Heaven is Whenever

Crosspost from Neil Robertson of the Bleeding Heart Show

There’s a new song I’ve been obsessing over recently. It’s going to be on the new Hold Steady album, ‘Heaven is Whenever’, and includes a quite brilliant line:

Utopia’s a band – they sang that ‘Love is the Answer’,

And I think they’re probably right.

Whilst it first seems like singer Craig Finn is dismissing the idea of Utopia by referring only to a defunct & obscure band, what he really means is that we can briefly reach that longed-for state of happiness through the music in our lives. As he concludes in the chorus:

“Heaven is whenever we can get together,

Sit down on your floor and listen to your records”.

Its a line which should also have relevance for political bloggers. We are in the midst of an election campaign which would try the patience of a saint. Though blogging is necessarily combative, we would do well to remember that one of its joys is the space it creates to interact with opposing points of view. In the ongoing campaign for our own utopias – our own visions how Britain can be made better – we should not lose sight of this, nor forget that behind the psedonyms & avatars are real people.

So how do we preserve, and even build upon, the fledgling community that this election campaign threatens to coarsen? I have one idea.

heaven co1py

(Both the name and the website can change if anyone has a better idea.)

We create a space where everyone – regardless of party or ideology – can write about the music they enjoy; our favourite albums, overlooked artists, most memorable gigs or cherished social experiences. We write not as esteemed political bloggers with our gripes and demands and agendas, but as music fans.

For this to work, there should be but three rules:

  • You should be a political blogger.
  • You should write about any aspect or genre of music.
  • Your writing should not be party-political.

Here’s the catch: I can’t do this on my own. As you might’ve noticed, work constraints mean that I’m not currently able to keep my own blog ticking over as much as I’d like, so running two is an impossibility. I’ve already had some kind offers of contribution and admin, and I would be happy to receive more. I would also be delighted if those of you who believe in the concept could promote it within your own blogging communities – the experience will only be richer for having a multitude of voices. Naturally, all contributors would have a link back to their own political blogs, and a spot on the blogroll.

If you would like to contribute, or have any ideas/suggestions, do feel free to leave a comment either here or with LeftOutside, or leave an email at bleedingheartblog at gmail dot com.

In closing, I’d say that one of the joys of music for me is the social experiences it can provide. If we could replicate some of those opportunities for interaction in the British blogosphere – even if only for a short period of time – I think we’d all benefit.

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I would like to add that Heaven is Whenever is an excellent name for this project and that I am available to contact at leftoutsideblog[@]googlemail[.]com if you have any queries or would like to contribute.

Please do post about it on your blog and get people involved, the more the merrier and the large the likelihood of all of us discovery new and great music.

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4 thoughts on “Heaven is Whenever

  1. I’m thinking we’re going to start out with folks submitting this via us. After that, anyone who really gets into it can be given a contributor account.

    1. We have quite a few interested people now, so I’m going to send an email out to all who’ve expressed an interest on either Wednesday or Thursday. Hopefully it will contain something more concrete.

      All offers of material are still welcome, of course.

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