Topical Rock Music That Finally Makes Sense

posted at 7:00 pm on July 25, 2014 by Duane Patterson

Peter Himmelman is a singer/songwriter whose musical writing has grown much darker since the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. Just as a background into Himmelman’s evolving worldview, here’s a bit from his bio that’s posted on his website.

Himmelman was in a serious funk. Between albums, dulled by the strain and monotony of TV work, and unsure as to where to go next, he found himself reading and thinking about Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter executed by Arab extremists for no other reason than being Jewish. He regretted that he had never met Pearl, or become friends with him, or performed for him. Then a friend sent him an article in which it was revealed that Pearl had been a fan of his – that, in fact, Himmelman was his favorite artist. Himmelman also was stunned to learn from the author of the article, a longtime friend of Pearl, that he and Danny had bonded over Himmelman’s songs and had come backstage to meet him following a 1995 show in at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. Himmelman, he said, gave each of them a broken string as a souvenir.

The revelations proved life-changing. “The knowledge that my songs have had reach beyond what I could ever begin to imagine has made me less concerned about the difficult choices I’ve made and focused me with a greater sense of mission,” said Himmelman, who has become close with Pearl’s parents, Judea and Ruth Pearl. “Sometimes when I write, I feel like I’m connecting with my Dad, who died many years ago, or my sister, who died six years ago in a car crash in Wisconsin, or Danny Pearl, with whom I’m strangely forging some kind of Earthly/heavenly relationship.”

Flash forward to the war currently underway between Israel and Hamas. Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder was captured on video performing the band’s song, Daughter, and in the bridge, Vedder went on a profanity-laced tirade against Israel before hijacking Edwin Starr’s classic, War. It’s easy to be anti-Israel these days if you’re a lefty. Himmelman’s not having any of it, and has recorded a great new song called Maximum Restraint. It’s worth your time to watch the video. In a sane world, one that’s not full of mindless stupidity and rampant anti-Semitism, this song would be going viral. I hope you’ll help make it so anyway.



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I’m all for AC/DC – Thunderstruck

Newtie and the Beauty on July 25, 2014 at 7:03 PM

Oh, and RATSO!

Newtie and the Beauty on July 25, 2014 at 7:03 PM

Oh, and RATSO!

Newtie and the Beauty on July 25, 2014 at 7:03 PM

Sorry… only counts on QOTD :)

Barred on July 25, 2014 at 7:07 PM

Sorry… only counts on QOTD :)
Barred on July 25, 2014 at 7:07 PM

Pooh… :-(

BISHOP! then… ;-)

Newtie and the Beauty on July 25, 2014 at 7:08 PM

Catchy tune, Duane…thank you!

Newtie and the Beauty on July 25, 2014 at 7:09 PM

Newtie and the Beauty on July 25, 2014 at 7:08 PM

Bishop always rule, any time. lol

Barred on July 25, 2014 at 7:10 PM

Bishop always rule, any time. lol
Barred on July 25, 2014 at 7:10 PM

Now we’ll NEVER hear the end of it… ;-)

Newtie and the Beauty on July 25, 2014 at 7:12 PM

Awesome tune…that’s the official theme song for my fantasy football team, the Tri-State Thunder.

Here’s a good tune as well…SAGA “On the Loose”:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A51gkF7eu_A

JetBoy on July 25, 2014 at 7:20 PM

ugh…my above comment is in reply to:

I’m all for AC/DC – Thunderstruck

Newtie and the Beauty on July 25, 2014 at 7:03 PM

JetBoy on July 25, 2014 at 7:21 PM

Topical Rock Music That Finally Makes Sense

Not finally.

The Perfect topical rock song is this one:

Dragon Lady

Then somebody went and yanked the original song that was with this video.

Puddle of Mudd

Mute the first video and play the second video music track and tell me it ain’t perfect.

cozmo on July 25, 2014 at 7:22 PM

JetBoy on July 25, 2014 at 7:20 PM

I plum forgot all about that one, JB! :o

Newtie and the Beauty on July 25, 2014 at 7:27 PM

cozmo on July 25, 2014 at 7:22 PM

And THIS is why we CAN have nice things… ;-)

Newtie and the Beauty on July 25, 2014 at 7:30 PM

I’m all for AC/DC – Thunderstruck

Newtie and the Beauty on July 25, 2014 at 7:03 PM

While I don’t often suggest covers, this one is worth a listen.

massrighty on July 25, 2014 at 7:40 PM

massrighty on July 25, 2014 at 7:40 PM

Yep. They do one of the best covers of Thunderstruck! Love me some 2Cellos!!!

lineholder on July 25, 2014 at 7:45 PM

…Vedder went on a profanity-laced tirade against Israel…

In German, one may presume.

86 on July 25, 2014 at 7:48 PM

I am pretty sure Mr. Himmelman is married to Bob Dylan’s daughter…

moseby on July 25, 2014 at 7:50 PM

Yep. They do one of the best covers of Thunderstruck! Love me some 2Cellos!!!

lineholder on July 25, 2014 at 7:45 PM

Check out their version of Highway to Hell with Steve Vai!

massrighty on July 25, 2014 at 7:51 PM

While I don’t often suggest covers, this one is worth a listen.
massrighty on July 25, 2014 at 7:40 PM

Well done, MA!

*note: changed link to a Youtube…most bodacious!

Newtie and the Beauty on July 25, 2014 at 7:57 PM

No matter which version (this one or Disturbed) Land of Confusion is oddly topical right now

Sekhmet on July 25, 2014 at 8:05 PM

massrighty on July 25, 2014 at 7:51 PM

Yeah, aren’t they great!!!!

