Love And Other Demons

So… I’ve written a whole bunch of songs in the past few years that haven’t fallen into any particular categories.

They weren’t written to brief, they weren’t for adverts or TV, they weren’t for the sprawling Mighty project that is Still Sitting In Danny’s Car, they weren’t necessarily for anything.

Only they sort of did fall into a category, and that category seems to be ‘Matthew Howes’. It’s the stuff I write when I’m just writing. Shackles off, so to speak.

And when I write what I write when I’m just writing (yeesh!), it tends to fall into a particular field of human experience, so with a tip of the hat to Gabriel Garcia Marquez, over the next few months I shall be proudly, and occasionally sheepishly, presenting Love And Other Demons.

 

Protest songs: an update

Hello world!

Over on the Howes & Slatter site a few months back I was lamenting the decline of the protest song, and finished by asking if anyone knew of any modern protest singers and songs.  Well you’ve gotta love how odd the modern world is, because I’d forgotten all about it, and then just last week the following popped up in my inbox:

I read your musings and then suddenly I went, “Hey!–I write protest songs!”
In the isolation of my garret.  Age 60. But anyhow I write ’em.

I say odd, because this was a stranger from a different timezone who felt compelled to email me, and they weren’t a deposed Nigerian prince or convinced that I have either had an accident or been missold PPI.

One of the great paradoxes of this plugged-in-linked-up world is that there has probably never been a time in history when people have felt less connected to the world around them.  Which may well be one reason why there aren’t many protest singers anymore – nobody wants to listen because we’re all too busy shouting to be heard.

But in order to know what to shout about, you have to be able to listen.

Listen.  Shout, and then listen again.  Listen, and then if you like what you hear, shout about it.  I’ve lost count of the times when I’ve felt like I was just shouting into the void.  But occasionally, just occasionally, someone listens and shouts back.  Even more occasionally someone shouts something back that isn’t an insult or just noise.  When that happens, listen back.  And repeat until death.

So who is this person on the other side of the world who has who has taken the time not only to read my missive, but felt compelled to write to me, thus compelling me to write this latest rant into the void?  Dear reader, this person was one Ted Silar, and he does indeed write protest songs like the one below.  I don’t know if anyone else will like it, but I like it so I don’t really care.  Of course I do care, I want you to like it to and validate my own feelings and beliefs, but if you don’t I can probably live with that.  No biggie.

matt at howesandslatter dot com