Disruption! The Music Indicator Part III – Protest Songs Support Equities (!)

Chicago by Graham Nash (May 28, 1971)
“So your brother’s bound and gagged
And they’ve chained him to a chair
Won’t you please come to chicago just to sing
In a land that’s known as freedom how can such a thing be fair
Won’t you please come to chicago for the help that we can bring
We can change the world rearrange the world
It’s dying – to get better
Politicians sit yourselves down, there’s nothing for you here
Won’t you please come to chicago for a ride
Don’t ask jack to help you `cause he’ll turn the other ear
Won’t you please come to chicago or else join the other side
We can change the world rearrange the world
It’s dying – if you believe in justice
Dying – and if you believe in freedom
Dying – let a man live his own life
Dying -rules and regulations, who needs them…”

The Vietnam war started dividing America in the 1960s between the young (students, the draft, racism) and the old (silent majority) and the division grew with the election of Nixon. The song above and several at the bottom was a protest song and part of a campaign to raise funds for the Chicago 8 protesters who were arrested during the Republican Convention there, which nominated Nixon who went on to win that November.

Also below is a postscript to Aretha Franklin from David Remnick of the New Yorker. Aretha Franklin, may she Rest In Peace,  is a great symbol of the dramatic times of the ’60s and ’70s when the whole liberalization movement started: liberalization from conformity, for women and the realization and rising awareness of the social injustices for Afro-Americans and minorities in general. Certainly disruptive times!

 

“It’s the rough side of the mountain that’s the easiest to climb; the smooth side doesn’t have anything for you to hang on to.” Aretha Franklin

The Music Indicator (IAV)

More from Billboard.com (2017):

“A researcher at New York University compiling decades of data discovered (2009) that a better economy, as indicated by a higher stock market, correlates with Billboard high-charting songs displaying slower average tempos and minor chords typically considered “sadder.” And vice versa: a worse economy correlates with faster average tempos and major chords. So according to this researcher, when times are economically bad, people want to hear speedier songs with “happier” chords; but when times are economically good, people are more willing to tolerate sadder or slower songs.”

2010-2018 has been a time of economic recovery immersed in uncertainty and disruption. Top hits are romantic, love songs from Ed Sheeran, John Legend, Adele, Rihanna with some have a dance beat from Drake, LMFAO, Justin Bieber, Pharrell Williams, Justin Timberlake to name just a few.

“While it’s too early to determine conclusively how the economy will perform for the majority of the Trump presidency, early signs have been positive, as the stock market improved and unemployment remains low. If this holds up, expect sadder and slower hit songs under Trump.” (Billboard.com, 2017).

The market continues to rally in 2018, what music are you hearing? Only now are those Animal Spirits being released as Americans spend again and are surrounded by job vacancies. Perhaps what was a stalled recovery at the beginning is now finally gaining momentum with growth taking on a normal “V” shaped characteristic rather than actually peaking. The charts below are a reminder of what the past 50+ years have witnessed, with significant disruption, both social and technological, volatility, violence and greed, but also tremendous progress and prosperity worldwide. Watch those interest rates, if they stay relatively low, there could be more to go!

After the charts below is the postscript for Aretha Franklin and selective videos displaying her great talent. It is difficult to say what music is indicating today except that it is missing that “soul”. Markets are certainly climbing that wall of worry! Let me know what you think?

Charts:

SPX peaks in 1968 and bottoms in 1970 rallies through 1972 and bottoms again in 1974 – The Oil Crisis and the US dollar gets “unfixed”

Rising Stocks and GDP didn’t help the incumbent Democrats in 1968, weak economy and falling markets accompanied Nixon’s resignation and Reagan’s election in 1980.
                            1960 – 1982  –  US GDP yoy change, Consumer Confidence and the S&P500 Index
Source: Bloomberg
1956 – 1968  –  (Dow, US GDP yoy, US CPI, US Unemployment)

A time of Rock N’Roll (Dancing), Hard Rock (Psychedelics + Swooning) and Protest Music – Variations of Sounds!

Source: Bloomberg
(Dow, US GDP yoy, Oil, US CPI, US Unemployment)

1968 (Nixon is elected, Anti-War Protests grow)  – 1989 (Berlin Wall falls) and in between during the ’70s, the oil crisis, high inflation, high interest rates, Reagan, the start of the Bull market, 1987 crash, Japan peaks), i.e. Lots of VOLATILITY!

Rock and Disco and then the Modern Pop Stars hit the stage in the ’80s!

Source: Bloomberg
1960 – 2018  –  (Dow, US GDP yoy, Oil, US CPI, US Unemployment)
  Source: Bloomberg

Links:

10 Years after… Income Inequality and Incompetent Politics from all sides… from The New Yorker

Music turns to streaming and artists feuding (dissing) in order to gain visibility and sell their music!

 

It is very sad about Aretha Franklin, like Tom Wolfe and Philip Roth, some people should live forever…their legacies will!

