It’s happening, you guys, and short of some miraculous eleventh-hour long shot, we’re gonna have four long years of Trump shoved down our collective craw. And no matter how many people tell you to get over it already or that you’re a snowflake or that “we survived Obama, you’ll survive this” or that you don’t deserve to feel outraged, saddened and even just a little bit terrified, you absolutely, 100 percent do have that right—and I’m here to help you wallow (just a little bit, let’s not be morose here). I mean, sure, musician Amanda Palmer’s glib statement about how “we’re all going to crawl down staircases into basements and speakeasies and make satirically political art” aside, there is catharsis in music. So come Jan. 20, let’s get pissed together, friends, because no matter who you are or where you live, one thing’s for sure: This is going to suck.
Dead Kennedys “Nazi Punks Fuck Off” (1981)
It's an obvious one, but there's still no denying the power behind this opus from the Bay Area legends. And though it's kind of more about poseurs trying to co-opt punk, there's a certain delight in lyrics like, "You still think swastikas look cool/The real Nazis run your schools/They're coaches businessmen and cops/In a real fourth Reich you'll be the first to go." Plus, have y'all seen the rise in hate crime out there from white people? There's no denying hate-mongers are feeling emboldened of late.
MDC “Born to Die” (1981)
Dave Dictor and company actually came through Santa Fe not too long ago, and shortly thereafter, Green Day channeled MDC's "Born to Die" by chanting "No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA" at the American Music Awards. While the original lyrics use "war" in place of "Trump," the message should be clear, and I do wonder how Trump voters reconcile voting for the same candidate as the fucking Klan in their minds. Ugh. I'm pissed already!
Elected Officials “The Lobby” (2015)
Not only is this band semi-local (some members live here, some in Austin, Texas), they've got an album called Appetite for Corruption and that's just smart. On their song "The Lobby," Elected Officials thrash the idea of bought policies and legislation, standing up for the little guy with lyrics like, "It's all about the money and not for you and me/Billions of Ben Franklins speak to higher policy." Yikes. Oh, and PS—these guys are touring China with MDC as we speak. Boom.
We’ve got our ear to the ground in search of interesting tidbits of music-related information, Santa Fe. Are you recording an album? Hitting the road to tour? Thinking of going major-label? We want to know about it.
Phil Ochs “I Ain’t Marching Anymore” (1965)
Think of it like a soldier who once blindly followed orders who now prefers to ruminate on peace and what is right. Phil Ochs rules. Oh, and Portland, Oregon-based indie genius Ben Barnett has a whole album of Ochs covers with his Kind of Like Spitting project called Learn: The Songs of Phil Ochs that is really worth searching out and picking up.
NOFX “The Decline” (1999)
Did somebody say 20-minute song about the sad state of affairs in the country? NOFX deftly weaves between issues like absurd marijuana laws, gun control, the opiate of the masses and more with reckless abandon and more than a few brilliantly executed tempo and musical changes. Not only is this one of the finest political songs of all time, it proved that even pop-punk has the ability to get deep now and then. "We've lost the battle, lost the war, lost the things worth living for," singer Fat Mike laments, and it's hard to not focus on how Trump is just another in a long line of political disappointments in this country … at least for people who care about other people.
The Exploited “Fuck the USA” (1993)
OK, so they're Scottish, but The Exploited still provides an interesting glimpse into how our country is perceived by other parts of the world while reminding us that sick people looking for help will probably have a hard time without money and the rich often don't much care or even really think about the poor.
Woody Guthrie “All You Fascists Bound to Lose” (1944)
It's Woody Guthrie, you guys, and he's mad! His machine kills fascists, y'know?! Billy Bragg also does this song (both with Wilco and all by himself), but whatever way you ingest the message of this tune, it's pretty triumphant and hopeful which, God help us, we could we could really use right about now.
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