Cleansing the Palette: Slug (of Atmosphere): Not Another Day


My son, Adam, sent this song to me. Slug is the singer, from the band Atmosphere. His singing/slamming is almost rhyming, his lyrics are poetry, and the lyrics create a picture, much like a photograph by Diane Arbus-emotional, intimate, and gripping. You can find some of his other works on You Tube. I like his song, Rooster. His slamming reminds me of Gil-Scott Heron, G. Love & His Special Sauce, and the late Jim Carroll. Lyrics come first, but Slug can sing or slam, whatever is called for. He has captured the zeitgeist of many a tragic soul in modern society.

After listening to it a few times, the song took me back a few years...Adam was a sophomore in high school, and we were walking late into the night. He was telling me about how rough high school really was: the gangs, the battle just to get lunch, the daily fights, the near anarchy in a school of two thousand plus high school students. This is not a condemnation of teachers, but the modern politics and culture that has made many high schools more like a reality show based on Lord of the Flies. Good kids drown in these conditions. If one does not find a sport, a teacher, a band, and does not have a strong group of friends, the student tries to stay afloat, paddling for dear life, hoping not to drown.

I remembered how I wanted to fix it, wouldn't any parent? Adam stopped, and said, "Dad, I don't want you to try and fix it, I want you to listen. I need you, to listen."

And that is what I did for the next ninety minutes, walking five miles or so, around and around the few blocks near our home, listening to each and every word as he explained what a day was like for him, knowing that I could not make it better...but, I could listen.

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