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:
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.
MAR 28, 2012 – JTMP has been blogging on the freethinker event and concert Rock Beyond Belief this Saturday, March 31, 2012 at the Fort Bragg, NC military base, and JTMP got a chance to interview one of the musicians Jeffrey Lewis that will be performing. This event is being held in response to a 2010 Billy Graham Evangelistic Association “Rock the Fort” event that was heavily evangelical in nature. The activist organizers of the event, such as Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, wear the uniform but spoke up as citizens and wanted equal access, and wanted to promote non-discrimination towards freethinking people such as agnostics, atheists, secularists, humanists and people who just want to be left alone when it comes to religion. (photo: Sonya Kolowrat and courtesy of TheJeffreyLewisSite.com)
Jeffrey Lewis is a musician who describes himself as anti-folk, but also does animation, video, comic books, illustrations and more. Here is the interview, and check out Jeff's cool website here.
JTMP: I love your anti-folk style, very interesting. I have to confess I was not very aware of this genre. Can you describe what the anti-folk means to you?
Jeffrey Lewis: “Anybody who was playing music at the Sidewalk Cafe in New York City in the 1990s or 2000s was automatically labeled "antifolk" no matter what kind of music you played, so the term doesn't really mean anything other than that. But it also makes sense for me, more than for some other people, because it describes a certain attitude towards writing and recording and performing that the term "singer-songwriter" would not describe. I had never heard of antifolk before I started playing at Sidewalk in 1998, but I already would not have thought of myself as a "singer-songwriter," I was more into music as a raw expression in words and sound, NOT so much the delicate craft of piecing words and melodies together. So I'm glad there's a term that already existed that seems to be some sort of description of that, a description of songwriting that falls outside of the normal image. So that's what "antifolk" means to me, if it means anything. I don't mind it, because no matter what you play there will be people who come up with a genre tag for it, you can't escape that, so at least antifolk is a more unique and mysterious tag than "indie rock" or "alt country" or "post punk" or whatever. If people want to call me antifolk I won't fight it.”