Thursday, December 17, 2009

Rebel Anthem!

In the above clip you can listen to Rage Against The Machine in a British interview about how the young people in Britan are trying to make a statement against corporate music business manufacturing hits.

A grassroots campaign on Facebook has started a rebel revolution to make a song by the band RATM outsell and hit number 1 on British charts to overthrow a song promoted during the Christmas season by Simon Cowell's tv show X Factor.

"Killing in the Name" is the first single released by Rage Against the Machine from their self-titled album in November 1992. The single's cover pictured Thích Quảng Đức, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, burning himself to death in Saigon in 1963 in protest of the murder of Buddhists by Prime Minister Ngô Đình Diệm's regime.

The song "Killing in the Name" has been described as "a howling, expletive-driven tirade against the ills of American society." The song repeats six lines of lyrics and the uncensored version contains the word "fuck" seventeen times. The song builds in intensity, repeating the lines "And now you do what they told ya. And now you're under control" culminating in Zack de la Rocha screaming "Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me! Motherfucker!".
From Wiki.

Rage Against the Machine's first video for "Killing in the Name" did not receive any airplay in the US due to the explicit language in the song's refrain. The song received substantial airplay in Europe and drove the band's popularity outside its home country. Rolling Stone lists "Killing in the Name" as the 24th in its 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time.

Tom Morello created the heavier riffs while teaching a student drop D tuning. He stopped the lesson and recorded the riff. The next day the band met in a studio and according to Morello the song "Killing in the Name" was created in a collaborative effort, combining his riff with "Timmy C.'s magmalike bass, Brad Wilk's funky, brutal drumming and Zack's conviction"


Doc said...



Doc said...

Hope you don't mind but I like what I am reading... I am going to link to you to my blog.

Four Dinners said...

Good taste has Doc...;-)

Already downloaded it - paid as well so it's official!!!!

On my playlist for Saturdays Drunk Punk Show.

My kinda music!!!!!

mister anchovy said...

Two choices, one record company? The idea of the rebel brand is pretty interesting.

Candy Minx said...

Hey Doc, thanks, I've linked your blog too.

Good work 4Dins, I think this is a pretty exciting concept.

Mr. Anchovy, Sadly, the idea is that there often isn't evena sense of "two choices" on airplay. The fact that it took finding a song from twenty years ago to go up against a song from today is telling. The situation doesn't have anything to do with a rebel brand...although there are many rebel brands out there, expecially looking back on recording history. In fact, Epic Records which plays a role in this news story was a sort of "rebel brand" if you will. This song was originally written and recorded in a home studio. Even it's original video was filmed by a non-professional. The concept of a rebel anthem or protest song has nothing to do with the recording companies that support artists. Epic Records who first recorded this song began as jazz producers back in the 1950's. It's true that a bigger corporation amalgamated Epic Records but I should think it's more appropriate to be angry with lawyers and suits and CEOs than the actual musicians. Using this song as an alternative to the tv shows like "X-Factor" doesn't imply kids only have two chocices. The use of the RATM song is as a metaphor...not as a sole option. The history of the bands music is of social protest overall.

Here is a little bit about protest songs from Wikipedia...not much in here about CEOS or record companies or brands...the definition and emotional "truth" and responsibility of this music lies with the singer/songwriters...I share your distaste...but my distaste is for the corporations who want to control music...not the musicians. In this distinction you and I differ.


Candy Minx said...

"A protest song is a song which is associated with a movement for social change and hence part of the broader category of topical songs (or songs connected to current events). It may be folk, classical, or commercial in genre. Among social movements that have an associated body of songs are the abolition movement, women's suffrage, the labor movement, civil rights, the anti-war movement, the feminist movement, and Environmentalism. Protest songs are frequently situational, having been associated with a social movement through context. "Goodnight Irene", for example, acquired the aura of a protest song because it was written by Lead Belly, a black convict and social outcast, although on its face it is a love song. Or they may be abstract, expressing, in more general terms, opposition to injustice and support for peace, or free thought, but audiences usually know what is being referred to. Beethoven's "Ode to Joy", a song in support of universal brotherhood, is a song of this kind. It is a setting of a poem by Schiller celebrating the continuum of living beings (who are united in their capacity for feeling pain and pleasure and hence for empathy), to which Beethoven himself added the lines that all men are brothers. Songs which support the status quo do not qualify as protest songs.
Protest song texts have significant cognitive content. The labor movement musical Pins and Needles deftly summed up the definition of a protest song in a number called "Sing Me a Song of Social Significance." Phil Ochs once explained, "A protest song is a song that's so specific that you cannot mistake it for bullshit" [1]
Many well-known protest songs come from the United States, a country founded on the basis of Enlightenment ideals of human betterment and which had known continuous social movements since its inception, as new and diverse groups and ideals were successively absorbed into the social fabric. Well known American protest songs include "We Shall Overcome", first associated with labor organizing and later with the Civil rights movement; Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind" and Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On". John Lennon's "Give Peace A Chance" referenced the American anti-Vietnam war movement and the arms race, although he was British. Many key figures worldwide have contributed to their own nations' traditions of protest music, such as Victor Jara in Chile, Silvio Rodríguez in Cuba, Karel Kryl in Czechoslovakia, Jacek Kaczmarski in Poland, and Vuyisile Mini in anti-apartheid South Africa."

mister anchovy said...

I don't have any particular distaste for that band or their music, although it doesn't really interest me, Candy. Don't think though that record companies aren't conscious of hedging their bets and providing product to meet all kinds of demographics.

I do have have a special appreciation for musicians who at some point dug their heels in and fought the record companies (like Michelle Shocked, Prince and others), and for others who have never felt that they had to play in that world at all to be musicians.

* (asterisk) said...

I, too, have *some* respect for those artists who fought the companies, like Price and George Michael. BUT. Let's not forget, they were happy enough to sign the contracts in the first place and then bitched and moaned about it when there was some real money at stake.

That said, their voices were important in bringing about much-need change in the industry. But was it the sort of change that has ultimately ended up killing the industry?

* (asterisk) said...

*Prince* I meant, of course!