Saturday, June 29, 2013

30 Day Song Challenge (The Sequel), Day 29: A Song You Like By a Band/Artist That Isn't from North America, Europe or Australia


Since we're now on the penultimate day of the 30 Day Song Challenge (The Sequel), I wanted to take a moment to say a few things about this whole venture.  First, I have to confess that, in my view, The Sequel's prompts weren't nearly as satisfying as the original 30 Day Song Challenge's prompts. (Today's prompt is evidence of that.)  Second, blogging the Challenge (The Sequel) this month was, just like it was the first time I did it in 2011, immeasurably enjoyable and gave me many opportunities to re-listen to, re-think about and re-fall-in-love-with a lot of music.  Third, as I said in my first go-round with this Challenge, this has been a great motivator for writing every day.  With the couple of exceptions when I was busy with RIRS (in Week 2) and when I had out-of-town guests (in the last couple of days), I've been able to start every day in June with a half-hour or so of writing about something that is both easy and incredibly enjoyable to write about for me.  Sometimes we need a reminder that writing really isn't a chore.  This Challenge is a great reminder of that.

Also, not for nothing, re-commencing the 30 Day Song Challenge has been a great boon for the traffic on this blog.  I've been pretty low-profile on this blog so far this year, something that I did more out of necessity than choice, so I worried that many of you readers might have disappeared forever.  I'm glad that isn't the case.  Since I started posting every day again, the traffic here has returned to its "normal" volume.  In fact, we're getting pretty close to a quarter-million unique hits on ReadMoreWriteMoreThinkMoreBeMore now.  That's right, a QUARTER-MILLION.  Whoa, dude.  I know that's like one-second's worth of Google traffic, but for a nobody Philosophy prof from Memphis, that's something to brag about.  Big thanks to all of you who've been here and stayed here over some or all of the last six years, and a big warm welcome to those of you who happened upon this site more recently. I hope you all stick around.

One last thing before I move on to today's Challenge prompt: several of you have written to me to say that I should choose another month-long challenge.  I'm definitely up for something like that, but I haven't been able to find anything comparable to the 30 Day Song Challenge.  So, a few friends of mine and I are trying to put together a Film Challenge, which would be identical in structure to the Song Challenge, only (duh) with movies.  We're trying to finish constructing the prompts-list in time to make it possible for July, but that deadline is sneaking up on us very fast.  If you've got any ideas for a prompt to include in a 30- (or 31-) Day Film Challenge, please, PLEASE, leave them in the comments section below, or msg me on Facebook, or Tweet me @DrLeighMJohnson, or email me here.  Just fyi, here's a draft of the prompts for the 31 Day FILM Challenge so far.  It would be great if we could get the same buy-in for a Film Challenge that the Song Challenge has gotten, but that's going to require that it's actually a quality cinephile list. 

Ok, enough stalling, my pick for today comes from Miriam Makeba (aka, "Mama Africa"), one of my favorite artists of all time, and of any continent.  Makeba has tons of amazing tunes to choose from, but this is the one that I love the most.  It's "A Luta Continua" (trans: "the struggle continues"), formerly the rallying cry of FRELIMO during Mozambique's struggle for independence.
 


I wish the 30 Day Song Challenge had a prompt that asked for a "song that makes you want to fight another day."  This would be my pick.  In the rougher times of this past year, when there have been too many days that I've needed motivation to keep fighting, I had Makeba's "A Luta Continua" set as the wake-up alarm on my iPhone.  I did that partly because, knowing the history of this song, whatever struggles I was involved in seemed insignificant by comparison, but also partly because I know that every human struggle, great or small, needs motivation to continue.  Sometimes, the simple declarative statement "a luta continua"-- the struggle continues-- is enough motivation to keep fighting.

And that's, really, one of the most inexplicably potent faculties of music.  It has the power to make us feel things, think things, experience things and, most importantly, do things that, without music, seem impossible.

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Nostalgic? Check out my entry for Day 29 of the 2011 version of the 30 Day Song Challenge.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

1. favorite popcorn blockbuster movie
2. movie where you empathized or understood something or someone otherwise (or previously) montorous
3. movie that you know the whole script/all the dialogue to
4. a movie that no one would expect you to love or, perhaps alternatively, think is great
5. movie with your favorite original soundtrack
6. movie with most powerful or impact acting performance you've seen
7. movie from a great director that disappointed you the most
8. favorite childhood (under 10) movie
9. a movie so bad it's downright hilarious (e.g. troll 2)
10. Best or favorite movie from your favorite movie genre
11. movie that must be seen on a big screen to be really appreciated
12. movie that you used to love or think was great but now hate or find deeply problematic