My mentor, friend, guide, musical lover and all-around meal ticket John Munson always advises me to avoid explaining the lyrics to my songs. He thinks that by doing it you reduce the breadth of what songs can mean to people. I know he’s right. But sometimes as a musician you just have to do things to please yourself and not for the purpose of making your art more powerful to other people.
My orchestra put out a song this week, Real Life. It sounds cool and kind of deep. But it’s probably hard for you to understand what the song is about. As a writer, John’s logic tells me that the best thing for me to do is to let you wonder. Let the song be powerful, because all I can do is ruin it by saying too much. Well, here I go ruining everything, all for my own self-gratification.
Our songs says, “I know all about real life and I know it’s not real.” What is that supposed to mean? What is even meant by the phrase “real life”? Well, here’s what I mean in the context of this song. To me life is real. Buildings are real. People are real. Kisses and dirt and suffering are all real. What’s not real is the promise, the understanding we all thought we had that if we participate in the real life, if we got the right education, if we got a real job, if we’d just be realistic and do our work, then we’d be okay. But we all know that it’s not true. That promise has been shrinking away from us – really ever since tax policy in America tilted the table in a dark direction so that the the rewards pour into the pockets of a few.
Okay that’s the rainy part. Here’s a sunny part that I also believe in. I believe that the problem of reduced economic security in our country is amenable through political change. Seeing our new multi-colored, multi-gendered crop of US legislators makes me feel that somehow we might be at the beginning of a political shift. If I believed in God, I would pray that he or she would push us now toward empowering labor, empowering real people of all colors and genders so that we could make the promise of a secure standard of living – a real life – truly real. If you’re politically involved and you believe there’s a way I can use my music to help you push for these goals, please contact my management via https://www.minneapolismatt.com/
Alright. Sorry to ruin the mood with a rant. Very self-indulgent of me!
Thank you one and all for listening to our little song. We are so gratified by the reports of those who have enjoyed it. We sure love you.
Oh, and come out to see us at the Dakota February 1 and 2.