uproot it without tears & change it
As I write this, thousands are marching through the streets of Washington D.C. to protest the continued U.S. occupation of Iraq in the hopes of taking American troops out of harm's way & bringing them home. The march will conclude at the Washington Monument, where a rally & music festival will be held throughout the day & into the night. Artists include Thievery Corporation, Bouncing Souls, Le Tigre, Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Steve Earle & many more, including the requisite appearance by Joan Baez.
Gold Star Mom & uber-anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan & many others will be speaking between musical acts (she posted her speech over at the Huff Post), and the event will be be broadcast via Free Speech TV (you gotta have Dish Network, doh) from 8pm-11pm ET. Amy Goodman & Air America's Laura Flanders will be co-hosting, with Laura also broadcasting her weekend radio show from the Washington Mall
Downtempo duo Thievery Corporation headline tonight's concert (prime-time slot). This track leads off this spring's The Cosmic Game LP & features Wayne Coyne & the Flaming Lips. The "marching" is appropriate IMO.
This polemic Ted Leo original was originally included as a solo acoustic track off 2003's Tell Balgeary, Balgury is Dead EP. This full band version was released last yeat as an iTunes exclusive EP entitled Sharkbite Sessions. After reading a fan's e-mailed concerns about the protest's call for military withdrawal, Ted shared his response on his website:
Hey ***** - I'm not sure exactly what answer you want to hear, so it would be hard for me to give it to you. You have to make the choice. Even if this protest was, in name, completely and totally about pulling the plug on this entire operation today, it could never be about just that, because we're not all as naieve as to believe that that could ever happen. This protest, like almost any protest, is not a monolithic thing. I believe that Cindy Sheehan, who will be speaking, would like to see a complete withdrawal immediately. Sometimes I agree, sometimes I don't. I am sure there are many others involved who will feel as you do, and as I do. I decided to lend my voice to it because I see it as a way to make a public affirmation that I disagree with the administration's policies in Iraq, from day one, straight up through today. Everyone wishes we could salvage something positive from this wreckage. Some believe we can, some believe we can't. Most believe that we won't under this regime and its strategies and priorities. My point is this: no one asked me what my commitment to a total withdrawal was as a prerequisite for my involvement, and I didn't ask anyone about theirs. There will be people calling for that, make no mistake about it, and there will be people calling for other things as well. You'll probably even hear fair-housing activists using the podium to attack Bush for spending money on the Iraq war while DC streets are full of homeless people, you'll probably see hippie dudes wearing "legalize marijuana" or "stop the drug war" shirts, you'll see people standing peacefully listening, you'll see people getting harassed for doing nothing, and you'll see people getting off on antagonizing the police, who then turn around and harass people for doing nothing. It's the way it always goes down. A massive block of divergent opinions on diverse subjects gather under the banner of one shared aim -- in this case, an end to the downward spiral of the Iraq war and all that it entails for people at home and abroad. There will be people there I think are jerks and idiots, and there will be people there who break my heart with their purity and goodness. It's America, and every protest or counter-protest is a cross section of America. Everyone will walk away feeling strengthened by something that they heard and frustrated by something else, but the larger point will be made, punctuated by, hopefully, hundreds of thousands of bodies caring enough about that one main point, to get out there and be counted. Conversations will be started, the media will discuss, maybe pressure will be brought to bear on Congress through its constituents, maybe somebody has to start listening. I feel good about helping that point get made.
Well said, as-per-usual.
MP3 Le Tigre - "New Kicks"
Yes, this song pretty much sucks. In fact, I hesistate to call it a "song" at all, since it's more of a protest re-mix. And yet it was the first single off last year's major label debut, This Island. However, the soundbytes it uses are taken from the pre-war protests on 2/15/03 - as are clips used in the rather lousy MOV music video (18mb) - so it too feels appropriate in relation to this weekend's events in D.C. The song may be crap, but the sentiment fits.
MP3 Bouncing Souls - "True Believers"
Finally, here's an energetic track from the Bouncing Souls' 2001 release How I Spent My Summer Vacation, a burst of power punk to cap things off.
FWIW: Apologies for neglecting the blog again all week. What's my damage?