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Opinions please: Protest Singers

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GUEST 14 Sep 19 - 05:14 PM
Acorn4 12 Sep 19 - 05:24 PM
GUEST,Margaret 12 Sep 19 - 04:09 PM
Azizi 06 May 09 - 05:30 PM
Azizi 06 May 09 - 05:22 PM
Azizi 06 May 09 - 05:17 PM
freda underhill 21 Jan 04 - 11:21 AM
saulgoldie 15 Jan 04 - 01:01 PM
Sandina 14 Jan 04 - 04:48 AM
Bobjack 14 Jan 04 - 03:23 AM
andymac 14 Jan 04 - 02:21 AM
GUEST,Sandy Andina 14 Jan 04 - 12:49 AM
GUEST,Observer 13 Jan 04 - 02:08 AM
dianavan 10 Jan 04 - 02:19 AM
GUEST,Cliff McGann 09 Jan 04 - 04:12 PM
Nemesis 09 Jan 04 - 03:11 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Jan 04 - 02:31 PM
GUEST,ella 09 Jan 04 - 01:32 PM
GUEST 09 Jan 04 - 11:42 AM
Clean Supper 09 Jan 04 - 07:52 AM
dianavan 09 Jan 04 - 02:09 AM
GUEST,heric 05 Jan 04 - 12:06 PM
GUEST,heric 05 Jan 04 - 11:54 AM
GUEST,The Benn Agency 05 Jan 04 - 11:29 AM
Barry Finn 05 Jan 04 - 11:21 AM
Barry Finn 05 Jan 04 - 10:12 AM
GUEST,The 05 Jan 04 - 08:03 AM
Kent Davis 05 Jan 04 - 12:50 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 04 Jan 04 - 11:51 PM
InOBU 04 Jan 04 - 10:21 PM
pdq 04 Jan 04 - 09:54 PM
Peter Woodruff 04 Jan 04 - 08:29 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 04 Jan 04 - 08:03 PM
Ed. 04 Jan 04 - 07:40 PM
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WFDU - Ron Olesko 04 Jan 04 - 06:59 PM
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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Sep 19 - 05:14 PM

Protest songs are alive and well...just not on the Media.

A song CAN change the world. It can solidify a movement such as We Shall Overcome or
it can be a tune that can win a war....Yankee Doodle.

Songs can clarify political ideas, mobilize people, work as a campaign song, or take down
offensive political figures or authoritarians. That's why Pinochet killed Victor Jara. His songs
were too powerful. That's why Pete Seeger was blacklisted for so long.

That's why Woody Guthrie is known today. He brought attention to the plight of the migratory worker.

Paul Robeson was a concert protest singer and was considered anathema by reactionaries.

The songs will always be written because social change is inevitable. Not in some of our
lifetimes but they will go on for the future.

"If I had a song, I'd sing it in the morning."


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Acorn4
Date: 12 Sep 19 - 05:24 PM

As it's an old thread revisited seems appropriate to mention Grace Petrie from Leicester who has established quite a reputation as a writer since the last surfacing on this thread.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: GUEST,Margaret
Date: 12 Sep 19 - 04:09 PM

Old thread, but I'm astonished that nobody mentioned Malvina Reynolds, surely one of the world's most prolific political songwriters! Can it really be that folk here are all so young that they don't at least remember "Little Boxes"? :-)


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Azizi
Date: 06 May 09 - 05:30 PM

Let me rephrase what I wrote:

But then I realized that by its name the subject of that thread was limited to a discussion about why there was little if any protest singing by folks who participate in African American protest marches and rallies.

-snip-

That is still a poorly written sentence since I wanted to convey that non-African Americans can and do participate in "African American" protest marches and rallies. But I think it's an improvement over my previous one .


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Azizi
Date: 06 May 09 - 05:22 PM

There are a number of YouTube videos of Oubao Moin.

