Politics As Unusual
Steven Brant and the Phantoms... Acoustic Music with Electric Instruments. Steven creates patriotic music for the Blue States - and the blue states we sink into. Songs range from the overtly political to the politically evocative to songs about life's ebb and flow. For example, It's My Flag Too is an ode to us patriots who've been excluded by the rantings on the right, who believe not just in the flag but in the promise for which it stands. As he sings, 'We're taking it back; we should have done it before/Can't leave you alone with it anymore/This country is both mine and yours.... Didn't your mamma teach you manners or did you forget/It's my flag too.' In The Man Behind the Curtain, Steve and the band are the gust of wind blowing back the curtain of the presidency to reveal the man working the machines and levers. 'He crosses his fingers, then he swears to tell the truth/But I don't recall seeing his name in the voting booth.... The Great Oz says, Pay no attention....' (And you'll be surprised at what can be made to rhyme with 'curtain'!) Dark Ride compares the situation to 'a haunted house, a tunnel of love... The operator says, We've got another mark.' It sandwiches an angry litany of political and economic disasters between funhouse-organ-based stately processional marches. The old Superman comics are recalled by a trip to Bizarro World, where 'the sun's setting in the east,' where 'an apple falls straight up,' and in perhaps the most astonishing twist, 'our flight arrives on time.' Only a Bizarro world is where 'Hearts are never broken... You are my Bizarro girl/To think of loving me.' 'Like a character in some heroic tale/Sure your life was unique in each detail/You wonder what failed/To turn your life into a cliché.... You Wear Out and you're thrown away' (Wear Out). For 39 Years a man has been married to an extraordinary woman, and despite pressure from his friends he refuses to abandon her to the ravages of Alzheimer's disease; it's A Fearful Thing to love what time may touch. A woman struggles to Hang On as her world grows cold and remote, as she contemplates suicide in the face of the difficulty of moving forward One Step at a Time. Steven's voice is the voice of rich experience, beaten up - but not beaten down - by time and politics, by life and love. But it's a voice of hope rather than despair, a voice that calls out from the deluge, 'Hang on.'