Protest Songs for George W.
On the closing night of the Coachella Festival back in April, in the middle of the California desert, Rage Against the Machine reunited to play a blistering set, forcefully taking back their poli-rock crown. They were gone for seven years to quietly brood with Michael Moore (Zach de la Rocha) and/or to start awful jock-core supergroups for the lobotomy-set (Tom Morello and the two other guys). They fled the rock scene just when we needed them for fiery and rebuking protest songs against the government. Tom Morello was quoted as saying that they had to reconvene to battle the “right-wing purgatory the country had slid under.” So now RATM is back to fight the Man, and we are supposed to act like nobody has been screaming for vengeance ever since they left.
Conor Oberst, Bruce Springsteen and Against Me are just some of the artists that have been musically burning the Bush, as in George W. Bush. Even bands like Sum 41 are trying to cash in. Those sneaky Canadians are ripping off Green Day, who was ripping off The Clash, by bitching about Mr. Prez. This year, with only two years left in the current administration, everyone's album, from Björk's to Norah Jones's, is going to have an anti-George track. Good job, guys, right on time. Way to stay on top of world events. All of a sudden, having protest songs on your new record is almost as de rigueur as using Pro Tools. It all strikes me as too little too late. Where were these folks in 2000 when the country was about to elect Dubya? Didn't his track record here in Texas send up the short-bus flag?
Can't cynics like John Mellencamp find some decency in Dubya? He's just a regular Joe, like me and you. Who hasn't alienated a big group of people all at once? (That's what high school was all about.) Who hasn't left a bunch of friends at a shitty party? Raise your hand if you haven't gotten the country into a war for spurious reasons! See, we aren't all that different from George.
Besides, I'm sick of trite screeds clumsily masked as political commentary. No one cares what Linkin Park thinks about the President their songs for depressed 14-year old girls will suffice.
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