Here's a link to one that is sung and played by an acoustic guitarist:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyNRM0fZbhA&feature=related
Roy Brown - Oubao Moin


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Azizi
Date: 06 May 09 - 05:17 PM

I just read a dailykos diary about Six Puerto Ricans artists and musicians who support Puerto Rico's sovereignty interrupted the U.S. congress today singing 'Oubao Moin' (a patriotic Puerto Rican [sic] folk song, carrying.with signs that read '111 years of Colony'' ''It's a shame: End the colony" and carrying the national flag of Puerto Rico.

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/5/6/728539/-Puerto-Ricans-disrupt-U.S.-Congress-session

Puerto Ricans disrupt U.S. Congress session
by parsley44   
Wed May 06, 2009 at 01:39:35 PM PDT

**

I was going to post this to this thread African American Protest Slogans & Songs which includes some interesting opinions as to why there appears to be so little (if any) protest singing by demonstrators at rallies and marches. But then I realized that by its name the subject of that thread was limited to African Americans. I then went looking for more appropriate thread on this topic and found this one.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: freda underhill
Date: 21 Jan 04 - 11:21 AM

check this out - paul is one of our great young hopes in oz

//paulspencer.4t.com/


and lives the life

freda


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: saulgoldie
Date: 15 Jan 04 - 01:01 PM

Don't know if I am repeating; I read too slowly to puruse the whole thread. But I just heard a wonderful young woman last night named Kathy Moser who is from New Jersey. See her here:

http://www.wingsoverwater.net/

(I hope the blicky worked.) In her show she ranted about almost every evil on my list and some I hadn't thought of much lately (feeling as I do so dismally defeated on almost everything that matters I have felt, like why bother?). Add her to the list. Couldn't think of replicating her songs though, cause she plays, like complicated--tunings and fingerings and the like.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Sandina
Date: 14 Jan 04 - 04:48 AM

Whoops.....meant Pete MORTON, not Norman......guess it's a sign that I'm up past my bedtime


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Bobjack
Date: 14 Jan 04 - 03:23 AM

Protest singers, hmmmmmmmmm don't think osama's quaking in his boots because people may sing at him do you?


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: andymac
Date: 14 Jan 04 - 02:21 AM

Uk protest singers? Can't comment too much on the scene in other areas but certainly Glasgow still has some people singing out in protest.
How about Alastair Hulett? Check out both his "Red Clydeside" and "Sleepy Scotland" CDs for more info.

I noticed mention of the anti-war protests that took place last year. My wife's choir, the Eurydice Choir, took part and marched all the way from Glasgow Green to the SECC singing many of the protest songs mentioned previously. I was heartened to see so many young faces in the crowd that day, lots of whom were coming over to listen in and join in with the singing.

As for other protests and singers, there was also the Govanhill Pool campaign which was trying to prevent the (labour!) council from closing down the local swimming pool. A CD of protest songs appeared as a result of that. Other individuals such as John Mcreadie, Ian Davidson and Kenny Caird locally continue to write and sing songs of protest and struggle.

I still actively hunt out and sing protest songs as I feel they still have a resonance and relevancy today (le plus ca change?)

Whilst there may not be as much protest singing taking place as before, I would caution against being over nostalgic about just how active and politicised people were in the past. As has already been asked, just how did Nixon get elected if everyone was "protesting"?

Andymac


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: GUEST,Sandy Andina
Date: 14 Jan 04 - 12:49 AM

Well, I may not be famous but I'm sure getting a lot of mileage out of current events. Dr. Demento played my "Because We Can" last week; he also has my little ode to Bush called "The Shrub" (as does www.radioleft.com) and my Enron/recession ditty "Kenny Boy/www.bankrupt.com." You can go to Radio Left or drdemento.com and request any or all of 'em; and you can download a version of "Because We Can" and my serious antiwar song "We Belong to the World" at my website www.sandyandina.com (click the link that takes you to my downloads sites). Leela and Ellie Grace have a marvelous antiwar song called "Not In My Name;" and Pete Norman is fast becoming one of the social consciences of modern folk music. Finally, for those of you going to Folk Alliance 2004, I urge you to check out the Insurgent Folk showcases---all protest, all the time!


