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DEC 6, 2013 - Great music has always been a part of Austin and one band in particular, Quiet Company, has been turning heads and really gaining attention not only because of their good tunes, but the band leader Taylor Muse had a loss of Christian faith and wrote about it with the 2011 album We Are All Where We Belong. It was tough transition for him, for growing up in Austin he said Christian music was a big part of all bands. However he came home one day and told his wife, "I'm having a little bit of a crisis of faith. I just realized today that I can't make a case for Christianity that would convince myself." He set out to write songs to counter the Christian message of worrying about the afterlife and saying this life is "...not your home, This is not where you belong." Muse takes the opposite side, and sings about the humanist message about living your life today here and now saying, "This is your one chance to make your life into what you want it to be."
Listen to a great interview on NPR.org here, and check out the band's website here. Listen to a great song to sing your daughter to sleep to, reassuring her she can let go all the nonsense that Christianity fills your head with and "Set Your Monster Free" below:
DEC 5, 2013 - JTMP urges our supporters to contact your congress member and tell them you support second chances, and you want them to vote YES on the Second Chance Reauthorization Act, or S. 1690/H.R. 3465, that extends prisoner reentry programs for an additional five years at the federal and state levels. Members of Congress from all sides have come together to introduce the bill, and it makes sense. Everyone makes mistakes, and everyone deserves a second chance. These programs will help these people get access to housing, jobs and other things you need in life to survive. Please contact your congress member today and tell them you support second chances, you support the Second Chance Reauthorization Act, and tell them to vote yes!
Need to find your congress member? Find them and even get a letter/email template to send your congress member, and read more about this on the Faces and Voices of Recovery website.
DEC 3, 2013 - USA Today has an article out today about how the French government has charged Bob Dylan with the crime of "incitement to hatred" because Bob somewhat "compared Croatians to Nazis", and lumped them all together with the evil of the Confederacy slavery, KKK and the Nazis in a 2012 Rolling Stone interview. This is what Bob said, you be the judge:
"Blacks know that some whites didn't want to give up slavery -- that if they had their way, they would still be under the yoke, and they can't pretend they don't know that. If you got a slave master or Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that. That stuff lingers to this day. Just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood."
A Croatian group in France caught wind of the it eventually and filed a complaint against Dylan in French court. Bridgette Bardot has also faced many charges of "inciting hatred" in France for speaking her mind, and even though half my ancestry comes from France, I feel this goes too far and infringes on free speech. I am sure we will not see Bob in jail anytime soon though. Just like Bardot, Dylan will just be fined heavily. Bob has millions like Bardot and he will just pay the fine and move on. Comments? Start a conversation on our JTMP Facebook Page! (photo credit: Bob Dylan/CC)
NOV 27, 2013 - Phil Ochs, one of the most legendary activist musicians from the 1960s, is being honored and remembered by his sister Sonny and a New England band tour of several great musicians such as Greg Greenway, David Roth, Pat Wictor, Zoe Lewis and Sharon Katz. They play Phil's classic folk songs and anti-war ballads such as "I Ain't Marching Anymore" and "Is There Anybody Here?" in several locations throughout New England. Activism played a huge role in Phil's life, and he was very strong in his convictions and used the folk music scene of the 1960s to express his views through his music. Read about his amazing life and unfortunate fall with depression on his Wikipedia page, and watch him sing his anti-war folk song classic "I Ain't Marching Anymore" below. Read a great article on the tour and Phil's life, as well as an interview with Phil's sister Sonny on CapeCodOnline.com. (photo credit: Chip Berlet/CC)
NOV 26, 2013 - I found this small clip of a skit by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood at the CMA Awards poking fun of the rollout of the Affordable Health Care Act, or the "AHCA" as I like to call it. Many folks call it "Obamacare", but the two poked fun of the horrendous rollout of the website part of the health care exchanges to the tune of an old George Strait song. Maybe if the Teabagger Republican governors would have cooperated more with the federal government on the exchanges, and worked for their constituents instead of a political party (a small one I might add), then maybe the rollout would have been smoother. Watch for the reaction of Taylor Swift, who is a big President Obama supporter. Lets hope they get it all fixed in the next few weeks, and get the federal exchanges humming as well as the state exchanges, where enrollment is surging. Those are the states where the governor cooperated and didn't suffer from OHDS: Obama Hatred Derangement Syndrome. The website is actually handling a fair clip of people, and will get better. If you do not have health insurance either thorough Medicaid or your employment, many will find they will be covered by Medicaid, qualify for subsidies to help pay for it, or find a cheap health insurance plan through the exchanges for as little as $20 a month. You may need it one day. Visit HealthCare.gov today to see your options.
