Question of the Week: Can music change the world?


September 1, 2008 by A.C. Rhodes

Don't call me vague, whitey.

Don't call me vague, whitey.

Or, if not, how has it changed yours?

7 thoughts on “Question of the Week: Can music change the world?

  1. I don’t know about the world at large, but it’s certainly changed my world. I used to live in a country town where the only radio station was 4LM Classic Country Hits. When I was 13 we got a new radio station that played actual up-to-date rock music and even hip hop. Not only did it give me a life-long obsession with music, it gave me a connection to the wider world and a sense of belonging that was invaluable.

  2. Steven Ward says:

    I don’t know if it can change the world but I sure wish it could bring power to my home —

    Even though the national news isn’t reporting it, (I knew it was a bad sign when Anderson Cooper left New Orleans to head to the RNC) Hurrciane Gustav wiped us out in Baton Rouge.

    New Orleans is fine but the state’s capital city is having serious power issues.

    (I have access to my work computer as I report the destruction for the daily newspaper here)

    Sorry to be a downer.

    Where is Chuck Eddy when I need him to cheer me up — I need a list of “in the dark” songs.

    How about I start it off —

    “Promises in the Dark — Pat Benatar

  3. Chuck Eddy says:

    Hey Steven — Good luck down there; hope electricity and visibility return to Baton Rogue soon.

    Off the top of my head:

    John Cafferty – On the Dark Side
    Angry Samoans – Lights Out
    Dropkick Murphys – Blackout (originally Woody Guthrie, though I’ve never heard his version)
    Richard and Linda Thompson – Shoot Out The Lights
    Richard Thompson, Flying Burrito Bros, James Carr, etc. – Dark End of the Street
    Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit (“when the light’s out it’s less dangerous”)
    Rolling Stones – Paint It Black (“I have to turn my head until my darkness goes,” “It’s not easy facin’ up when your whole world is black,” etc.)

    Maybe toss in Garth Brooks’s “Callin’ Baton Rouge” while you’re at it?

    As for the question above, sorry, but it strikes me as even sillier than the last one. Though, if I’m not mistaken, the correct answer has something to do with Vaclav Havel and the Plastic People Of The Universe.

  4. Alex V. Cook says:

    Steven, I’m in the same boat in BR. may be the leader in national coverage of the Gustav aftermath in Baton Rouge now.

    I offer

    the dark: Ronnie James Dio – “Rainbows in the Dark”
    Baton Rouge: Lou Reed – “Baton Rouge” from Ecstasy
    and I second Mr. Eddy’s correct answer, for what its worth.

    Tom Jones once made me get out of my post breakup slump and ask a girl out, from the part in his version of “Hey Jude” where he roars “JUST GO OUT AND GET THAT LITTLE GIRL!!”

  5. Steven Ward says:


    That’s right, you are in the same boat as me.

    Well, I’m in the Garden District and we got power up this morning.

    I hope you are up soon my friend.

    Alex is one of two main rock critics in Baton Rouge — there’s Alex and the guy who writes about pop music for the daily newspaper I write for.

    (Are there others Alex? We need to set up a chapter in Baton Rouge)

    Both good guys and both good writers.

    Alex is also a good thinker — an important trait for anyone who writes criticism.


    What was the question?

    Oh yes. Music changing my life.

    Of course it has.

    Those things are very private to me though.

    I will give out this hint — music might land my wife and I on the Oprah show one day very soon.

    Can’t say anymore right now. Stay tuned.

    Being on Oprah can change your life, right?


  6. it made me do more drugs.
    a lot more.

  7. shawnbm says:

    The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down by The Band can work wonders for those folks down South after Gustav and Ike. I also happen to think The Band’s first two albums, if really listened to, can start pointing the country in a better and more grounded direction. It’s “roots” music for North America at its best.

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