Occupy This Album, Occupy This Blog
Music for Occupy - Music with a Mission
Sometimes we're asked, so what exactly drives you Thrasher?
Why have you been keepin' on the bloggin' for 15 years? Even as the power goes out?
Well -- in the parlance of our times -- it's complicated.
So let us answer it this way... by deflecting the question over to the upcoming release of "Occupy This Album" by Music for Occupy - Music with a Mission which is a group of musicians and music professionals who wish to give as much as they can to the movement.
The group is composed of:
Crosby and Nash
The Guthrie Family
Tao Rodriguez Seeger
Yo La Tengo
Toots And The Maytals
Third Eye Blind
& many, many others
Last month, Crosby & Nash performed live at Occupy Wall Street. Their 20 minute set included “They Want It All” off of their double album Crosby & Nash, which was released in 2004; “Military Madness,” a song Graham Nash recorded for his solo album Songs for Beginners, which was released in 1971; “Long Time Gone,” a song written by David Crosby for the album Crosby, Stills & Nash, which was released in 1969 and was performed at Woodstock; and “Teach Your Children,” a song written by Graham Nash that first appeared on the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young album Deja Vu in 1970.
Yesterday, singer/songwriter Jackson Browne and the band Dawes played a six song set at Occupy Wall Street.
Browne did an acoustic “Casino Nation” with the lyrics:
In the fabled crucible of the free world
Gleaming faces in the checkout counter of the Church of Fame
The lucky winners cheer Casino Nation
All those not on TV only have themselves to blame
And don’t quite seem to understand
The way the hammer shapes the hand."
The lyrics seemed to capture the spirit of what #OWS is all about.
Here's Jackson Browne on OWS on Keith Olbermann show last night. A tremendously important perspective on why #OWS matters.
Which brings us back to the question posed at the top. Why blog?
Well, this seems to say it better than we ever could.
From Firedoglake | The Dissenter by Kevin Gosztola:
Music is essential to keeping this movement alive.
It won’t be sustained if the movement isn’t tapping into culture. I don’t mean popular culture or counterculture. I don’t necessarily even mean the kind of culture that Jackson Browne or Crosby & Nash because that culture reminds people of a time in the 60s, 70s or even 80s.
I simply mean that the occupations should be regularly inviting musicians, entertainers, comics and artists to perform or display their art at the camps or in locations where they are occupying so that they can project the idealistic vision of the movement, which is to bring about a world with more democracy and economic equality and justice for all.
That is why the Friday and Saturday action, Occupy Broadway, is so significant. Parallel to rampant corruption on Wall Street and growing influence of money in politics has been the commodification of art and culture. And that has meant more and more socially conscious art and culture is turned down by producers when artists want to create something powerful.
Song, dance and even street theater provide a shell that can preserve what this movement is about and make it about much more than stopping police or cities from arresting occupiers for wanting to have encampments in public spaces. It can be the soul that makes the movement even more powerful to humanity than the First Amendment rights the movement cites to justify not packing up and going home.
Also, more on freedom, music and occupations:
- #OccupyWallStreet 2011 and Kent State Ohio 1970: Is This Really Deja Vu?
- Neil Young Ohio Lyric Analysis
- Crosby & Nash: Live at Occupy Wall Street
- The Truth About The Kent State Massacre
- Tin Soldiers & Mayor Bloomberg Coming
- Occupy: From 1970 to 2011
- American Dream: How could something so good, go bad, so fast?
- American Dream: From 1988 To 2011
- The Answer is Blowin' in the Wind My Friends
- Ohio and Freedom