lions, tigers, republicans...oy vey

While this year's Olympics are currently keeping American short attention spans preoccupied, some other patriotic souls are managing to stay focused on the upcoming Republican National Convention, which begins in NYC just over a week from now. RNC Not Welcome is sort of a catch-all site for would-be protesters and activists who object to the use of New York City for political gain & plan on making their opinions heard/seen. Still, given the expected tighter-than-tight security, I doubt anybody will be getting near MSG and any actual delegates. Then again, you never know.

Surprise, surprise, surprise! Today's musical selections are kinda political:

MP3 Steve Earle - "The Revolution Starts Now"
Filed under folk/alt-country/Americana, singer-songwriter Steve Earle has been living & making music in Nashville, TV for over 25 years. His new album The Revolution Starts...Now was recorded immediately after the 9/11 Commission hearings and the breaking of the prisoner abuse scandal in Iraq, so naturally he had politics on his mind. While his critically acclaimed 2002 album Jerusalem was considered a political album, his latest disc goes a step further, as evidenced in some of his song titles ("Home To Houston", "Rich Man's War", "Condi Condi", "F the CC"). Earle will be hosting a weekly show on Air America Radio starting this Sunday (8/22) at 10pm ET, and the show will likewise be called The Revolution Starts Now.

FYI: Steve Earle appeared in multiple episodes of HBO's The Wire. He played a reformed addict named Waylon in season 1 (dvd out October 12) trying to help junkie/criminal-informant Bubbles (Andre Royo) go clean. Last I recall, Bubbs was still riding the white tiger.

MP3 Sleater-Kinney - "Off With Your Head"
Everyone's (or at least my) favorite chick punk outfit Sleater-Kinney has contributed this track to two politically-motivated compilations, the second volume of's Rock Against Bush series, and Barsuk records' Future Soundtrack For America, which is co-sponsored by and Music For America. The Sleater-Kinney gals have always been topical (see "Combat Rock" from 2002's excellent One Beat), so their inclusion in these releases should come as no surprise. Unfortunately, their August 31 show at the Beacon Theatre (one of the few non-Clear Channel venues in NYC), which was supposed to feature David Cross as well as other bands/comics, got cancelled. I wonder if the Bush daughters are disappointed.

BTW: So, how will I be spending my time during the RNC? While I would be extremely curious to be in NYC to see what all goes down, I will instead be heading in the opposite direction & spending a week in lovely Los Angeles, CA. I've got a family thing out there, and hopefully I'll find time to scope out the city a little (as I haven't been there since I don't know when) & meet up with some of my old pals who have taken their act out to the west coast. I may not be able to blog out there as "effectively" as I did out east last month, so I'll may have to find myself a guest blogger or go quiet for a little while. I'll post more information before I leave Mpls next Wednesday.
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