Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Underground Love Train/Finding your "goodness"

It's mid-May, and Spring has gone by so fast. As I was working hard on a final project I took a break and gained some inspiration from Toshi Reagon. Artist/musician Hanifah Walidah was inspired by Reagon, and assembled this video, "The Underground Love Train," and posted it on YouTube. Reagon was playing at Joe's Pub in NYC with Big Lovely and interrupted a song to address the crowd. I'd seen her do this before at a benefit show for music advocate/writer Tom Terrell when the crowd was not reflecting back the energy the performers were putting out.

So here again Reagon gives an artistic sermon on the mount to the crowd of 200, 100 of whom were apparently listless or detached. She put down her guitar, stood up, and basically said, "hey y'all, you've gotten dressed up and paid your money, so why aren't you showing up for the experience?" Some of us were raised on the mythology of the artist who wakes an apathetic crowd from the dead by the sheer power of their presence, spirit, and ability. OK, but James Brown comes along how many times in a generation? And even J.B. needed an electrolyte transfusion after every show.

Check out Reagon talking about finding your "goodness":

"The thing that's so extraordinary about Harriet Tubman, why she's one of my favorite people, This is why I get my fun from her, is that She was free and she could have stayed where she was. She could have said, 'that was enough. I took a few and I'm finished. ' But it wasn't enough; she went back people! Once you find the goodness, you are not supposed to have it one time. You are supposed to go back to it again, and again, and again, and again, and again."

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