NOV 21, 2013 - A new "supergroup" calling themselves Kings of Chaos has formed featuring many musicians we all love from various bands, such as Joe Elliot from Def Leppard, and Slash from Guns N Roses, and many others. Leading the band's fight against senseless and brutal slaughter of dolphins, featured in the movie we blogged about earlier called "The Cove", is activist-musician Matt Sorum. Using his band's first concert kicking off their tour in LA, he allowed animal rights activist Ric O'Barry, who has been out in front on this issue, to speak before the show to the audience and make people more aware and active on this issue. Listen below to Ric speak about his organization the Dolphin Project that is doing great work in this field, and check out their Facebook Page here. If you wish to leave a comment or start a conversation, check out the Justice Through Music Facebook site here. Check out the Kings of Chaos website here.
NOV 19, 2013 - Musician and filmmaker Julie Sokolow saw firsthand the problem her and other musicians and artists in the Pittsburgh area having the same problem she had, trying to find an affordable health care insurance plan for a single person. So, she formed an organization called "Healthy Artists" to push for a single-payer health care system. After the ACA, or "Obamacare", was rolled out she started using the organization to help musicians and artists not only learn more about the Affordable Health Care Act, but also help it roll out more smoothly and be successful. Musicians and artists have a special stake in the successful roll out and implementation of the ACA, because many musicians are self-employed and have never even thought about health care and insurance. Read more about Julie in her work on PittNews.com here, and check out Healthy Artists website here. Watch musician-activist Matt Dull from the group Young Brokaw talk about getting a bill for $1200 because he had no health insurance after he slipped on the ice. He talks about the need for everyone to have health insurance, so please sign up if you do not have health insurance yet. In some states it is very low cost, and many people will get subsidies to help you pay for it. JTMP asks our musician supporters to sign up for health care insurance through the exchanges by December 14th, 2013 by going to the government's health care insurance exchange website here.
Joan Jett Moves To Different Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Float Because Of Her Animal Rights Activism
NOV 18, 2013 - Joan Jett, who is trying to separate her musical entertainment side and her animal rights activism side, is having a rough go these days. South Dakota ranchers, who abuse millions of cows in those horrible feed lots and slaughterhouses, heard Joan Jett would be on their state's float in the parade. They complained and got her moved, or she moved to a different float depending on who you talk to. Jett has been very active in the animal rights activism field, making PSAs and working with PETA among many other things. Read more about the controversy on NewYorkCBSLocal.com here. (photo credit: Jessica Harcourt Leary/CC)
NOV 18, 2013 - Musician Kris Kristofferson is blaming his athletic days and concussions on his recent memory loss problems. Kristofferson said in an interview to Fox411 that "my memory has been going recently". He added he can remember his songs, and his latest film, "The Motel Life" is currently out. Kris' life has been rich. Born an "army brat" in Texas, he attended Pomona College in California and played rugby and football, and surely received many concussions. Sports programs these days on all levels are grappling with concussion issues, which can lead to long term health problems such as memory loss like Kris is suffering from. He earned a Rhodes Scholarship, and while at Merton he boxed, which led to more concussions. He also started writing songs professionally while there. In 1960, under pressure from his military career family, he enrolled in the US Army and was stationed in Germany. He resumed his music career and formed a band. In 1965 he left the army and decided to pursue his music career full time. His army career family was horrified and disowned him; they never reconciled.
He went to Nashville and swept floors for Columbia Studios, and worked hard at his songwriting until in 1971 Janis Joplin recorded his song "Me and Bobby McGee". Ray Stevens and Johnny Cash recorded his song "Sunday Mornin' Coming Down" and he had success as a performer also. He then went on to have a successful acting career, winning a Golden Globe award for his role in "A Star is Born". Married three times and with eight children, he told Fox411, "I am very blessed and am at a very good point in my life". Read the entire interview on Fox411 here. (photo credit: Ron Baker/CC)
NOV 14, 2013 - The memorial to honor the life and music legacy of Lou Reed will be held today. His Facebook page announced the memorial service will be held at the Paul Milstein Pool & Terrace at Lincoln Center today at from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. It will be open to the public, and they say there will be no speeches or live performances. It will feature selections by his family and friends of his music and recordings for all to hear. Recently, many tributes have come from his wife, family, friends, and musicians he has worked with. Rolling Stone posted 20 musicians and their thoughts on Lou and his musical legacy.