Mixing pop with politics 2
So, here we are in part 2 of this series (originally planned over three installments, now probably four). In the first installment, we looked at the musical habits of some of the grand old men of political blogging. Here we look at three that are probably less well-known, but deserve to be very well-known.
Luxemburger Anarchist: Both kinds of music
I love this blog, and you will too. I don't know why I don't visit more often. I'm going to add it to my "top blogging" feed (over there on the right). Actually, I guess the reason is that it's mostly not in English and I am woefully monolingual. Politically, obviously it's Marxist-inflected anarchism. Musically, it's country and western plus a bit of punk and some other stuff. Recently, among the gems were: a lovely George Harrison Beatles song I'd never heard before, some of my favourite country rock, Hank Williams Jr (who also featured in the last instalment of my series) But I think this outlaw country song really exemplifies what the blog is all about.
Johnny Paycheck: You can take this job and shove it
And this is one of my favourite songs, which I think I've featured here before, probably as sung by Dolly Parton:
Emmylou Harris: Boulder to Birmingham
I note I am listed in the blogroll amongst "AUFKLÄRER, SKEPTIKER USW" - "enlighteners, skeptics, etc". Which I like. (Have I got the translation right? Google says "reconnaissance", "scouts" or "spotters" where I put enlighteners.)
Staying in continental Europe, Entdinglichung is an excellent radical blog, from a very non-sectarian Marxist perspective, very strong on internationalism and on socialist history, among other things. Musically, there is more non-overlap than overlap with my taste, but there is also some fantastic stuff. It is mostly played on a Sunday. Here's some recent numbers.
Linton Kwesi Johnson: Reality Poem
Hesperion XXI: Sephardic Song
(More about this here.)
Os Afro Sambas / Vinicius de Moraes & Baden Powell: Canto de Xangô
New Appeal to Reason: Blues on Saturday/Country Club
So Entdinglichung plays music on a Sunday. Stuart, of New Appeal to Reason, does it on a Saturday. There the politics is democratic socialism, the location is Kansas, and the music used to be blues. The blues series included underrated artists such as Jimmy McCracklin or Magic Slim, who died in February, as well as more recognised greats such as the awesome Buddy Guy. I'll play a song he played in September 2012, Taj Mahal's rendition of LeadBelly's "Bourgeoisie Blues", because it fits well into our theme of mixing pop and politics...
... and a song he's not played, but is by the musician we most have in common, BB King, "I Believe to my Soul", live from 1974, arguably his peak.
Since March, Stuart's taken a break from blues, and switched to country music, taking the title of his series, "Country Club", from Travis Tritt. There's great stuff like Freddy Fender or Johnny Cash with Joni Mitchell. But the one I'll play is for the pop and politics theme again. As with Johnny Paycheck above, Stuart manages to find a lesson in political economy from Western Swing star Bob Wills: "Little bee sucks the blossom, big bee gets the honey. Darkie picks the cotton, white man gets the money."