Houston Calling

Under The Radar‘s protest auction

September 4th, 2004 · No Comments

As a rule, I like my music separate from everything else. I do not care to hear a musician spouting off about how “the sheep” should vote so-and-so out of office or how much so-and-so blows. And I don’t need some coked-up manic depressive telling me how to cast my vote. Okay? So don’t do it. Springsteen, Vedder–this means you.

However, Under the Radar magazine recently released its latest issue–The Protest Issue–which features a 33-page section on the role politics plays in independent music. It plays a role? Bring out the bandwagon and let me jump on.

Might I stop listening? We’ll have to see…

Anyway, Under the Radar held photo shoots with loads of musicians (including Donewaiting favs Ted Leo and The Decemberists) holding protest signs of their own writing. Next month, the magazine plans to auction off the autographed signs on eBay and donate the profits to Music For America, a non-profit organization that uses music to encourage young people to vote.

Encouraging people to vote, fine. Telling people how they should vote, not fine.

According to their press release:

“In an election year when the country is split down the middle on so many issues, Under the Radar music magazine felt that it was an important time to examine the intersection of music and politics–how the political climate can influence music and how musicians can help sway political opinion. Many musicians have opinions on political issues, but how many of them are actually saying or doing anything about it? Do musicians have a duty to channel politics into their music? Can protest music really make a difference anyway? Amid the current political turmoil, Under the Radar decided to explore the intersection of music and politics from the artists’ point of view.

For the protest sign shoots, Under the Radar provided the musicians with poster board and paint–asking them to exercise free speech and create a slogan of their own choosing. All of the protest signs were autographed by the musicians, and these original pieces will be auctioned off on eBay from Oct. 1st through October 7th, with all profits to be donated to Music For America.

Some of the artists interviewed and/or photographed for The Protest Issue include: Badly Drawn Boy, Joan Baez, Devendra Banhart, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Billy Bragg, Bright Eyes, David Cross, Cursive, Death Cab for Cutie, The Decemberists, Ani DiFranco, The Faint, Faithless, Perry Farrell, The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne, Richie Havens, The (International) Noise Conspiracy, Interpol, Le Tigre, MC5, Yoko Ono, Pete Seeger, Super Furry Animals, and many others.”

If you are so inclined and have money to burn, visit The Protest Auction webpage at Under the Radar‘s website.

More information on Music for America can be found here.

So remember, vote David Cobb for president.

I jest, I jest.

Now Playing in My iPod: The Essential Simon & Garfunkel

Tags: Music