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The Spin I’m In: Honky Talkin’


“NYC Peace March 4/19/06”
Rude Mechanical Orchestra

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The last peace rally I attended in LA had a group of co-ed cheerleaders doing anti-War cheers and formations. They were good and were the hit of the rally. Now I’ve heard some opinions that protest marches should be somber affairs. It kind of depends on what the march is about, but believe me, I’ve been to some real snooze fests that were completely uninspiring. You know me…”put it to a beat.”

But there are groups of funsters popping up all over the country and the world at rallies, festivals, parades and public spaces called Honkers . They’re loose horn and drum marching bands. They’re colorful, a little bit gypsy, little bit arty, and a little bit prankster. From

Every one of these bands has a unique sense of humor to complement their sound, as they mock and discredit the roots of hatred and injustice through the whimsical act of making music together. The result is a spectacle that is radical and subversive without being militant or sanctimonious.

Now I know that these bands aren’t as good as the street bands in New Orleans (duh), but that is obviously not the point here:

All of these bands are less than a decade old, born in reaction to the fatalism and indifference that has gripped the advanced industrialized democracies.


Well, the Honk bands are organizing and have even had their first national festival, (convention if you will) last year and are following up with another in October at Davis Square in Somerville, Mass.

There is a website with more info and a MySpace page with numerous Honk band links.

I’m off to Lollapalooza so I won’t be in comments, but the playlist this week consists of songs from bands that will play at Lolla. Enjoy.

Honky Talkin’ Music Playlist

Honky Talkin’ Video Playlist


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Donita Sparks

Donita Sparks

Donita Sparks is a singer/songwriter living in Los Angeles, CA. Her first solo record, Transmiticate, has been released nationwide and a US tour is booked for Spring and Summer 2008. Donita is also the co-founder and front person of the rock band L7 who have released six studio albums.

Her original scores can be heard in the upcoming feature film The Life of Reilly starring Charles Nelson Reilly and in online projects for Activision and Microsoft. In 1991 Sparks and L7 formed Rock For Choice with the Feminist Majority Foundation staging numerous concerts benefiting pro-choice organizations.
Donita has been a contributing writer at Firedoglake since July 2006 with her music column The Spin I’m In.