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God is Funk

26 Mar

Bidden or unbidden, God is present.

~C. G. Jung

To me, music is one of the endlessly compelling forms of the Divine. But with four planets in open-minded Aquarius, I could never have a narrow view of so-called ‘spiritual’ music. I figure if it speaks to your heart, moves you, comforts you, or just makes you fly, that’s plenty.

How could God NOT be present?

Once a woman called me who had been a resident of a meditation community for many years. She said the group had very strict ideas of ‘dharmic’ music. Certain chants and bhajans were considered godly, everything else profane. Then she confessed her own guilty secret: each day she eagerly awaited the moment when she could flee to the privacy of her blue Subaru and rock out to the Stones. She was so paranoid other members would see her that she drove several miles before she cranked the volume to the max and went to-tally, unabashedly out of control. 

Under absolutely nobody’s thumb.

I told her I considered that tripped-out time in her car as profound and sacred as anything else in her day. It held some mystical essence of how God Had Uniquely Created Her To Be Precisely Her.

And why should she pretend to be anything else?

So I’ve been drawn forever to to  vinyasa yoga classes that might play hip hop, jazz, funk, bluegrass, punk or rock as often as any kind of typical chanting.

And Handel’s Messiah might make me cry but in certain moods so will Lady Gaga, Missy Elliot, or Boy George.

If you’re an unfettered soul yourself who shirks doctrinaire rules and categorizations,  you might just love the following arbitrary and pretty darn random playlist. I’ll be posting new stuff all the time, so stay tuned.



1. MC Yogi: Ganesh is Fresh -

Big fan of his music. The best of Hindu bhajans overlaid with a hip-hop beat. What could be better? Plus he’s a super-sweet guy and a great, unpretentious yoga teacher if you’re ever visiting Point Reyes.

2. Florence and the Machine: Dog Days are Over -

Someone sent me this song right as I was coming out of a dark, arduous stretch of life. It embodied the rockin’ elixir of optimism to me.

3. Boy George: Hare Krishna -

Love the music AND the video on this one. What a genius that gorgeous Boy is.

4. Tina Turner: Proud Mary -

A few years ago I found a Tina Turner wig at a consignment store around Halloween and had the most fun dressing up as her. I guess I’ll always be part-Tina forevermore. She’s a complete inspiration, musically and spiritually.

5. Grace Jones: Pull Up to the Bumper -

The ultimate musical genius-androgyne. There will NEVER be another Grace.

6. John Lennon: Instant Karma -

I adore the videos that John and Yoko made together. John singing while Yoko sits blindfolded knitting the next round of karma is just too brilliant for words.

7. Hedwig and the Angry Inch: Origin of Love -

I really consider the entire soundtrack and movie of Hedwig to be gender-bending, inspired madness about following your own truth. But this particular tune, based on Plato’s Allegory of the Cave about the nature of Love is one of my top favorite songs around. And the video itself is amazing.

8. Dr John: Right place, wrong time - 

LOVE this one. No funnier, funkier song out there about Divine Order and timing

9. Suzanne Vega and Lou Reed: Walk on the Wild Side -

I love remixes, the idea that two things can be tossed together to create a third, larger than them both. In a sense, that’s what happens in astrology every time you run a composite chart. Of course, like some astrological pairings, some remixes are a disaster, but others totally take wing. This particular one sent me to the stratosphere.

10. Nina Hagen: Kali Durge -

I could have probably posted twenty videos of Nina, the crazed German Mother of Punk Rock. Love her or hate her, everyone who knows of her has an opinion. My favorite song is Universal Radio but I couldn’t find a video. Meanwhile, her chants to the Hindu goddesses are exquisite.

11. Chaka Khan: Ain’t Nobody -

Actually there just Ain’t Nobody Around Like Chaka Khan. So she has to be here.

12. Matt world dance -

I love Matt and his unabashed, goofy, uplifting dancing all over the planet with anyone who comes his way. When someone first sent me this, I think I watched it 42 times in three days, weeping every time.

13. Adam Lambert: A Change is Gonna Come -

Adam is a rebel Aquarian musical god. How can someone be so Divinely fabulous and talented all at once?

14. Michael Jackson: Man in the Mirror -

Michael. Just cuz. Even when others try to do this song, no one can fully capture it.

15. Keb Mo: You Can Love Yourself - 

I have given this song to so many people who were dealing with heartbreak. Says it all. Just try and be sad once you hear it. Just try. Drop me an email if you can still pull it off.

16. Cyndi Lauper: Girls Just Want to Have Fun -

Love, love, love Cyndi’s unstoppable exuberance. I saw her a couple years ago at the Greek Theater in Berkeley with the B-52s. Talk about someone who knows that age is a complete and total illusion.

17. Annie Lennox and David Bowie: Under Pressure -

A duet made in androgyne heaven.

18. Earth Wind and Fire: Shining Star -

I remember first hearing this song in the 1970s when I was still a teen. I could feel the holy essence of Love that EWF was transmitting. I’ve adored them ever since, particularly this song which I figure has a secret astrological subtext.

19. Chaka Khan and Mary J Blige: Disrespectful -

Check out the astonishing vocal power of these two musical divas joining forces. And the message about knowing your own worthiness and inner love.

20. MC Yogi: Give Love -

One more beauty by MC Yogi. I don’t think he’s ever made a song I don’t love.

21. Starry Eyed Surprise

This is just one of those songs that always, always makes me happy and want to go dance all night.

22. KD Lang sings Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah

This has always been a favorite song anyway.  But once I found the video of KD singing this with her sublime voice in all her butch-glam seductive beauty, well…how could it not be included?

23. Ella Fitzgerald: On the Sunny side of the Street -

Just because Ella is Ella and no one else will ever be Ella. And it will invariably lift you out of any ‘mood’ if you let it.

24. RuPaul and Elton John -

Oh man, I just LOVE this one. I could probably write a PhD thesis on all the things I love about what happens when these two characters get together.

25. Betty Bowers -

The people behind Betty Bowers are hysterical geniuses who let homophobia dig its own sweet grave. Don’t miss this one. Then send it to anyone who still doesn’t support Marriage Equality. Love is love is love.

26.  Everliven Sound: Que Sera -

Spiritually uplifting hip hop, what a find. I was shocked see that only 160 hits were on their account. Unknown genius. “I put my faith in God and float with this alchemy, I put my faith in God and embrace what’s ahead of me." 

27. Dancing with Myself: The Donnas -

Viewed from the perspective of nondualism, when are we ever NOT dancing with ourselves? Don’t we just encounter the One, over and over? Not sure that was Billy Idol’s original meaning but…what the hell, that’s why I love this song.

28. It’s Raining Men, with Martha Wash and RuPaul -

Someone wrote in the YouTube comments, “I didn’t know Mother Nature was a drag queen.” But actually I already did. This is the one video I might go to first on a really, really bad day. How can you not become ecstatic? Soo incredibly campy and perfect in every way. And check out Martha’s voice. OMG!

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