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 02:08 AM

I don't think your family did any of those things for Clinton Hammond Dianavan. Clinton's a Canuck by birth, and he lives there still.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: dianavan
Date: 10 Jan 04 - 02:19 AM

I am so happy to hear your thoughts. The torch has been passed but the folks are still around.

All that we can and should do will be done by each of you personally. Some of you are talented enough to write songs about it. Some will write poems. Some will sing and dance. Others will e-mail.

Ethical consumerism? I started by boycotting Safeway in the 60's when they tore down housing for the elderly and built a new supermarket. I've never shopped there since.

Buy organic food. Do not buy poisoned or genetically altered food.
Do not buy shoes or clothing made in sweatshops by child labourers. Ride public transit. Refuse to eat beef from feedlots. I'm sure you can add many more tips on ethical conduct but...

Can you sing about it?


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: GUEST,Cliff McGann
Date: 09 Jan 04 - 04:12 PM

There's lots of Anti-Governement stuff out there especially outside the "folk world". I have an MA in folklore but love hip-hop and quite a bit of anti-government stuff is popping up in hip-hop today. Michael Frente and Sweat Shop Union are two of my present faves. Frente is popular in France which might tell you how anti-US hsi message is. Taleb Kwali is another great rapper as well. Its all folk music to me.

Cliff


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Nemesis
Date: 09 Jan 04 - 03:11 PM

This is a very interesting thread .. I'm just completing a 30 minute radio programme on the history of the protest song .. with much plagiarisation of Chuwumba Wumba "English Rebel Songs" and the like :)

The points about Rap .. of course it dominates mainstream music culture .. but you can't sing it!

A quick spin through some research I did came up with
Sting .. John Tams .. Coope, Boyes and Simpson, Tom Robinson, (Steve Knightley) Show of Hands, Martyn Joseph, Rikki Lee Jones "Ugly Man"
Chuwumbawumba of course .. although what is a protest song? An anthem for marching? (then none of those mentioned would fit .. poss some of Tams?)

I believe many people are writing protesting lyrics but these aren't the same as the songs one would hear chanted, sung on a protest.

And certainly, I believe young people are becoming more politicised - "what Tony Blair has succeeded in doing is politicising an entire generation of young people", one local 14 year old anti-war protester outside school - just before the Police came and arrested the students with the school's collusion.

What they are not interested in (I think) is mainstream politics (aside from major issues like the Iraqi war) .. they are fighting globalisation, multi-corporations, environmental, fair trade issues -

Certainly, within 2 years in our town there has been an unprecedented explosion of protest groups: activist environmental protests/ anti-road campaigners/ anti-racism/ anti-war/ anti-vivesection/ rock against racism / rock against the war .. of young people .. what they are doing is writing their own protest agenda. Perhaps, we just don't recognise it yet?


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Jan 04 - 02:31 PM

Songs can on occasion become important for a movement - "We Shall Overcome" is the classic case. It helped people in a very direct way when they were involved in direct confrontations with authioriy which needed confronting.

But most of the time songs that get saddled with the name "protest songs" aren't doing that at all. What they can achieve is get people to think for themselves and talk to each other, and that might lead them on to doing things together, and that's a movement. A quiet process often enough, and quiet songs can often do it.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: GUEST,ella
Date: 09 Jan 04 - 01:32 PM

Guest..I didn't know a campaign was being co-ordinated re ethical shopping either. But it is very easy to support the Fairtrade principle. Some of the big name supermarkets do stock a wide range of their produce, and it is easy to substitute some of your weekly basics for those offered by Fairtrade instead. We have been doing this with tea, coffee, fruits and chocolate for a couple of years at least.
It obviously all adds up, and maybe one day will make the big producers rethink their practices.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Jan 04 - 11:42 AM

Kendall, Everyone,

I'm really pleased someone started this thread. Not only has it been thought provoking, but it has been strangely comforting to find there are others with the same concerns as myself.

