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High Hopes Bruce Springsteen Columbia Released January 17, 2014 www.brucespringsteen.net A recent documentary on veteran US rocker Bruce Springsteen asked fans to describe their hero in three words. The responses, compiled in the film Springsteen & I, were fairly predictable: "Badass, sensitive, perfect"; "Hope, energy, power”; “Earnest, inspiring, intense” and so on. The non-Springsteen fans reading this could probably think of a few far less kind words. But if I were to choose three, they would be: "Open to interpretation."
If I Had a Hammer David Rovics Liberation Records, 2013 Fans of radical US singer-songwriter David Rovics will welcome his latest CD, If I had a Hammer, a compilation of three albums recorded last year and released in December. And those not familiar with his mix of angry, satirical, pensive and informative folk punk songs of struggle should check out this 23-track marathon introduction to some of the recent offerings of this prolific artist.
"Congratulations once again to Green Left Weekly. As I've often said to people all over the world when they ask what the press is like in Australia, 'Mostly owned by Murdoch and mostly unfree.' "But I always add quickly, 'There is one newspaper that is independent of powerful interests and that's Green Left Weekly'.
Phoenix Jimblah Elefant Traks 2013 www.elefanttraks.com Most people fear fire, but Jimblah embraces it. The element flares up again and again in the rapper's searingly original work - from his first album, Face The Fire, to the one that just rose from its ashes, Phoenix.
Tap Tap New Dub City Raspect Records November 18, 2013 www.newdubcity.com Melbourne dub-rap-reggae collective New Dub City have just released their politically punchy and sonically spotless second album, Tap Tap. Frontman, producer and author Ali MC spoke to Green Left Weekly's Mat Ward. ***
IED EP Pataphysics Out November 8 www.pataphysics.com Multi-lingual multi-instrumentalist Pat Marks fronts the multi-faceted Melbourne band Pataphysics. As the critically-acclaimed "guerilla hip-hop" outfit prepare to launch their new EP, Green Left Weekly's Mat Ward spoke to Marks about his multifarious pursuits, from refugee rights to juvenile justice. *** You've worked with refugees for a long time. Tell us a little about the work you do.
I was introduced to Gazan hip-hop act Revolution Makers when I saw them perform a rare live hip-hop performance in Gaza City during PalFest in May. Since then the duo, brothers Mohammed and Osama Elsusi, have put out a number of new songs. Their newest song, “What’s going on”, features Ayman Mghames.
“I am a gay, Irish, Catholic, alcoholic Pogue who is about to die from cancer — and don’t think I don’t know it,” Philip Chevron, who passed away on October 8, told the Irish Daily Mail in June. The 56-year-old Chevron was best known as the guitarist for legendary Irish folk punk band The Pogues. However, his music career goes back to the founding of The Radiators From Space in 1976 — described as Ireland's first punk band.
A Dose Of Reality Eskatology September 2013 Download free here www.eskatology.com On his latest EP, A Dose Of Reality, Adelaide-based emcee Eskatology raps about the refugees he works with. "I've worked with many refugees in my job as a youth worker," says the rapper, who is giving the 10-track EP away as a free download.
As a huge fan, I'm really disappointed to hear that, despite looking at the situation closely, Amanda Palmer has decided to cross the picket line of the Palestinian call for a cultural boycott of Israel and organise a gig in Tel Aviv. I had the honour for the first time of rocking out with Palmer live for myself earlier this month.

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