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Protest Songs WHERE ARE THEY?
Old 8th February 2012
  #1
Protest Songs WHERE ARE THEY?

Apart from one, or two, I don't hear them. Alternative viewpoints in popular songs, I don't see them.
Aren't we supposed to hear our ideas reflected in our culture? In our music?

Have musicians become complacent? Songwriters become weak cowards, with a corporate ring through their noses?
Has the "industry" become a corporate mouthtube, a carefully constructed heap of perfect bull****?

or... even worse...
Has the terrible reality become that .. maybe most don't even have ideas anymore?
ARE WE HUMAN BEINGS OR ARE WE STUPID AND UNFIT TO DETERMINE OUR DESTINY?

tell me, post some, since the pain of watching the inertia is becoming unbearable?!
WHERE ARE THEY?
Old 8th February 2012
  #2
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Kaoz's Avatar
I think it's a by product of the ever increasing commercialization of music. Protest songs just aren't sellable anymore, which is really ironic in these times.

The songs are out there - but you're more likely to find them in inner city venues than the top 40 charts.
Old 8th February 2012
  #3
KT1
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All i'm gonna say is when the London riots kicked off..it was in protest to 'police brutality'. This is the type of thing you would expect to have some impact...

quote from one of the looters ' Yeh i waz like what's the fedz doin is wrong , i mean if i want to walk with a cap so what..i aint avin it no more..' Reporter: you are aware that this is not what its about right? 'F*k da police'.

This is our youth. The same people who made those groundbreaking steps.

In answer to your point Yes, yes and yes. The model has changed - There is a pensados place Herb talks to this exact point. I think it's an articulate response to this.

I'm not as concerned with the loss of protest as i am in the art of communication of our generations views via music. Art is still out there..but damn it's surrounded by a lot of format based make the money TRIFFFE.

bless
Old 8th February 2012
  #4
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Beat Poet's Avatar
 

Yeah, it's true that uber-commercialisation has killed off the political side of songwriting . . . even at a grass roots level I see commercial looking/sounding bands. I suppose if you want to protest, you have to package it up nicely like Green Day did with American Idiot. Even then, only the title track on that album dealt with what was going on in the US at the time. Even Manic Street Preachers (one of the UK's higher-profile political bands) haven't written a barbed political song in a decade. Well they did one about five years ago called Rendition, which started out with "rendition, rendition, blame it on the coalition".
Old 8th February 2012
  #5
KT1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beat Poet View Post
Yeah, it's true that uber-commercialisation has killed off the political side of songwriting . . . even at a grass roots level I see commercial looking/sounding bands. I suppose if you want to protest, you have to package it up nicely like Green Day did with American Idiot. Even then, only the title track on that album dealt with what was going on in the US at the time. Even Manic Street Preachers (one of the UK's higher-profile political bands) haven't written a barbed political song in a decade. Well they did one about five years ago called Rendition, which started out with "rendition, rendition, blame it on the coalition".
We hear and see it in many forms. Tool's last album track right in two' nailed a theme of the time.


Angels on the sideline,
Puzzled and amused.
Why did Father give these humans free will?
Now they're all confused.

Don't these talking monkeys know that
Eden has enough to go around?
Plenty in this holy garden, silly old monkeys,
Where there's one you're bound to divide it

Right in two

Monkey, killing monkey, killing monkey
Over pieces of the ground.
Silly monkeys give them thumbs,
They forge a blade,
And when there's one they're bound to divide it,

Right in two.

Monkey, killing monkey, killing monkey
Over pieces of the ground.
Silly monkeys give them thumbs,
They make a club
And beat their brother... down.
How they survived so misguided is a mystery.
Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability
to lift an eye to heaven conscious of his fleeting time here

They fight, till they die
Over earth, over sky
They fight, over life,
Over brawn, over air and light,
Over love, over sun. Over blood
They fight, or they die, all for what? For our rising!

Angels on the sideline again
Been too long with patience and reason
Angels on the sideline again
Wondering when this tug of war will end

Right in two



Bless
Old 8th February 2012
  #6
Gear Head
 

Anybody remember the Dixie Chix saying they were embarrassed that George Bush was from Texas?
Old 8th February 2012
  #7
DSK
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DSK's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by KT1 View Post
We hear and see it in many forms. Tool's last album track right in two' nailed a theme of the time.

While an amazing band and creative endeavor, Tool are hardly mainstream (as in top 40). Haven't listened to them in a while hmm.. thanks for reminding me.

As a counter example The Doors were very mainstream and were gritty and raw to some degree. Speaking about the times and not about the happy flowery stuff..

But those were other times and we know that back then not all of the assembly line for music was controlled by the labels.

Now we have the likes of Di$n3y having farms of children that are bred to be "stars" etc.

