Posted tagged ‘Tom Morello’

You say you want a revolution: Soundtracks for Change in American Protest Movements

2011/10/14

Recently, Tom Morello gave an interview with Keith Obermann on the Occupy movement that has sprung up in the United States, Canada, and across the Atlantic. The musician behind the Nightwatchman and guitarist for Rage Against the Machine spoke of the importance of music and culture in political change, saying that in America, “every successful, progressive, radical or revolutionary movement this country has ever seen has had a great soundtrack.”

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Who Said YOU Could Label Dissent?

2011/03/05

On Tuesday, 8 March 2011- Dr. Michael MacDonald and I will be giving a public lecture at the University of Alberta. As you can see on the poster, it’s called “Listening to Dissent: The Sound of Protest from Woody Guthrie to Rage Against the Machine.”

The talk is going to deal with the role of music in protest – and I don’t know if you’ve being reading the papers lately, but there’s been a heck of a lot of dissent against authority going on recently. So if you’re in the neighborhood, stop on by Tory 1-125 for a discussion on the attitude that musicians from Woody Guthrie to Joe Strummer to Joey Keithley to Tom Morello share.

Oh yeah, and there’ll be snacks!

the future is still unwritten

2010/12/26

This is Tom Morello‘s recent article on the lasting impact of the Clash, and the late and legendary Joe Strummer:

Joe Strummer, 1952-2002

The Clash Legacy

by Tom Morello

I had the good fortune to see the Clash play at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago when I was a teenager. It was an experience that changed my life. Even before the first note was played the transformation began. I bought a t-shirt in the lobby. I was used to buying heavy metal t-shirts with lots of garish wizards and dragons on them, but this Clash shirt was different. It just had a few small words written over the heart. It said, “the future is unwritten.”

Sing a Song for Joe Hill

2010/11/19

Some say Joe Hill died on this day. In 1915. He was executed by a firing squad in the state of Utah. One night two men had been murdered in what seemed like a tale of revenge, and Joe Hill got the blame. He didn’t have no reason for killing those two men, but then again he didn’t have no alibi for why he had suffered a gunshot wound that same night.

The two men, they said, had been murdered by a man who had got himself shot too. Joe Hill hadn’t been a friend of the state of Utah – he was a Wobblie – a member of the Industrial Workers of the World. The I.W.W. still exists today, and in Hill’s time they were leading the charge for workers’ rights (for little things like the weekend and an eight hour work day). Hill served as the I.W.W.’s songsmith – he took old gospel standards and turned them into worker anthems.

Joe Hill

Joe Hill

Unfortunately, we don’t have a time machine to go back and find out the truth about Joe Hill. But many folks believed then, and many folks still believe now, that the trial of Joe Hill was a farce. That he wasn’t guilty of no murders, but he was being blamed because he organized workers, and that meant less money for the Big Wigs, Fat Cats, and those otherwise involved with getting rich off the poor. They saw their chance to get rid of Hill and they took it.

And why didn’t Hill have an alibi? Well some would tell you that Joe Hill was in the arms of a married woman, and revealing the affair would have ruined her life. So he gave his life to save her.

But some say Joe Hill didn’t die that day.

And some sang songs about him. Here’s a few of ’em.

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