22 Aug 2017

Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Fracking Up The Planet’ By Buck Gooter

The duo, Buck Gooter, from Harrisonburg, Virginia, play raw, throbbing experimental rock that is alternatively brutal and bluesy. Drawing from aggressive noise, elemental post-punk, and narrative story-songs, Billy Brett and Terry Turtle make music that is oppositional through its disregard for sonic convention as well as its direct confrontation of

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08 Aug 2017

Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Blood Money’ By Protoje

The Jamaican musician Protoje released his most recent single “Blood Money” in February, and in July, he followed it up with a gripping video, illustrating government corruption, economic inequality, and social injustice in his home country. Protoje emphasizes the way the drug business and money laundering shapes life and culture,

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31 Jul 2017

Five Songs Of Resistance: Guy Picciotto

Downtown Boys release their second album, “Cost of Living,” on August 11. It was produced by Guy Picciotto of Fugazi, Rites of Spring, and other projects. Last year, Rolling Stone called Downtown Boys “America’s most exciting punk band,” and with help from Picciotto, their music has only grown more taught

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25 Jul 2017

Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Brave As A Pigeon’ By Country For Syria

Throughout 2017, the Istanbul-based country music collective Country For Syria has released tracks from its forthcoming full-length, one-by-one, via Bandcamp. The band’s members are American, Syrian, Turkish, Czech, French, and Iranian. They draw from both American country music and Arabic folk sounds. In the same song, they’ll shift from riffing

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04 Jul 2017

Protest Song Of The Week: ‘We Won’t Go Back’ By Love Always

Benefit compilations are a longstanding medium through which artists support social movements, so it makes sense that in 2017 we have seen a lot of them. One of my favorites has been Battle Hymns, compiled by members of band Quasi, an urgent collection of explicitly political songwriting. Battle Hymns is

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01 Jul 2017

Five Songs Of Resistance: Joan Baez

In April, the legendary Joan Baez was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, making this year as apt a time as ever to celebrate her decades of music and social justice work. Since the late 1950s, Baez has released over 30 albums in six languages, often using

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06 Jun 2017

Protest Song Of The Week: ‘What Is This Hell​?​’ by HARAM

Haram is a New York City hardcore band whose debut EP شو بتشوف؟ (“What Do You See​?​”) was released in 2016 by the underground punk label Toxic State. The band’s vocalist is Nader Haram, a Muslim American from Yonkers, NY whose family moved to New York in the 80s to

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31 May 2017

Five Songs Of Resistance: Nina Simone

“Give me my equality,” sang the genius Nina Simone in 1963, looking racist America straight in the eye. Singer, songwriter, pianist, and activist, Simone’s work was radical and revolutionary. Musically, Simone was brilliantly innovative, drawing from her classical piano training, her experiences working in jazz clubs, as well as blues,

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16 May 2017

Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Know Your Rights’ by Material Support

Under the Patriot Act, U.S. Code Title 18, section 2339A, is an anti-terrorism law criminalizing providing “material support” to terrorists, defining that term with a long list of services and resources. I learned this from reading the Facebook page of the Queens, NY hardcore band Material Support. After forming in

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01 May 2017

Protest Song Of The Week: ‘The Man Who Killed Reality’

In 1981, Xeth “Xerox” Feinberg was concerned with the “prefab messiahs” who had long infiltrated the American psyche: Ronald McDonald, the Pillsbury Doughboy, and other “friendly faces of corporate fascism.” Channeling his feelings about these figures, he decided to start a short-lived post-punk band. “Talentless guitarist and drummer seeking bassist

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