Also people are kind of contempt and accepted that the world is going down...

So many don't have the hope that it will be better, a feeling that could generate a protest song....

.. and so many others don't have the motives. Why protest when you can spend all your life in virtual realms and forget about the real f*ck3d world?

We are a jaded generation that has been succumbed to flatness...
Old 8th February 2012
  #8
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Winger had some kind of pro military album about 7 or 8 years ago. Queensryche is always throwing anti war and political jabs.
Old 8th February 2012
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeydego View Post
Winger had some kind of pro military album about 7 or 8 years ago. Queensryche is always throwing anti war and political jabs.

Pffft. We mean *recent chart toppers* in pop music at the level of 'Give Peace a Chance' and 'Eve Of Destruction'. These song were common 1965-1985. And pro-military anthems do not count.

What is it with the blind denials and rationalizations ?
Old 8th February 2012
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Musicfan View Post
Pffft. We mean *recent chart toppers* in pop music at the level of 'Give Peace a Chance' and 'Eve Of Destruction'. These song were common 1965-1985. And pro-military anthems do not count.

What is it with the blind denials and rationalizations ?
I admit Im reaching, but its not non existent.
Old 8th February 2012
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeydego View Post
I admit Im reaching, but its not non existent.
It's entirely non-existent in the pop music charts. It's being kept out of the mainstream.
Old 8th February 2012
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
AbsoluteSpirit's Avatar
 

Rage against the machine vs X-factor?
Old 8th February 2012
  #13
KT1
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KT1's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DSK View Post
While an amazing band and creative endeavor, Tool are hardly mainstream (as in top 40). Haven't listened to them in a while hmm.. thanks for reminding me.

As a counter example The Doors were very mainstream and were gritty and raw to some degree. Speaking about the times and not about the happy flowery stuff..

But those were other times and we know that back then not all of the assembly line for music was controlled by the labels.

Now we have the likes of Di$n3y having farms of children that are bred to be "stars" etc.

Also people are kind of contempt and accepted that the world is going down...

So many don't have the hope that it will be better, a feeling that could generate a protest song....

.. and so many others don't have the motives. Why protest when you can spend all your life in virtual realms and forget about the real f*ck3d world?

We are a jaded generation that has been succumbed to flatness...

True not mainstream. I'm now thinking Pop//radiohead//coldplay...hell im clutching..
Old 8th February 2012
  #14
KT1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KT1 View Post
True not mainstream. I'm now thinking Pop//radiohead//coldplay...hell im clutching..
Yeh loved the Doors..even later though..sex pistols..that's a little more recent . In the 80's everyone was rich and happy haha! 90's had a lot of protest in the form of Rap/hip hop..then it kind of faded..man..this is tough.
Old 8th February 2012
  #15
KT1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteSpirit View Post
Rage against the machine vs X-factor?
FU%% you i wont do what you tell me! That sounds kind of like a protest to me :D
Old 8th February 2012
  #16
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Kaoz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Musicfan View Post
It's entirely non-existent in the pop music charts. It's being kept out of the mainstream.
Being kept out of the mainstream?

Tool were never in the mainstream, even back when they were talking about fi****cking and prison sex.
Old 8th February 2012
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KT1 View Post
90's had a lot of protest in the form of Rap/hip hop..then it kind of faded..
That's actually a very important point.

Rap and hip-hop came about to create a new musical vehicle for those who wanted to express themselves beyond the traditional means of genre, which they didn't feel a part of or couldn't really relate to. Eminem once said Rap & Hip-Hop could eliminate racism. Given that the 2 main characteristics are rhythm & lyrics, it would theoretically be the *ideal* way to get an overtly social or political message across to the masses.
Old 8th February 2012
  #18
KT1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Musicfan View Post
That's actually a very important point.

Rap and hip-hop came about to create a new musical vehicle for those who wanted to express themselves beyond the traditional means of genre, which they didn't feel a part of or couldn't really relate to. Eminem once said Rap & Hip-Hop could eliminate racism. Given that the 2 main characteristics are rhythm & lyrics, it would theoretically be the *ideal* way to get an overtly social or political message across to the masses.
And it did right! Got to say though the mainstream no longer really supports the same genre of conscious rap the 90's did.
Old 8th February 2012
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaoz View Post
Being kept out of the mainstream?

.
In the 1960's and 1970's there were protests in the streets, and protest songs in the charts.

Now (in the 21st century) there are protests in the streets and zero protest songs in the charts.
Old 8th February 2012
  #20
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Kaoz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Musicfan View Post
In the 1960's and 1970's there were protests in the streets, and protest songs in the charts.

Now (in the 21st century) there are protests in the streets and zero protest songs in the charts.
I'm not disagreeing with you.