Looking back I don't think that the songs themselves actually changed anything. They were allied with, and used by, National Movements for political and social change that today would seem impossible. The songs were a way of making people aware of what was going on, and often (perhaps still are) a way of conveying what a singer or song writer felt about something.   When a listener is able to identify with and feel empathy for this feeling, then the song becomes an extremely powerful means of communication.

There have been several references to Michael Moore.   Moore has obviously tapped into a huge well-spring of disquiet over what is happening. not only in the US but world wide. On this basis alone it seems to me that there is already a world wide 'protest movement' that might at any moment be galvanised over an issue, particularly as today we also have the Internet.   By this means a good song could reach a worldwide audience almost immediately, and be picked up by a huge number of individual singers. It just needs that catalyst.

Perhaps too we should expect methods of protest to change. Tucked away on the BBC website is a story that "Boycotts by ethical shoppers cost big brands at least £2.6bn" I find this interesting particularly as I was not aware of anybody co-ordinating such a campaign for ethical shopping

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3299575.stm

Naturally as a 'late boomer' and veteran of various sit-ins and marches, the thought immediately struck me that if this were extended to any multi-national corporation that was seen to be supporting a particular politician or party then they could be vulnerable across the world. Much in the way that South African goods were boycotted during the Apartheid Era.   

Tell me the name of a company that supports Bush or funds his party, and I will be delighted to boycott their products on this side of the pond. I'll also be happy to write to the shop and tell them why I won't be shopping at their premises any more. Anyone care to join me?    Turn that £2.6bn into £260bn and the buggers will soon start to sweat.

Kendall, in answer to your question I think there's still plenty to protest about, and from the responses you've prompted here, there seem to be a fair few of us that are prepared to protest more than we do. Maybe we just need to update the ways we do it! Maybe the songs too have a diffrerent role   

SM


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Clean Supper
Date: 09 Jan 04 - 07:52 AM

There´s a singer from Melbourne called Penelope Swales and her songs are about blatantly political stuff but very few of them are specifying the message. Not all of her stuff is original but she sings an attitude to life and one that is divergent from the official line, which, to me, is protest singing.

Two young American protest singers come to mind and I hope I can remeber their names now:

Dana Lyons - he writes and sings very clearly message giving songs, some of them protesting and some messages of hope or values in general. I like his music.

Casey Neil - he wrote "We´re dancing on the ruins of multinational corporations" and other songs of a kind of "punk-attitude, folk-sound". I don´t know if he wrote it, it kind of sounds older than him but he sings Hurrah for the Riff-raff.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: dianavan
Date: 09 Jan 04 - 02:09 AM

hmmm - protest songs never made a difference Clinton? I beg to differ! The U.S. no longer drafts young men. Birth control is now widespread and abortion is available. Women have careers.
single mothers are not sinners. Segregation is against the law. Not bad for one generation!

Perhaps the messages have changed. Maybe we need songs for the environment. Maybe we need music for veiled women. Maybe we need a voice to cry for starving children, aids victims and endangered animals.

As a Canadian (born in the U.S.A) I am amazed that you give Bush so much power. Fingerprinting the innocent? Racial profiling? Please grab a brain! I thought my family participated in three generations of war so that you could be free! That means personal freedom and privacy too! "You don't know what you've got til its gone"

At least the rappers express their anger and hostility thats been born of a culture of opposition. Whats left of the U.S. is appalling. You have to have a critical consciousness to be able to protest. Unfortunately, the uneducated masses are only too happy to buy the biscuit and content themselves with a commercial world.

Maybe if we all take a week off work and do nothing but sing and dance, the politicians will get the message. They have no power but that which we give them. Maybe its time to take it back.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: GUEST,heric
Date: 05 Jan 04 - 12:06 PM

Neil Young, by the way, has an entire tour going strong and just extended based entirely on protesting the war. It is themed on a young girl coming of age, with us old folks encouraging her onwards in the save-the-trees vein, while accepting their lack of control on those choices.

