Jerry Velona

Politics anyone?

So I just unsubscribed from another Facebook Friend (someone I don't know and have never met but was connected as a friend of a friend). He's one of those guys who just has to post something political on a regular basis  (usually angry or sneering) and I get very tired of having to see this stuff even if it's just scrolling by it. It's like an unsightly billboard, or a loud radio playing awful music.

Being a musician in the Boston area, I am literally surrounded by Liberals. This is fine as even though my politics are on the right, I don't take it personally. I have many friends on the left; some of them good friends. With some of them we can debate issues which I enjoy and with others we don't get into it which is also fine. If I don't agree with someone's political views, I don't consider him to be a bad person -just mistaken perhaps!

When I first signed up on Facebook a couple of years ago I used to routinely get into political discussions with people I barely knew or didn't know at all. I soon realized what a colossal waste of time and energy this was so I don't do it anymore. Sometimes I'll see a comment from someone that is just begging to be rebutted but I take a breath, tell myself that it will accomplish nothing except maybe raise my blood pressure and resist the temptation.  I really do believe in the old adage about avoiding religious and political discussions with casual acquaintances. Tempers tend to flare and manners get lost; usually very uncomfortable for anyone else in the vicinity.

Which brings me to my latest song entitled The Bureau of Whatever. It's a song with a political subtext.  There's humor and sarcasm and I daresay a seriously rocking track. It's the first tune I've recorded at David Minehan's Woolly Mammoth studio in Waltham. I worked with David before to remix a couple of songs from my Random Emotion CD a few years back and enjoyed it alot. David is great to work with; a super nice guy and a really good musician and engineer. The studio is very comfortable and loaded with great gear. I highly recommend it.

I've always admired Billy Loosigian who has played guitar with many great Boston bands. So I was fortunate to get Billy and my good buddy Richard (The Great) Gates on bass and decided to play drums myself on the track which I haven't done in a while. In addition to pushing the buttons, I got David to lay down a very cool wah-wah guitar track. He also helped me with the finger snaps (quite the snapper!). I'm very happy with how it came out.

I got some excellent feedback and advice on the lyrics from Nashville's Michael Anderson who also helped me recently with the lyrics on Wishful Intuition. Being a writer of country hits, he's big on the storyline which has helped me write better lyrics.

I believe if you write a song with a political theme or message, it has to be done with a light touch. I'm generally turned off by guys like Billy Bragg and others who hammer you with their politics. I think I've walked that line with Bureau of Whatever but I'll leave the final judgement to others. There will be one more session to apply some finishing touches. I will be releasing it shortly after that. Regardless of who you voted for,  I hope you like it!. And if I ever become one of "those guys" who posts his daily political rants on Facebook, please come over and give me a slap!

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