What I'm saying is that they're not being kept out of the charts by some over enthusiastic overlord - they're simply not there for a variety of reasons which aren't limited to music.
Old 8th February 2012
  #21
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Kaoz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by KT1 View Post
And it did right! Got to say though the mainstream no longer really supports the same genre of conscious rap the 90's did.
I'd go back even further - I think meaningful political and socially conscious rap died out in the very early 90's, and was more prevalent in the mid to late 80's.

I think by the mid 90's, the overwhelming majority of rap in the charts was more gangster rap than anything else.
Old 8th February 2012
  #22
KT1
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KT1's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaoz View Post
I'd go back even further - I think meaningful political and socially conscious rap died out in the very early 90's, and was more prevalent in the mid to late 80's.

I think by the mid 90's, the overwhelming majority of rap in the charts was more gangster rap than anything else.
Yeh - that could be a fair statement - i would need to look back at the years of certain release.
Old 8th February 2012
  #23
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Kaoz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by KT1 View Post
Yeh - that could be a fair statement - i would need to look back at the years of certain release.
I remember gangster rap really starting to take off around 92-93, and had pretty much taken over rap as a whole by 95. Not sure if the frequent shootings helped or not though
Old 8th February 2012
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by KT1 View Post
Angels on the sideline,
Puzzled and amused.
Why did Father give these humans free will?
Now they're all confused.

Don't these talking monkeys know that
Eden has enough to go around?
Plenty in this holy garden, silly old monkeys,
Where there's one you're bound to divide it

Right in two

Monkey, killing monkey, killing monkey
Over pieces of the ground.
Silly monkeys give them thumbs,
They forge a blade,
And when there's one they're bound to divide it,

Right in two.

Monkey, killing monkey, killing monkey
Over pieces of the ground.
Silly monkeys give them thumbs,
They make a club
And beat their brother... down.
How they survived so misguided is a mystery.
Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability
to lift an eye to heaven conscious of his fleeting time here

They fight, till they die
Over earth, over sky
They fight, over life,
Over brawn, over air and light,
Over love, over sun. Over blood
They fight, or they die, all for what? For our rising!

Angels on the sideline again
Been too long with patience and reason
Angels on the sideline again
Wondering when this tug of war will end

Right in two



Bless
WHERE IS THE ANGER IN WESTERN SOCIETY?

WHERE IS THE REFLECTION OF REALITY IN SONGS????
have they all gone soft in the head?
accepted that it's "over"?

I don't believe that's all there is:
it seem rationalisation of one's own ineptness to deal with big issues, then becomes a source of common rationalisation.
a group think like: "it's not that bad because blah blah blah... " or worse "yes I agree but I got to go to work every morning blah blah..."
that's human thought as well. but it always was in an equilibrium with those that did not accept the status quo.
throughout history!

not in "the charts" but these became popular - again this is throughout history
and with the internet, even the small can become popular
so it's not just mainstream corporate influence

Old 8th February 2012
  #25
Lives for gear
 

Someone should take this opportunity to write a protest song against the dearth of protest songs.

Having said that, System of a Down have certainly put out some angry protest songs...but it's been a few years.
Old 8th February 2012
  #26
that's what I mean, the last say 5 years, many things have gotten worse for many (all) people, yet, ....... nothing?

I have 2 examples of songs that reflect and reject, but I can't believe that's it.
Old 8th February 2012
  #27
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil View Post
Aren't we supposed to hear our ideas reflected in our culture? In our music?
They are reflected...that's the scary part.
Old 8th February 2012
  #28
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badmark's Avatar
There are no protest songs because most contemporary artists are thumb-sucking bedwetters. Yes, Ed Sheeran, I mean you.
Old 8th February 2012
  #29
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Howie J's Avatar
....Just throwing random thoughts, but maybe because protests before were more "directed"? People knew what they were protesting. Vietnam, civil rights, etc. They had ONE specific goal as a group. It's not really a good protest when you ask a gathering of 100 people what they are protesting against and they all give you a different answer.

Half the protests (in the US at least) seem like a group of kindergarteners making up a new game...


Howie J
Old 8th February 2012
  #30
restpause
Guest
Closest I have heard to protest music (in my music collection) that is consistent and meaningful and on a regular basis comes from these sources:

KRS-ONE
Public Enemy
KMFDM/MDFMK

These guys NEVER SOLD OUT. They still have messages and still stay pretty deep.
It's probably worth mentioning Michael Franti (of Spearhead) as well, but I don't personally collect his tunes (good, but not my style).

I'm sure if you follow the likes of the above mentioned artists and the artists they align themselves with, you'll discover other good stuff.

Ah there's a UK rapper too, but I forget his name. But he's the guy that did the SOPA Cabana tune. And I think there are others in his same crew.
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