Frank Waln is a hip-hop artist, producer, activist, and storyteller. He is a keeper of oral traditions whose work interrogates history and colonialism. It preserves the legacies of his Sicangu Lakota ancestors and his own experiences growing up on the Rosebud Reservation. Around this time last year, Waln released his
Lauren Denitzio has long been a master of lived-in, personal-political songwriting. With Worriers, Denitzio creates melodic punk songs that weave stories and lessons out of hard-fought feminist wisdom. The stories are sometimes told through wordy, double-time sweet-sung verse, sometimes with a gruff deadpan that sounds weary but never cynical. Worriers
In the first of a three-part series, Liz Pelly explores how platforms can shape music and enable protest. She highlights streaming cooperative, Resonate.
The free jazz quintet Irreversible Entanglements released its first eponymous album last month. Recorded over one six-hour studio session in August 2015, the 43-minute album is made of largely improvised instrumentation and Camae Ayewa’s radical poetry on Black trauma, survival, and power. It is the product of five musicians meeting for the
The NFL commissioner and owners of NFL teams are moving at this hour to restrict and clamp down on football players, who are predominantly black, so they do not protest during the national anthem. This is happening as former coaches like Mike Ditka babble on about not knowing of any
From 2013 until when they disbanded earlier this month, the Washington, D.C., group, Pure Disgust, emerged as one of the city’s best punk bands. They used blistering eighties-style hardcore to write songs about police violence, respectability politics, and the realities of being young and black in America. “When will brown
Singer and songwriter Tom Petty penned a quadruplet of songs on corporate consolidation, the greed of music industry executives, and its impact on artists and fans. Of the four, “The Last DJ” is the most enduring but each song had quite a bit of edge. Recorded in 2002, in the
The protest music of the late Charles Bradley explored moral corruption and turning to love to survive, because who knows when change will finally come.
A live version of Material Support’s powerful “Know Your Rights,” was featured earlier this year. Its resonant refrain is equal parts punk song, protest anthem, and literal know-your-rights training. The song by the Queens, New York band offers advice on what to do if the cops show up: “Do you
Joey La Neve DeFrancesco is a guitarist for Downtown Boys, the Providence group whose recent full-length Cost Of Living received widespread critical acclaim. The group was called “the most exciting punk band in America” and described as “rewriting the rules of punk rock.” Under the radar, earlier this year, DeFrancesco