Live concert at Pula Arena

lineholder on July 25, 2014 at 8:06 PM

Check out their version of Highway to Hell with Steve Vai!
massrighty on July 25, 2014 at 7:51 PM

Most excellent!

\m/

Newtie and the Beauty on July 25, 2014 at 8:06 PM

Duane, thanks for this video! Already passed it on to a few sites tonight.

lineholder on July 25, 2014 at 8:07 PM

Sekhmet on July 25, 2014 at 8:05 PM

I’ll see your Genesis, and raise you:

Joe walsh.

cozmo on July 25, 2014 at 8:08 PM

No matter which version (this one or Disturbed) Land of Confusion is oddly topical right now
Sekhmet on July 25, 2014 at 8:05 PM

I was thinking “Misunderstanding“…

Newtie and the Beauty on July 25, 2014 at 8:19 PM

Nicely done…..

crosshugger on July 25, 2014 at 8:27 PM

While I don’t often suggest covers, this one is worth a listen.

massrighty on July 25, 2014 at 7:40 PM

Love those guys! They ain’t bad on the eyes either ;)

And these gals called Bond…if you’re into that sort of thing :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJ-h4yuv-sk

JetBoy on July 25, 2014 at 9:08 PM

Nice backing track, but the vocals do nothing for me, message notwithstanding.

S. D. on July 25, 2014 at 10:39 PM

How about Dylan’s “Neighborhood Bully?” Not timely but relevant.

TarasBulbous on July 25, 2014 at 11:06 PM

Puddle of Mudd

cozmo on July 25, 2014 at 7:22 PM

Nice pull. Love those guys.

John the Libertarian on July 25, 2014 at 11:07 PM

Thunderstruck and Kashmir FTW!

kregg on July 26, 2014 at 7:21 AM

I am pretty sure Mr. Himmelman is married to Bob Dylan’s daughter…

moseby on July 25, 2014 at 7:50 PM

You are correct. He’s been part of the music scene in Minneapolis for a long time. He almost hit it big in the late 80s/early 90s, but just couldn’t quite get over the hump. His early sides are worth finding.

Mr. D on July 26, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Here’s another Himmelman song, from about ’89: 245 Days

Mr. D on July 26, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Bully

By Bob Dylan

Performed by DAN ISRAEL & Blood On The Tracks Live 2012

Well, the neighborhood bully, he’s just one man
His enemies say he’s on their land
They got him outnumbered about a million to one
He got no place to escape to, no place to run
He’s the neighborhood bully

The neighborhood bully just lives to survive
He’s criticized and condemned for being alive
He’s not supposed to fight back, he’s supposed to have thick skin
He’s supposed to lay down and die when his door is kicked in
He’s the neighborhood bully

The neighborhood bully been driven out of every land
He’s wandered the earth an exiled man
Seen his family scattered, his people hounded and torn
He’s always on trial for just being born
He’s the neighborhood bully

Well, he knocked out a lynch mob, he was criticized
Old women condemned him, said he should apologize.
Then he destroyed a bomb factory, nobody was glad
The bombs were meant for him. He was supposed to feel bad
He’s the neighborhood bully

Well, the chances are against it and the odds are slim
That he’ll live by the rules that the world makes for him
’Cause there’s a noose at his neck and a gun at his back
And a license to kill him is given out to every maniac
He’s the neighborhood bully

He got no allies to really speak of
What he gets he must pay for, he don’t get it out of love
He buys obsolete weapons and he won’t be denied
But no one sends flesh and blood to fight by his side
He’s the neighborhood bully

Well, he’s surrounded by pacifists who all want peace
They pray for it nightly that the bloodshed must cease
Now, they wouldn’t hurt a fly. To hurt one they would weep
They lay and they wait for this bully to fall asleep
He’s the neighborhood bully

Every empire that’s enslaved him is gone
Egypt and Rome, even the great Babylon
He’s made a garden of paradise in the desert sand
In bed with nobody, under no one’s command
He’s the neighborhood bully

Now his holiest books have been trampled upon
No contract he signed was worth what it was written on
He took the crumbs of the world and he turned it into wealth
Took sickness and disease and he turned it into health
He’s the neighborhood bully

What’s anybody indebted to him for?
Nothin’, they say. He just likes to cause war
Pride and prejudice and superstition indeed
They wait for this bully like a dog waits to feed
He’s the neighborhood bully

What has he done to wear so many scars?
Does he change the course of rivers? Does he pollute the moon and stars?
Neighborhood bully, standing on the hill
Running out the clock, time standing still
Neighborhood bully

Copyright © 1983 by Special Rider Music

Akzed on July 26, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Peter’s a mensch.

rokemronnie on July 26, 2014 at 8:56 PM

Akzed on July 26, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Indeed.

What’s amusing about the lyrics you post is that they can be applied to both sides.

One big problem with the neighborhood bully is that he, in acting to remain the last man standing, has taken on so many attributes of the other who bullied him in his youth that he has become a doppelganger.

Nobody likes him other than his followers.

That can be applied to both sides.

Indeed.

unclesmrgol on July 26, 2014 at 9:13 PM

One big problem with the neighborhood bully is that he, in acting to remain the last man standing, has taken on so many attributes of the other who bullied him in his youth that he has become a doppelganger.

That statement applies to anything. Including Nazis vs Allies, US vs USSR, US vs Al Quaeda, North vs South etc. The lyrics assume you have the moral clarity to realize who is good vs who is evil (it gives the reader/listener the benefit of the doubt that they are capable of doing that; clearly in some cases expecting too much). Not being able to tell good guy from bad guy does not make you an intellectual it makes you immoral.

marks on July 26, 2014 at 10:40 PM