Sound System: The Political Power of Music
Pluto Press Left Book Club, 2017
210 pp, $38.99
As a teenager, British writer and musician Dave Randall unwittingly attended a music festival in his home town where he heard the Special AKA sing “Free Nelson Mandela”. He experienced an epiphany.
“I had no idea who Nelson Mandela was,” he writes, “but I knew by the end of the first chorus I wanted him to be free.”
One Song One Union
In August 2015, 97 wharfies employed by Hutchison Ports in Brisbane and Sydney awoke to emails and text messages informing them they were sacked. Not enough work to go around, the company said.
Within 24 hours, trade unionists had established community picket lines at both ports and the Maritime Union of Australia was in court seeking reinstatement orders. As news spread, supporters began making their way to the picket camps.
Mark Munk Ross is hip-hop guru Munkimuk — whose beats, rhythm, sense of humour and hard hitting themes have earned him the coveted title of “Grandfather of Indigenous hip hop”.
Mark has been working in a remote Aboriginal community at Brewarrina in north-western New South Wales, regenerating age-old fish traps that are the oldest known human-made structures, dating back farther than the pyramids of Egypt.
He spoke to Green Left Weekly about his recent projects.
“Today we mourn the loss of a great Australian, Dr G. Yunupingu who sadly passed away yesterday in Royal Darwin Hospital at age 46 after a long battle with illness,” the singer’s record label Skinnyfish Music said.
“Dr G. Yunpingu is remembered today as one of the most important figures in Australian music history, blind from birth and emerging from the remote Galiwin’ku community on Elcho Island off the coast of Arnhem Land to sell over half a million copies of his albums across the world, singing in his native Yolngu language ...
Activist singer-songwriter from Brisbane, Phil Monsour, has released a new song and video, “Voices Rising” which celebrates the work of teachers and the struggles of the Queensland Teachers’ Union.
A the same time, Monsour has released One Song One Union, an album of contemporary trade union and solidarity songs, which is available online.
Last year, a group of studying music at the LGBTI Centre in Bogota decided to organize a rock band unlike any other in Colombia. Members say the band, 250 Milligrams, is the first transgender male rock group in South America.