Current Issue Details

Buy Current Issue

Columns > John Whitler

Published: 2007/08/22
by John Whitler

A Look Inside the Music

There are a few songs that continue to stay in my head when I think about music and the environment.
String Cheese Incident 100 Year Flood
The water’s rising and the rain’s still coming down, There’s a river five feet deep running down Main Street. By no means have we had anything that compared to the 1993 Mississippi River flood, but this year has seen flooding in many places; Maine, Oklahoma, Texas, Minnesota, Wisconsin and other states as well. Recent reports from climate change experts claim the amount of flooding with continue to rise over time. This beautiful song from SCIs early days tells the story of 1996 flood that resulted in a dam break. We may one day find ourselves redefining what it means to have a 100-year flood as these instances become more frequent and severe.
String Cheese Incident Round the Wheel
Possibly out of context, but on the opposite end of flooding, this SCI song cries out, Ive been waiting for the snow to fall. As some of the world will experience greater amounts of precipitation, others will face severe drought situations. The ski bum inside of me hopes this never affects any of my favorite places to ski, or some of the places I have yet to try. The emergency preparedness person inside of me hopes that business and residents in these areas have plans in place to deal with such situations or the economy of these Regions will take a big hit. Water is needed for just about everything, snow for the mountains, and the snowmelt to fill reservoirs for drinking, irrigation, industry, and recreation.
Leo Kottke and Mike Gordon The Grid
Yes I did, I wanted to find myself, Off the grid. As energy independence continues to be a national security issue for the United States, our individual energy dependence is a thought provoking topic. What if we couldnt rely upon the often reliable electric grid. Just as we take for granted water coming out of the tap when we turn the faucet handle, so to do we take for granted the lights coming on each time flip the light switch. Most likely written by Gordon, this quirky tune tells the story of someone not really thinking about not being able to rely on the grid, but someone wanting to get off the grid and away from it all. Our modern urban culture has led to much economic efficiency, but the ability to survive without our infrastructure is something most of us would not know how to do. Is there a critical point where more people will seek a life outside of the city or town? We may already be there as we return to a more distributed electricity generation system with wind farms, methane generation from agricultural and municipal waste, and solar panels in high demand.
Dont Let It Bring You Down (Neil Young), Tonights the Night (Neil Young), for change in a better direction, at least I hope so. Maybe with all of this attention on climate change will take us away from the 80s attitude of, Dont Stop Til You Get Enough (Michael Jackson). Regardless, you may as well, Funkify Your Life (The Funky Meters).
To reduce your impact on the environment, consider making your next iTunes purchase through Tunes for Trees. For every 10 songs, they will plant a tree and have planted over 2,000 trees since launching Earth Day 2007.

Show 0 Comments