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MAY 23, 2013 - Chinese musical-activist Ai Weiwei has released his new music video to his activist song "Dumbass" and strongly criticizes the Chinese government. In the video, Ai is jailed, hooded and is abused by the Chinese state power for speaking out politically similar to when he was jailed for 81 days for speaking out politically back in 2011. Naturally, China has blocked the video. The video is filled with heavy metal screeching guitars and obscenity screaming against the oppression in China that censors and punishes free speech. In a statement Ai Weiwei said, "People who are detained suffer traumas, and those who detain us know this very well. This is why we are secretly detained, blindfolded, cuffed, not allowed to meet with lawyers and relatives. I had been thinking about how to recover from the trauma. And I came up with the idea of using music to convey a sentiment that is tremendously secret, and private, to the public." Watch the video below.
MAY 23, 2013 - Musical-activist Bono from U2 discusses politics and issues in an interview with Charlie Rose back on May 16, and Bono talks about AIDS and Africa; and even praises conservatives like George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rica and Jesse Helms and how they got America to provide antiretroviral medicines for over 8 million people in Africa and forgiving African debt. Bono has been doggedly trying to work with both conservatives and progressives, wanting to bring everybody to a "radical canter". He rankled his bandmate Edge by meeting with Helms, because Edge points out how Jesse Helms and other conservatives constantly hack the budget for the arts. Check out the whole Charlie Rose interview of U2 here.
MAY 20, 2013 - Two musicians lost their battle with cancer yesterday. One was the keyboardist Ray Manzerek from the iconic band The Doors, who lost his battle with a long fight with bile duct cancer. Manzerek was part of the 60s music social revolution, but spent his last years as a simple farmer with his family. The Doors guitarist Robby Krieger said in a statement, "I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek today. I'm just glad to have been able to have played Doors songs with him for the last decade. Ray was a huge part of my life and I will always miss him." The family asks that in lieu of flowers that people help out the great cancer-fighting organization, "Stand Up To Cancer". (photo credit: KingTrivia/CC)
Also, on a very sad note, Zach Sobeich, a Minnesota musician who battled osteosarcama and whose video and song "Clouds" went viral, lost his battle with cancer and also passed at home surrounded by family and his girlfriend. His song "Clouds" was all about facing his mortality, and he had said, "I want everyone to know you don't have to find out you're dying to start living." His family said in a statement, “It is with heavy heart that we announce the passing of our son Zachary David Sobiech. Our family has been blessed not only by his amazing presence in our lives, but also by the love and support of our family and friends and by so many people in the community. In particular we'd like to thank those people who listened with their hearts and helped Zach bring his message and his music to the world.” Zach had worked closely with Children's Cancer Research Fund, and a group of celebrities had lip-synced his song in an effort to help raise funds for his struggle earlier this month. Zach's video of his song "Clouds" has received over 3 million views, and you can watch it below. JTMP calls for more funding for cancer research, and Medicare For All, so people don't have to fight bill collectors and health insurance companies while they fight cancer.
MAY 15, 2013 - JTMP blogged about the musical astronaut Chris Hadfield yesterday, and today I have come across an awesome performance he did with Barenaked Ladies on Earth, and him on the ISS. There was a children's choir also, and they knocked it out of the park. Chris sings about looking down at the precious blue ball of Earth, and his longing to get back to it. He wants us to remember we very lucky to have this precious Earth, not to take it for granted, and to take care of it.
The song is a celebration of 15 nations coming together in peace, science, and cooperation with the ISS, or the International Space Station. Check out more info about the ISS on NASA's ISS website here. Check the video out below. The song is called, "Is Somebody Singing?"
MAY 14, 2013 - Musician and former guitarist for the Drive-By Truckers Jason Isbell opened up about his battle with depression and addiction on NoDepression.com, and talks about his struggle with Jack Daniels and his personal demons. He is releasing a new album called "Southeastern" and comments on his approach to making it saying, "I have a lot of friends who make great records but they won’t turn loose of the reins. And they wind up making the same record over and over. ... I understand you want to keep those things close to your chest, but after going through the process of recovering from alcoholism, I think I was able to ... a little bit more familiar with that idea of turning over control to somebody else." JTMP urges our supporters to contact their elected officials and ask for more funding for addiction and mental health treatment. Many cities and states have inadequate funding for these important issues.
