Monday, September 15, 2008

Where Are All The Protest Songs?

Here we are in the homestretch of one of the most important presidential elections in American history and one thing I find very odd is the lack of any meaningful protest songs. I remember seeing an interview with Lamb of God's Randy Blythe in which he predicted this year would be akin to the late Reagan era—a time when punk rock bands flourished with displeasure at the direction the country was going in. Remember Black Flag? The Dead Kennedys?

And what have we had the last couple of years? Green Day? The much-maligned Dixie Chicks? Old standbys like Steve Earle and Neil Young? Good thing they're still willing to express themselves, but I must say I'm very disappointed in the majority of this nation's troubadours and rabble-rousers. Sure there are other exceptions, like Against Me! and Anti-Flag, but why aren't this nation's more well-known artists getting in on the act? Yes, there are plenty of celebs running around in Obama T-shirts, but does that seep into our consciousness in the same way? You definitely can't dance to it.

Ironically enough, I blame blogging for all this. Maybe in this day and age, it's simply easier to sign into one's Blogger account and type away, or record an "Obama Girl" response video for YouTube. And then there's my Rock Band theory: no one is learning to play real music anymore because they're too busy figuring out how to play Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" on those dumb-ass color-coded Fisher-Price-looking Les Pauls.

Whatever the reason, the result is the same. Our country is in crisis, and no one wants to sing about it.

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