Tin Ear Tuesday – All Hopes Reveille Tin Ear Tuesday – All Hopes Reveille

Tin Ear Tuesday – All Hopes Reveille from pinpointmusic on 8tracks.

This is a brief political mix pulled together in the week since May Day. It is biased. Most of the artists contained herein are left-leaning. I’d apologize more profusely for that but my concern at being ear-marked by the Southern Poverty Law Center for downloading the Rahowa catalog in the interest of maintaining the last semblance of a Fairness Doctrine was enough to keep me of a somewhat singular mind. It is also woefully incomplete. I’d wanted to included pieces by Bikini Kill, Dmitri Shostakovich, Bruce Springsteen, etc. but I think the sound of this is schizophrenic enough as it is. And though I like to think of Tin Ear as an open forum for whatever the fuck I happen to be thinking/feeling/living at any given time (with your comments duly encouraged) I want to take pains to point out that all the sentiments contained herein do not, necessarily, reflect the sensibilities of Pinpoint Music or any member of her staff. You’ll also note that I didn’t include a single song about Ronald Reagan because…well…fuck that guy, right? He’s dead. Let’s let America move on. Rockit.

Billy Bragg – “There Is Power in the Union” from Talking with the Taxman about Poetry…I first heard this song on the radio driving through the industrial wasteland of Connecticut. It broke my heart. Billy Bragg’s good like that. A lonely man with a handsome voice exalting the cries of the working man. I thought this song had ties to the Joe Hill Wobbly number but is, in fact, based on “Battle Cry of Freedom” which predates Mr. Hill by sixty years. I have some issues with unions. The teamsters fucked my father when he was unwell and the lazy corruption I’ve seen in some hospitals is deplorable. In general, however, unions work to give voice to the nameless, faceless many who make civilization possible. Sometimes, their power may go awry, but on the whole their purpose is to ensure that working men and women get a fair stake in their living rights. How the fuck is Scott Walker governor?

Chumbawamba – “Invasion” from Pictures of Starving Children Sell Records…There is a huge chasm of space, time and culture between this track and “Tubthumping” (which I fucking love) but Chumbawamba were born fucking anarchists, smashing the system from their squat inception through their unprecedented success and into their new path of haunting folkloric glory. This is the last song off of their first LP which was written (the whole fucking record) as an attack against Bob Geldof and the bloated nonsense the world embraced as Live Aid. That’s right. While you (or your parents, most likely) were crying at the abject sincerity of U2, Chumbawamba was writing an entire record to spite you.

Screeching Weasel – “I Wanna Be a Homosexual” from Pervo Devo…Okay, hear me out. I know that Ben Weasel is a dick now. Hell, he was probably always some sort of asshole but there are many songs in his cannon that really buck against the bullshit punk aesthetic. This is pretty much the prime example. Different than the version that appears on Kill the Musicians in that it opens with some spoken word by the grandest of queer horror porn provocateurs Bruce LaBruce (shudder, swooooon) and was written in response to Sloppy Seconds’ doofish “I Don’t Wanna Be a Homosexual” which Mr. Weasel contends was not, in fact, homophobic but I don’t know about that. What I do know is that it’s fucking outrageous how, in the 21st Century America, being gay is still viewed by many as a deviant act of cultural subterfuge.

The (International) Noise Conspiracy – “The Blast Off” from The First Conspiracy…Dennis Lyxzen is an anarchist. He always has been. Hopefully, despite all of Refused’s new found money grubbing revitalization (whatever, though…I saw them and they were amazing), he still will be. I am not an anarchist myself for a myriad of reasons but I respect a man’s insistence on a career spent slowly infiltrating the system only to burst out screaming from it’s neck. Or is that being too optimistic? My mother always told me that the system would kill me but Dennis is alive and so am I so someone’s fucking lying.

