Musical inspiration while putting out this issue
The Blue Scholars
The Blue Scholars merge traditional hip hop with the unique energy of an Iranian-American, jazz-trained pianist and a Filipino-American community organizer. Their steady, confident beats propel their politically conscious lyrics, which speak of grassroots social transformation, the realities of minorities and workers, and youth empowerment.
In this 1976 Afrobeat treasure, the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti merges his activism with a mesmerizing groove, seducing the listener while critiquing the weak African education system, the treatment of his fellow Nigerians by the Europeans, and the delinquency of Nigerian leaders.
Water No Get No Enemy, Fela Anikulapo Kuti
To the Races
As indie-folk music gossip has it, Eric Bachmann took time off from his band Crooked Fingers to write songs while living out of his car. This solo CD is the product of that life crisis. Although the music is soothingly acoustic, the poetic lyrics are painfully raw, telling us more about Bachmann himself than about his subjects.
Maddening and motivating independent films
Pirate Radio (84 min)
This suprisingly funny film follows radio pirates DJ Him and DJ Her as they document the stories of unlicensed micro-radio stations before they're shut down by the FCC. Director Jeff Pearson weaves in the complex legal and political issues of indy media and free speech. Even if you've never dreamed of getting involved in rogue radio, this film will have you itching to grab a mic and get active.
Ground Truth (72 min)
In the controversy over war, the long-term impacts of combat on veterans often gets lost. By following the lives of 10 veterans of the Iraq War, Ground Truth brings home the reality of war. This film is a must-see for anyone contemplating joining the military, as well as anyone seeking to understand the experiences of military men and women as they struggle to reintegrate into civilian life.