My dad always used to tell me to pick my music out of pieces that will stand the test of time. He used to say: “just close your eyes, and listen. And if the musicians speak to the darkest places of your inner self, and if they tell you things you will be able to find fascinating 20-30-40 years from now, and if they sound like listening to that music will not be embarrassing to listen to then, either, then you can count them amongst your favorites. Otherwise, don’t waste your time” He still says that. “Elvis, and Lennon, and Jagger, and Clapton, and Hendrix, and Joplin are never old fashioned”. And that’s been my rule of thumb in choosing my music always. I look, or try to listen to Brittney Spears and I want to scream instead. I feel insulted…
It just so happens that “Donna the Buffalo” might be one of those groups that will stand the test of time, I believe. Of course, this is biased, and totally based on what my ears can hear and how my own mind can judge. But my experience when I listen to them is so powerful that I wanted to share …
They talk about universal truths, and everyday lives, and they have a down-to-earth-ness about their lyrics, being both prophetical and mundane in a way that is definitely timeless. Their lyrics resonate with all of us, and will bear the same truths a hundred years from now, too. They just say it simply, and melodically, too:
“Used to be fooling someone
Could've been fooling me Nobody's fooling anyone now
Now because you know that talk is so cheap”
Or:“Life, love, potential love Causes so much joyHas the adverse power
To hurt you that much more”
“Times will change, that's for sureI'll be here, knock at my doorSeas will rise, seas will fallLove will see you through it allI wish you love”
Or:“The world is a wonderous puzzle Everyone a piece and every piece fits Every piece is alive making energy Energy pulls the pieces together Into a round ball
And there is love”
And the music is pure and fluid. Seldom do I find artists that are merely instruments through which the Heavens pour their richness into our worlds. They sound (and look) completely in a trance, they’re not personalities, they’re merely … things, guitars, vocal cords, drums, keyboards, wash boards and fiddles, physical presences through which millions of gallons of heavenly gold is poured into our ears, and pores, and further into our hearts and minds. They give life to sound and words. They’re gifted and patient. And they play for 3 hours incessantly, with no break, only with the urge that there’s more to be shared, and the last word has not been said yet. They bind the crowd in such a way that’s mystical almost: people that look different, in age, backgrounds, race, in every way, come together, dance with each other and hug. “It only takes just one of us to be alone” …
Being under the same roof with them for one evening is an honor and an orgasmic pleasure. (trust me, it’s NOT the beer!). You embark in this ride with them and there is no stop and you have no clue when you get there. You’re just speechless at the beauty of it all and in a complete daze at the end of the journey. The $20 you pay at the door is by far not enough to say “thank you”. They gave me energy and wisdom to last me another year.
You feel elated, and fortunate and you feel respect for people who give up all to produce art. You feel honored and richer when you leave. I also believe that nothing ever has value unless it enriches our lives somehow. And “Donna” does it plenty, in just a couple of hours.
The show was wonderful, a great start for the new year. And that’s of course, an understatement. I am always surprised how they never look tired or bored. They just are. And they just share. This type of unconditional giving is one of the few things of beauty and love this world has to offer, if you’re lucky enough to come across it.
I just wanted to say “thank you” so loudly. Somehow, though, I know, deep down, that just being a small part of the hip winding Herd for one night said just that.