Get High

Sometimes the only way to get by
Is to get high

And I don’t even smoke dope!

There’s a quiet revolution going on and it’s called the Spotify Discover Weekly playlist. Beats 1 gets all the hype, but Discover Weekly gets all the love.

I ignored it at first. Well, after a glance. Too many tracks I already knew and more I never wanted to. But people kept e-mailing me about the playlist, run by algorithms and particularized to the individual, everything I hate in theory but in practice…

People now wait for Mondays, for their new playlists. And I check it out too, for the rare discoveries, and I just made one, Brandy Clark’s “Get High.”

She hates her job
Loves her kids

Well, that sounds like reality. For all the stories of winners, there are even more of losers. Those who find their houses underwater who aren’t even working for the weekend, but just to pay all the bills.

Bored with her husband
Tired of the same old list of things to do

Now that’s modern life, not one wherein we’re thrilled by the plastic people who dominate the interwebs, but frustrated by the situation we find ourselves in. Overburdened, underappreciated and unhappy.

So when the to-dos have all been done
She sits down at the kitchen table
Rolls herself a fat one


You’ve got to understand I’m just clicking through the Discover Weekly playlist, skipping past the detritus, and I hear some pickin’ that could come off a Ry Cooder album, and then there’s this hooky pattern and lyrics sung by a woman without tons of attitude and then…there’s a dope reference?

I had to see who this was. Brandy Clark. In the endless tsunami of hype everything rolls right off my back, I know the name, but not the music. And now I’m completely hooked.

She laughs out loud
At who she used to be
A girl who’d a looked down on
A woman smoking weed in her kitchen
Sometimes she misses them younger days
Seein’ the world through rose-colored glasses
‘stead of this purple haze

Was that a Jimi Hendrix reference? Are country people experienced? Yes, they’ve been shook all night long and we live in a great mish-mash where everybody knows a little bit of everything even though they tell us how different we are. However I know a ton of right-wingers who hate taxes but love gay marriage.

But the politicians pander, they can’t change. And when they do, it’s purely expedient. I’ll vote for Hillary, but if she stopped flip-flopping in search of satiation of a theoretical majority I’d smile and spread the word.

Life’ll change you. That’s what they don’t tell you. They tell you you jump through hoops and everything works out. But stuff happens and you realize what your parents told you is wrong. How do you square who you used to be with who you are now?

You know life will let you down
Love will leave you lonely
Sometimes the only way to get by
Is to get high

“Get High” would be a great record with completely different lyrics, the sound is so entrancing, so hooky, but it’s the truth in its three and a half minutes that astounds. The words are everything that blew up not only country music, but rock and roll. When you didn’t know which way the wind blew unless you were glued to the radio.

So she tucks her kids in at night
Kisses her husband
Turns off the light
And talks to God
Says Lord help me accept what I can’t change
But ’til I learn to do that
Thanks for the Mary Jane

This is the national anthem, not that formulaic crap they beam on the airwaves. If we want music to burgeon, it must resonate. But the truth is there are so many layers of crap heaped upon us that most throw their arms in the air and ignore the scene while those inured to the radio hits trump stuff so worthless it slides right off of you when you hear it.

But not Brandy Clark.

I immediately went to Wikipedia, I wanted to know more, not less, which is quite a switch with today’s celebrities. I found out she’s a lesbian with a string of hit covers. That’s right, you can be out today, the only people who care about sexuality are the old school gatekeepers who don’t realize like the woman in this song, our country has changed.

But it’s not only “Get High.” I’m playing Brandy Clark’s 2013 album “12 Stories” and marveling.

There are people who will say I’m late to the party. But you can’t get on your high horse unless something’s ubiquitous, and Brandy Clark is not.

But she could be.

Change starts small. Little stuff that seems irrelevant alters the entire paradigm. Buzz is building on Discover Weekly. Sure, people are listening to different music, but they’re talking about it, and that’s a start.

And listening to Brandy Clark I’m astounded by the truth encapsulated in song, it makes me a believer, after I’ve strayed from the faith.

Maybe I’ll pick up the pipe!

Get High – Spotify

Get High – YouTube

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