Mike Herz – Not Too Late
But when the buffalo went away the hearts of my people fell to the ground, and they could not lift them up again. After this nothing happened. — Plenty Coups, Crow Chief, in Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation by Jonathan Lear
It has been suggested to me… that with respect to climate change, we are the Crow. — John Lippitt in Kierkegaard, Silence and Radical Hope
As our planet seemingly teeters on the brink of an environmental chasm, professional philosophers have taken up the happy – for them – task of speculating on the substance of our post-apocalyptic society. Will we become as the Crow tribe, existing but not existing, our cultural context so altered as to make Life unrecognizable? Will we become, as Matt Ossias muses, like the Rostock tick that lived eighteen years without nourishment, experiencing ‘a still life that is in some sense still life?’
As someone who has seen our world teetering on one brink or another for more moons than I care to reveal, and who has heard or read a succession of ten presidents declared the worst president in history (I’ve been on the earth for twelve but remember only the death of the second), I tend to think that things are never as bad as they seem. Someday, no doubt, I will be proved wrong. But today I am Monty Python’s Black Knight, declaring ‘Tis but a scratch!’ as I gaze upon my once-attached arms and legs.
With ‘Not Too Late,’ Mike Herz maintains that there is still time to change – change our attitude, our commuting route, the fate of our planet – or at least to grasp the protruding limb often occupied by Sergeant Snorkel. Until then, the sun is rising and it’s very pretty; we might as well enjoy the view even if the star’s goal is the cataclysmic cooking of our collective goose.
I might as well look on the bright side
Settle in tight for the long ride
There is no one left to blame
Cutting my ties with these white lies
Keep an eye out for the sunrise
It is not too late to change
‘Not Too late’ is a slow burner, carried by the keyboards – the piano channeling the spirit of Chuck Leavell – as the guitars provide the backdrop behind the stage. Listen for the alliteration and partial rhymes within the lines that alter lyrics into poetry.
‘Not Too Late’ appears on Mike Herz’s latest album, Bright Side. We’ve had the pleasure of following Mike’s musical ascent for six years now, having featured his first album, Overgrown, in 2013. Back then he was a pretty good folkie, armed with an acoustic guitar and a notebook full of potential.
Today we find that Mike Herz has – like Bob Dylan – transformed himself into a regular rocker, playing with a full band. Every aspect of his game – songwriting, arranging, guitar playing, singing – has advanced. I plan on enjoying the next six years of Mike Herz, even if I have to take my shirt off and lather on some sunscreen.