APR 17, 2012 - Bruce Springsteen, along with Tom Morello aka “The Nightwatchman”, and a 2012 version of the E Street Band considerably larger than before, has come out with a raucous Irish ballad-sounding “fighting anthem” for the working class. (Watch video below!) The song speaks out against towns that have had their factories closed down and their jobs shipped overseas by “robber barons” in the name of profit; which brings death to towns all across America. Families are devastated, homes are lost, and the American dream is kept out of reach. One of the most moving parts of the song is at the break in the middle of the song as Bruce sings out:
“Get yourself a song to sing, sing it till you’re done.
Sing it hard, sing it well. Send the robber barons straight to hell.
The greedy thieves, who came around, ate the flesh of everything they found.
Whose crimes have gone unpunished now, who walk the streets as free men now.
They brought death to my hometown.”
APR 17, 2012 - Wyclef Jean has come out with a new song called "Justice (If You're 17)" calling for justice in the Trayvon Martin case, and speaking out against profiling which played a role in the shooting incident. Prescribed and J. Williams help him out on the track, with lines such as:
"If you're 17/And you're wearing a hoodie/You're on the phone/Talking to your shorty/Make no mistake/There's one like you/In every city/You know the story.”
A video to the song will be released on April 20, and JTMP will post it when it comes out. You can download and listen to the song on MediaFire for FREE here, and read an MSNBC Entertainment article about it here. Meanwhile, check out a collaborative short below of "I AM" from the same trio. "The short deals with not only the Trayvon Martin case, but profiling globally" the video says. (photo credit: adanbouzoua/Flickr)
Justin Bieber Meets With Bully Victim Casey Heynes and Lends "Born to Be Somebody" to Documentary "Bully"
APR 13, 2012 - Justin Bieber, who has come out and admitted he was a victim of bullying while school officials and other students looked away, is letting his new song "Born to be Somebody" to be used in the new documentary "Bully" from Weinstein Co. currently playing in theaters that explores the topic of bullying in schools (watch the trailer below). Also, Justin Bieber met up with a young Australian student Casy Heynes who became an Internet sensation for standing up to a bully at school in a video that went viral (see below), and finally watch the video of Justin meeting Casey below that. (photo credit: Georges Biard/Wiki)
APR 13, 2012 - A new documentary, "Alive Inside", follows Dan Cohen around as he travels to around to nursing homes in America and plays music from their era for elderly patients suffering from dementia, and incredibly the people who before didn't respond either physically or verbally are magically transformed by the music and become animated, and suddenly move around and become very vocal. The film is produced and directed by Michael Rossato-Bennett, and is commissioned by the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation and will premiere on April 18th.
The documentary hopes to shed light on the experience on what not many of us talk about; the alienation of the elderly at nursing homes. The filmmakers also want to explore the issue of what compounds it and makes it worse, dementia. The WHO predicts that worldwide dementia cases will triple by 2050. They say the film "tells the story of hope and beauty in a place where they are hard to find". Check out the film's website here, and watch a clip of Henry below coming alive as he listens to Cab Calloway and other music from his era, and watch the awakening or "quickening", and even the spiritual magic as he describes God and love coming into him as he listened to the music.
APR 10, 2012 - The Red Hot Chili Peppers are in Cleveland to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and have decided to give a free concert to the volunteers over at the Cleveland Obama/Biden 2012 campaign headquarters who have been hard at work knocking on doors and making phone calls making sure people are registered to vote and getting out to vote. The concert will be this Sunday at the Cleveland's House of Blues, and if you live in the Cleveland area and want to volunteer your time and maybe snag you some tickets to the show, check out the Obama 2012 Event Page here. (photo credit: Fallschirmjager/Wiki)
APR 2, 2012 - Taylor Swift received a Big Help Award from Michelle Obama on Nickleodeon's Kids' Choice Award show this weekend, and was "freaking out" when she took the award from the first lady she remarked at the podium. Taylor received the award for her extensive activism and charity work, such as helping tornado and flood victims, libraries, children's charities and even combating bullying to name just a little of the work she has done. She was also awarded for her ability to inspire her fans to make a difference.
The Big Help is an initiative by Nickleodeon to be a hub for kids to connect and get involved with service work such as donating clothes or raising funds for a charity. Their website says "Service is all about giving your time to others." The kids can collect points and earn stuff like a cool avatar or a virtual kitty. Check out The Big Help here. Watch the video of Taylor receiving the award from Michelle Obama below.
MAR 30, 2012 - The shooting death of Trayvon Martin was painful for Seattle-based musician Okanomode, and he could relate to the profiling that probably played a role in the death of Trayvon and tells JTMP, “I myself am a young black gay male growing up in America & know first hand what it's like to live in fear of attack by police or others who might fear me simply on the basis of both my blackness & my gender expression, & i feel more than ever that community is so necessary in these painful times.” He was so moved by the event he composed "Song For Trayvon", check it out below.
MAR 30, 2012 - A gay blogger has released a handwritten letter he received from Fiona Apple way back in 2000, when he was a 16 year old student in high school. He met her briefly before a show in 2000, and asked if she could write a thing or two in support of gay people for his work with the gay-straight alliance that he was a member of. Fiona did write a handwritten letter of support and got it to him within days. He remarks about it on his Tumblr blog and wants to finally thank her for "taking time out and being so thoughtful, especially for a lonely, weirdo like me". See the letter on Bill's Tumblr blog here.
(photo credit Sara C/Wiki)
MAR 30, 2012 - One of the freethinking musicians that will be playing at the Rock Beyond Belief event tomorrow March 31 at Fort Bragg, NC is Spoonboy, and JTMP got a chance to catch up with him and get his thoughts on the event. Below is the interview, and at the end there is a video of his song "What You Want" promoting Rock Beyond Belief. (Photo courtesy of Spoonboy)
JTMP: David thanks for doing the interview, we are Justice Through Music Project and musical activism is very important to us. Has activism always played a role in your music?
Spoonboy: I got into playing music around the same time as I became interested in activism. A lot of the bands I grew up on were political bands, and being exposed to music through the DC punk scene in the early 2000's meant necessarily being exposed to politics. All things in life have a political element. There are politics in how you choose to write and distribute your music. There are politics in what you choose to say with your music. So I try to acknowledge that in my music, while also always trying to write from a personal place, because I think politics should always come from a personal place as well.
Click READ MORE for rest of interview...
MAR 29, 2012 - Legend and master banjo player Earl Scruggs, who was the father of the three-finger banjo picking style, passed away on March 28, 2012 at the age of 88. Born in 1924 in Flint Hill, N.C. he taught himself how to play with his 2 other brothers, including the guitar and autoharp. He started his musical career with Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys in 1939.
IN 1948 Earl and guitar player Lester Flatt left the Bluegrass Boys and formed a duo, their peak being in 1962 with the theme to the Beverly Hillbillies that virtually everyone knows. Earl Scruggs was a progressive when it came to music and social issues, and wanted to bring in some popular sound, maybe even some saxophone; but Lester was very conservative and hated long-haired hippies, and it caused a rift and breakup of the duo in 1969.
Earl Scruggs became one of the very rare country/bluegrass musicians to ever add his musical activist voice to the anti-Vietnam War movement, performing his classic song "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" at the Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam demonstration in October of 1969. Earl Scruggs later said in an interview of his performance, "I think the people in the South is just as concerned as the people that's walkin' the streets here today... I'm sincere about bringing our boys back home. I'm disgusted and in sorrow about the boys we've lost over there. And if I could see a good reason to continue, I wouldn't be here today."
Watch a video of the legendary Earl Scruggs performing his "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" with some friends below.