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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.”

Peruvian-born Harlem emcee Immortal Technique rocked a full house at the Metro in Sydney on January 19 as part of his debut tour of Australia and New Zealand.

The Afro-Peruvian Technique grew up alongside other poor African Americans and Latinos in New York and steered clear of offers from record labels (“offered me a deal, and a blanket full of smallpox!”, he sings in “Industrial Revolution”). Instead, he built up a substantial following as an independent artist.

Ollie MC was an activist and hip hop artist, whose wheelchair was seen from the stage, to the streets, rallies and the coffee shop. Determined and unforgettable, he bore witness to the struggle for truth and justice.

See also:
Call Out To The Nation -- Ollie MC

When you met Ollie, he made an impression. His talent with beats, rhymes and fighting and soulful lyrics stayed with you. His energy, cheekiness and ridicule of the corrupt, stayed with you.

"Lou Reed and Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello are among the first signatories of Occupy Musicians”, a November 22 British Guardian article said.

supports Occupy Wall Street and the global movement against inequality. The Guardian said the website aims to co-ordinate performances at Occupy sites and showcase new works by signatory artists.

It said: "Occupy Musicians is a sister site to the bookish campaign at Occupy Writers, the lensing of Occupy Filmmakers and the speech-bubbles atOccupy Comics."

Next Of Kin
The Last Kinection
Elefant Traks
www.lastkinection.com
To win a signed copy of the album, see below

When Naomi Wenitong from Aboriginal hip hop group The Last Kinection is asked how challenging it is to be a woman in the male-dominated music industry, she laughs.

"I don’t mind being one of the only buns at this Oz hip hop sausage sizzle," she jokes to Green Left Weekly.

"Everyone has challenges in this industry regardless of their sex. You can either let it be your disadvantage or make it your advantage.

Bad as Me
Tom Waits
ANTI- Records
www.tomwaits.com
Listen to the album here

Tom Waits, the 61-year-old veteran musical maverick, released his first album of entirely new music in seven years on October 25.

The 17th studio album by famously rough-voiced California-based singer, who was inducted into the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame by Neil Young this year, continues his obsession with telling tales from the wrong side of the tracks.

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