Protest singers aren't always producing angry slogans to give their audience a sense of solidarity: there are some who can make you consider an issue in a new light by using well-constructed lyrics, a tuneful melody, humour, and a gently persuasive voice. Such a catalyst is Jez Lowe, a British singer/songwriter, who is touring Australia. Lowe writes specifically about life in his native north-east England, but there is such truth and universality in his writing that it appeals to audiences across the world. He is to folk song what British screenwriter Jimmy McGovern is to television.
Yiddpop Fayvish Oriente Musik www.oriente.de The Yiddish language, developed out of German by Ashkenazi Jews, was the major language of European Jews before the Holocaust. With the development of modern Hebrew in Israel it started to fade. However, a Yiddish language and cultural revival has been gaining speed, especially since the collapse of Eastern European Stalinist states in the 1990s. Many Jews are visiting the lands of their forebears and linking up with, for example, surviving klezmer musical traditions.
The oil-rich South American nation of Venezuela is in the midst of a complicated and contradictory process of social transformation. The revolutionary movement, headed by President Hugo Chavez, is redistributing wealth, bringing key industries under state ownership and promoting experiments in direct, participatory democracy. The aim of the Bolivarian revolution is to build a “socialism for the 21st century”.
The Solidarity Choir in Sydney is celebrating its 25th anniversary on March 31. The event will take place from 7.30pm upstairs at the Gaelic Club, 10 Devonshire St, Surry Hills, near Central Station. The concert will feature songs from various groups and artists with a political orientation, such as Ecopella, the Sydney Trade Union Choir, the Solidarity Choir and "Andsome Friends". The event is also a fundraiser for the Asylum Seekers Centre and admission is by donation ($20/$15).
This is an abridged version of an article that first appeared on February 24 in the Occupied Chicago Tribune, the newspaper backing Occupy Chicago. Despite brutal forced evictions of Occupy camps across the United States late last year, the movement for the interests of the 99% against the 1% is still going strong.
The Egyptian revolution has mobilised millions of people. It brought down the United States-backed dictator Hosni Mubarak. The struggle for democracy and equality continues. Countless songs dedicated to the uprising rocketed around the internet. Two of these songs, "Rebel" and "Not Your Prisoner" from hip-hop trio Arabian Knightz, quickly became anthems of the revolution. Arabian Knightz released their new album Uknighted States of Arabia on January 25 ― the one-year anniversary of the protests that sparked the revolution.
Politically progressive post-hardcore band Enter Shikari say they only have to look at their fans to get a sense that the world can change for the better. “The past few years we've seen a huge increase in people that come up and thank us for singing about the things we do,” Rou Reynolds, frontman of the British band, tells Green Left Weekly. “Usually, while standing at your merchandise table after a show you'd get 'great show, love your music’ and so on, but such a big percentage of people now also express gratitude and solidarity with our lyrical standing.
Which Side Are You On? Ani DiFranco Righteous Babe Records www.righteousbabe.com By Barry Healy Which Side Are You On? is Veteran United States indie folk artist Ani DiFranco’s first CD release in years and her legion of fans will be pleased to hear that she has lost none of her edge. Rambling in the footsteps of Woody Guthrie, she half sings, half talks through a catalogue of contemporary issues, including human relationships and social oppression.
Pride Of The Underdog Deeder Zaman Modulor, 2011 www.deederzaman.com When Deeder Zaman was at the height of his fame as the vocalist for British dance rock group Asian Dub Foundation (ADF), he hung up his mike to become a full-time activist. So why did he swap such a high-profile, influential position for low-profile work with the National Civil Rights Movement, the Campaign Against Racism and Fascism, the Miscarriages Of Justice Organisation and the Children with Aids Charity?
United States' singer/songwriter Cat Power (aka Chan Marshall) was encouraged by boycott activists to cancel her gig in Tel Aviv, scheduled for February 12. It looks like the pressure worked. On February 9, Cat Power announced her show had been cancelled, and tweeted: “Music is healing and it is not humane if all cannot have the choice, the right, to attend.”