Sunday, April 12, 2015

A GATHERING OF THE TRIBES


I get asked all the time why today’s youth generation are so complacent when it comes to their rockers not having more bite in their music when it comes to addressing the complexities of our world, ie: the war in Iraq, profiteering and outright gouging by mega corporations, et al.

“Five dollars per gallon of gasoline in the last year of Bush’s reign?”
Uhh, duh, says the networks talking head, “We feel for you but that’s just the way it is.” Yikes…

This is an outrage and an issue that the media needed to address. But the 5:00 news just shrugged their useless shoulders and remained suspiciously quiet in there telling of the rise to five. Who should then tell of the American people’s private outcry?

Musicians, that’s who… Where are the songs, “ We Ain’t Payin’ No Five Dollars!” or “Screw You GB!” or “Gas This!?” You get my point. Where was a movement to impeach Bush straight after he “won” the presidentially coveted second term?

President Obama said let it be, it’s time to look to the future. But oh yeah, where’s the part where we learn from our mistakes, or historically we are doomed to repeat them again? Nowhere…The media turned the good ol’ blind eye.

Mathew J. Bartkowiak hits the nail on the head. In his book Mc5 and Social Change: A Study in Rock and Revolution

This book ought to be required reading in high school sociology, or multi-media classes. By the way I know we could’ve produced alternative fuels and hybrid type/electric cars 10 years ago or even before that. Big oil that’s why not. Bush was all about oil. And chasing Saddam. Simple really…this is called throwing the American people a red herring.

My lecture at MSU was not as scathing as the one I did at Chippewa Valley high school. When it came time for the Q & A, the young folk there actually had more pertinent questions than the college students. When I asked the college students how many were in favor of our presence in Iraq, absolutely no one raised their hands. I asked the high school students the same question and strangely (out of 500 kids) quite a few did raise their hands.

Obviously they were not facing a draft, so their motivation for survival index was down. Way down…They are safe from The Human Being Lawnmower.

Let’s get to it. Matt’s book is a fantastic look into how the media can run/ruin your life if you let it.

Corporation Brain Trusts, the Military Industrial Establishment. Congress run the show. Don’t forget the fall of Rome.

Why?
Apathy.
Greed.
Arrogance.

If we have any chance of a legitimate recovery, all citizens need to do their part. To change, and/or improve a system of human design, we need to think out of the confines of that system. That means new ideas. People need work dammit!

We know the founding fathers were slave-owners.We know this land became the US of A by the genocide of the Indian tribes.
Tragic for sure, but that was then. This is now. So how can musicians help other than donating and working with particular charities?

It is in the lyric of the songs they write. It is in the fiber and the feel, and the dynamic of the music. It is in the telling of the way they see the world, and the way they deliver it musically and lyrically. Sorry folks, it’s a political world out there. You cannot hardly escape this fact can you?

So then, music can motivate you or it can put you to sleep.
Music of today puts me to sleep. Especially hip-hop. Same old mechanical music with different poetry. My mind sleeps, my body sleeps. Whinig will never get us anywhere. Please learn how to sing and quit talking at me. What a bore. I need real music, not a can of peas.


A gathering of the tribes. We used to convince all the bands of our day to play for free. That way you get: (200 Fans) x (N) where N equals the number of bands that would play at the park for example.

Hypothetically, five bands could attract a thousand people on a good and sunny day in Ann Arbor. If each band drew 200 fans and friends, that translates to 200 x 5 equaling one thousand. Nowadays this concept has compressed to super bands with musicians from 5-10 bands making one band, just to get some bodies at the gate.

I’ll expand on this in the next post: “FROM GARAGE TO THE COVER OF THE ROLLING STONE”.

I know you all out there are waiting for this one. It is now in the writing factory of my poor mind. Hah.

Matt quotes me as saying, “There was a point where we started to do promo pictures with us holding guns. That’s when I think they (the FBI) started really taking us seriously.”

Power out of a barrel of a gun. We don’t want to repeat this mistake again now do we? I certainly don’t. Change the system people please...

I have often found it odd, that not a band since the Five have really been as strongly politically oriented and as socially minded as we were. I think at was Newsweek magazine that tagged US as “The vanguard of the revolution.” That stuck, be it good or bad in historical retrospect.

Going head to head against the powers that be garnished us a boatload of hassles. Tapped phones, a foot high stack of FBI files on us, the US Signal Corps taking photos of us at the Riot In Chicago, a firebombed band van, busted for obscenity, and more cops at a gig or two than fans. Whoah!

Apathy.
Greed.
Fear? Hmmmm…

Has the Patriot Act hamstrung rebellion on the grass roots level? Are we afraid of the spy satellites, the monitoring of possible terrorist buzzwords in our emails and blogs? Does this nation have to teeter on the edge of the next Great Depression Number before people rise up and effect long lasting change? Meaning a dead serious down deep overhaul?

You know what I am talking about don’t you?

Take my home state of Michigan. We are already just about there depression-wise. Foreclosures abound and my county (Wayne County) is the highest in the nation for unemployment and mortgage foreclosures. I have never in my life seen it this bad. Never. Stores closed everywhere. Foreclosure signs on home doors and stores everywhere you go. More jobs being lost then gained. Where will this lead us to? Trouble…

The people you elected better damn well make wholesale changes to the trade imbalance. Chinese, Pakistanese labor is dirt cheap. Why build a factory in the US? We desperately need a strong manyfacturing base, because that will generate jobs for the middle and lower less educated stratus of American workers. The last administration totally let this sector down. Four million jobs lost. This can and should be reversed. Go President Obama!

Not everyone in America can manage or afford to get a college degree. But you better get back to school of some type. Fast. Work two jobs and take an internet education. Whatever! If we can’t turn this around now, the soup lines will get longer, your unemployment will run out, and you will be out of your house and in hock and on the street.

Please write to me if you know of any band(s) that have the power to motivate it’s audience and change their thinking. This is not naivete. This is a call to get on with it, or perish slowly.

Just like Rome.

I now know a little bit more about you bloggers out there now. I study you too. You seem genuinely concerned for our future and your own well being. Let’s write in and tell me how well you think President Obama and the Congress are doing.

Let’s give them a rating. Five stars is excellent, one star is impeachment. Tell me what bands are addressing all the above. If you know of any I will post them to this blog. If you have to dig into listening to the past music for some teeth and some guidance, by all means do so. You can still teach this mean old dog a few tricks. How about you?

Buy Matt's book on my left sidebar or click on the link below:

Excelsior!
MGT

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