MAY 7, 2014 - Bluegrass is not really known for its activism, but there are a few songs here and there, and many sing about the plight of the poor, common man. One new bluegrass song, "Keep Your Dirty Lights On" by bluegrass musicians Tim O'Brien and Darrell Scott, sings against dirty coal. But is not just your typical bluegrass song telling the plight of a coal miner. This song specifically uses the word "dirty" and "green", obviously references to the silly "clean coal" propaganda code word invented by coal companies hilariously implying that coal could ever be "clean" (What's next? Gentle rape?) and the "green movement". The song's lyrics go:
Every time they have elections, they talk about how coal is clean
Well coal is cheap but coal's still black, It ain't never turning green
So plug your electric car in, charge it and be gone
Do your shopping online, we'll get you every time
So we can keep your dirty lights on
Watch a video of Tim and Darrell performing "Keep Your Dirty Lights On" below at the in-house studio of WAMU Bluegrass Country here in DC recently. (photo credit: Takver/Flickr/CC)
May 5, 2014 - Some members of the Canadian band Lemon Bucket Orkestra have teamed up with local musicians from Kiev and are touring Europe and singing about peace and justice, hoping to calm things down and avoid war. They are calling it the Lemonchiki Project, paying homage to the lemons activists had to put in their mouths to deal with the Berkut tear-gassing them as they tried to take control of their country away from the Putin puppets who were destroying their country. Read their story and find out more of this exciting project at the Lemonchiki Project website.
APR 30 - TulsaWorld.com has a cool article up about the Okemah, Oklahoma museum featuring the top American musical-activist, the granddaddy of them all, Woody Guthrie. The Woody Guthrie Center, which opened up one year ago, will be celebrating all week with exhibits and musical performances from such acts as Parker Millsap and John Fullbright celebrating the life of the troubadour that led the fight for organized labor and sang about the plight of the common man. He even started the folk scene and helped guide young Bob Dylan musically. Nowadays, his music and legacy is guarded and the creation of the Woody Guthrie Center is all due to the hard work of his daughter, Nora Guthrie. The director, Deana McCloud, wanted to make the center appeal to everyone, so even a third-grader can discover this great man, or one of his fans can reminisce and even discover new things about Woody. Read more about the 1 year anniversary of the Woody Guthrie Center on TulsaWorld.com here. (photo credit :Al Aumuller/CC)
APR 17, 2014 - John Mellencamp, a strong musical-activist and supporter of unions, was worried the union-busting, corporate tax-cutting Scott Walker might start using his music again at his rallies for his re-election, and Tuesday he did. Mellencamp has repeatedly told Walker to not use his music, for Walker has tried to use his songs "Pink Houses" and "Small Town" that have strong American imagery in their lyrics in his previous campaigns.
Mellencamp's publicist Claire Mercuri told Scott Bauer of HuffPo and Dinesh Ramde of AP in an email that after becoming aware that "Pink Houses" was used last Tuesday to launch Walker's re-election bid, John felt he wanted to strongly reiterate his support of unions and collective bargaining, and to tell Walker to stop using his music...AGAIN. Read more on HuffPo here. (photo credit: Fred W. Baker/CC)