By Chris MeyerSince being forcibly evicted last November, demonstrators returned to Zuccotti Park to commemorate the day the Occupy Wall Street movement began. While there has been some form of protest here and there since last fall, this past weekend saw the return of more formidable crowds. From an outsider’s perspective, the supposed “movement” died down, but what these protests have spawned on an intrinsic level cannot easily be forgotten.Rage Against the Machine guitarist, and current Nightwatchman Tom Morello was present on Sunday afternoon to play a 30-minute set, which included a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “The Ghost of Tom Joad” and an instrumental version of Rage’s “Sleep Now in the Fire”. Other performers included Das Racist member Kool A.D., Dead Kennedys’ Jello Biafra and the rap trio Rebel Diaz.The “We Are The 99%” slogan has been replaced with “We Owe You Nothing”, and the thousands upon thousands of protestors in Zuccotti Park have been replaced with daily literature and films about the Occupy Movement. But what hasn’t been replaced is the overall resentment towards the 1%; that upper-crust-Wall-Street crowd blamed for this nation’s economic troubles. What hasn’t been replaced is the general discontent towards a government that has allowed these people off the hook with no more than a slap on the wrist. At the same time, over 7,000 protestors of these injustices have been arrested by police forces. Therein lies the problem.With a presidential election approaching, we look to find representatives that will do more than just speak on our behalf. We need those that are elected to fight for the betterment of a country that is seriously lagging behind in every major category when compared to other nations. Four years ago, we looked at Barack Obama to get this nation on the right track. Now, not much better off than where we were at that point (if at all), the question becomes can Mitt Romney do a better job? The answer, unequivocally, is no. This guy IS the 1%. His lifestyle is a slap in the face at our problems, rather than the solution. I am not saying that Barack Obama is the best answer either, but Mitt Romney? Is he really the best alternative we have? If so, then the times really are a-changin’, and not for the better (that applies to about 99% of us).Perhaps the answer in fact lies in We, the People, and our ability to change Washington, D.C. by getting all of the lobbyists, special interest groups, and dirty money out of there, on top of keeping the corporate powerhouses in constant check. Ask any Tea Party member and they claim it to be the way. Another answer may be providing this country with stronger third and fourth parties in which to represent the electorate properly a la British Parliament. We, the People, are forever at the mercy of these two warring factions (those loving Democrats and Republicans) that can only seem to agree to disagree, while a large percentage of the nation continues to suffer. Maybe it’s time the system had some tweaking because our democracy doesn’t feel like much of a democracy. It’s evolution, baby! – A frightening topic of conversation around the country.Do any of us truly believe that either of the parties that divide our country is acting in our best interests? The problems that the country faces right now goes way beyond simply which presidential candidate will do the “best job”. This is an internal issue within the system itself. If a gear is broken, don’t you fix it? It seems we all agree that a fix is necessary. The real question is: How do you fix it? Mike Patton of Faith No More said it best, “What is It?” Do we even know? Something is broken in this nation. That is a fact. But can we put our finger on what it is to truly change the course of our own history? There are issues that have been both relevant and unchanged since the Bush years, which have continued through the Obama administration, and will continue into the foreseeable future whether it is Barack Obama or Mitt Romney as our next President. Unless we fight for our right, we can all bet on that.The Occupy Wall Street Movement is more pertinent now than ever before given the fact we are in an election year. We cannot forget what has happened to the lower and middle classes over the last twelve years. People are out of work, our education system is a bureaucratic mess (similar to our government), we STILL rely on foreign oil – though, domestic isn’t any better – and our government is not exploring alternative plans of attack to fix the problems that exist. Or, which could be more accurate, we are at a never-ending bipartisan standstill. If it takes those in power this long to deliver attainable solutions, we are seriously screwed as a nation. We got to fight the powers that be, and realize that politics is merely the decoy of perception.Henry David Thoreau once said, “The path of least resistance leads to crooked rivers and crooked men.” Well, the good ol’ U.S.A. is full of crooked rivers and crooked men and we cannot stand idly by and let anyone destroy our freedoms, rights, and lives in their own quest for power and glory. We have the right to protest. We have the ability to spark change. We have got to Take the Power Back!For information regarding the Occupy Wall Street Movement, check out this link:http://occupywallst.org/If you are interest in contributing writing, videos, or music to the Occupy Movement, check out these links:http://occupywriters.com/http://www.occupyfilmmakers.com/http://www.occupymusicians.com/* Lines used by Bob Dylan, Pearl Jam, Faith No More, Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, and Rage Against the Machine
Let’s play a word association game. I say the name of a pop star, and you say the first words that come to mine. Ready? Miley Cyrus. Did you say ‘Black Skinhead’? No? Really? Oh. Well, Kanye West must see the connection, as The NY Post is reporting that Cyrus skipped out on her own late night after party to hit the studio with West to record a remix of his track, ‘Black Skinhead’.Both performers received their fair share of controversy at last Sunday’s VMAs, with Cyrus’ twerk fest with Robin Thicke overshadowing West’s performance in front of back drop of a tree that was once used for lynchings.The Post’s sources say the track will be released on a remix EP later this year.
