Posts Tagged ‘Music for Democracy’

Obama event in Oakland 9/16

Monday, September 8th, 2008

Oakland Rocks for Change

Please come join us for this star-studded evening of Music for Change.

Oakland Rocks for Change is sponsored by Music for Democracy. Proceeds will be used to support Obama and other progressive candidates in tight races across the nation. The choice is clear, the stakes are high, THE TIME TO ACT IS NOW!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008 at the Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak Street, Oakland CA

Tickets and info at

Maria Muldaur and The Free Radicals
Hot Buttered Rum with Michael Kang of String Cheese Incident
John Densmore of The Doors with Hani Naser
Tuck and Patti
Tommy Castro
Blame Sally
MC Marga Gomez

Additional performers and special guests to be announced soon!

Ticket pricing:
Special Student Price: $25 w/student ID
Fans: $50 General admission-outer garden seating
Roadies: $100 donation priority seating
Groupies: $250 donation priority seating in first 10 rows
Rockstars: $1000 includes VIP cocktail reception with special guests, priority seating in first 10 rows

Event Schedule:
5:30-6:30 p.m., VIP cocktail reception with special guests (TBA)
6:00 p.m., Doors open for general admission
7:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., concert

Our goal is to build awareness and support for Barack Obama in key swing states. Proceeds from this event will help Democrats in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives take important seats in swing states from vulnerable Republicans.

What better way to make that happen than through an evening of great music?

Come out and show your support: Buy Tickets Now!

Music for Democracy is a grassroots political action committee devoted to promoting and facilitating musical events that raise public awareness of crucial issues, progressive candidates for federal office, and the importance of getting involved in the electoral process. Join Us:

Music for Democracy interviews

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

I’m working with a new organization called Music for Democracy, a grass-roots movement to inspire music lovers to participate n the political system so we can rescue democracy from the clutches of rapacious corporatists. The Republican Party is the principal offender – virtually nothing but a front group for pious thieves – but the Democratic party is to an alarming degree complicit. My attitude is that we have to get the Republicans out of office before they do any further damage, and then either fix or replace the Democratic party. It is going to take generations to undo the damage of the last 25 years.

One of MFD’s tactics is to get cultural heroes to talk about this stuff. There are a number of interviews online already – David Crosby, Bruce Hornsby, DJ Spooky, et al. – and we have more in the works.

Barry Smolin, my Pacifica radio colleague, a fellow musician, and an inspiring teacher of high-school English in Los Angeles, has just posted an interview with his old friend and former bandmate Stew.

From the intro:

The artist who goes by the nom d’art Stew is best known these days as the Tony-award winning creator and star of the musical Passing Strange, a breakthrough piece of theatre-making that has galvanized Broadway with its witty script and raging rock and roll score. Stew is no overnight success, though the mainstream press is just now catching up with the guy. He has been plying his trade in a variety of styles — from L.A. punk bands, to the European avant-garde, to the L.A. art-pop scene, to his current foray into musical theater — since the late ’70s.

From the interview:

Barry Smolin: It would seem that Passing Strange‘s world of black middle-class “savings bonds… real estate, college funds, jobs with benefits, homeowners, debutantes,” as your lyrics describe, would have already produced a multitude of Barack Obamas. Yet Obama’s arrival on the national scene is viewed as something “new,” though the archetype has populated the African-American community for decades. What’s your reaction to the political rise of Senator Obama, and why do you think it’s happening at this moment in US history?

Stew: I really don’t think it is possible to consider Obama’s rise without considering Bush’s fall. And by that I mean America’s fall. Obama did not come out of nowhere and he is not merely the result of some racial epiphany that white America has suddenly had. Bush and Cheney created Obama, inadvertently, mind you. Bush’s sickening fascism opened the door, and look who’s coming to dinner: the Savior. Bush stank up the joint. Obama is supposed to clean it up. And I choose that metaphor carefully. Obama is expected/elected to be the janitor of Bush’s lunacy (apologies to Nico).

Please read the whole interview: these are two of the smartest people I know, and here is much to learn from this dialogue. And please visit the rest of the Music for Democracy site; we have a ton of work to do.

And one more quote from the amazing interview with Stew:

….large sections of the black community have historically bought into a lot of the stereotypes that were supposedly sold to or forced on us. How many black kids still buy into the story that being smart or interested in things beyond your neighborhood is “acting white”? I used to get that shit all the time. When did being curious about the world become a “white” thing? And is the “great white conspiracy” against black people responsible for that mentality? I don’t think so. I would never ascribe that much power to white people to credit them with fucking everything up for me. As long as they don’t charge me to get into the library, I’ll find a way.

I grew up experiencing more oppression from black people in the form of pressure to conform than I ever did from white racism. I think black people got so caught up in a confused sense of black pride that they actually cut themselves off from the ability to be full cultural players. Two unlikely heroes of mine, Maulana Karenga and Robert Redford, taught me the exact same thing: don’t wait for an institution to be built to get you what you need, build the institution your own damn self.