I guess we can't really get too angry at the young'ns for failing to appreciate what we're sending their way.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: GUEST,heric
Date: 05 Jan 04 - 11:54 AM

You know it just occurred to me: Whether the kids are properly focused on "the correct" issues is perhaps none of our business. Whether they "get" it is much less important than whether we have sold out or failed on the issues enumerated by Barry, above, or whatever else we personally deem important. The kids' business (now that they're of contracting age and setting the tone in media and elswhere) is theirs, as is their music (which we're not supposed to get). Our business stays the same: building a world for them to do their business in, and it looks like we are messing up in the US at least, with wealth disparity being what it is and trending as it is.

durrned kids


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: GUEST,The Benn Agency
Date: 05 Jan 04 - 11:29 AM

Barry,
      I repeat. Log on to Michael Moore. He has detailed in no uncertain terms much of what you are concerned about and proposes some solutions


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Barry Finn
Date: 05 Jan 04 - 11:21 AM

sorry hit the submit button insteaad of correcting my spelling of Today there's no 'organization' that has brought together the leadership of the groups trying to make a difference. The scope of what's gone sour in this country IMHO dwarfs the 60's so much it's an aaalmost impossible job. We don't know what we're eating & if it's healthy or not unless you grow it or you raise it. Globle warming is a greater threat than most want to know about, mass extinction gets not even a single note, the ongoing killing of the land, sea & skies is looked at as the the price we have to pay for profitt. The Secrets of our shadow government, it's tight grip on the media, it's use of fear to erode our rights, the violations of human & civil rights, it's arrogant disregard for the UN, other governments, the invasion of nations under the pretext of fear & protection & the seemingly conquest for world domination seems to make singing & writing protest songs a task that's has no starting or ending point, a daunting but not impossible job. Until we can join hands together in protest (divide & conquer) & John Q Public starts to question authority instead of swallowing the spoonfed shit he's been eating for yrs now, until we find our leadership instead of our followship we will have no effective voice in music or in protest even if the singer is singing the sound will be muffled before it gets heard. Quite cynical, yes. Are we as bad off as it's looks, worst? Are we gonna try to change things for the better, maybe? Are we waiting for the country to right it's own wrongs, probably? Will we be satisfied with using only our vote as our only means of making change, I hope not? When the songs & the protesters voices get to be heard in strength above the battle maybe then we can co-exist with the world we live in. Since the 60's we've somehow managed to lose all that we had gained & more. We've lost the wars against crime, drugs, health care, education, poverty, homelessness, discrimination of all kinds, unemployment & we've lost our collective voices.

Barry


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Barry Finn
Date: 05 Jan 04 - 10:12 AM

Nice Tread Kendall

There are protest singers/songwriters about but you aren't about to hear much from them. Mass media has condemed them to the scattered winds, the government buries the protester before the voice can be heard or gets to loud. The spin on what to fear is so hyped that only half a yr ago John Q Public would've lynched the protest singer. The 60's wasn't all about "trust no one over 30" it was more like "question authority" rather than today's "what's my priority".
The war & the civil rights movement had a galvanizing effect on the protest movement. It brought the Weathermen, the Black Panthers, the SDS, the Diggers, the young & old (my father marched baring his WWII Purple Heart & my sister & I walked beside him), the draft dodging org. in many cases the religious groups, it brought together the likes of Martin Luthher King, the Bergin Brothers, Abbey Hoffman, Huey Newton, Rap Brown, it crossed the color barrier, the generation gap, the Canadian border, musical styles, it crossed the country in buses & trains from the White House Plaza to Selma, Alabama, to East LA. The protests were of a size that couldn't be ignored & the riots couldn't be contained by the government. At all these places the speaker & the singer rallied around the different causes. Today there's no orginazition


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: GUEST,The
Date: 05 Jan 04 - 08:03 AM

Happy New Year to all our US "catters".
If you wish to hear the epitome of protest songs then you should get your very own Michael Moore and Ralph Nader to become song writers.
I doubt you could find a better catalogue of justifiable causes.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Kent Davis
Date: 05 Jan 04 - 12:50 AM