County Joe and the Fish – “The Fish Cheer/Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die Rag” from The Best of Woodstock…I am NOOOOO hippie but listening to this track gives me hope for ’69. Wait. Shit. Okay, but still, for all of the dipshit that’s been spilled regarding the summer of fucking up it’s great to hear 300,000 people chant “FUCK!” and sing this savage social commentary. This wasn’t love, it was revolution. As insouciant (if not more so) as Michael Moore asking Papa Bear if he’d send his son to Afghanistan. War is hell, son but it’s the legacy young America just can’t seem to escape so you’d best ready yourself for an unceremonious death.

Public Enemy – “By the Time I Get to Arizona” from Apocalypse ’91…The Enemy Strikes Black…I think this might be my favorite Public Enemy song. Not because it’s their best (though the video did scare the shit out of a nation) but because it reminds me that it took Arizona until the fucking NINETEENFUCKINGNINETIES to recognize MLK Day which is, frankly, horrifying (though, I believe, South Carolina waited until the new millenium so, really, fuck them too). I used to have a boss who lived in Arizona who I loved to remind of this fact. We (unsurprisingly) don’t work together anymore.

Body Count – “Cop Killer” from Body Count…In many ways, this song changed the world. It certainly shattered the American landscape. Released just a month before the L.A. Riots and earning the outspoken ire of the President, VP and just about every fucking white person within a hundred mile radius of Fairfax plus the goddamn PMRC, “Cop Killer” made it abundantly clear that the war was, indeed, home. I mean it was fucking Ice T fronting an all-black thrash crossover act trying to unite the turgid, brown wasteland of Los Angeles in opposition to the dreaded LAPD through willful acts of violence. From the intro to the end no song I have ever heard nor will ever hear can equal the shocking ferocity of this track. I lived in L.A. when this song dropped and survived the fiery aftermath. I still get nervous listening to it.

David Peel and the Lower East Side Band – “Up Against the Wall” from Have a Marijuana…UP AGAINST THE WALL, MOTHERFUCKER! UP AGAINST THE WALL, MOTHERFUCKER! UP AGAINST THE WALL! UP AGAINST THE WALL! UP AGAINST THE WALL MOTHER FUCK…HER! LALALALALALALALALALALALALAL!!!!! Repeat. Yeah. The best named art movement of this or any age, captured street perfect sing-a-long by a nomadic anarchic LES fixture (and his band) who is, inexplicably, still living. Shit, if antifolk still sounded like this I’d start my whiskey day at 7A.

Discharge – “Protest and Survive” from The Nightmare Continues…Man, after Body Count, Discharge kinda sound like a bunch of wanker sucks. Still, I love this song and I think the sentiment is one of the best that’s popped up in a while. Protest and Survive. Simple. Eloquent. Leather jacket stencil ready. Whatever this band’s become (boring) or punk has done (anyone?) that simple axiom should ring with a teeth-rattling truth for even the most couch-bound of us pundits. YOU ARE YOUR DEFIANCE! LIVE IT! LOVE IT! SCREAM IT! (or die)

Retox – “Boredom Is Counter-Revolutionary” from Ugly Animals…I guess this is a different take on the whole thing which is good because I am a much firmer a believer in the idea of the personal as political than I am of…well…politics as we know it. Justin Pearson (shouting) has been a radical fixture in music since the early nineties (Struggle, The Locust, Some Girls, All Leather, etc.). He’s made as many friends as he has enemies through a steady process of genre obliteration, great personal truth and a relentless attack on the lax commodity of “goodness.” He’s also a really nice guy and, one day, will be properly lionized…or burned alive.

B L A C K I E – “Warchild” from True Spirit and Not Giving a Fuck…Always end on a hope, right? Always end with the blasting sound system paranoid anti-Illuminati scourge. Always end with B L A C K I E. His howl is the future. Nihilistic and pure and relentlessly stated “I don’t care about America…Nigga!…It kills it’s youth…Right now, my lifestyle’s hostile…I am now a WARCHILD!” The new noise come from well south of the Mason. This motherfucker is set to destroy all living archetypes and architecture. He’ll change your life. He’ll blow your mind. He is the fight.

Tin Ear Tuesday – All Hopes Reveille from pinpointmusic on 8tracks.

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