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

0
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

0
13 Jun 2017

Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Glory’ By Rhymefest Featuring Billy Branch

Rhymefest co-wrote the Oscar-winning “Glory,” with Common and John Legend. The song appeared in “Selma,” and at the 2017 Chicago Bluesfest, Rhymefest was joined by blues harmonica legend Billy Branch for a performance that transformed the song into a 12-minute jam. The presence of Rhymefest at the Chicago Bluesfest was

0
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

0
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,

0
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

0
08 May 2017

Protest Song Of The Week: ‘America Has Never Been So Great’

Singer-songwriter David Rovics has written songs and produced several albums in the past twenty years. He is an impressively prolific independent artist constantly churning out protest songs inspired by current events. On May 1, Rovics released Punk Baroque, which consists of songs from 2016. It is his first album to

0
05 May 2017

The Pentecostal Blues Of Reverend Sekou’s Intimate And Personal New Album

Reverend Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou has returned with a more intimate and personal follow-up to the movement album, “The Revolution Has Come,” which was released in 2016. As Sekou described in an interview, “In Times Like These,” has “everything to do with the material conditions that produced the Ferguson uprising, but

0
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

0
25 Apr 2017

Protest Song Of The Week: ‘My Land’ By Litefoot

The United States is a settler colony with few connections to the land both historically and culturally. President Donald Trump is a Frankenstein creation of a settler colonial society. His administration is what a country gets for slaughtering indigenous Americans, pushing them to the margins, and systematically abusing them and

0