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 28, 2012 – JTMP has been reporting on the freethinker gathering and concert "Rock Beyond Belief" that will take place on this Saturday, March 31 at Fort Bragg, NC. Having a non-evangelical and/or non-religious event was a hard pill to swallow for the base commanders, and was met with fierce resistance and backlash. One of the bands participating at the event Aiden received hate email from religious people saying that the band Aiken was "burning down churches for the Obama campaign video" and other ridiculous nonsense. This arose because one of their videos shows a scene of a church burning (watch below), and Fox News reporter Todd Starnes wrote an article twisting the words of the song so badly and taking them totally out of context. Aiden's intention of the scene of the burning churches represents Christians, Muslims and Jews burning their rival's churches through the centuries, and the violence and nonsense perpetrated in the name of religion. The band in no way shape or form condones or promotes violence against churches or religious people. They just don't want discrimination against freethinkers. Read a good article about it here.
MAR 7, 2012 – The Canadian rock trio Rush, whose songs were being used by talk show host Rush Limbaugh as "bumpers" for his show, has received a letter from Rush's management demanding that Limbaugh immediately stop using any of the band's music in his show. The letter points out how using their music in a political show is a copyright infringement, and more importantly the band does not want people to assume that the band endorses or supports the hateful rhetoric Limbaugh engages in. (photo credit: Enrico Frangi/Wiki)
Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart have dabbled in activism over the years. They helped raise money during Canada's SARS outbreak in 2003, and donated money to the Canadian Museum of Human Rights. Geddy Lee, being a huge baseball fan, donated baseballs signed by legendary black baseball players to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. The guitarist, Alex Lifeson, developed a line of amplifiers stating that a donation would be made to UNICEF for every amp sold. Also, they are very involved with Grapes for Humanity Canada, where they help tragedy victims around the world, and "helping these victims become self-sufficient citizens of the world".
Here is the letter that was sent to Rush Limbaugh:
The Rush Limbaugh Show 1270 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10020
Ladies & Gentlemen:
I am the attorney for Rush, their management company, S.R.O. Management Inc., their music publishing company, Core Music Publishing and their record company, The Anthem Entertainment Group Inc.
According to media reports, Rush Limbaugh, Premiere Radio Networks and The Rush Limbaugh Show have been using Rush’s recorded music as part of what is essentially a political broadcast.
The use of Rush’s music in this way is an infringement of Rush’s copyrights and trademarks. The public performance of Rush’s music is not licensed for political purposes and any such use is in breach of public performance licenses and constitutes copyright infringement. There are civil and criminal remedies for copyright infringement, including statutory damages and fines.
In addition, the use of Rush’s music in this manner implies an endorsement of the views expressed and products advertised on the show, and is in breach of not only copyright and trademark rights, but also, of section 51 of the New York Civil Rights Law (excerpt attached). Accordingly, we hereby demand that you immediately stop all use of Rush’s music and confirm that you will do so.
Yours very truly,
Robert A. Farmer
Director of Legal Affairs
S.R.O. Management Inc., Core Music Publishing
The Anthem Entertainment Group Inc.
FEB 27, 2012 – Pussy Riot is a Russian feminist punk musical activist band who stages illegal concerts and protests, often from rooftops, protesting issues such as women's rights in Russia and most recently the policies and re-election campaign of Prime Minister Putin. Wearing skimpy outfits even in cold weather and stylish balaclavas, they release Internet videos of their illegal concerts in public places. Recently they managed to stage a concert in strictly guarded Red Square, and were arrested. After being held for 5 hours, they were fined 500 rubles (about $17 US) and released. On their website they say, “We Believe That the Soviet Union's Aggressive Imperial Politics are Similar in many Ways to Putin's course. The way the State treats its Citizens hasn't changed much since the times of the USSR; there is still paternalist supervision and police control over people.” They add, “Some of us are anarchists, leftist Have some Liberal Positions. We would like horizontal political activity, self-organization and the capability to be aware of oneself as an equal participant in civil politics, to understand one's rights and fight for them to develop. Russian Society lacks tolerance and lenience.”
If you have Google Chrome, you can use the translator to check out their site here, where you can see pics of them staging one of their public protest concerts at Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral which ruffled a lot of feathers. Check out one of their videos below.
Deer Tick, a Providence, Rhode Island-based band saw images of Occupy activists being maced in the face for what they saw as unnecessary and unjust. At a show recently frontman for Deer Tick Paul McCauley told the crowd, "Not taking sides here. Just don't think cops should beat the shit out of anyone."
Before the show McCauley told Rolling Stone that members of the band were so frustrated with what happened that they decided to make people aware the only way they knew how – by playing music. "[Police] are there to serve and protect, and in theory, that's a great thing. But people should know that you can be self-empowered and you can call cops out when they act out of line. Cops aren't above the law. We're just trying to make both sides understand where the other is coming from."