19 Dec 2017

Protest Platforms: In Age Of Streaming, Saga Believes Artists Should Have More Control

Protest Platforms is a three-part series examining what it means for music to protest today. Platforms have always helped to shape protest music. Independent artists, punk labels, and do-it-yourself (DIY) organizers have long suggested that the means through which music is created and distributed carries as much political weight as

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01 Nov 2017

Protest Platforms: Music Streaming Cooperative Restores Agency To Artists

In the first of a three-part series, Liz Pelly explores how platforms can shape music and enable protest. She highlights streaming cooperative, Resonate.

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18 Oct 2017

Interview: Free Jazz Quintet Irreversible Entanglements On Making Revolutionary Music

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

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Charles Bradley performs at SXSW 2011. Photo by Ben Houdijk on Flickr.
27 Sep 2017

The Protest Songs Of Charles Bradley

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.

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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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01 Jul 2017

Five Songs Of Resistance: The Protest Songs Of 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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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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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

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11 Apr 2017

Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Rican Beach’ by Hurray For The Riff Raff

Hurray for the Riff Raff’s latest album, “The Navigator,” is full of poignant ballads, but “Rican Beach” is the most galvanizing protest anthem.

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