I don't generally buy into gimmicks except when they're done amazingly well and I'm able to see the merit in the work that goes past the gimmick and Chicago based, Michael and The Michaels have done that. So the whole deal with Michael and the Michaels is that they're all Michael. Not like Negan or maybe they are like Negan in that sense? Who am I to say...
So like other amazing Chicago indie based bands like Homer Marrs and the Excellent Adventure or The Private Instigators or Jinx Titanic, Michael and his crew are doing things their own way and they're making music that has a social conscious but are packaging it in an artful, creative way that allows them the freedom to do what they want. They're dramatic. They're unhinged. They're a bit They Might Be Giants meets The Flaming Lips with Gordon Gano's blessing. They're just this really cool and funky group of guys that want to tell their stories in their manner.
So I'm going to talk about their music going forward but we are going to start with "Choose to Be" because it struck me when I needed it. I'm working on building me again. Finding what it is in this world that brings me joy and reminding myself that I have a purpose and a direction so this song did an amazing job of helping strengthen those feelings. Quite simply, they say "Choose to Be is an upbeat fun tune about doing what you love. So listen. Enjoy. Then go out and do something that you love."
I think we get wrapped up in our own shit to remember that we aren't just put on this earth to toil away. We have one shot to do something and make our lives worth remembering. Irvin Yalom said, "Some day soon, perhaps in forty years, there will be no one alive who has ever known me. That's when I will be truly dead - when I exist in no one's memory. I thought a lot about how someone very old is the last living individual to have known some person or cluster of people. When that person dies, the whole cluster dies, too, vanishes from the living memory. I wonder who that person will be for me. Whose death will make me truly dead?” It's this concept that I strive for. A small piece of immortality. A place in the world where I'll live on after my body is gone. We have to choose to be something; something greater than a drone. We have to carve out a place in this universe because no one is going to do it for us.
So yeah, take a fun, quirky song about being more and throw a bit of philosophy behind it and it becomes more. It' becomes a conversation that we should be having and it was presented in a 2 minute package that makes you smile and bob your head along with it. Thank you, Michael and The Michaels for starting this conversation. You have made an impact in my life and you've made a fan out of me. Spend the two bucks on this song. Support indie music. Choose to be someone that sees beauty in the world.