With May Day upon us and the semi-official Occupy! Spring Offensive starting. the two of us--Detroit Red and DJ D--have teamed up to crank out this overview of the music of OWS! Occupy! has no single anthem, no “We Shall Overcome”, no defining musical voice of the movement. Instead there has been a flowering of DIY music videos, Joe Hill-esque re-writing of pop songs, spontaneous rap battles in the encampments, and a parade of established musicians showing up at protests unannounced to lend their songs and support. Hell, even Miley Cyrus made a music video for Occupy Wall Street!
The two of us are stone revolutionaries--and deep-fried music geeks. We are both longtime activists, though from different generations— DJ D is 62, Detroit Red 34. Both of us have been totally jazzed by the transformation that the eruption of Occupy Wall Street! has already wrought in the political life of this country and in the tired, aging US left. Each of us took five songs (with a bit of dickering to avoid duplication) from among scores of worthy possibilities, five which we found particularly deserving of attention and comment. Then we wrote a short introduction and made some comment on each.
[Note: for those unfamiliar with current musical culture, that "versus" in DJ D vs. Detroit Red doesn’t mean we are enemies—it is used to label collaborative projects and mash-ups as well as musical throw-downs.]
[Now crossposted at Solidarity and Daily Kos.]
DJ D drops his fiveOne of the things that has most pissed me off about the movement against the war in Iraq and Afghanistan was all the folks, admittedly mainly ‘60s types like myself, always grousing about where are the anti-war songs. Damn, Neil Young started a page on his website which now has well over 3400 posted! (At, let's call it 4 minutes per song, that’s more’n two weeks of listening 24/7, just to hear ‘em all once.)
At least anyone with the faintest actual acquaintance with Occupy Wall Street! and the Occupy! movement isn’t about to make that complaint! Even leaving aside the notorious drum circles, OWS! has been awash in music, with visits from famous artists and all kinds of playing and singing, planned and impromptu, at every encampment I know about.