I am no fan of Country music, but if it's protest songs you want, you'll find plenty on the Country charts:
"The Last Fallen Hero" Charlie Daniels Band
"Uneasy Rider '88"       "       "      "
"America Will Survive" Hank Williams, Jr.
"American Soldier" Toby Keith
"Red, White, and Blue" Lynyrd Skynyrd
"The Great Defenders" Lee Greenwood
Of course, they aren't protesting what you want them to protest, but they ARE protesting.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 11:51 PM

I have to disagree with you Larry about the protest music scene in the U.S. being absolutely anemic. You are right that there are a handful of stations playing "protest" music that you refer to, but I honestly think it has less to do with content and more to do with style. I have not been pressured as to the content of the material that I play on non-commercial radio.   The fact that folk music is not a commercial style effects the number of stations where it can be played.   Back in the days when it was in vogue, FM radio was still in it's infancy in terms of the number of people who were able to listen in. AM radio ruled the roost, and Phil Ochs was not getting his protest songs played on WABC-AM.

You are probably right in the fact that Phil Ochs would probably be unsigned today, but then again most of the artists we are discussing are unsigned. Major record labels are not signing "folk" artists. However, rap music artists DO get signed by major labels and they DO get played on the radio. Granted the majority of Mudcat crowd does not listen to this music (myself included), but to dismiss their "protest" and then continue to complain about the lack of protest seems like we are trying to make the results fit our preconceived notions.

When you say that the "capitolist" media chooses our spokespeople, I would ask when this was not the case.   It is less of the media choosing the spokespeople but rather a case of spokespeople knowing how to use the media. That may be the issue today, we don't know how to make our voices heard.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: InOBU
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 10:21 PM

"Never trust anybody over 30", Larry? As a matter of fact, as a traditional musician, I didn't buy that when I was 16, or today. Pete Segar was an old guy well over 30 when he was being played by those of us who were also listening to Phil Oachs, when HE was under 30. Fact is, we have a funny sort of youth culture today, as well as a culture that allows the capitolist media choose who our spokespeople are. Steve Suffitt and Joel Landy can attest to the fact that at the last rally at which we were asked to sing, all the signed bands sang to the crowd, the sound system was turned off and then it was our turn. If Phil Oachs were alive and starting out today, I predict he would be unsigned and listened to by the likes of Steve, Joel, Janis and I, and played by Rick and WBAI... the protest music scene in the US is absoultly anemic, there is active ecconomic censorship of American music, as is witnessed by the number of stations banning music during this crime refered to as a war by the ciminals in office.
Cheers
Larry
PS I know today voices of annoyence are not in vogue, but ... well, so what.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: pdq
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 09:54 PM

Thank you, GUEST of 6:37 for stepping outside the (Cat) box. Most of us do not listen to "urban" of any type. Most of us are not able to give a example of current protest material.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Peter Woodruff
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 08:29 PM

That's right Ron!

Peter


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 08:03 PM

Unless I have some sort of head trauma I doubt I will ever join a militia.   

Again, it points to the beauty of Guthrie's work.   Those issues have been with us for eons.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Ed.
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 07:40 PM

You do go to (I assume) a select number of places though, McGrath?

Most young people today (in the Western world) have nothing to protest against. Life for them is pretty easy. They're not scared stiff that aguements between capitalism or communism and the resultant 'bomb' are about to destroy them...


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 07:33 PM

There's no shortage of people writing good songs which say something about the world we live in, and the problems we share in living in it. Anywhere I go where people sing (leaving aside karaoke) I hear them.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Peter Woodruff
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 07:30 PM

I read all that dustbowl stuff, but wait, Woody was then, This Woody is now. We have the same problems with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Slimey Wall Street crooks, embezelment, cheating bad guys and gals. Makes me want to join a militia.

How 'bought you?

Peter


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 06:59 PM

Larry, I don't think anyone is descriminating against you "old bastards", but rather looking to see who will carry on the tradition. As I've said before, there are many young singer-songwriters who are doing the job.   Those who have said the youth of today aren't doing their share are wrong and not opening their eyes in my estimation. It may not come from a "folk" singer, but there is plenty of protest in today's youth culture.   Don't forget, our generation wasn't JUST listening to anti-war songs either. There was plenty of bubblegum music in our day too.