Random cover alert – Taylor Swift was on Pittsburgh’s ‘The Danger Show’ radio program recently, where she busted out her guitar for an interesting version of Eminem’s ‘Lose Yourself’. She manages to nail the lyrics and gives a half decent performance, but her rap career clearly isn’t all there yet.Could there be another hip-hop/country crossover coming soon? Hopefully it will be less annoying than this terrible song. You can listen to Taylor’s performance below.
Good vibes, funky beats, and sax (LOTS OF SAX)! These are just some of the awesome aspects of electro-infused blues producer GRiZ’s national Rebel Era Tour. The tour, which kicked off October 10th in San Diego, and ends on New Years Eve in New Orleans, has been a great success for 23-year-old Grant, who started off just mixing at college parties. Along with his own unique bluesy sound, the jams and collaborations of talented artists such as The Floozies, Gramatik and Manic Focus were also heard all over the US during this tour.With the announcement of GRiZ’s newly found record label, Liberated Music, fans are desperately awaiting for news on all the awesome artists that will be signed and funky collaborations that will be sure to happen.Just released was the second video installment of the Rebel Era Tour, which spotlights Grant and his crew, skateboarding along the way, inviting fans to watch them attempt stunts during down-time, kicking ass during live shows, and of course always turning up. The video is weaved together by a phone call between GRiZ and his mom, in which she lets him know how fun his show was and that she loves him (Awwww). Who knew GRiZ was a mamas boy?GRiZ is set to play True Music Festival in Scottsdale, Arizona with Flaming Lips, Bassnectar, Wiz Khalifa, Capital Cities, Kill Paris, Hellogoodbye, Lord Huron, He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister, Kopecky Family Band, and more!Here’s a link to the video:
Apple recently pulled a controversial marketing stint by buying the rights to U2’s latest album Songs of Innocence for $100 million and placing it in your iTunes, without your knowledge or consent. The bold move has caused hoards of backlash from the Apple community, who apparently do not like having their phones raped by Bono. In response, Apple quickly put out a link to remove the album with one click. But what if once you’ve heard the album, the removal device just isn’t enough? In response to Apple’s response, Conan debuted the following video last night:
Sadly, Sam Smith has to have vocal chord surgery after suffering from a vocal chord hemorrhage last month. Doctors say he needs suspension microlaryngoscopy surgery, and will need some time to recover. He has been forced to cancel all of his upcoming tour dates.Listen To Flume’s Fire Remix Of Sam Smith’s ‘Lay Me Down’Smith posted the following apology to his fans on his Facebook page:
It’s never too late to attend your first music festival!Funny or Die profiled a group of senior citizens killing it at Bonnaroo, kicking it with Mumford and Sons, joining Guster on stage, even raging the Silent Disco late night. They were a huge hit among both the bands and fellow attendees, and sure do still know how to have a good time! Watch Denny, Isolde, Anne and Neil living it up at their very first music festival. (Hint: the results are both hilarious and awesome).Old People At Bonnaroo from Funny Or Die
NYC-based DJ duo Horizon Wireless is on a roll lately. They just played a rockin’ late-night set at Camp Bisco that had everyone buzzing, and entertained a rowdy crowd at Farm Fest. Fortunately, they’ll be hitting NYC’s Drom tonight along with G-Nome Project for anyone who wants to get down to some intergalactic breakbeat action. Check out their tour dates, full audio from Farm Fest and footage from Bisco below.Horizon Wireless Tour Dates:August 6: Drom (w/ G-Nome Project) – New York, NYAugust 15: Stella Blues – New Haven, CTAugust 28-30: Purple Pig Music Festival – Naples, NYSeptember 18-20: Catskill Chill Music Festival – Hancock, NYFarm Fest Full:“Vogue”:“Whiplash”:“Space Jam”:
