Mountains and Glass
This past Saturday the 14th brought The Glass back to the stage to honor and perform the music of Soda Stereo, the great Argentinean rock group that has influenced more bands than anyone realizes. But more important than it being another performance by one of Houston’s best bands sharing a bill with other fantastic artists, was the reason for their gathering.
It was a benefit show raising funds to help reunite families that have been separated at border crossings. As a friend put it, the evening was “our chance, however small it is, to try to move toward dignity and justice.” They were “trying to move a mountain with a spoon.”
Music (like any art) is at its best when it elevates us as much as it entertains us. The Glass, the band and the loving and passionate individuals who comprise it, as well everyone in their extended musical family, do just that. With every note, with every beat, it’s their heart they give you. That’s as rare as it is courageous as it is essential as it is beautiful.
Let’s talk about the Danny B DJ Company!
Daniel Salas is an old buddy of mine from what seems like another lifetime: high school. Haha
As is the custom, we stumbled upon one another on Facebook and Instagram and let me tell you guys something, Daniel is one of the most interesting, ambitious, and creative guys out there. He embodies what a lot of Cathedral Records is all about.
One of my biggest missions with Cathedral Records is to redefine what “success” in the music industry means. Daniel’s success in the DJ business, the way he conducts himself, his creative and fun marketing strategies, his professionalism, and the way he has proved that you really can make some money doing what you love. It is possible.
I look forward to doing an in-depth interview with Daniel and a full profile of his business, his strategies, and ideas soon but until then I really encourage you guys to check him out, refer him to any and everyone who needs a TRUE DJ…not just a guy who is going to show up and plug in a tablet and hit play on a playlist.
Let’s Be Friends, indeed.
We all have “those” songs right?
“Those” songs are written by people we don’t know, people born 20/30/50/100 years before us, inspired by their own lives and experiences yet somehow those songs belong to us. They’re “about” us.
For me, right now, I have two songs like that front and center cradling my soul, both by the Beach Boys.
Over the last year or so I’ve accepted and admitted some rather thick and murky bits about myself. Not too long ago someone, a friend, reminded me of the a song that is now the very first thing I listen to in the morning.
Somewhat of a throwaway, “Breakaway” (sometimes written as “Break Away”) was recorded by the Beach Boys along with much of the album 20/20 as part of concluding their contractual obligations before heading to Warner Bros. music. It’s almost one of the greatest 3 minutes or so ever recorded featuring one of Brian’s finest vocal harmony arrangements and one of Carl’s most tender leads.
Time will not wait for me, time is my destiny
Why change the part of me that has to be free
The love that passed me by, I found no reason why
But now each day is filled with the love, that very same love
That passed me by and that is why
I can break away from that lonely life
And I can do what I want to do
And breakaway from that empty life and my world is new
When I laid down on my bed I heard voices in my head
Telling me now hey it’s only a dream
The more I thought of it I had been out of it
And here’s the answer I found instead
I found out it was in my head
And I can breakaway to the better life
Where the shackles never hold me down
I’m gonna make a way for each happy day
As my life turns around…..
Here’s the song, stripped of the instrumentation, so you can really hear the sublime vocal performances.
The other song, 1968’s “Friends” is another song that is often overlooked but one I’ve always cherished. Recently it has become inseparable from “Breakaway.”
We’ve been friends now for so many years
We’ve been together through the good times and the tears
Turned each other on to the good things that life has to give
We drift apart for a little bit of a spell
One night i get a call and i know that you’re well
And days i was down you would help me get out of my hole
Let’s be friends…
Someone told me, a friend actually, that friends can have their ups and downs. They can get mad at one another, they can hurt one another and get hurt by one another but they can come back around. They can sit in their corners wondering what the other is thinking, deciding what the other is thinking, wondering if they’ll ever talk again….until that call (or text or Facebook messenger alert) comes through allowing themselves a chance to hit the reset button. Friends can do that.
Friends can “drift apart for a little bit of a spell” (or for years) and then something happens by chance or by tragedy to bring them back together. It may have seemed like the friendship had long-since ended but rather it was simply dormant only to begin slowly reawakening rejuvenated and with hope.
My relationships have always seemed to be muddled, overly dramatic, and more complicated than they should be. I own my part in that.
For a long time now I’ve striven to simplify these things. I found out a lot of it was “only in my head and I can break away to the better life where the shackles never hold me down. I’m gonna make a way for each happy day as my life turns around.”
Whether we’re talking about musicians trying to hustle up gigs, people trying to find and more importantly maintain the bonds of true friendship, or if we’re talking about doing something to try and make a difference in our communities and political landscape it all really does feel like “trying to move a mountain with a spoon.”
But it is “our mountain” and it really won’t move without all of us grabbing our spoon and digging in.
I put my spoon down a long time ago.
But I’ve picked it back up and one of the first mountains I intend to move is this narrative that tells me “I don’t have any friends.”
I honestly can’t count how many times I’ve said that over the years. Out of fear, cynicism, anger, self-loathing, and countless other reasons I’ve thrown that phrase around like daggers…at myself…so much that it felt true.
I need to stop because it’s a lie. The last year or so has shown me that indeed “it was in my head” and I will “break away.”
I have some of the best friends anyone could wish for and I promise I’ll keep digging with all of you even when it feels like we’re not getting anywhere.
Thank you to The Glass for putting yourselves out there the way you do. You’re an inspiration to me for how you embrace your own identity, how hard you all work, how deeply you all believe, and for how fully you all love.
Thanks to Danny B for being one more incredible member of our community, an example of what it looks like to “make it,” and how to make a buck or two doing what you love.
And most of all thank you to my friends, my pals, my tribe, my circle.
Somos pocos pero somos por siempre.
With that I’ll close with a picture of me and one my dearest most special friends, all those years ago, giving our hearts to one another and everyone there that night.
Be Well and Kind,