Johnfitz, you make a very good point about the role emotion plays in the music and how intellectual "purity" and predictability make for some lousy songs.   The protest songs that the general population remembers and responds to manage to get their message across in an almost subtle way. I've found that there are two basic types of protest songs - the "over your head with a hammer" approach which mainly works on protest lines and rallies to raise spirits. Away from that environment, those songs often fail to hold the same emotion. The more skillful songs, including many of Woody Guthries songs, were written with a different approach.   I find his "Talking Dust Bowl" to be one a great example of an effective approach. He uses humor and wit to get his point across and most importantly, he makes the audience think.   He doesn't have to list the injustices that were done to the Okies during the depression but he gets the point across. I still remember hearing that song when I was young, before I ever heard about the troubles of the times. He made me think.

Some of the artists mentioned, Joe Jencks and John Flynn come to mind, write in that same style. They can rally a spirit and teach us something.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 06:37 PM

Rage against the machine ? The ultimate in contemporary protest music. Though they approach issues through a rap/ rock medium, as opposed to the traditional folk music, their message is clear:

"believing all the lies that they're tellin ya,buying all the products that the're selling ya.cellular phones sellin a death tone. corporations cold, turn you to stone before you realize.no escape from the mass mind rape"...........
BULLET IN THE HEAD, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: tar_heel
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 06:30 PM

if protedt singers depended on me to hang around and listen,they'd wait a long damn time...don't have time for such foolishness!


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 06:22 PM

That's probably why Billy Brag was chosen to do the old Woody Guthrie stuff...

Robin


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: johnfitz.com
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 06:08 PM

A part of the problem might be that much of the protest music of the sixties was galvanized around the anti-war movement. That movement was driven by the sheer power of emotion. Many of the songs had that raw power as their foundation. Protest songs are now written, to a large degree, by people who sing from an ideological point of view. There is an intellectual purity and predictability that doesn't always make for powerful songwriting. People will always be drawn to a good song. I like Billy Braggs stuff. It feels real to me. I'm sure we could all point to some great protest material, but, I agree with Kendall: there certainly is not any kid of dynamic movement happening in repsonse to the political climate.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 05:53 PM

Willy Nelson has a new song out protesting the war - when asked if it might upset some people he basically said "Stuff 'em"

Robin


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Cluin
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 05:50 PM

"Never trust anybody over 30", Larry?


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: InOBU
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 05:41 PM

THANK YOU JANIS! And yes, Steve is right, we are frozen out of the mass media, if it weren't for Rick Fielding, WBAI, and a bunch of colege statations, I'd be pissing in the wind (the answer my friend is...) Beyond that, the search for protest singers under 30 often means at rally's there is age discrimination against us old bastards.
Cheers.
Larry


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 05:31 PM


First, we seem to be short on UKprotest songwriters...


Just a thought - we didn't have commedy clubs back then. Is that where the "protest" talent has gone?


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 03:38 PM

Two thoughts.

First, we seem to be short on UKprotest songwriters...

Second, the miss is not only a fascist pig but is also wrong. A material point of discussion in China today is the extent to which state banks recycle funds into loss-making enterprises precisely in order to provide a social program. It may (anathema to me) be a sort of workfare, but it is a support program for income and housing that would not be provided by western style capitalism.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Peter Woodruff
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 01:56 PM

I LOVE protest songs. When I retire I'm going to work for Walmart, not as a Walmart greeter, but a Walmart complaint department associate. That way I can get lots of raw material for protest songs about change we don't need!

Peter


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Cluin
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 01:49 PM

We're all protest singers. We make sounds to protest the silence. Because we can.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 01:27 PM

There've always been people who think like that young lady. You have to keep an eye on them. It's the kind of fanaticism that can end up in orchestrating famines and settimg up death camps.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: kendall
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 01:08 PM

That miss of 19 has never gone to bed hungry while the fat cats say "Let them eat cake."


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