage Against the Machine from 1993. It is raw and crackling with energy, both on the stage and in the crowd. Warning: This is not the radio-friendly version of this song. If you are offended by repeated F-bombs, do not watch. But if you are, you may want to ask yourself why you are offended by that and not by the behavior of the powers that be, or the abuses done to powerless people all over the world by the powerful. It is stunning to me how we’ll go to great lengths to keep out profanity but allow such profane behavior to continue, especially by those with the money and the authority, with no resistance.

That’s my spiel. Here’s RATM:

A Year of Creating Dangerously, Day 54: Album Art Gallery, part 2


As promised, part 2 of an Album Art Gallery, each cover from something in my own collection…


Renegades by Rage Against the Machine



Shack-Man by Medeski, Martin & Wood


A Year of Creating Dangerously, Day 53: Album Art Gallery, part 1


A couple of birthdays ago, my wife gave me the book pictured here: The Art of the Album Cover, by Richard Evans. She knows I love music and I love art so it was a double-whammy kind of present. It is a great book to peruse and take in the creativity that is album art. Some believe it is a dying art as we no longer have the LP and it’s large format to accommodate designs. Though there is something lost in the tiny icons on a screen or the small format of a CD cover, there are still some great examples of the art that is meant to convey and/or accompany the musicians and music for the listener.

I believe there is much to be enjoyed by viewing album covers as art. A good cover not only communicates so much about the content of the album but can also stand alone on its own merits. For those of us who love music, that cover wrapped around our favorites songs is the image imprinted in our brains. We see the cover image and immediately songs spring to mind. And vice versa. It is a wonderful marriage of artistic genres.

I am a major music fan. As I began to look through my collection to decide what album covers I really love for their creativity and design, I realized my list was getting longer and longer… So I am slicing up this Gallery of Album Art into three pieces. I narrowed it down to albums I own so there will be favorites of yours that will not be included. My apologies but it is my blog after all. If you want a different gallery, get your own blog!

Here is the first installment of the Gallery. Most of images are self-explanatory but I’ve included captions if I felt it was necessary to do so. Try making it through these images without a song or two popping into your head. I dare you…

445-gang-of-four-2013-entertainment0021abbey-roadadd-it-up-1981-1993-4fe03a04cf4b7bastille-bad-bloodbeastie_boys_to_the_5_boroughs_1024x1024coeur-de-pirate-rosesdylan-bob-276-lBob Marley & the Wailers - Exodusgraceland_cover_-_paul_simonkeaggy-acoustic-sketchesking-of-the-delta-blues-singers-by-robert-johnsonlos-lobos-how-will-the-wolf-survive


Earth and Sun and Moon by Midnight Oil



Dark Sid of the Moon by Pink Floyd