Rapper Tyler, The Creator, co-founder of Odd Future, has been banned from entering the UK for 3-5 years due to the nature of his lyrics. The lyrics in question, however, are from 6-7 years ago, from his albums Bastard and Goblin.Tyler The Creator Says Odd Future Is No MoreAccording to a letter from the UK Secretary of State, Tyler’s material “encourages violence and intolerance of homosexuality” and “fosters hatred with views that seek to provoke others to terrorist acts.” A Tumblr post from his manager Christian Clancy ensures that he’s steered away from this type of subject material for years, and that he was just 18 when those controversial albums were written.Tyler will be forced to cancel four tour dates in the UK and Ireland, including an appearance at Reading and Leeds.The UK Home Office issued a vague followup statement, saying, “Coming to the UK is a privilege, and we expect those who come here to respect our shared values. The Home Secretary has the power to exclude an individual if she considers that his or her presence in the UK is not conducive to the public good or if their exclusion is justified on public policy grounds.”While several other rappers have experienced similar prohibitions from entering the UK, such as Snoop Dogg and Busta Rhymes, in those cases it was for criminal offenses, not song lyrics.Many of Tyler’s early lyrics were indeed controversial, but should someone be beholden to something they did or said when they were 18? Moreover, is this a violation of free speech?[Via The Guardian]
Anytime you get the opportunity to watch a master at work, you take it. Such is the case with Santa Cruz product STS9. The band that’s been “making electronic music relevant” for 15+ years set up shop at Pittsburgh’s Stage AE last night and threw down something ferocious, setting off a dance frenzy amongst the All Hallows’ Eve crowd.STS9 Reveals Dates For Extensive Winter 2016 TourAfter a soulful opening set from Portland, ME five-piece Jaw Gems, STS9 didn’t waste much time with pleasantries, diving headfirst into “March.” David Phipps‘ keyboard and synths lead the tune early and achieved a peak via drummer Zach Velmer and guitarist/keyboard player Hunter Brown. An excellent opening selection to wet the appetite on a Friday night.STS9 had a great mixture of old staples and new favorites all throughout the night, including a frantic “Four Year Puma” from 1999’s Interplanetary Escape Vehicle that showcased bass player Alana Rocklin’s brilliant slap bass, turning the jam into an all out fusion session, “Mischief of a Sleepwalker” lead by the steady playing of Velmer and percussionist Jeffree Lerner, as well as an entrancing “Tap-In.”Watch STS9 Cover Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ In Minneapolis Tour OpenerTribe showed early and often their aptitude for building a jam up and then letting it pay off with a huge explosion. See, “From Now On.” An always welcomed “Move My Peeps” and “Rent” rounded out the first set, but it should be noted here, that pound for pound, STS9 has some of the most stunning visuals you will find in the scene. Couple that with the band’s innate ability to find the sweet spot during each song, this was certainly an early Halloween treat.Set two opened with 2014’s dance-inducing “Totem” and continued on with the driving storm of “Pianor.” Talk about a tune with wonderful ebbs and flows in rhythm and texture. Things cooled down and grooved forward with a “Forest Hu > Really Wut?” transition that lead to a diabolical “Inspire Strikes Back,” appropriate for a night like Devil’s Night. Unwavering guitar swirls from Brown and assertive tones from Rocklin underscored a tight rhythm and groove laid down by Velmer and Lerner with Phipps’ keyboard plugging away in all the right spots.The exuberant melodies of “Circus” and “Scheme” drove the show home with a laid back “Jebez” from 2002’s Seasons 01 serving as the encore. All and all it was as sparkling of a night musically and visually as anyone hopes for when they go to purchase their ticket. STS9 continues on with their Fall tour tonight in Silver Spring, MD. You can find more details about where you can catch them next here.Setlist: STS9 at Stage AE, Pittsburgh, PA -10/30/15Set I: March > Four Year Puma, Mischief of a Sleepwalker, Tap-In, New Dawn, New Day, From Now On, Move My Peeps, RentSet II: Totem, Pianor, Forest Hu > Really Wut?, Inspire Strikes Back, Circus, SchemeEncore: Jebez[All photos courtesy of Ben Petchel] Load remaining images