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Political Rock for all you Success Whores

Dallas Boyd
Dallas Boyd

If there’s anything Michael Jackson’s death has taught us, it’s that we’re all success whores. For all the fun we poked at him, he’s probably sitting up in the sky somewhere having a mighty laugh at us as we nostalgically dust off our old “Thriller” records like we give a dam. I’m hearing Michael Jackson music more than I have in years. We’re so shameless. Obviously weirdness is no match for achievement and wealth in the end.
To be fair, MJ was quite the trail-blazer. But lets face it. We all thought he was a fruit loop. But he won’t be remembered as one. The mean things people said and thought about him will fade. What we will remember, and never forget, is the way his music made us feel. And can still make us feel. Well. You can kill a man, but you can’t kill an idea.
Everyone’s been harping on about the important “message” in Michael Jackson’s music. And oddly enough, the munter actually had a point.
But in that, he’s completely unoriginal.
There’s plenty of political rock out there but since Michael Jackson, no one has been able to reach across the board and affect as many people. U2 do o.k. but they’re a band, and way too normal to be exciting. John Lennon encouraged us to “Give Peace a Chance.” With the Beatles fame tucked snugly up his sleeve and Yoko tucked snugly into his side, like Michael, he used his influence in a positive way.
Those were the big guns. Today political rock is much more of a niche market and usually preaches to the converted. Michael Jackson helped to break down racial barriers with “Black or White”. If we weren’t such success whores and actually cared about the potential of these so called “messages” in music, maybe by paying more attention to musicians who are really trying to reach out, we could accomplish even more.
You’ve probably never heard of the “Street Sweeper Social Club.” This is a new band founded by Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine, the Night  Watchman) and Boots Riley (I don‘t know who Boots Riley is but he has a snappy name). When asked why they formed the band they explained that “all the Americans who are being made hungry and homeless by our ruthless economy will need something to listen to on their iPods while storming Wall Street". Morello adds they are “injecting revolutionary party jams into our daily lives.” I guess that sort of sums it up…
Proceeds raised from Street Sweeper Social Club concerts are donated to supporting organisations for the hungry and homeless, in each city they play. Call the hotline (American number) 1-877-933-7371 to hear music, amusing tour antics, Boots Riley rabbling about his lyrics to the song "100 little curses", and if you really give a toss, you can also hear Morello updating us on the new American health care system.
If you’re a Serj Tankian fan - that handsome and talented man from System of a Down - tune into the Axis of Justice Radio Network radio show (also with Morello). Content? War, rock, and social justice. Why? For all of you who’ve been creaming yourselves over how Michael’s music was so deep and meaningful. If you really want to heal the world and start with the man in the mirror, we’ve still got a long way to go. So expand your horizons and get something to storm to on the ipod.

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