Children of Paradise
Sometimes a song can change your day. Sometimes, you hear exactly the right song at exactly the right moment. I was having a bad day. I had been running into a series of slights and frustrations that really had me fuming. You know, the kind of day when you want to punch the wall. I got into my car and put the new Willie Nile CD in the car stereo and glowered at the traffic jam around me. I wasn’t really paying attention until I heard Willie shouting at me, “DON’T LET THE FUCKERS KILL YOUR BUZZ!” That’s good advice that I needed to hear at exactly that moment.
Children of Paradise is full of songs that could serve as a shock to the system. Nile is a poet of the streets reporting on the things that happen on the other side of town and setting the stories to a primal garage rock beat. Willie sings anthems of the street. The first song on the record – “Seeds Of A Revolution” – is a gut punch reminder that immigrants are people seeking a better life. “Children of Paradise” is an ode to people who are living down slope from that shining city on the hill, hoping and dreaming to make it out of the valley of the shadow.
Nile is an angry man. He is angry about injustice. He is angry about the way were fucking up the environment and he’s pissed that we treat each other so badly. He’s mad at the ugliness and a whole lot of this album is a call to defy the forces that would rather have you obsessing over Stormy Daniel’s cleavage that corruption and lies. He shouts it out signing, “I defy you! I D-E-F-Y you!”
I hope these songs reach, if not a lot of people, then the right people. I hope other folks hear one of these songs at exactly the right time to click over their mood. I hope someone hears “Earth Blues” at exactly the right moment to change their opinion on climate change. I hope an ambivalent suburbanite hears “Seeds of the Revolution” at exactly the right moment to help see the bullshit in the build a wall ideology. Or… I hope someone hears “Rock and Roll Sister” at exactly the right moment that they need a party anthem. Whatever you do, “Don’t let the fuckers turn you into suckers! Don’t let the fuckers kill your buzz!”