Wednesday, 26 August 2009
Monday, 24 August 2009
Saturday, 22 August 2009
Friday, 21 August 2009
Thursday, 20 August 2009
Rise like Lions after slumber In unvanquishable number, Shake your chains to earth like dew Which in sleep had fallen on you – Ye are many – they are few.Footnote: After this note was written and posted, I discovered that Links had published a very good and much fuller account of Peterloo, and that author Graham Milner had concluded his essay with the same verse from Shelley. See: http://links.org.au/node/1206
Wednesday, 19 August 2009
Tuesday, 18 August 2009
Sunday, 16 August 2009
How did you become a radical folk singer? Which came first?
i was raised by progressive musicians, so it’s really hard to say...
Is there really such a thing as folk music, as in music of “the people” today? Or is it just another genre for recording industry marketing?
i tend to avoid the term ‘folk’, since it’s too vague. but in the broad sense, folk used to mean music of the people, that is, anything other than classical music. not that classical music is an entirely elite thing, but it’s traditionally the preferred form of music of the elite, which they subsidized to a large extent to keep it going. in the 20th century that changed, and the elite music became what they play on the commercial airwaves. so is pop music ‘of the people’ in the broad folk sense? no. what do we then call ‘folk’ music? i have no idea. but there is music that is funded by the elite and music that is of the people, and i do the latter, along with lots of other artists of various genres who aren’t part of the music industry establishment.
There’s a long tradition of political folk music in the US, going back at least to Joe Hill and other IWW song-writers a hundred years ago. These songs were written by working people as part of their struggles. How strong is that tradition today? Are these radical songs still really of “the people”? Or is political folk music something that’s only kept alive by a small audience of radical activists?
having run several open mikes for long periods of time in my younger years, i can tell you unequivocally that regular working class people write political songs on a daily basis. they come to open mikes and sing them. some of them are pretty good! of course those that end up becoming professional musicians are the ones we tend to hear about, and by then they may not have that raw ‘field recording’ or open mike edge to them, but certainly the tradition is alive and well. not, however, part of the very limited pile of crap you’ll hear on commercial radio. and not, by any means, mostly in the musical tradition of joe hill or woody guthrie. more often influenced by indie rock, punk rock, or hiphop.
How were things for a leftist like yourself when George Bush was in power? Do you have any interesting stories that give an insight into that time?
george bush got old after a while, but for at least the first 5 years or so he was a real gift to the satirists. he actually named the war in iraq ‘operation iraqi liberation’ for a few hours before realizing the obvious acronymic mistake. amazing.
What dose Obama’s election mean to you?
mainly it means that significant sections of the ruling elite have decided it’s a good time to give a little back to the people before the people get out of hand. but it’s also very therapeutic for a lot of people that tens of millions of white americans voted for a black man for president. and it’s nice to have somebody in there who actually has a brain. seems like the last one i remember at all like that was jimmy carter.
What do you think it will mean for the USA?
i think some concessions will be won out of the obama administration, such as somewhat better health care for a few million people at least. otherwise it all looks pretty grim and corporate-controlled. i don’t think we can expect much without a mass movement to demand it.
What do you think it will mean for the world?
i imagine it’ll mean a lot of things. hard to say. the u.s. is still the evil empire, but i’d say obama would be a bit less likely to start a new war, at least not without u.n. support...
Thursday, 13 August 2009
Wednesday, 12 August 2009
Monday, 10 August 2009
Saturday, 8 August 2009
Friday, 7 August 2009
Monday, 3 August 2009
David Rovics, singer, songwriter has been accurately described as the musical voice of the progressive movement in the US. In the tradition of Woody Guthrie, Phil Ochs and Pete Seeger, David is a scholar of the history of social struggle and a sharp social critic of current affairs.
His hard hitting lyrics accompanied by his mastery of his acoustic guitar encompass themes including the war on terror, the environmental crisis, the Middle East and Latin America.