August 16, 2018

Postscript

Aretha Franklin: A Legacy in Music

Aretha Franklin’s voice was a pure, painful, and unforgettable expression of American history and American feeling, the collective experience of black Americans and her own life. The Queen of Soul, who died Thursday morning, was the daughter of the most influential black pastor in Detroit, a charismatic, often cruel man who filled the house with musical friends—Duke Ellington, Della Reese, Nat Cole, Mahalia Jackson—and a constant cloud of threat and fury. Aretha Franklin rarely spoke of her inner life, her crises—she was wary of almost everyone—and yet the sound she made, the emotions she expressed and embodied, was as distinctive as that of Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong and John Coltrane. What artist built a sturdier and more sublime arc, from the songs of the first praise houses and black churches to the blues to R. & B. to pop and hip-hop? Like Ray Charles and Sam Cooke, Franklin combined matters of the spirit and matters of the body; the whole of her, it seemed, was in every bar. And though no one could imitate that voice and phrasing—the ecstatic shrieks and eerie note-bending, that sense of behind-the-beat time—her influence was immense. Beyoncé once said that her own “soulfulness” comes “from the gospel. . . . It comes from Aretha.”

Prayer, love, desire, joy, despair, rapture, feminism, Black Power—it is hard to think of a performer who provided a deeper, more profound reflection of her times. What’s more, her gift was incomparable. Smokey Robinson, her friend and neighbor in Detroit, once said, “Aretha came out of this world, but she also came out of another, far-off magical world none of us really understood. . . . She came from a distant musical planet where children are born with their gifts fully formed.” Etta James once recalled listening to Franklin’s version of Johnny Mercer and Hoagy Carmichael’s standard “Skylark.” In the second verse, Franklin jumps an octave. “I had to scratch my head and ask myself, How the fuck did that bitch do that? I remember running into Sarah Vaughan, who always intimidated me. Sarah said, ‘Have you heard of this Aretha Franklin girl?’ I said, ‘You heard her do ‘Skylark,’ didn’t you?’ Sarah said, ‘Yes, I did, and I’m never singing that song again.’ ”

“Skylark,” from “Laughing on the Outside,” in 1963.

“Respect,” live in 1967.

“Chain of Fools,” live in 1968, in Amsterdam.

“Bridge Over Troubled Water,” live at the Fillmore West, in 1971.

“Rock Steady,” in 1972.

“Mary Don’t You Weep,” from the gospel album (and still unreleased film) “Amazing Grace,” in 1972.

“Amazing Grace,” with the Reverend James Cleveland on piano, in 1972.

If you want a good cry, you shouldn’t miss Franklin singing at the Kennedy Center Honors—an Obama-era moment, though Obama could hardly claim center stage when the Woman in Mink sat down to the piano. She’s nearing the end, and yet she hits the notes of her youth.

“(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.”

Billboard: Best Protest Songs of 2017-Top 20   Know any? Are we in for more volatile markets?

Here’s one from Childish Gambino

Two protest songs of the ’70s…

Crosby Still Nash and Young: 4 Dead in Ohio (June 1970), We  can Change the World – Chicago (May 1971)

Crosby Stills Nash Young Lyrics

Four Dead In Ohio Lyrics (source)

Tin soldiers and Nixon’s comin’.
We’re finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drummin’.
Four dead in Ohio.

Gotta get down to it.
Soldiers are gunning us down.
Should have been done long ago.
What if you knew her and
Found her dead on the ground?
How can you run when you know?

Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na.
Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na.
Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na.
Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na.

Gotta get down to it.
Soldiers are cutting us down.
Should have been done long ago.
What if you knew her and
Found her dead on the ground?
How can you run when you know?

Tin soldiers and Nixon’s comin’.
We’re finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drummin’.
Four dead in Ohio.
Four dead in Ohio.
Four dead in Ohio.
Four dead in Ohio.
Four dead in Ohio.
Four dead in Ohio.
Four dead in Ohio.
Four dead in Ohio.
Four dead in Ohio.

Copyright: Lyrics © Original Writer and Publisher

Chicago
So your brother’s bound and gagged
And they’ve chained him to a chair
Won’t you please come to chicago just to sing
In a land that’s known as freedom how can such a thing be fair
Won’t you please come to chicago for the help that we can bring
We can change the world rearrange the world
It’s dying – to get better
Politicians sit yourselves down, there’s nothing for you here
Won’t you please come to chicago for a ride
Don’t ask jack to help you `cause he’ll turn the other ear
Won’t you please come to chicago or else join the other side
We can change the world rearrange the world
It’s dying – if you believe in justice
Dying – and if you believe in freedom
Dying – let a man live his own life
Dying -rules and regulations, who needs them
Open up the door
Somehow people must be free
I hope the day comes soon
Won’t you please come to Chicago
Show your face
From the bottom to the ocean
To the mountains of the moon
Won’t you please come to Chicago
No one else can take your place
We can change the world –
Re-arrange the world
It’s dying – if you believe in justice
It’s dying – and if you believe in freedom
It’s dying – let a man live it’s own life
It’s dying – rules and regulations, who needs them
Open up the door
We can change the world

One Reply to “Disruption! The Music Indicator Part III – Protest Songs Support Equities (!)”

  1. This New Yorker Book Review discusses Music in the 21st Century: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/08/27/the-sounds-of-music-in-the-twenty-first-century
    Music in the 21st century gets more feminine and even more experimental reflecting the on-going disruptions also in the economies and markets indicating more volatility with a positive upward trend?
    IAV on John Adams: https://www.invest-a-vision.com/wp/invest-a-vision-gets-started/

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