Read the great blog by Michael Bialas on NoDepression.com here.
MAY 9, 2013 - An organization calling itself "Heartbeat" wants to use music to bring young Israelis and Palestinians together in peace, and use music as a tool to bring this about. They mission is to use musicians to build understanding and to transform conflicts. They talk about how "fear, violence, ignorance and a pervasive lack of trust" has led to the current political and social atmosphere between Israelis and Palestinians. They state, "Most Israelis and Palestinians have only encountered the other side through televised reports of extremist violence, soldiers at checkpoints, or politicians..." Heartbeat intends to use music as a bridge to break this divide, and bring people together. Heartbeat believes, and so does JTMP, that "Music has an amazing ability to connect people, build trust and inspire hope in the darkest of places. Modern, popular music has long been the voice of change all around the world and a powerful means for youth expression and nonviolent action. By bringing together young Jewish and Arab musicians and strengthening their voices, we are working to build a global culture of trust, compassion, and respect." Read more on the Heartbeat website here. (photo credit: Heartbeat.fm)
MAY 8, 2013 - Ever wonder what it would take to motivate someone to become active in their community? How about FREE TICKETS to a Foo Fighters show? Seems like it would work great to me! In fact, an organization calling itself the Global Citizen Ticket aims to do just that. By teaming up with bands such as the Foo Fighters, Bruce Springsteen, the Vaccines and more, they give away free tickets to a show. Interested activists go to the Global Citizen Ticket website, get assigned to specific projects that affect the poor in their area, take action and earn points, and then use those points to enter into the drawing to win those free tickets when one of the participating bands comes to town.
Global Citizen Ticket say they want to be a "tool to amplify and unite a generation's call to justice. It's a place for you to learn, act and bring an end to extreme poverty...Every person has a part to play in writing the story of the end of extreme poverty. Become a Global Citizen, and start your journey today..." Watch a PSA video from them below, and start your journey of activism as a Global Citizen on the Global Citizen Ticket website here.
MAR 20, 2013 - Several Michelle Shocked shows have been canceled after the singer, who has been known to "speak her mind" in the past, went on an anti-gay tirade the other night. Fans are outraged, and the blogosphere has not been kind to her. She was actually somewhat of a "gay icon" at one time, but not anymore after this stunt. Even after she tried to distance herself from her remarks, it looks like she may have burned a bridge. Check out the juicy details at Queerty.com here, and start up a discussion and tell us how you feel about this on our Justice Through Music Facebook Page here. Abby Huntsman from HuffPo Live has a video on the story below. (photo credit: CC/RKeaton)
MAR 18, 2013 - A group of activist musicians took part in a "Raise Your Fists: Music Meets Activism" panel discussion at a recent SXSW event, including Mikel Jollett of The Airborne Toxic Event and Mike Mills of REM and shared their thoughts on how being a musician and an activist can change the world. Mikel Jollett said, "You don't have to be a huge band, you just have to be upset and want to do something." (photo: Mikel & Anna TATE - Credit: CC/Sake209)
FEB 6, 2013 - An all-girl rock band out of Kashmir, "Praagaash", were forced to disband after a top cleric issued a fatwa against them. The 3 girls got scared for their lives and dissolved the group. They were starting to get many supporters, and even a "I Support Praagaash" Facebook page was put up to try and support them, but the pressure and fear was too much. A petition has been started on Change.org asking for the cleric to step down. The name of the band, Praagaash, means "first light" in Kashmiri, and they hoped to bring about more freedom for girls and music in their country; but their was a massive backlash against them by conservative and religious Kasmhmiris to what they saw as supposed bad western influence on their culture. Read more on Yahoo news here, including a video with video clips of the band. Watch a small clip of them playing below.
What do you think? Leave a comment on our JTMP Facebook Page!