With lyrics containing sharp analysis and satire, Rovic’s brings a sense of fun and hope to his shows. His hope is inspired by a strong identification with the movements for social change of which he is very much a part.
During his shows in New Zealand last year, he made himself aware of the local social issues and supported the direct action of the ANZAC Ploughshares Community who are currently awaiting trial for deflating a dome covering an intelligence gathering satellite dish at the Waihopai Valley in Marlborough.
Cutting edge analysis, beautiful poetry, skilled guitar playing, standing with those who struggle for peace and justice, David Rovics passion is inspiring and his humour infectious. His concert should not be missed.
Download music: www.davidrovics.com
Contact for interview: drovics(a)gmail.com
• Thursday, August 13th, Bailies Bar, 50 Cathderal Square, Christchurch
• Friday, August 14th, 7:30 pm, Riverside Community and Cultural Centre, Inland Moutere Highway, RD2 Upper Moutere, Motueka
• Saturday, August 15th, Show for grownups..., Newtown Community & Cultural Centre, Corner Rintoul and Colombo Streets, Newtown, Wellington
• Sunday, August 16th, Show for KIDS!, Newtown Community & Cultural Centre, Corner Rintoul and Colombo Streets, Newtown, Wellington
• Tuesday, August 18th, Poverty Bay Club, Gisborne
• Wednesday, August 19th, Mosiac Church, Newton Rd, Mt Maunganui, Tauranga
• Thursday, August 20th, 8 pm, Wine Cellar, St. Kevin's Arcade, Karangahape Road, Auckland
From: Moana Cole: moanacole.barrister(a)paradise.net.nz
Tel: 027 6609335
Sunday, 2 August 2009
Matt Jones (Unite Union)
Joe Fleetwood (Maritime Union)
Grant Brookes (RAM)
Unite Union has initiated a petition for a Citizens Initiated Referendum on raising the minimum wage. The referendum will ask the question, "Should the adult minimum wage be raised in steps over the next three years, starting with an immediate rise to $15 per hour, until it reaches 66% of the average total hourly earnings as defined in the Quarterly Employment Survey?"
Come along and hear how the petition is mobilising support for an alternative response to the economic crisis.
When? 2pm, Sunday August 9
Where? Crossways, 6 Roxburgh St, Mt Victoria.
Hosted by the Alliance Party and RAM – Residents Action Movement. For more information, contact Grant (021 053 2973) or Jocelyn (04 385 1936).
The bailout measures adopted by national governments represent a huge safety net for the banks, enabling them to once again engage in highly speculative forms of financial trading. The levels of debt resulting from the bank bailout packages and other forms of economic stimulus have assumed gigantic dimensions and will be paid for by generations to come. At the same time, the rapid accumulation of debt by governments opens up vast and lucrative opportunities for the banks. Trading in government loans bound up with financial rescue packages is emerging as a central activity of the big banks. Average government debt in the European Union is expected to rise to 80 percent of GDP this year and even higher in 2010. In Britain, government debt is expected to reach 100 percent of GDP in 2009. Japan’s government debt is headed for 200 percent by 2011, and government debt in the US is expected to reach 100 percent of GDP by the same time. As the levels of debt rise across the globe, rating agencies are downgrading the lending status of individual countries, which then have to pay increased interest rates to the banks in order to service their loans. For the banks, it is a classic “win-win” situation. At the same time, banks are refraining from investing in businesses because, as they note euphemistically, “in the current financial climate” the prospects for ordinary companies and industrial enterprises are “too risky.” Confronted with the refusal of the banks to extend credit, industrial and commercial companies are forced to sell corporate bonds at much higher levels of interest. The banks make further profits by speculating in the trading of these bonds.The banks are waging an aggressive war, out in the economy and through government insiders, to secure their control and wealth at the expense of everyone else. The role of the banks in the global economy needs to be brought to the attention of masses of people who are suffering the fallout of the financial crisis. Strategies need to be thought of that best mobilise people against the banks and others of the global finance class. See also The Joy of Sachs by Paul Krugman.