March 30 2005
With a little help from my friends
here’s a concert of some tunes that show today’s music far from dead
By John Kaminski
how we gon' fight to keep freedom when we ain't got it?
you wanna stop terrorists?
start with the u.s. imperalists
ain't no track record like america's, see
bin laden was trained by the c.i.a
but I guess if you a terrorist for the u.s
then it's okay
Dead Prez, Know your enemy
(click download; it’ll play)
It took me awhile to find this free link, but here it is, kicking off a concert of free music you are not likely to hear on mainstream radio. After my recent remark that popular music is dead < http://www.uruknet.info/?p=10542 >, hundreds of musicians and music fans sent me their prime cuts — definitely conscious stuff. The point of most who wrote was that corporate media won’t play any of these songs, because they focus on humanity rather than profits, and see the fascist warmaking America we confront today with the searing vision of people craving love and peace and witnessing only needless death and destruction.
Music dead? I stand corrected, no question about it. Of course, we should all boycott Clear Channel’s lobotomized radio stations. The music is on the Internet. Dig it out and dig it.
So let’s just imagine we’re all hanging with our closest friends in a lovely grove with a bodacious sound system and plenty of good stuff to eat and drink. Kick back and listen to this inspiring array of funky passion from principled musicians who, like us, are very worried about the state of the world, and know how to sing about it.
Let’s start with a Grammy award winner ...
The revolution starts now
When you rise above your fear
And tear the walls around you down
The revolution starts here
Steve Earle, The Revolution Starts Now
(click the appropriate choice inside the link)
... then move on to a statement of the basic situation in the hearts of people everywhere ....
... what if you saw
All of the things that’s wrong
Would you stand tall and strong?
Or would you turn and walk away...
Paris, Sonic Jihad
Damn few artists have had the courage to say anything about 9/11. Check this out and see if your chest doesn’t tighten up ....
Take away our Play Stations and we are a Third World nation.
Under the thumb of some blueblood royal son
who stole the Oval Office in that phony election . . . .
3000 some poems disguised as people
on an almost too perfect day
should be more than pawns
in some asshole's passion play
so now it's your job
and it's my job
to make it that way
to make sure they didn't die in vain
— Ani Difranco, Self Evident
The wonderful folks who wrote me and tried to clue in this aging square (me) about what was both hip and worthwhile at this time in our history mentioned two artists more than any other: Steve Earle and David Rovics. First, here’s another one from Steve (and links to many other tunes by him).
Steve Earle, Rich Man’s War
And then from David plenty of reasons why people seek him out:
“After We Torture Our Prisoners”
“Operation Iraqi Liberation”
(seventh one down, click play)
A new one from one of the architects of the legendary band Pink Floyd ...
Roger Waters, “To kill the child”
Somewhere between salsa and swing, this checklist of American woes ...
1,000 Paper Cranes, Baghdad Suite
Now let’s get really bleak ...
Soylent Gringo, Let’s Start a War, Part 2
And from a popular West Coast peacenik ...
“We can bomb the world to pieces,
but we can’t bomb it into peace.”
Michael Franti and Spearhead, Bomb the World
Some country with clear vision ...
James McMurtry, We Can’t Make It Here Anymore
I defy you to classify this one ...
Iron Sheik, Neocon Lovesong
Has a little bit about 9/11 ...
Chumbawamba, Jacob’s Ladder (Not In My Name)
And this will make you laugh, no question ...
Uncle Harold & the Due Rights, Fascist Nation
And another response I received to my last essay saying I couldn’t find any good music was from T. C. Smythe.
You want the truth, but The Truth is Expensive (or, "Hey Asshole, Where's My Penny?")
In your article you're asking the choir to sing — well, we've been singing, but even the independent media won't play us. They won't come to the church. Then you have the temerity to call me an asshole and tell me to write a song. We didn't leave the American public — they left us.
The ugly truth is that it's the artists who *don't* need to get paid that can afford to publish the songs you are waiting for. Thousands of songwriters all over the country play these songs for free at political rallies, marches, protest events and open mics. Some of the songs are subtle, others more graphic, but they tell the truth. Trouble is, you'll never see us on tour or in concert venues because the truth doesn't sell beer or insurance. Night clubs won't hire us and we have no distribution outlet.
When we DO manage to get the nerve to write a really good one, we lose our jobs, friends, or the songs get pirated and sold behind our backs by the same folks who cry for it. How many unlicensed MP3s are on *your* hard drive? 10? 100? These recordings cost thousands of dollars to produce. Without a job or an avenue for income, how are we to continue? Writing/recording a good song takes practice, months of editing/re-writing and lots and lots of money. I still have to pay the rent, so this profession goes way beyond a hobby for me.
If you can come up with a viable method of helping us, we'd certainly appreciate it. Tell your friends if they can find the song, they can find the songwriter — send them the measley 1/15th of a cent they're supposed to get from downloads.
If you can produce one penny from the use of this song, you'll be way ahead of me. Even Dylan needed to eat. We are the solution — not the problem.
And for you thrash fans, check out ...
Sado Nation, Nuke Up Now
Here’s an obvious message phrased in a catchy way ....
And of course, the obligatory blast from the past, contemporized ...
Country Joe MacDonald, Support the Troops
And no decent concert today would omit perhaps the only mainstream artist who has managed to galvanize millions with a conscious message that actually has been played (if not frequently) on mainstream outlets ....
even though I didn’t like the ending, because voting didn’t do a damn bit of good. It never will as long as Republican criminals control the companies that count the votes
The mother lode of interesting antiwar songs is here ...
and here ...
Music Against the War
And lastly, but not leastly, my favorite of all the songs I received does not have a link. But ... you can hear it ....
Splitting the Sky, United
by writing John Boncore at ...
and he’ll send it you. Don’t miss it.
Thanks to all those musicians and music lovers who sent lyrics and poems. They were all very inspiring and if I can figure out a way to put them all together in a viable way, I will. But right now I have enough to make a book out of them. Hope you enjoy the music. Share it with your friends.
Normally, my listening fare is somewhere between Rachmaninoff and Debussy. But I must say, I’m becoming a real fan of Dead Prez, so let’s close this out with another pointed message.
The Coup (featuring Dead Prez), Get Up
(near the bottom of the list)
Wait, don’t go yet. One more thing. You know that video you’ve been wanting to watch, but haven’t been able to afford. Chances are good you can find it here.
John Kaminski - firstname.lastname@example.org
John Kaminski’s Internet essays can be seen on hundreds of websites around the world. They have been collected into two anthologies, the latest of which is titled “The Perfect Enemy,” about how the Zionist-controlled U.S. government created the terrorist group known as al-Qaeda. His booklet “The Day America Died: Why You Shouldn’t Believe the Official Story of What Happened on September 11, 2001” was written especially for those who cling to the government’s false explanation of the events of that tragic day. For more information go to http://www.johnkaminski.com/
John Kaminski is a writer who lives on the Gulf Coast of Florida. He is the author of two collections of essays, America's Autopsy Report and The Perfect Enemy, many of which have been published individually on hundreds of websites around the world. In addition, he has written The Day America Died: Why You Shouldn’t Believe the Official Story of What Happened on September 11, 2001, a 48-page booklet aimed at those who still believe the government’s highly questionable version of events. A second booklet, 9/11: The Manipulation of Reality, will be published before the end of 2004. For more information on John or to purchase these books, go to http://www.johnkaminski.com/